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Sunday, June 3, 2012

North West Boundary Fence

Saturday 6-1-12 the Hobble Creek Spring Camporee was held at The Ranch. Randy Carr was in charge of it and lead several groups who all camped right around the cottonwood trees and the swing. A couple weeks ago Eric, Clint, and Dan all cleaned out the old trees and brush that were cluttered in that area, thank you, it is a much cleaner and safer place to play now and made it possible for the scouts to spend time there. Jared, Valerie, Eric, and Christine all spent the evening in their trailers in order to start working early the next morning. They all started on the North West boundary fence with the help of the scout groups that were there. The scouts were able to dig holes and plant posts and planted about 10 posts including a very large corner post. It was a lot of help and they did it all by hand. The boys had to go and do some of their Camporee requirements and so they left Jared, Valerie, Eric, Christine, Dustin, Kerri, Libby, and Toby to finish the work. We were able to plant the rest of the cedar and metal T Posts on the North West boundary of the property by 12:30 and then we were able to take a lunch break. We were back at work by 1:30 and now we had to string the barbed wire to the posts. We were able to finish that entire portion of the fence from the previous North West corner to the new, actual, North West corner. It was about 100 yards of fence we were able to finish. Most of us probably don't know the whole process of building a fence. It is actually a lot of work and takes a lot of planning and preparation. Several years ago the family found out that the boundary we had was actually 100 yards short of the actual boundary (some places it was even more space than that). Jared went to the property with some county surveyors and found the actual corner of where the property should be. They used satellite coordinates to get the spot exactly where it should be. Eric then took a bobcat (small surveying equipment) and forged a trail around the property where the boundary should be. Supplies then needed to be gathered. Several of us went down to Mona several times to cut cedar posts a couple years ago. We were able to get over 150 posts by doing that. Those posts cost about $7 each if purchased at Cal Ranch. We were able to buy a $50 permit to cut all of ours. We were able to save a lot of money by doing that. We also needed barbed wire. We have collected some of the wire from old fences in the past which has been sitting at the ranch for awhile. We also went and collected the wire from the old west fence and also pulled up the remaining T Posts there. Jared bought a roll of wire a couple years ago and Kendal helped get a roll this year. Hopefully it will go to the end, we may have to get more later. Jared also had to get some staples (not your normal paper stables, these are much large and look like a double sided nail bent in the shape of a 'U'). Now everything is ready to start building the fence. Man power and proper tools are now our greatest ally. An auger, a large tool used to dig holes, is very helpful and can reduce the time spent digging holes by up to 90%. We were able to have some help with that along the west fence. A group of scouts and a leader that owns a fencing company were able to help plant most of those posts with the help of an auger. If an auger is not available or able to get to the location then shovels, bars, and post hole diggers, along with a lot of elbow grease, will be needed. After a hole is about 2-3 feet deep we need to plant the posts. To plant a post we put the post in the hole and then put a little dirt around it and use the back end of a shovel to 'tamp' (or push down and compress) the dirt around the post. We do this 4-5 times until the post is stable and does not move. Some places need a T Post and then we use a post pounder to get that done. After planting all the posts we need to string the wire. We are putting 4 lines on this fence, it helps keep the cattle out better then just using 3 lines. It is easiest to start from the top line and go to the bottom. You start and tie off the top line to the corner post and one person will walk it to the opposite post or direction. You then pull the line tight and then tie it off to another post. You do this for each line and then you staple each line to the posts. After all lines are stapled to the posts dancers are needed. A dancer is a shorter post that is not planted into the ground but it is just stapled or tied to the barbed wire and is just there to help keep the lines separated and keep the cattle from poking their heads through the line and stepping through the fence. We get the dancers from surrounding trees and they are about 4-5 feet tall and 2-5 inches thick. Once this is done the fence is all finished. We now just have a couple hundred more yards of fence to do along the west boundary. It should be faster and easier due to the fact that all we need to do now is string the wire and cut and attach dancers. We will hopefully be able to finish it this Saturday after the Springville Art City Day Parade. Anyone and everyone is invited to come help.

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