From the Northern Crew:
Dear Deer People,
This past week marked the end of trapping. It was really sad picking up all of our traps, but 125 successful captures were made this year! What a winter!
We set all of our trap lines early in the week knowing we had a few more days. We were rewarded by a few more captures but also disappointed by a lot of door down’s caused by door malfunctions, bears, and raccoons. The mammal activity was picking up while the snow was quickly diminishing.
I still have a “try to blow off collar” list. There are eight or so of these deer remaining that still have collars on from previous years that haven’t transmitted anything for quite some time. We have gone through all these collar locations and frequencies at least twice now and can find no signs of them anywhere.
We pulled all the traps and put flagging on all traps needing repairs so that it is easier next year. We tackled cleaning up the storage shed. It had gotten into some disarray over the season and was mostly boxes of stuff for fawning and vegetation work that was just piled up from previous years.
With background in construction, I have built a lot of shelving for garages and storage rooms. I cleared it through Bret and got to work on the upgraded. We first went through all the boxes, then organized everything into labelled totes for each season and purpose. After installing the shelving and putting everything into its new place, we had a lot more room in the shed and we knew exactly where everything was.
Bret came up to the North to deliver the equipment for the pellet transect surveys. I trained the crew on how to do pellet transects and we completed 5 this week.
We will be continuing pellet transects in the coming weeks. I hope everyone had a happy Easter and has a great week!
Field Crew Leader
From the Southern Crew:
The crew set the traps in Bald Eagle and Rothrock for one last hoorah. We previously left Bald Eagle closed due to road conditions and time. Since it started getting a little warmer, the snow on the roads melted enough for safe, quick travel so we decided to open the trap line.
It was a big week for the Southern crew with 5 captures including a double. It is not common to capture two deer in one trap. Both were female fawns. Typically, when there are two deer in one trap, we will close off the entrance using a purse net. A purse net is a large net with a cord that runs through the opening of the net so when the deer run in the net, the cord is pulled cinching the opening closed.
The fawns were not cooperating and kept to the back of the trap. So two crew members tackled both inside the trap. It worked out well, and the team did a great job communicating and working together for a quick capture.
We closed the trap lines for the last time and pulled them from the field with some other equipment.
We are starting pellet surveys next week. It’ll be nice to switch things up a bit, but we will surely miss the deer!
Field Crew Member