Exclosures and Deer


The Native Species Protection Exclosures are designed to create areas for native plants to grow to help regenerate the forest and protect them from deer.

There are currently three exclosures in the Closter Nature Center on the following trails:

Orange Trail 

Blue Trail 

Red Trail 

Click for link to: TRAIL MAP

Occasionally one or more deer get into an exclosure and must be removed. 

Description of Volunteer Activity

When a deer gets into an exclosure it must be encouraged to leave!

The general process is that we open a “flap” in the fencing or a gate (or both) and enter the enclosed area. We walk to the opposite side of the exclosure, hugging the fence line and checking for damage along the way. Once we reach the back, we line up spaced out 5-10 feet apart. We walk together, advancing towards the gate or “flap” so that no deer can get past and any deer will be flushed towards the opening.

We must try to keep the formation and go at a similar pace. The ideal number is about 5 walkers.

In addition, it is very helpful to have a “watcher”; this is someone who does not walk inside the fence but stays slightly hidden with line of sight to the opening to confirm that the deer leave the area.

Sometimes during this walk, the deer are frightened; rather than flushed towards the opening, and they make a new opening, which is okay.  Most fence tears can be easily fixed on the spot.

If you participate in this critical volunteer activity, be sure to dress appropriately. We recommend long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, boots, a hat, and a hiking stick because of uneven ground, mud, or ice.  An old ski pole works well. Regarding footwear, the best are rubber boots with good tread that go up to at least mid-calf. Sneakers do not give enough support or protection on uneven, muddy, or icy ground. Finally, avoid quilted or puffy jackets, which can easily tear walking through rough brush.

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