Deer Exclosures



This week’s blog was written by Sinclaire O., a Bucktails alumni. She writes about her experience maintaining deer exclosures.





Winter has hindered outdoor activities but environmental research must still go on. It is very important to upkeep and manage facilities and research areas that take place outdoors so that valuable research and information is not lost or destroyed over the winter months. This is very true for the managing of deer exclosures plots. While data might not be able to be collected efficiently during the winter, in the spring, summer, and fall, the plot still needs to be intact and kept guarded from deer and other animals. By making sure it is protected in the winter, important valuable research can continue for years to come.

West Deer Exclosure with informational sign
Tree on the fence of East Exclosure that needs to be cut off

At Lacawac Sanctuary, there are two deer exclosures that have been up for over 20 years collecting data on the deer’s impact on a mature forest. There has been valuable research collected from the exclosures, but the only way that this can continue is if volunteers monitor the fence line at least weekly for damages and needs for repairs. This is essential and without the help of volunteers, Lacawac and many other environmental organizations wouldn’t be able to continue researching and providing a place to learn about the environment. To get over the winter blues and to help out a local conservation organization, my sister Marilyn and I have signed up to help monitor the fence line. With the supplies provided from Lacawac, we hike out and check the fences to make sure they are intact. During our last hike out, we noticed 5 trees on the fence and at least two spots that needed extra reinforcement of zip ties and wooden support sticks. We recorded our findings and repaired what could be at the time. Without my sister and I, along with other volunteers, recording the damages and the trees on the fence, the employees at Lacawac would not realize what needs to be done to keep the fence intact. With our recorded findings, their employees can go out and repair the fence without making wasted trips that take time away from their work. As volunteers, we become the eyes and the voice for the research projects.  

Marilyn zip tying the fence
Me reinforcing the fence with a wooden stick
From the valuable information my sister and I learned about deer and their habitat, it feels great to participate in volunteering to help continue research such as this. By being a Bucktails graduate, I learned so much about the deer and research being done on them and to be able to volunteer with an organization that wants to learn more about their impact on our environment is huge. Whether you are a bird, fish, or large animal alumni, there is so much you can do to impact and learn about that species or another species. Get out and volunteer somewhere like a non-profit environmental organization because they need you more than you think. Go make an impact that can last for years to come.


The photos used in this blog belong to the author.