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Fence Plans

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Northern Rancher

Well-known member
Feb 10, 2005
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Anybody know where you can get plans for those wyoming rail fences that don't use posts-I've seen them down there but I forget what they are called.
When I worked out there, I think they were called buck fence. You make an "A" frame, and it almost seems like the top of the A was notched to fit inside each other. At the bottom, a couple feet off the ground, a short lodgepole brace keeps the A from doing the splits. With a couple of these A's made, you then nail about four or five evenly spaced rails (usually sixteen feet long) to start your fence. Next you make another A and put another section of rails in place. About every four sections you need to make a diagonal brace to keep the whole thing from falling over like a stack of dominoes. Just keep building this fence one section at a time until you get as much done as you need.

Back in June of 1970, it was my first day on the job at Moose Head Ranch in Jackson Hole. Another young man and I were assigned to build some buck fence and make a lane by the cabins from the horse pasture into the corral. The owner, a lawyer from Florida, told us to build this fence curved around through the trees. We were nicely started on the curved fence when the year-around caretaker showed up to check our progress. He said, "Make that fence straight. It looks slovenly being curved." We moved everything over and got it straight as a string. Pretty soon the head honcho showed up again and said, "I told you boys to make that fence to curve." We replied that Al told us to make it straight. The Big Boss said, "Make it curved, and don't forget I write out Al's paychecks, too." "Aye, aye," Sir. :)
Did you see those fences in or around the Jackson Hole country in Wyoming? If so, they are called Jackleg Fence and are used in rocky ground because of the problems encountered trying to fence in rocks. We used them in Western Montana. My husband has made a lot of them. Nice looking ones, too!! Kinda spendy if you are not in 'post and pole' country.
Soapweed, you have excellent recollection! I read to my husband your 'recipe' for making jackleg fence and he said you were right on!! You must have paid a lot of attention when you were young! I don't think many would have remembered how those were built after spending only one summer around them.
That's how I was going to build them_I saw them down at Double Fork ranch south of Missoula. I just wanted someone to reinforce my memorey as that was 10-12 years ago.
Double Fork Ranch, that would be John Robbins, would it not? He was one really great guy. I used to work with him on advertising. If everyone was like John Robbins the world would be full of super people.

We got into a deal once that would have made a lesser man very upset. In the early years of his advertising, he always used red color on his ads. We ran a full page ad for him. When it came back from being printed, it was BLUE! I couldn't believe my eyes and dreading calling to tell him of what I thought was a MAJOR mistake. He just said, "hummmm. Well, maybe it will create more attention since we changed the color." Bless his heart, he was so nice about it. I never forgot his attitude~

Is he still alive, or did I hear of him passing away?
I only met with John that one time I went to his sale but he really impressed me-took us on a good tour of his polace-he struck me as more a good a good commercialman with purebred cows than being a purebred breeder. I liked the way his cows were in their working clothes and no apologies were given or expected. It was a very strange day that day-I was supposed to have stopped at Wayne Stevenson's the night before for a visit but didn't make it -Doug was going to meet me at Double Fork that day-I asked John that morning where he was and then after the sale he gave me the news that they thought Wayne had been kidnapped it wasn't till next day the whole story came out. Makes you wonder if we'd of stopped that night if things would of been different. If John has passed it is too bad because he struck me as being a square shooter and a good stockman.
anyone have a photo of these fences? I would like to see them...
Forest service had them on one allotment we used to run on the older ones we called F________ pole fences. becuse they were not braced top to bottom in enough spots that the snow layed them right down. Then tey built one with 50 and 60 foot poles with every third set of jacks or bucks were crossed braced, that one was a good fence.

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