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Deer Crew Diaries - Entry 79

Posted: August 10, 2017

Fawn monitoring, fawn mortalities, bear capture, and (of course) vehicle repair.
Fawn on southern study area (click for larger image)

Fawn on southern study area (click for larger image)

[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]

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From the Northern Crew:

Hello All,

This week the crew has truly been working hard. In two days, the guys cranked out eleven vegetation plots! [where they check and repair deer exclosure fences] We now only have five more to do.

In addition to vegetation plots we have been performing radio telemetry to better track movements of our remaining fawns.

Speaking of fawns, several of our twins were sighted again this week. We have a pair of female twins that were located with their mother a few weeks ago, and this past week we saw one of our collared fawns standing next to another fawn that to our dismay was about the same size! This most likely means that we missed nabbing the sibling during the initial fawn capture.

All in all it was an exciting week as Brandon the Bear Wildlife Biologist Aide began his third trapping round in the Susquehannock. So far, he has caught two bears but hopefully those numbers will steadily increase as trapping continues until next Tuesday.

This next week will be the last week for Jackie, Luke, and Sean so I am prepared to cry my eyes out once everyone leaves!

-Maureen
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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From the Southern Crew:

Hello all,

We kept busy with bear trapping and monitoring radio-collared fawns. With no fences left to complete, I had a lot of help from the crew this week with locations. We flew through those quickly and were able to focus on bear trapping and mortality runs most of the week [a 'mortality run' is where we simply check whether the radio-collar signals indicate each fawn is alive - we don't get a location]. Amber and Avery had one fawn mortality over the weekend, which looked to be a predation event! We are currently monitoring 21 of the 39 fawns captured in the South!

We helped set bear traps on Tuesday and the fun began! To date, we’ve captured 36 bears in the south. In this round, 7 were captured: 3 new bears and 4 recaptures. Bear trapping will wrap up on Tuesday. The final trapping session will be in a few weeks in Bald Eagle State Forest.

 

Bret and Ian figured out which trucks to surplus, as well. The crew and I took two trucks to the garage to have tires exchanged and the other two trucks are scheduled to be taken to the garage this week to have tires exchanged. At the end of the week, the crew discovered that the brakes on the newer truck we’ve been driving are about to go. That truck is also due for an inspection. I also completed auto reports this week.

We’re assuming that our last VIT is not going to be expelled [it happens since ~3% of adult females do not get pregnant], so I am turning a majority of our capture equipment into Tess next week. I’ll keep enough equipment around for just one more fawn, since it’s possible! Not to mention, we’re so close to 40 captures! Ahhhh!

Amber and I saw a small fawn on our mortality checks route this week. Maybe half the size of the other fawns we’ve been seeing, but still a little runner!

The crew will be wrapping up and heading out in mid-August. Avery’s final day was on Sunday, as she has accepted the Elk Biologist Aide position in PA! So, I’m certain I will be seeing her again. J Best of luck to her!

-April
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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