tracks in the snow with lip balm tube for scale

[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]


From the Northern Crew:

We started off last week with an ice storm Sunday night into Monday, which coated the state forest roads in a solid sheet of ice – very slippery, very treacherous, chains required. This was our first time using chains in the field, so it took the techs a while to get them all on, but by the end of the season they’ll all be pros. On Tuesday we attended an orientation session with some of the project leaders and the south deer crew. It was nice to have this meeting in-person this year!

We spent the rest of the week prepping capture kits, dealing with multiple truck mechanical issues, and scouting trails for deer activity. We also gave a few attempts at dropping a collar off a deer which requires getting close enough to deer to send a signal to the collar (usually we need to be within 200 meters or so). This doe was always up and moving when we tracked her rather than being bedded down, so we were never able to get close enough before she’d spook and run. 

Then, with a snowstorm appearing in the forecast, we spent a couple days frantically fixing our Clover traps before they got buried. 

Deer season is over, and we will start baiting this week.

Northern Field Crew Leader
Game Commission Deer and Elk Section


From the Southern Crew:

Hi all,

Last week the crew and I continued to plan and prepare for this upcoming deer trapping season! Early in the week we met the Northern Crew for deer trapping orientation. We had some truck issues that morning when the crew truck didn’t even attempt to turn over. This truck has been running fine and just got back from the garage too. Thankfully, after we tapped the starter with a hammer, it started. So we drove it back to the garage for hopefully its final garage trip for the season. [Not likely but way to be optimistic!]

We spent a lot of time preparing our vehicles, Clover traps, and other capture equipment. The Clover traps are almost all ready to go for this year. A big shout of to my 2021 crew who spent the first full 2 weeks re-doing a lot of these. This year most of them were able to fixed and patched instead of doing full trap re-builds. We also continued learn our way around the forests while also scouting for Clover trap sites. 

porcupine in a tree looking down at camera

At this point the crew is becoming very familiar with their tire chains since the forests are basically a sheet of ice. You could tell that all the animals in the forests have been out and about as well. We are finding all kinds of tracks, some down the middle of the road. Apparently, the porcupines were among the very active last week because we had multiple run ins with them! Either with the porcupines themselves, or a log that they are using for their latrine.

porcupine latrine in the end of a downed hollow stump

Have a good week!

Southern Field Crew Leader
Game Commission Deer and Elk Section

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