If you have been following this blog, you know that we have a very active research program in Pennsylvania. Studies have taken place all over the state and thousands of deer have been “branded,” so to speak, in the form of PGC ear tags and collars.
Tagging allows us to follow deer to learn their fate – survival rates, harvest rates, movements, etc. Eventually the study ends. But that doesn’t mean all the tagged deer are gone. There are still hundreds of deer out there sporting that PGC “brand.”
Closure is something we don’t often get with these deer. They stroll off into the sunset after capture never to be seen or heard from again. But on occasion, we do get that rare report.
It’s always fun to marvel at the amazing survival skills of these animals. Last February, I told the story of several senior ladies that reappeared (Inconceivable).
Two lived in Armstrong County and were tagged in 2003. One had been harvested in the 2014 deer season but the other was still kickin’ it near Kittanning. Her minimum age this fall was 14.5 years old. That’s right. She was old enough to go to high school.
Unfortunately, she won’t be graduating. This hunting season was this kickin’ chick’s last. She was harvested in the area where she spent her entire life.
Why this year? After 14+ years, what was different? I doubt she was getting senile even at her advanced age. Like the doe that crossed the road One Time too Many, she just made a mistake…or some hunter got lucky. Either way, the outcome is the same.
So we are able to close the book on Doe 1006. Special thanks to the hunter for giving us a jingle to tell us about this deer. I hate to be left hanging.
-Jeannine Fleegle, biologist
PGC Deer and Elk Section