[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]


From the Northern Crew:

The landscape has completely changed in the last week with temperatures staying above freezing for nearly four straight days. The snow is almost completely gone in many areas, but stubbornly persisting in others. We had to move traps to follow the deer as they moved with the snowmelt. Now we’re seeing them move back into areas where we haven’t seen deer sign for weeks. We’ve been busy because of this running bait lines in almost 2/3 of the study area trying to pin down areas deer are currently using. We also put out our first two rocket nets, and hope to sit at one in the next few days. 

We had to stop using snowmobiles at the end of last week mostly due to the trails being icy and one of our snowmobiles not having a studded track. The trails aren’t quite clear enough for the trucks to pass through without any issue though, and we’ve gotten stuck a couple more times. We did have to contend with a different sort of trail access problem this week – a tree down over one of the trails! With some sawing and a tow strap, we were able to break and move it.

Photos from our trail cams show two thieves eating our deer corn – a red fox and a gray fox! [Deer corn is never just deer corn]

Red Fox
Red Fox
Gray Fox
Gray Fox

Northern Field Crew Leader
Game Commission Deer and Elk Section


From the Southern Crew:

Hi all,

I hope that everybody got a chance to enjoy those few days of spring that we had last week. Thanks to the rising temperatures we were able to leave the sleds at the nursery and go back to working out of our trucks! We continued to rock our tire chains due to the ice, but it is smooth sailing compared to the snow from just a few weeks ago.

Even though spring is beginning to show itself in the forms of vernal pools, spotted newts, and blooming coltsfoot, we are still having good luck with our Clover trap line. It was very unexpected, but we caught 5 bucks in one day – 3 adults and 2 fawns! The crew and I are still a little bruised and muddy from that day but black and blues mark of a successful trap line. There haven’t been many deer coming to any of our rocket net sites so far, but with the better forest road conditions we are able to have a much larger trap line that stretches into both study areas. 

As we continue to scout for new trapping locations, we are keeping our eyes out for sheds [my favorite springtime activity!]. So far, each member of the Southern trapping crew has found one. Now we just have to wait and see who is going to find their second shed of the year. One thing that grabbed our attention wasn’t a shed but a porcupine skeleton. The entire skeleton and skull were still relatively intact. We reconstructed the skull poking around for a minute or two to find all the teeth. We ended up finding every tooth except for the front incisors…oh well, back to trapping!

Southern Field Crew Leader
Game Commission Deer and Elk Section

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