Somehow, whenever I want to talk of fixing fence, it comes out wrong. My mouth can’t ever seem to coordinate with my brain, and “fix fencin’ ” usually blurts out and makes me appear *really* stupid. Most people around me accept my fault(s) and pretend they understand what I mean. I’m grateful for that. Occasionally they make fun of me and wound me to the core, but, whatever, I’ll get them back someday.
On our trip around the allotment the other day we came across a section that needed repair.
Vernon to the rescue.
Actually, I *like* “fix fencin’ ” and would have done it, but Vernon doesn’t know how to work my camera…
FIX FENCIN’ 101
Find a stretched out, broken, loose area of barbed wire. This usually isn’t too tough… take into consideration, elk herds, deer, stupid bulls, irritated cows, snowdrifts, old and rusty wire, and you pretty much have a fence to fix!
Easy enough… see the loose wires to the left of the photo? That’s where we work.
You must, however, gather your supplies which includes an old can (coffee or paint can) which holds rusty staples, rusty nails, and those little loopy things that hold the wire on metal posts like these… uh, I don’t know what they’re called. I’ll delve into that later. This is also a great place to carry your hammer or fencin’ tool.
The most important tool is your wire/fence stretcher. This is an amazing tool… believe me that wire is gonna be TIGHT!
Place the fence stretcher on the wire… and give the handle a crank or two or six. The wire pops and sings and becomes tight, like the virgin fence it once was.
Now take your Leatherman (or fencing pliers if you have ’em) and cut the wire. Your fence stretchers will hold the wire in place so you can make the repair.
Make little loopies on each end of the wire. Loopies, of course, being the correct old cowboy term…
Insert a new section of wire to connect the loopies… get it hand tight, so you don’t lose your tightness.
Release your fence stretchers and you’ll have a refurbished, nice, tight fenceline.
Back in the day, cowboys knew that this barbed wire would be the end of their lifestyles. That open country would be chopped up and the life of the cowboy would be over. Yes, the land has been chopped up into smaller sections than the open grazing of long ago. Yes, a cowboy spends more time than he wants “fix fencin’ “. The old time practice of day herding is long gone because of this wire. But the rancher couldn’t make it without barbed wire these days. A cow learns to respect a good fence. And it is *so true* that good fences make good neighbors! Someone with poor fences will have livestock that doesn’t respect a fence, and will cause lots of trouble for himself and his neighbors. And really, on a day like today, with meadowlarks singing and elk and antelope surrounding you, “fix fencin’ ” doesn’t seem like a horrible job!