Fixing Fence

Fencing is a job that all ranchers (or 99.99%) really dislike doing. It’s hot and dirty work. If the sand is too dry, digging post holes is like drinking water from a collander. If it’s wet, the fence is probably under water. If it’s windy… well, you get the idea.

This day, Newt and I and ReeRee went around the fence to try to keep the bulls and cows from mixing in with the neighbors. The fencing law is that you are in your pasture, look at your fence and you are responsible for fixing the left side of your half. This confuses me, but Newt usually fixes all the fence.

First, we look for broken posts. Bad posts= easy way for the cows to escape. You need to remove the staples from the old post. Then start digging a new hole for the new post.

I was digging holes that day.  See the broken post.  I have to dig to the top of the squares on the handles.

I was digging holes that day. See the broken post. I have to dig to the top of the squares on the handles.

Newt fixes the top wire the bulls broke while fighting through the fence, while I finish digging my hole. Luckily it rained, so the digging was good. The diggers made nice sand castles that are easy to pull out of the hole.

Newt patches new wire in where the bulls broke the top wire.  Those are my post hole digger handles in the front.

Newt patches new wire in where the bulls broke the top wire. Those are my post hole digger handles in the front.

A new wire is added to the ends of the broken wire and “stretched” until tight.

Fence stretchers get the wire nice and tight.

Fence stretchers get the wire nice and tight.

Hedge posts are never straight and I never set them to Newt’s perfection, so I let him set the post. Plus it is easier to get pictures this way.

Trying to "set" the post so it is straight.  Hedge posts are wild trees that are harvested for posts.  Hedge posts are rarely straight.

Trying to “set” the post so it is straight. Hedge posts are wild trees that are harvested for posts. Hedge posts are rarely straight.

Tamp the dirt around the post for a snug fit…

Newt scoops sand back into the hole around the post.  He will use a "tamper" or pipe to pound the sand around the post to keep it in place.

Newt scoops sand back into the hole around the post. He will use a “tamper” or pipe to pound the sand around the post to keep it in place.

Add wires to hold the barbed wire in place…

Hedge posts are superhard, so you can't drive a staple (or nail) into them to hold the wire on.  Instead Newt wraps wire around the post and barbed wire to hold the barbed wire in place.

Hedge posts are superhard, so you can’t drive a staple (or nail) into them to hold the wire on. Instead Newt wraps wire around the post and barbed wire to hold the barbed wire in place.

And several minutes later, you have the wire fixed and a new post in.

A new hedge post is set in the fence line.

A new hedge post is set in the fence line.

Only 20 more miles of fence to go!

Categories: Ranching in the Sandhills | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Fixing Fence

  1. Martha

    Newt and you do a great job of fixing fence. Want to come and do ours?

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