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Deer Crew Diaries - Entry 72

Posted: June 22, 2017

Summer is just starting, but the fawning season is almost over.
Searching for fawns (click for larger image)

Searching for fawns (click for larger image)

[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]

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From the Northern Crew:

The last week of fawn capture has come and gone!

The week was full of plenty of close encounters in which many fawns just narrowly escaped being caught by our enthusiastic crew.

Almost every day we had at least two or three mad dashes; most of which seemed to culminate in uphill sprints. Even more seemed to include running through briars, thorns, streams, and over downed logs, all in attempt to catch these Bambi look-alikes.

Fawn tracks

Many are just starting to be able to keep up with mom! One crew member, Luke Benzinger even got so close as to graze one with his fingertips, but alas, just out of reach (he had better luck later in the week)!

Another memorable chase included three of us at a full sprint on the road after a pair of twins! How sweet it would have been if they had not turned at the last second and run to the top of a mountain.

We had numerous encounters in which members of the crew successfully mimicked a fawn’s call using bleat calls, and had several does walking back towards us, snorting, stomping at the ground and looking, circling, or running in different directions - all were indicators that her fawn could have been nearby.

While searching for fawns in a local apple orchard, we managed to call in the same doe three times! We would hide and bleat and then she would come storming in towards us, eventually see us, then run away. Unfortunately, despite her continuously coming back to investigate the source of the noise we were not able to find her fawn.

Besides great cardio workouts, the crew had three more fawn captures!

The circle of life continued as we also had two mortalities this week. Both resulted in discovering collars and bone fragments; however, no carcasses or other remains were found. None of the bone fragments were cached. [Probably bear, but no firm conclusions will be made until all evidence, physical and DNA, is available]

This fawn capture season resulted in 28 fawns for the Northern Crew. This past month has been insanely busy and I could not have asked for a better group of hard working, passionate, and dedicated individuals to call my crew members. Despite long hours and working almost seven days a week for the entire capture season, each crew member continuously came to work prepared to surmount any obstacle in our path, ready to find as many fawns as possible, and never ceased to exceed my expectations.

-Maureen
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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From the Southern Crew

With some luck and help, we captured six more fawns this week – three of which were reported to us by landowners. The number we caught pales in comparison to the number of large fawns that the crew chased this week. 

 Fawn in hayfield

We lost two of our collared fawns over the weekend.

One fawn was found partially eaten about 500 meters from the road. The second was a VIT fawn that was found covered in small maggots [this can occur within just few hours of death and doesn’t really help us determine cause or timing of death].

The second fawn was the final VIT fawn that we had on-air and daughter to the doe that trekked 6+ miles to her fawning area. Bummer, because I was very interested in following them on their journey back to their home range! We do, however, still have two VITs that have not been expelled.

The crew is just about out of overtime hours, so fawn capture should be wrapping up this coming week [except for the two VIT doe]. We will be assisting with bear trapping and monitoring movements and survival of fawns.

-April
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

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