CLATSOP COUNTY, Ore. -- A state biologist thinks he may have come up with a way to keep elk out of Oregon's North Coast communities without hurting or scaring the animals.
Herman Biederbeck with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife came up with the idea of using a double-fence.
"It's a trial project to see if we can find the right kind of configuration of two fences parallel to each other," he said.
Instead of the traditional 8-foot tall elk fence which is not the most attractive option for places like golf courses, Biederbeck's elk fence is half as tall and can be made decorative. And because of its wider, double-fence configuration, elk may be deterred from jumping over it.
The prototype fence is being tested out in the Jewell Meadows Wildlife Area.
"So far, we haven't documented any crossings on our trail cameras," Biederbeck said.
The trial fence went up in March. Biederbeck said it will take several more months of testing to determine how well it works.
If it does prove to keep elk at bay, communities like Gearhart might consider using it.
A herd of more than a hundred elk is costing his and other businesses in town a lot of money, not to mention reports of the elk getting aggressive.
"Lots of people have had their dogs attacked," said Forrest Goodling, superintendent at Gearhart Golf Links.
"I had another buddy who was riding his bike on the beach and had an elk knock him off of his bike," he said.
If the double-fence is proven to keep elk out of areas, Goodling said he would consider using it.