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Deer Crew Diaries - Entry 55

Posted: February 23, 2017

A tale of 2 crews…
BOOM!

BOOM!

[Comment in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]

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From the Northern Crew:

Dear deer people,

An all-around great week of trapping! We had a lot of volunteers join us this week (including Chris Nicholas, who strapped on the hockey helmet to show us how tackling is done) and the deer did not disappoint. We caught 15 total, hitting the 40-new-deer milestone! 

One fawn in particular accounted for 2 of the 3 recaptures we had this week. We've caught him 4 times now since January 31st...on two different traplines. It will be interesting to see if he's related to the adult doe we captured in his same trap this week. Maybe he convinced her the corn was worth the man-handling.

Apparently love was in the air on Valentine's Day, because we had 8 deer come into our rocket net that night simultaneously! Upon further observation from the tree stand, however, they didn't get along very well... The fawns would march right up to the net while their defensive mama fought off rivals [it wasn’t defense.  It was hierarchy and dominance]. The 8 of them hung out for 15 minutes before chasing each other away. A couple hours later as the sun began to set, a doe and fawnDropped collar under snow strolled back in, & BOOM--we caught them both! After releasing the fawn & VIT'ing the doe, the two were bleating softly to find one another.

In other news, we managed to drop a malfunctioning buck collar south of Cherry Springs State Park. 

Can you spot the collar in the photo?

 We had to pull our Losey trapline on account of muddy roads (I think we were only able to set them 2 or 3 days in the 2 weeks we had them out), so the crew will be setting these traps elsewhere on Monday. However, with the heat wave that came in over the weekend, I'm sure all the roads are going to be a mess now. Here's to hoping we can still catch a bunch of deer without snow!

-Hannah
Field Crew Leader
Deer and Elk Section

 

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From the Southern Crew:

Hi all,

We captured 5 deer this week (4 new, 1 recapture). We captured two juvenile females and an adult buck in Bald Eagle. In Rothrock, we captured an adult doe and an adult doe recapture. We had a number of volunteers join us this week.

walking into trap site

We attempted to rocket net on Wednesday and Thursday nights, but were thwarted both times. Wednesday, we captured deer in our clovers and had to rush to our rocket net site to be sitting in the blind on time. Well, we forgot to unset the clover traps near one of our net sites. Low and behold, the clover trap door drops while we were in the blind. None of the traps at this site have caught deer yet this year, until we are sitting at a rocket net site. When we get to the trap, the door was half open and the deer had already escaped. 

Apparently, it did not go far because it started snort-wheezing at us from below the trap. This was our first escapee deer this season which is good considering our stats last year. End night 1 of rocket netting.juv female tackle

Night two went well at first. The deer were on schedule and we had as many as 13 deer in our field of view at once. We had five in the rocket net field at once, but not all in position.  Then something spooked them.  At about 9:30, a deer came in from the bottom of the field. The problem is, she never left the bottom of the field and when her two fawns came in later, all three stayed down there feeding on something unknown (we assumed acorns). End night 2. 

Many of these deer seemed to favor the bottom of the field.  But when we checked it out the next day, all we found was a bunch of dried up oak leaves, twigs, and grass. 

We moved clover traps in Rothrock on Friday. The week is looking unusually warm for February. I’m hoping that our rocket net sites will at least stay active and that we can get out of this weird rut that were in. In the meantime, we’ll keep at it!

In other news, I saw a piebald deer in our study area this week!

-April
Field Crew Leader
Deer and Elk Section

 

PGClogo

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