3 people looking over a valley on a blue sky day

[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]


From the Northern Crew:

Hi everyone,

Captures continue to slowly trickle in; we had three this past week, all adult bucks. Over half our captures this season have been adult bucks. It seems like getting our doe collars out this year will be the biggest challenge. We had some snowfall that led to good deer-sign-scouting conditions, but deer sign is still few and far between. We did manage to get one new trap out and set, which caught one of the bucks. We have a few sites that are starting to be hit for the first time and could get traps in there in a few days. 

Rocket net setup

Though clover trapping continues to be slow, our rocket net sites are starting to look promising. We sat at one during an afternoon to try and catch a buck who routinely comes in between noon and 2 p.m., but he stood us up that day.

Trucks facing each other with jumper cables attached

The week started off cold (one of our trucks refused to start one cold morning no matter what we did), but it ended on a 68° degree day. It felt nice while it lasted but is going to make for some icy roads going forward. So even though most of the roads are clear, we’ll still need to chain up for a while. Now that some hillsides are clear we’ve been shed hunting during our lunch breaks. Haven’t had any luck yet.

Northern Field Crew Leader
Game Commission Deer and Elk Section


From the Southern Crew:

Hi all!

Last week things were definitely warming up here in the Southern Deer Forest Study area. We have large portions of our roads that are completely melted and were just slush most days. There are still a few icy spots that require us to chain up, especially on those north facing slopes, but for the most part the roads are a major improvement from last week. 

With all this ice and snow melt, the roads are now very wet and muddy. And out trucks show it. They are so muddy right now that you can barely even make out the word “Pennsylvania” on the door logo! For now, they will just have to wait until after trapping season to get a bath.

mud covered truck pulling a flat trailer

The deer trapping was pretty successful last week when you take into account how slow this season has been. We managed to capture 5 deer in our Clover traps and got our first collar out in the Bald Eagle area. It was even on a buck! We have been doing a lot of work to move our Clover trap lines into some fresh areas. The crew has been scouting hard in the evenings after checking traps and they found some places where deer are moving. Now we just have to hope that these new deer actually go into the traps versus just staring at the traps.  Due to the deer being extra shy of the Clover traps this year, we are getting ramped up with our rocket nets. The deer are showing up on the trail cameras at the rocket sites and the hope is to spend some nights rocket netting this upcoming week to get a few captures.

3 people looking over a valley on a blue sky day

On a different note, we can tell that spring is on the way! In the last couple of days, we have flushed multiple woodcock and there was a group of about 67 tundra swans on Coyler Lake a few days ago. They were hanging out with a large flock of Canada geese and a few pairs of mallards. With this warmer weather approaching, we are feeling the pressure to get more deer trapped!

Have a good week!

Southern Field Crew Leader
Game Commission Deer and Elk Section

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