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Deer Crew Diaries - Entry 105

Posted: March 1, 2018

Unfortunately, we can't change the weather.

[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]

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From the Northern Crew:

Dear Deer People, 

Another week of wild weather that’s bringing out more than deer.  

We had two traps that had been destroyed by bears, one trap that was wrecked by a fisher, and a trap with a huge adult buck that ended up slipping past the crew.  We did manage to tag a few deer though.Fisher damage clover trap-cropped

After having some problems with some non-target species, we shut down some traps. But as the weather continued to warm, we ended up having to shut down two other trap lines because of road conditions. This will be an ongoing struggle for the foreseeable future with the forecasted warm weather. We are still making changes to the new lines we have established over the last couple weeks, especially with the ever-changing weather. This has allowed us to continue our expansion throughout the study area and discover new and better ground to trap. 

Fisher Damage

There has always been a talk about one trap line in particular was exceptional for the crew last winter. We have started taking some traps from trap lines that are slowing down to this new trap line. We hope to experience all the hype. We have begun to re-pattern the deer in the warmer weather and are having more and more traps triggered every night. Hopefully, this upcoming week will be another solid deer trapping week and that we won't have to shut down too many lines due to the ground being soft. 

This week we are going to continue fine tuning our trap lines and moving traps to better, more productive spots. We also are currently maintaining 6 rocket net sites, two of which are new. We are excited to be sitting many of these nets this week as long as the rain holds off and the deer continue coming in. 

We may be closing some trap lines this week and moving to some other spots that won't be as affected by daily driving. This is always a hard call to make, especially when the line is catching deer. There are always more fun times to be had. 

-Nate
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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From the Southern Crew:

Hello all,

Weather was warm and rainy almost all week, so there wasn’t much deer activity to report at our Clover traps. Overall, we captured two fawns—one recapture from Bald Eagle and one new capture from Rothrock. Better than nothing, I suppose! 

We also had a flipped trap in Rothrock. Certainly, not my favorite thing to see. I already had the crew adding more stakes to traps and checking the stability of each trap when we checked them. This just reiterated the importance of trap staking and how the soft ground can affect our capture efforts. Rocket net well used

Weather for rocket netting was best Tuesday and Wednesday nights due to predictions of minimal to no rain. Both nights there were four to five deer at the rocket net. The deer on Tuesday hung around for about 15 minutes, but only once for a brief moment were four of them in a good position for capture [heads down and NOT in front of a rocket]. Those deer left.  About 40 minutes later the wind changed and we heard a doe snort wheeze from the edge of the woods. She ran off. Another hour later, we had two deer ramble out from the edge of the woods.  After surveying the field, they ended up wandering off. 

The second night, it started to drizzle just as it approached the time the deer should have been entering the field. Luckily, the rain never turned into a downpour. The deer did not come in on time, but exactly two hours later.  This time they came running down from the top of the ridge. Three deer went to the net, but a doe remained in the back of the field. They stayed for only a few minutes and left. Unfortunately, there were no capture opportunities. I was feeling so confident about Wednesday night, that I even asked Bret to come out to have an extra set of hands. I still consider it a partial success since the deer actually made an appearance.

The crew set up a new rocket net in Bald Eagle where our target animals are a persistent doe and fawn. The rest of the rainy week was dedicated to checking prebaits. By Saturday, 8 traps were relocated to new sites in Bald Eagle. We preselected other sites in Bald Eagle to move traps to as well. Jeannine joined us on Saturday to check traps [and that’s all we did because there were no deer to be had].

We hope to rocket net Tuesday and Wednesday nights because rain is expected Thursday. I am quickly burning through overtime hours and don’t plan to work the upcoming weekend. We will see how that goes. Field work…

Here’s to a successful trapping week!  We need a good rocket net capture!!

-April
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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