Buck and Rail Fence

What is Buck and Rail?

Buck and rail is best described as a three-dimensional, A-frame, rail fence. A section of buck and rail fence consists of two A-frame "bucks", spaced an average of 12-16 feet apart, with 3 or 4 "rails" attached to the standing A-frames. The number of rails needed for each section can vary depending on how tall you need the fence to be, or what you are trying to fence in. If the intent is to exclude only cattle or horses, then a 3 or 4-rail fence, 4-feet in height, will be sufficient. To exclude big game, such as deer and elk, a taller and tighter fence is needed. This type of fence will require an exclosure at least 6 to 7 feet tall, using 6-7 rails spaced no further than 12-inches apart. A two-dimensional fence constructed of wire would need to be 9 to 10 feet tall to be "deer proof". However, the 3-dimensional configuration of the buck and rail design discourages big game from trying to jump over the fence.

Why use Buck and Rail Fences?

Buck and rail fences are easier to build. Since the fence sits on top of the ground, there is no need to dig post holes. This is particularly helpful when constructing fences on shallow, rocky soil.

Buck and rail fences are friendly to other species of wildlife. Woven wire fences prevent access of many non-target species into aspen stands. The relatively open design of buck and rail fences allows most other species to pass under or over the fence.

Buck and rail fences are pleasing to the eye and appear far less intrusive on the landscape than wire fences. Over time, buck and rail fences naturally breakdown and decay and will have to be replaced.

However, using modern day materials of pressure treated wood, the buck and rail fence will last a lot longer.
Currently the Ranch is replacing many of the old wire fences with new Buck and Rail Fence. Be sure to watch our progress!1500


Other Fencing Management

Other fencing practices including the use of wire fencing and electric fencing are used to cross fence pastures into smaller paddocks. This allows us to use a rotational grazing system which gives us better utilization of the available forage because the cattle graze the forage more evenly. Rotational grazing also further protects the forage from damage, including hoof damage and root damage, by shortening the allotted grazing time in each pasture.