From the Northern Crew:
It was an eventful week. We captured four bucks, two adults and two juveniles. Like most of our adult captures this season, the two adult bucks were very high-strung and strong. The sight of the button bucks in our traps was very welcome. We deployed another GPS collar this week, another step closer to fulfilling our quota for the season.
The vehicle issues continued this week. We had one of our rear tire chains sever a brake line (Oops). The DCNR district office came in clutch by allowing us to use one of their vehicles while we had both of ours out of commission. The DCNR folks at Lyman Run State Park came to the rescue of our other truck which was stuck the end of a sketchy ATV trail. Their fancy and impressive equipment was just the thing to drag old Wilma all the way out to a tow-truck accessible road.
Evidence of hungry rodents was again visible at many of the traps this week. Several subnivean tunnels ending right at our corn piles! We also found a very cute deer mouse attempting to break into the corn in the back of our stuck truck. The corn was promptly moved, but we got some very cute pictures of Clover, the mouse (we named him after our traps), before he scurried away.
We rocket-netted for the first time this season! We sat in the cold for several hours after dark but were unsuccessful. Deer were a no-show that night.
We also investigated our first mortality of the season this week. After receiving the notification that one of our GPS collars had entered mortality mode, we visited the last transmitted coordinates only the spine, jaw, some small bone fragments, and a lot of fur. Miraculously, we found both of the deer’s ear tags in the snow.
-CarolynNorthern Crew LeaderPGC Deer and Elk Section
From the Southern Crew:
Although the weather has heated up recently, things have cooled down on the deer catching front. With 7 captures for the week, we’ve remained fairly consistent for the first four weeks of the season. However, 4 of those were recaptures from this year or prior years meaning it’s time to shift traplines. At the end of the week, we moved a majority of our Clover traps to new areas in the hopes of hitting some fresh activity. Wish us well!
We did manage to deploy another collar on another doe in Rothrock this week; surprisingly she was very well-mannered and took the capture all in stride. Although it makes you almost nervous when a deer is too calm during processing, she seemed none the worse for wear.
We had our first rocket net sit of the season, and what happened? Well, it turned out to be a dud and not a soul showed up to feed that evening. But, that’s just how it goes sometimes. On a more exciting note, the crew spotted the first bobcat of the season in Bald Eagle. I was told it was just a quick glimpse, but cool nonetheless.
All in all, it was an uneventful week which is ok. Every capture went fine, roads are fine, and it’s unseasonably warm (albeit a bit damp at times). One of our trucks spent a day in the garage (darn rodents chewing and causing some internal damage!), but other than that the fleet is running well.
-BenSouthern Crew LeaderPGC Deer and Elk Section
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