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Bridges

Daver

PMA Member
I believe this idea has been discussed somewhat here in years past, but I really thinking hard about installing a bridge or two on my farm. Short story, I a couple of areas where the ditches are DEEP and STEEP and while the deer will cross through there, it isn't as often as I think it should be. As I have continued to "morph" my land to facilitate more deer movement in the center of the farm I feel like the next step would be to open up comfortable travel ways from bedding to feeding...BUT...right smack in the middle of where I think it would be good...there's a deep ditch that they tend then to go clear around, etc.

One idea would be to install land bridges, aka berms or even pond dams, but it could be costly and very prone to clogging any outflow/overflow conditions I would think, as all of the "upstream" area is timber. I still may go this direction, but I also don't want to flood "upstream" timber for a pond-ish and/or create a maintenance scenario where I would always be worried about blowing out a dam due to the overflow getting clogged with debris, etc.

So, the other idea is to build a bridge(s) of some sort. I am confident that deer would use such a thing, provided it didn't spook them by being too rickety, etc. Has anyone else done/seen anything like this? Is there a max span that a deer would be comfortable with? Is there a max height above the ground below that they would use?

I am thinking that two telephone poles with some 2x6 decking on them and some sort of a non-skid cover/mat on top of them would probably work. Say 30' long, and about 15' over the top of the low spot in the creek bed below. Thoughts, ideas, etc?
 

Farm boy

Member
With telephone poles at 30' you will be prone to them not handling a snow load of very much, unless really big thick poles.
I made a bridge out of 6"x6" treated 22' long and it collapsed.
Went to 8" irrigation pipe with a arch support on bottom side no problems drive 6,000 lb tractor over it.

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cybball

PMA Member
Could you do a culvert type of bridge? Single huge tube or several big ones and add dirt over top to somehat fill in the depth? Not sure how deep the ravine is but would be similar to a "pond dam" but would openly just let water flow through, but having dirt on top would be a road or travel path for them?
 

Wi transplant

PMA Member
I installed a plastic culvert in about a 10ft deep ditch and used mini excavator to fill over it worked great ! Deer started using right away !!! I used center of tile rolls most give them away .

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Daver

PMA Member
Could you do a culvert type of bridge? Single huge tube or several big ones and add dirt over top to somehat fill in the depth? Not sure how deep the ravine is but would be similar to a "pond dam" but would openly just let water flow through, but having dirt on top would be a road or travel path for them?
I am kind of leaning this way at this point. My concern is that I would plug up whatever tube(s) I put in for overflow and then overtop it and blow it out. Maybe I will put in 3 outlet tubes...that way I have built in redundancy.
 

Daver

PMA Member
I installed a plastic culvert in about a 10ft deep ditch and used mini excavator to fill over it worked great ! Deer started using right away !!! I used center of tile rolls most give them away .
I am not sure what those are? But I do know a guy that installs field tile, so maybe I could get something from him?
 

Wi transplant

PMA Member
Yes there about 7ft long 15in dia pcs that they wrap the rolls of tile on i just cut slits in end about a ft and pulled over another one and screwed together to make a 14 ft one . If you need more flow volume just put 2 or 3 tubes in ! Most time there free!

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cybball

PMA Member
I am kind of leaning this way at this point. My concern is that I would plug up whatever tube(s) I put in for overflow and then overtop it and blow it out. Maybe I will put in 3 outlet tubes...that way I have built in redundancy.
I would think you would want to plan for an enormous amount of water and put in enough culvert to handle that. Then you basically have a road/drive across it and they should start using it, I would think.
 

Wi transplant

PMA Member
Yes put enough in to handle the water!! The ditch i did never gets alot of flow in it.

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crietveld

Active Member
My neighbor has several bridges for his utv’s. The deer use all but the longest one, it’s pushing 150 foot.

Another thought, get a mini excavator and cut a nice slope on the banks where you want the deer to cross. I reworked some crick banks on my little farm a few years ago and it changed how they travel through it. That wasn’t my intention, I was trying to prevent erosion on some oxbows


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2.5YR8

Active Member
I just started a project like this, but more to drive over than for deer. I opted to use a 24 Inch diameter culvert that is 10 feet long and broken concrete as fill, and now I'm covering it all with dirt, This is at the emergency outlet for my pond in case the regular outlet gets plugged so hopefully it will never have water going through it.
 

Habitat1

PMA Member
Here's what I did last summer. Supported by 3 4x4s. Me and a buddy bounced in the middle and it didn't move much. It's only about 12 feet across though
20210821_102417.jpg


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IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
My neighbor has several bridges for his utv’s. The deer use all but the longest one, it’s pushing 150 foot.

Another thought, get a mini excavator and cut a nice slope on the banks where you want the deer to cross. I reworked some crick banks on my little farm a few years ago and it changed how they travel through it. That wasn’t my intention, I was trying to prevent erosion on some oxbows


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150' bridge?!
 

BearCreek

Member
Need some details on that 150' bridge. I have a 60 foot span I would love to cross on foot. The creek it spans often jumps its banks and would destroy anything to close to surface.
 

crietveld

Active Member
I will get pictures of my neighbors bridge. It started out as two trailer house frames and then he added on to one end. Quit the farmer engineering masterpiece


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JNRBRONC

Moderator
We tried to give away a mobile home. Most serious person wanted the I beams for a bridge. Still have it if any interest, LOL


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