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Deer Crew Diaries – Entry X

Posted: April 7, 2016

We’ve closed the books on another trapping season!
With trapping season finished our traps need to be collected and stored until next year.

With trapping season finished our traps need to be collected and stored until next year.

Deer wrestling has concluded for the year. Crews now move on to something slightly less exciting.

Their stories for the week follow, but here are capture totals for 2013-2016. Despite the weather, the crews did quite well this year.

 Captures on the Northern Study Areas
YearAdult FAdult MJuv FJuv MTotal
2013 25 18 6 3 52
2014 9 13 5 10 37
2015 18 10 9 6 43
2016 19 16 9 11 55
 Captures on the Southern Study Areas
YearAdult FAdult MJuv FJuv MTotal
2013 17 9 6 7 39
2014 14 12 8 8 42
2015 6 5 2 3 16
2016 10 8 8 13 39

[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]

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From the Northern Crew:

Dear deer people,

Week 10 stats:

  • 6 captures (3 recaptures)
  • 3 bucks (1 juvenile, 2 adults, 1 of which received a radiocollar)
  • 3 does (2 juveniles, 1 adult which received a VIT & associated radiocollar)

Our 10th & final week of trapping has come to a close here in the Susquehannock.

Boy did the time fly by! I can't believe the month of April is already upon us. The last few weeks of trapping really slowed down with the warm weather and sprouting vegetation, so we called it quits. A few of my ambitious crew members spent their Saturday hauling all 28 Clover traps out of the woods in a single day. Then, Mother Nature played a cruel joke by dropping several inches of snow on us that same night... perfect trapping weather!

But, alas, our deer-wrestling days are over (at least until next year).

Considering the mild winter, which resulted in lack of snow cover for the better part of February/March, and the fact that we were basically starting from square one as far as our prior deer-trapping experience is concerned, I'd say we did pretty well [We would agree!]. I have to hand it to my rock-star crew for all their hard work and gusto - putting in 60-hour work weeks; trapping 6+ days in a row often sun up to sun down; getting trampled by deer; being stood up countless nights at rocket-net stakeouts - and still bringing smiles day after day. I could not have asked for better crewbies! Cheers to the aptly-dubbed "Odd Squad."2016 Northern CrewLast rocket net setup

In our final week of trapping, we managed to get another 2 deer under a rocket net, both of which received GPS collars. We deployed our last buck collar and another VIT/GPS doe collar. So we now have 16 VITs on-air in the Susquehannock which will hopefully result in up to 32 fawns collared in May/June! 

On Tuesday, for the 5th time this year, we caught 2 deer in 1 trap. Both were recaptured fawns that had originally been caught together in the same trap 3 weeks prior. Our final capture of the season, not surprisingly, was our dependable trap-happy buck which we didn't even bother tackling. After the 8th time in 7 weeks, we figured we'd let him off easy as a sort of farewell peace offering. Next year though, all bets are off!

With trapping now in the rearview, we will be conducting pellet transects over the next several weeks to collect DNA samples throughout the Susquehannock. Poop patrollers reporting for duty!

-Hannah
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer & Elk Section

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From the Southern Crew:

Greetings all,

Since we are finished up with deer trapping, we started our deer pellet collection in Rothrock and Bald Eagle state forests.

Last Monday, we had a brief training on how to conduct pellet surveys and went straight out into the field to begin.

We were rained out for two days so we were able to get all of our Clover traps out of the state forests. All of our rocket nets are also out of the state forests. The Clover traps are currently in limbo until myself and Bret get a chance to take them back to storage.

This week, we plan to continue pellet collection. We have a few volunteers brave enough to come out and walk with us. I will also be getting equipment organized so that I can get it back to its owners. 

Last Friday in Rothrock, we saw deer 12007 with another deer right below where we captured her on 3/8. She looked alive and well. She stood there long enough for us to get a good look at her and her collar. This was our excitement for the week!

-April
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer & Elk Section

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