Crews are transitioning from trapping to FLIR surveys as the end of field season draws near. [Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]


Last week the crew headed down to Penn State to receive training in the use of FLIR thermal cameras for roadside deer surveys. We got started on surveys that same night and have been running them every night since (not quite done with the weekend work yet!). 

It’s been a busy week with trap clean-up during the day and surveys after sunset. So far in addition to deer, we’ve seen raccoons, opossums, porcupines, and other small mammals during the surveys, plus one very cool encounter with a bear! 

Porcupine video courtesy of the Southern Crew

We were too busy watching it to get any pictures before it walked out of sight — maybe next time. We figured out how to use our phones to control the camera and to take photos and videos, so hopefully this week we’ll get some good footage.

Northern Field Crew Leader
Game Commission Deer and Elk Section


From the Southern Crew:

Hi all,

We began this week by meeting with Tess and the Northern DFS Crew to have a FLIR training to become familiar with the equipment and ask Tess any questions about our new surveys. All of the equipment is pretty simple and easy to use as long as it decides to cooperate with us! 

We use a Bluetooth enabled rangefinder that connects to and can communicate with a special computer that has GPS. As we all know, Bluetooth items can always be a little finicky and ours doesn’t like to connect…but in the field we always have a back-up plan. 

So far our deer surveys have felt more like porcupine surveys because it seems like we spot at least 5+ porcupines a night. Other animals we have been spotting are exactly what you would expect in Penn’s woods. Plenty of racoons, squirrels, mice, and even a grouse! Of course, some creatures don’t cooperate for a picture, but I did get raccoon and deer picture – one is in white hot and one in black hot. There are multiple settings you can use with these cameras, including ones with all the crazy colors you see on TV, but you can only stare at that for so long before your eyes begin to hurt. So we typically use either the white or black. 

We have pulled our final traps out of the woods for the year! I think the crew and I are all missing trapping season already. We may spend a little time fixing the traps up here and there since they took a beating this season, but for now it’s a FLIR every night.

Southern Field Crew Leader
Game Commission Deer and Elk Section

Please follow and share:
Visit Us
Follow Me