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Deer Crew Diaries - Entry 114

Posted: May 4, 2018

Less like crews, more like lone rangers.
Eastern teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens)

Eastern teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens)

[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]

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From the Northern Crew:

Dear Deer People, 

A quiet week as I was back to mostly working alone and finishing things up. 

There were 9 more pellet surveys that I needed to finish up so that was the main goal. I have really been trying to keep an eye out for antler sheds along the way, but am yet to be successful. I did start noticing some ticks starting to emerge from their depths and attempt to crawl up my pants. Not a good sign this early in the year.

I got a mort email from a collar that was put out last year. It has been malfunctioning for a while now and we nor Germany were able to remotely manipulate the settings anymore. I went out to the "mort" location and could hear the VHF, but it was nowhere near the locations that it was sent just the night before. I was advised to blow off the malfunctioning collar. This went pretty quick since I already had a good idea of where the deer was. I found of freshly dropped collar in amongst fresh deer tracks and browse.

Brandon, Brian and I completed FLIR surveys Monday through Wednesday.  Wednesday night was a very rewarding FLIR survey night. We didn't see as many deer as the night before, but we did see 2 different bears along with 2 coyotes cruising the hillside. 

Now that the pellet surveys are completely done and the crew has moved onto their new jobs, I will be working independently. I look forward to starting up the veg plot work this week and seeing what new adventures come up along the way. Brandon and Avery will be helping finish up the FLIR surveys this week and I plan to drive to State College to return my no-longer needed winter trapping supplies along with the pellet and FLIR survey equipment. 

The ticks are really starting to emerge this time of year, so make sure to treat your clothing and stay safe.

-Nate
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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From the Southern Crew:

Hello all,

Tess, Duane, Laken, Steve and myself completed three nights of distance sampling this week. I have two more nights of distance sampling to complete in Bald Eagle. The surveys should be finished by Tuesday. I am continuing to make progress on pellet surveys and Steve, a volunteer, has been helping me when he can. He is turkey hunting this coming week but offered to help me out every day after he’s done hunting, so that’s awesome. I am hoping that we can plow through quite a few pellet surveys this week, especially once distance sampling is complete. Other than Friday, the weather is looking pretty nice! Box turtle

I haven’t talked much about the status of the radio collars on the yearlings lately. It is that time of year where the batteries in the radio collars start to die. I suspect that two more have gone off air, both within the last two weeks. I won’t complete censorship datasheets right away. I want to try to be sure they are off air. Sometimes the power lines block their signals, especially now that some of the collar signals are becoming weaker. 

Since I saw Duane this week, I turned in the trail cameras. I also had the opportunity to drop off all my deer trapping equipment and organize some equipment already in the pole shed.

In other news, we found more signs of spring this week. Steve found us an Eastern Box Turtle at on one of our pellet survey.  And there is plenty of teaberry plants fruiting. 

-April
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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