Posted by: tysonrc | December 16, 2009

That’s a cold fence!

It was a twelve degree morning in our main valley, so we here at Tyson Research Center decided to build a fence.  That makes sense right?  Actually, it does.  When the ground is frozen solid we don’t disturb the understory with our feet and light equipment; plus, these are no regular fences.  They are 50 meter by 50 meter deer exclosures in the woods.  When all the construction is done next month, we will end up with 8 of these exclosures with adjacent control plots.   

Tim clearing a path


Today, we finished number 4.  Thanks to a great deal of work getting posts into the ground by Pete, Tim and Steve, running out the fencing material is going fairly quickly.   

The fencing itself is made to only exclude the white-tailed deer from the plot.  Everything from raccoons to turkeys can still strut right in and have an impact on the ecosystem.  By creating these exclosures in this fashion, we are better able to see the true effect that deer have on an area.    

We have a few experiments scheduled to start in these plots already, with the earliest beginning this spring.  Some of the questions include tick densities, understory development and fire.  If you have an idea for an experiment you would like to undertake through your university or research organization within these fences and controls, please contact us at    

Until then, we will continue to wait for the coldest mornings to put them up.  It just makes for more fun and better science.   

Wrestling the roll of fencing


–Travis Mohrman


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