From the Northern Crew:
This past round of trapping went fairly well with 8 new deer. We deployed 4 additional GPS collars and hit our objective for the southern half of the Susquehannock study site.
Towards the end of the week, we had to fetch another collar off a mortality. One of our collared bucks, wearing the same collar that was retrieved off a roadkill deer last week, died of unknown causes. We found the carcass with the body mostly consumed. We’re hoping this string of ill fortune ends with the latest deer to receive this seemingly jinxed collar.
We had our first double of the season. After driving up to a Clover traps, we were excited to see not one, but two deer! Luckily for us, they were a pair of very small female fawns and proved easy to process. While we’d like to think they’re sisters, we really have no idea [Yup, just because they hang together doesn’t mean their related. They might just be besties]. Regardless, hopefully they live long enough to pass on their trap-happy genes to future fawns.
We were unsuccessful with the rocket net this week. With that being our first failed session, we’ve been somewhat spoiled thus far. Given the nature of wildlife field work, it’s par for the course to get skunked every once in a while. Builds character, you know? Most of our rocket net sites have been getting hit sporadically or inconsistently, but our fingers are crossed that they’ll pick up more next week.
Field Crew Leader
From the Southern Crew:
This week left us empty handed, but that didn’t stop us from having a good time and even learning new things. With the predicted freezing rain and ice in the forecast, we had to shut our traps down in case we couldn’t access them. Thankfully for us, we only got enough bad weather to stop us for a day.
On Wednesday and Thursday, we celebrated two birthdays on the crew! Hoping for some lucky birthday captures we set a new rocket net site. The deer had been coming in consistently at 6PM each evening but unfortunately none showed. Instead, some members of the crew even learned how to change a tire!
We have deer activity around the trap lines. We even had one trap with deer tracks inside and the door shut. With the number of tracks, we are guessing that two deer were in the trap so when they triggered the door, they blocked it from shutting. With this increased activity, we are hoping that next week is a success.
Field Crew Leader
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