[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]
From the Northern Crew:
We had seven captures this week, a decent number for so late in the season. We got word this week that the season would be officially ending. As much as we wish we could continue, we are very grateful to have been able to trap as long as we did especially given the current situation in the world.
Our captures this week included a very small doe and an adult buck. The silly little girl was a recapture from a couple weeks prior. She immediately seemed familiar to us given her small stature and feisty attitude. The adult male deer who has already started re-growing his antlers probably just shed his last pair [indeed, new antlers can start to grow in 2-weeks of the old ones being cast!].
We rocket-netted a couple times. Although we were unsuccessful at catching deer, we did get to hear and see many other woodland creatures. The woodcocks are very active right now, busy with their courtship rituals. We listened to several of them call off and on for the duration of our sit. At times, they were only a few feet away from our blind.
Some will be happy to hear that the turkeys are out in force! We have been seeing them occasionally throughout the season, but they were everywhere this week. Even along major roads! Males could be seen strutting about in full feather-display mode. Several frequented our rocket net. The males were busy showing off, but the hens were definitely more interested in the corn.
We had a great team building experience this week as the crew set-up a tree stand for the first time. We realized that one rocket net site did not have a suitable ground vantage point. We weren’t successful at catching any deer from that site, but the view was great. And the other wildlife that passed through helped me forget how uncomfortable the seat was.
This was our last full week as a crew. With just a few days left, there is still plenty to do and hopefully a few more memorable moments.
Northern Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section
From the Southern Crew:
Springtime is here, the last week of trapping is complete, and the 2020 season is in the books! We ended with a pretty solid week by southern standards with a total of 6 captures which netted us 54 for the season. The strange thing is that we managed only bucks this week, no does at all. It seems kind of bizarre, but it’s just sheer coincidence.
We captured what seemed to be all age classes, ranging from a fawn to what was most likely our biggest deer of the season. He was big enough that he couldn’t really move too much inside the trap, but he locked his legs in place and was just stubborn. He was a real bruiser. And while he was quite difficult to bring down, he behaved like a true gentleman once we got him on the ground. I stand behind my declaration that the most difficult deer to restrain is the yearling/medium sized deer. They’re small enough to have space to maneuver inside the trap and kick their legs out at you, yet still have the size and heft to throw you around. Good times in the octagon!!
We will work a few days next week to bring all the traps and return them to storage. Then that’s a wrap for the crew members. I must commend the crew for a job well done this season. It can be tough sledding at times down in Rothrock/Bald Eagle, particularly when the critters just aren’t cooperating. However, I believe we had a successful season, and they handled the various difficulties (monotonous dry spells without captures, bad weather, large mammals that really don’t want to be messed with) with a positive attitude and were willing to do whatever it took to get the job done. The whole COVID-19 pandemic throws a wrench in planning for future employment, but I wish them all the best in their future endeavors, and I know they’ll do a fine job wherever they land.
Southern Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section
If you would like to receive email alerts of new blog posts, subscribe here.
And Follow us on Twitter @WTDresearch