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We’ve had some turn over in our trapping crews.  It happens.  They grow up so fast!  Nate and April have moved on to bigger and better things.  Ben and Helen are taking over crew leader duties and the trapping season has begun!

 

From the Northern Crew:

Greetings, 

The first full week is in the books, and so far, so good.  The new arrivals on the crew are proving to be quick learners and are picking up on some of the nuances of deer trapping.  We have become well acquainted with Clover traps.  We spent the beginning of the week working on the doors, foam padding, and cable wires.  After making repairs, we then set up and tested all traps to be sure they were functioning properly (as you all know, it’s just a little frustrating to walk up on a triggered trap with the door halfway down).  After a few minor adjustments, we have a load of traps that will hopefully be deer magnets!  

For several days, we split up in pairs and explored the study area’s many traplines using GPS and map to become familiar with the study area.  This was also a good time to grasp the nature of the roads/trails and understand the possible dangers associated with icy/muddy conditions.

Load of clover trapsSpeaking of treachery, we all attended First Aid/CPR training.  Although we hope we won’t have to apply those skills, it’s fieldwork and things can happen.  It was a helpful class and we all learned something new.  

Wrapping up the week, we test-fired a rocket net to demonstrate protocols and proper safety concerning this capture method.  With more setup and gear involved, the rocket net isn’t quite as straight-forward, so it was a good opportunity for the crew to visualize it before the real thing.  Despite getting hit by a blizzard during our set-up, the rockets fired successfully and spread out in textbook fashion.  

While it wasn’t necessarily the most exciting week, it was very productive with lots of solid training and preparation.  With hunting season over, things will heat up next week with the start of baiting.  

-Ben
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section


 

From the Southern Crew:

Hello All, 

Our week started out a little bumpy. The crew truck’s AC compressor went and then the truck would not start up.  So we had to get it towed to the mechanics. But on the bright side, my truck got 4 new tires to keep us cruising along in the snow if winter ever comes! 

Most of the week was spent getting the crew acquainted with the study area. They got the opportunity to explore Rothrock and Bald Eagle visiting trap sites and finding some new, promising sites. Our rope came in this week and we were able to finish fixing clover traps so they ready to go next week. frozen caterpillar1

We completed a First Aid/CPR course and received the rest of our trapping supplies. One of the most exciting parts of our week was the arrival of Mason, a senior at Shippensburg College.  He will be working with us through the next week.  Hopefully he can come back when trapping is in full-swing to get the whole experience! 

Cool things we found this week: a totally frozen caterpillar, a very crooked tree in Bald Eagle, and a little nest.

 -Helen
Field Crew Leader

PGC Deer and Elk Section

 


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