When my Wife Janice and I brought this block of land eight years ago I tried to walk around the boundary fence but could not as the scrub had grown over that much it was impossible. Since then I had spent countless hours clearing the scrub off the fence line. This revealed just how bad the fence actually was. It was originally a netting fence but over the years every one of the down wires had broken so the sheep and cows could just walk through this fence at any point.
Once the stock got through this fence they could go for miles and were always hard to muster back so I had to do something about the fence. The length of the fence was 330 meters on a step hill all of the existing fence standards were lose in the ground so they all had to be taking out and banged back in again also there were not enough standards so I had to add a couple more. There was one electric wire on top which I left in place to help keep the fence line straight.
Because I had stock in this block at the time I could only do part of the fence as I went. I started at the top of the hill taking the old wire off and rolling it downhill to the next standard then I would roll out the new netting to go in its place. The old wire had to be carted off the hill which is now at the tip. This fence taught me a couple of things during the job, one when taking fence standards down the hill don’t throw them down to the next spot without keeping a very close eye on them. One standard I threw hit the ground and I heard a strange sound as I was grabbing the next one.
I looked for that standard for the next ten minutes but there was no way I could find it. When it hit the ground it took off down into the scrub somewhere. Another time I was pulling one of the old standards out of the ground using all of my strength as I was pulling up when all of a sudden I went flying backwards down the hill. I don’t think I knocked myself out but I was dazed for a bit, when I had landed the fence pliers that were on my belt had come up and got me good in the ribs so as I lay there trying to work out what had just happened expecting to see a cow or something standing there as it felt like I had been hit by something hard.
As I slowly came around I realised that my head had touched the hot wire as I was pulling the standard and that fence was going well. I ended up with three shocks off the fence that day. Even though my body was saw I did not stop and kept on going all day. When I got two hundred meters down the fence I put triplex’s in the join so that it will make it easier to strain the fence back up from the middle at any time.
Up until this fence I had always used lacing wire to connect the fence to the standards but this fence had been made using little wire clips made out of number eight wire so I made more of these as this way the wire can be pulled along when strained. Lower down on the fence there were some tree branches that I had to clear off and drag out of the way.
At the bottom of the fence I made a homemade wire strainer as I only have one wire strainer and when straining up a netting fence if you pull too much on one wire it is easy to pull your fence out of shape. Also at the bottom I put a stay on the post to help keep the post upright. Every day that I was working on this fence I had Jeff the possum dog with me and he would be on possums the whole time that I worked. If a possum was on the ground he would kill it and bring it back to me but if they were in a tree he would stand and bark for me to come and help.