We’ve turned the calendar over to a new year and that means deer trapping! Crews started last week and are busy gearing up for another season.

 

From the Northern Crew:

It is that time of the year again! The new year brings new crews, new challenges, and renewed excitement. The northern crew has a balanced mixture of new faces and seasoned trappers. All excited to work hard and start trapping! 

Our first week included a lot of hard work necessary to prepare for the busy weeks to come. Orientation this week not only included an information-packed session in State College, but an introduction to the formidable winter weather of the north. With the snow coming down, we began trap maintenance even using a new roping technique to further fortify the traps. 

Using maps and GPS units, we began exploring the Susquehannock State Forest evaluating spots for their trapping potential. We found many promising areas with indicators of recent deer activity. 

The week had many great moments and experiences. With a consistent layer of snow on the ground, we got to work on our animal track identification skills (deer, rabbits, racoons, small rodents, and even bobcats!). With lots of encouragement and instruction, one of our crew members had the opportunity to drive in the snow for the first time. And speaking of firsts, on the road back from State College, a couple of us saw our very first elk!

The first week is in the books. We have a lot of hard work coming our way, but we have a great crew, a beautiful forest, and a lot of excitement for the season to come. 

-Carolyn
Northern Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

 

From the Southern Crew:

2020 trapping season is underway!  The crews have arrived, and the real business is about to begin.  With that being said, we’re slowly easing into things these first couple of weeks.  

Tuesday consisted of an orientation day at Penn State, going over protocols and filling out paperwork.  We spent the rest of the week scouting for future trapping sites in Rothrock and Bald Eagle state forests.  You’d think a light blanket of snow would make searching for tracks that much easier, but we didn’t exactly find a lot of activity.  After spending a year working in the forests of Potter County, the difference in deer numbers between the Big Woods of north-central PA and the Ridge-and-Valley Region is quite evident.  However, we fully embrace the challenge of trapping here and are excited to try to hit the quota for the study sites, particularly Bald Eagle.  

Aside from scouting, we outfitted our trucks with equipment, went over the proper use and attachment of tire chains, and tested our trail cameras.  Next week will probably be very similar making sure everything is ready before getting into the ‘nitty gritty’ of the season.  We plan on taking advantage of the warmer weather to assess the condition of our Clover traps and make any necessary repairs.  Sorry there’s nothing very “juicy” in the report yet, but I know things are about to get a lot more exciting soon.  

-Ben
Southern Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section

 

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