The most common obstacle bird hunters encounter in the field are fences. Barbwire cattle fences to be exact. They stand erect as wire barriers keeping in or out people, a variety of ungulates, and unwanted critters. Sometimes fences just offer up a natural pathway to walkalong. Some are void of brushy cover, while others offer a smorgasbord of opportunities… overgrown thickets, weedy tree lines, and my favorite, plum thickets. Here in the Midwest, barbwire fences are a good place to find pheasants and bobwhite quail. Often, fences must be crossed to chase those flushing birds that escaped unscathed.
Barbwire fences can be easy to cross or difficult. They offer up unique challenges in that they can be hazardous. Gashes, cuts, and lacerations do occur when crossing, however ripped pant crotches are worn as a sort of badge of “dishonor” and are a point of snickering by fellow compadres. How many times have you observed or partaken in the fence pushing down or pulling up to climb over? Probably a lot. After a while, those fences will start to sag, offering up an easy way to cross over. Most hunters innocently don’t even think about this. The landowner will likely have to replace or repair the fence due to damage.
We here at Hunt Redi offer up an easy solution with a little-known tool called the T-Post Fence Step. This aluminum gizmo has been used for years by ranchers, farmers, surveyors, and yes, even a few hunters. Its simple design is placed on a post only one way, at the preferred height, along the spine and held in place or “locked-in” with the studs or nubs that prevent the barbed wire from sliding up or down the post, thus creating a gripped step for safely crossing fences.
Safety Notes: Always check the condition and stability of the fence before crossing. Practice hunter safety and unload or break open all shotguns prior to crossing fence.
USING THE T-POST
- Place the left foot onto the T-Post Fence Step.
- With both hands grab onto the T-Post (preferably using the included cap if available, or wear gloves).
- Carefully step up and slowly swing the opposite leg over.
- Place the right foot onto the other side of the fence step.
- Placing your weight down, it will naturally lock into place and slightly shift the fence step.
- With the right hand, reach out in front of you and carefully and firmly grab onto the top fence wire, and
- Kick the left leg over until you are firmly on the ground on the other side.
- Easy to use
- Secures to almost any T-Post, allowing user to “step over” for safe fence crossings
- Light weight & compact for a variety of hunts, including backcountry
- Durable, corrosion resistant aluminum
- Includes a black nylon storage pouch that can be attached to a belt or stored in a pack, or bird vest. HUNT REDI vest users can place the T-Post Fence Step in a variety of storage compartments or in the R.A.T. Roll (Rapid Access Tool Roll)
I received the T-Post Fence Step as a Christmas gift in 2021. I had heard rumors of such a contraption, but never had seen one in action. Blogs, message boards, and forums had both positive and negative things to say about the T-Post Fence Step.
I used the T-Post Fence Step for the last three months of the Kansas upland bird season and deployed it successfully multiple times across the Flint Hills as I hunted prairie chickens and quail. In Arizona, the T-Post Fence Step was used to cross tracts of BLM lands as we chased desert quail. It has become a permanent fixture in my Deviate Upland Drifter 2.0 bird vest making me HUNT REDI.