Deer Crew Diaries – Entry 21-3
[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]
From the Northern Crew:
Today marks the end of our first week of trapping. With 5 traps set, we caught 5 deer the first day and 3 the second day. The crew was probably thinking that this deer-trapping thing is easy! Unfortunately catching a deer in every trap isn’t the norm. We’ve since gone down to a more normal, but steady capture rate.
With 30 total trap nights this week and 13 deer (11 new, and 2 recaptures), we’re off to a good start. The first capture we had to process as a crew was two bucks in one trap – a shed buck and a button buck! It wasn’t the easiest capture and it was the first the crew had ever done. But a dozen captures later we’re able to process deer smoothly and efficiently as a team.
With record numbers of snowmobiles out on the trails over the last few weekends, we agreed to limit our use of the trails on the weekends and only set traps off the main roads where we don’t have to be as concerned about collisions. Hopefully, the traffic starts to go down now that most of Pennsylvania and New York have good snow conditions and all the snowmobiles aren’t flocking to the Susquehannock.
Our plan for the next week is to put out another load of traps on new baits sites that have had deer activity, and to run our full trapline through the week to take advantage of the snowmobile trails.
Northern Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section
From the Southern Crew:
This last week was a bit rough for us in the Southern DFS area. Since we needed to capture more deer in the Bald Eagle side of the study area and it is known for being a little tougher to capture deer, we figured we’d work pretty hard to find enough good sites to set our Bald Eagle trapline.
Out of the 30 or so bait sites, we found more than enough quality sites to drag out our 17 Bald Eagle traps. With deer going in and out of them and a forecast of snow for only 8-12 inches [only is a relative term here] I decided to set the trapline. But the next day there was actually 25” of fresh snow. With 4 chains, these trucks are pretty capable of handling the forecast amount, but when the snow is up to the radiator doubling the forecast amount, that’s a different story. Thankfully our friends at DCNR were able to help us get to our traps and shut them down until we can eventually get back in there with our trucks. A HUGE thank you to them!
The Rothrock side of the study area only received about 18” of snow and we were able to chew our way through that to set a few traps and capture a few deer! For now our plan is to hit Rothrock as hard as we can until we are able to drive into Bald Eagle. The crew is continuing to get better and better at putting on tire chains and their snow shoveling muscles are probably growing pretty large at this point as well!
Southern Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section