A healthy forest ecosystem requires native undergrowth. Emerging growth replaces old trees, provides habitat for small animals, and helps protect water and soil health. Overgrazing by deer causes a loss of this undergrowth and allows for the proliferation of non-native invasive plant species.
At the Watershed Reserve we use several techniques to combat overgrazing, including deer exclosure fencing, native reforestation, and hunting. Unauthorized hunting is prohibited.
The 10 miles of hiking trails on the Watershed Reserve will be closed for hunting on:
January 18, 19, 26, 27*
(*Trails south of Wargo Pond will be closed before 9 a.m. on these days and will be open the remainder of the day).
Visitors are advised to wear fluorescent orange to be seen and safe during hunting season!
In a 2023 Deer Density Survey conducted by Steward Green, the Watershed Reserve had a calculated density of 85 deer per square mile. Population studies have revealed the property’s deer density is about 6-to-8 times the recommended levels, which also presents a hazard to drivers on local roadways.