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Electric Fencing to Prevent Deer Browsing on Hardwood Clearcuts

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Abstract:

From August 1979 through September 1981, two electric fences were used in Allegheny hardwood clearcuts in northern Pennsylvania to prevent browsing by white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). A five-strand vertical fence, 58 inches high, and a "figure four" three-strand fence, 43 inches high, were used. The fences were charged with a battery-powered energizer having a maximum output of 5,800 volts. Average time between battery charges was about six weeks. More than 33 percent of all the seedlings in the unfenced portion of one clearcut were browsed annually while inside the fence no browsing was detected. At least one deer penetration occurred at each fence, but the effect of browsing on forest regeneration inside the fences was negligible. The "figure four" fence was not as effective as the five-strand vertical fence in preventing deer browsing. Materials cost $0.14 to $0.18 per linear foot, compared with $0.45 per linear foot for conventional 8-foot-high woven wire fencing.

Document Type: Journal Article

Affiliations: Wildlife Biologist and Research Analyst, Hammermill Paper Company, Coudersport, Pennsylvania

Publication date: 1982-10-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

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