Share

Deer Crew Diaries - Entry 86

Posted: October 2, 2017

Always look for the helpers.

[Comments in brackets are from Jeannine and Duane]

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

From the Northern Crew:

Hello All,

This week was full of adventure in the Northern Study area. I was able to successfully drop a collar off an adult buck. I had been trying to locate a decent signal for a little over a week. Then, on Wednesday I finally had my big break. 

Luckily, I was able to take a hiking trail most of the way (a little over half a mile) into the woods and an only needed to go off the trail less than a quarter mile to where his collar had sent out his last known location. After arriving at the location, I had a very faint signal that would come in and out. I walked around for a while in the direction of the signal and then towards higher ground, but it was bouncing a lot and was so faint.  Completely frustrating. 

So I sat down on a log for a second to catch my breath and drink some water when I heard a rustling noise behind me. At the time I was so irritated that I was hoping it was a bobcat or bear that would pounce on me and put me out of my momentary misery (I was feeling overly dramatic at the moment). However, much to my delight it was actually several tiny shrews! Or potentially moles, I honestly don’t know. Either way, there were very tiny rodents going in and out from underneath the leaves.  Since the leaves were so dry, they sounded much louder than you would expect small woodland creatures. I had never seen anything like them while out in the woods. 

I decided to head back to the trail to put my pack down (it was around 90 degrees that day) and that .18 mile up a mountain had me worn out.  After putting my pack by a tree and marking that point on my GPS [that’s experience talking right there], I decided to try again.  The deer must have known it was his lucky day because I had almost three bars on the receiver and could hear his signal! 

So, I hit the “fire” button on the drop off device and headed in the direction with the most bars continuously hitting the “fire” button.  Five hundred meters seems far away until you need to be that close to a deer.  After hiking up another mountain (maybe it was a hill – drama was setting in again), I thought I heard a loud rustling. I looked above me and saw the buck! He must have been bedded down until the last minute.  He shot up, leapt over a log, and ran off.  

As he was doing this I was frantically attempting to hit “fire” so that he wouldn’t run too far away while still wearing his expensive necklace. I continued walking towards the signal and after about 15 minutes I had finally found the collar! I jumped for joy and probably gave anyone with a trail cam in the vicinity a good laugh. Ultimately, it was a fantastic day. 

Besides dropping the collar, I performed telemetry on almost all of the fawns twice this week. One was playing hide and seek from me at one point. I also performed mortality runs on all of the remaining fawns and checked on some collared does. I spotted several grouse running along the forest roads and lots of deer just out and about. 

In addition I had the oil changed in my truck and tried to get a new tire and emissions inspection for it. Unfortunately, the check engine light came on so they were not able to do the emissions inspection and they hadn’t ordered the tire yet. 

So, next week (my last week!) I will take it in to be fixed. 

-Maureen
Field Crew Leader (for one more week)
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

From the Southern Crew:

Hello all,

Must have been my week to help! 

At the beginning of the week, I assisted a motorist who was broken down on 322. At the end of the week, I came across an ash tree that was across New Lancaster Valley Rd (a very curvy road) going down this road. I slowed down traffic while we waited for the road crew to arrive and clear the road.

Fallen ash

Otherwise, I had a standard week here in the South. I conducted the usual monitoring and biangulated the collared fawns. The two fawns who spent most of last week on vacation were more sociable this week.

I also had time to complete office work and talk to the mechanic about getting our trucks worked on. He’s still in the process of looking at the elk truck, so nothing to report yet!

Archery is officially in, so I will continue to keep a close eye on the collared fawns.

-April
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

PGClogo

 

If you would like to receive email alerts of new blog posts, subscribe here.

And Follow us on Twitter @WTDresearch

Comments