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Deer Crew Diaries - Entry 109

Posted: March 28, 2018

Saving the best for last.

[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]

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From the Northern Crew:

Dear Deer People, 

What a crazy week! This last week was the best trapping week we have had all winter. We caught over 20 deer with only 5 recaptures. 

We have been starting off our weeks on Sunday. We split into two teams and are off to check and set all the traps.  This week was the first week that we had fully established lines and most traps set. The weather was perfect with lows in the teens and highs in the high 20's. We didn't get any additional snow this week, but the pressure system seemed to continue to bring in the deer. 

We have been having trouble with some of our smaller Clover traps.  The door sometimes gets caught up. This week we missed a total of 5 deer that were in the trap and tripped it, but the door didn't fall all the way. I hope to have some welding modifications done at the end of the year that will stop this from happening. 

One of the doe collars that we put out in the beginning of February has started to malfunction, sending false mortality emails along with the VHF being inaudible. This may become a problem if we ever need to drop this collar since we can't hear its current location. 

This week we caught our largest deer of the season. We came up to a Clover that had an enormous, mature buck in it. I was surprised to see that it was a brand-new deer that had never been caught before. Thankfully we needed a collar in that area and he was a perfect candidate for the new necklace. When trying to get a blind fold on, his head was like a cow. This was a big ol' boy. 

We have been getting more and more bear activity on our lines and are closing one trap at a time which normally solves the issue. We have then been extensively repairing the shredded foaming and placing it at a new sight. [apparently all critters love to play with that foam]Bear exit hole

It was overall our best trapping week of the year.  It also matched Hannah's captures from last year too.  We still have this week to rack up a new overall best trapping year in the Susquahannock. The weather this week is not going to be ideal, but we will take what we can get. 

This week we will be wrapping up the trapping season in order to have enough hours for pellet transects starting in April. This winter went incredibly fast and I wish we could just keep trapping, but all good things must come to an end.


-Nate
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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From the Southern Crew:

We had a pretty decent week with all the weather fluctuations lately! 

Two of our crew members set traps at Rothrock and Bald Eagle on Monday to save hours while other two crew members take another day off. 

Wednesday’s weather made for a very successful day! Overnight, the weather turned into a cold and snowy, and the deer were moving. We caught two deer - an adult doe in Rothrock and a recaptured female fawn in Bald Eagle. 

We expected to have another great day with the snow still left over. We recaptured adult doe from last year in Bald Eagle. She was still donning her GPS collar. The GPS collar was a little looser than preferred, so we tightened it more and sent her on her way. While we only caught one deer successfully in a trap, there was a lot of deer activity in and around the other traps. The deer are very smart and have learned to not get too close to the trip wire! 

We also tried our hand at rocket netting in Bald Eagle. The deer had been coming in at different times so we weren't sure if we'd see them. Around 9 PM, we heard a snort-wheeze from a deer that snuck up behind us and caught our scent. We gave it another 30 minutes, and called it a night. We didn't see any deer, but a turkey and an opossum were in the house! 

Unfortunately, we had two escapee deer. One of the deer touched the trip wire and knocked the breakaway bar from the trap.  But the trip wire broke off and did not cause the trigger to release. The other deer got lucky.  The door wire caught itself on the corner of the trap and did not release the door the fully. It left enough of a pocket for the deer to escape. It is always a learning experience.  

We look forward to a great last week of trapping! 

-Randi
Field crew member
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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