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Deer Crew Diaries - Entry 116

Posted: January 24, 2019

The pieces are in place.

[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]

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From the Northern Crew:

Hello all,

Aside from a trip to the garage for a flat tire and a headlight repair, another uneventful week is in the books.  This week consisted mostly of pre-baiting to get an idea of where deer are concentrated.  While we tried to target areas that they’re likely to use, it was pretty hit or miss regarding deer activity.  Lucky for us, the light snow we’ve been getting has been making it easy to decipher fresh vs old deer sign, and we’ve had several traplines attracting deer consistently. 

Based on previous capture records and advice from folks at the DCNR office, we had an idea of where deer have concentrated in the past.  Lo and behold, those same areas remain productive.  We ended the week by deploying half of our Clover traps to the most promising sites leaving them baited and tied open for the weekend to allow animals to become comfortable feeding inside.   

CarryingClover  Clover_SetUp

We also tested several malfunctioning GPS collars (probably not a good idea to fit an animal with an expensive necklace that doesn’t produce any data).  The good news, most of the collars appear to be in good shape.  The bad news, we got word from the collar manufacturer that all of the collars need to be updated with new firmware.  Although we’re hoping to begin captures next week, collar placement may be slightly delayed for now.         

As you all know, we’re bracing ourselves for the weekend Snowmaggedon and the accompanying boom in snowmobile activity.  With anywhere from 14-20” expected, that may throw a wrench in trapping productivity.  While I’m sure snow cover will encourage the deer to seek out a readily available food source (ie. our bait), too much hampers movement.  But, I guess that’s part of the unpredictable nature of field work.  Fingers crossed the weatherman’s wrong!

-Ben
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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From the Southern Crew:

Hello Everyone, 

Most of our work this week consisted of getting Clover traps out in the forest. We placed 15 in Rothrock and 6 in Bald Eagle.  Bby the end of next week, I hope to have 9 more in Bald Eagle. A few of our Rothrock traps already had deer activity when we checked the following day.  So that was exciting! 

On Wednesday we helped Bret with a Deer Trapping Lab for Penn State’s Mammalogy Course. We demonstrated how to set up/use Clover traps and rocket nets. With the predicted snowfall, I decided to hold off trapping for the weekend. The crew finished up on Friday baiting traps and getting things together for trapping the following week. 

-Helen
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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