deer looking at door of Clover trap

[Comments in brackets are by Jeannine and Duane]


From the Northern Crew:

Greetings from the North.

We started our week with a flat tire.  Luckily, we had two trucks since it didn’t have a toolkit for the jack.  Everyone pitched in and we were on our way after a brief delay.  Thank you to John from DCNR for stopping to help!

fixing a flat tire

Our trapline seems to have grown cold. Last week the Northern crew only captured 4 deer and two of them were recaptures that were previously marked.  One was an adult male collared in March of 2023, and an adult female with an old VHF-only collar captured years ago [stay tuned for more about her in a future post]. We removed the old collar and replaced it with a shiny new GPS collar, and she was on her way.

deer with VHF collar standing at door of Clover trap

We have continued to scout for new trap sites and pre-bait promising areas.  Many of these new sites are already being visited by deer.  We set two new traps last week and plan to set our remaining traps this week.  Unfortunately, one of our new sets has already attracted the attention of a hungry bear, so that set will probably be pulled.  Other visitors to the traps have included porcupine, red squirrel, grouse, turkey, blue jays, crows, and ravens.

Bear at door of Clover trap

This week looks like it will be warm and only time will tell if deer will continue to cooperate or keep avoiding our traps. 

Wish us luck!

Northern Crew Leader
PA Game Commission


From the Southern Crew:

Hello all! 

Another warm week for deer trapping. It’s been curious (aka uncooperative) weather, but we’ve been doing our best to improvise, adapt, and overcome. There’s been plenty of activity at the traps, but no one seems to want to commit.

deer looking at door of Clover trap

The warm weather appears to be stirring other occupants of the forests as well. Lots of turkey sightings, a few grouse, opossums, squirrels, porcupines, foxes, coyotes, and our omnipresent racoon friends have accompanied our deer sightings. 

flock of turkeys running down the road

There appears to have been a near altercation between a deer and raccoon (we were rooting for the deer), but they seem to have agreed there was enough bait to go around. Although circumstantial evidence at another scene indicates that overzealous raccoons challenging a porcupine ended up getting quilled over a similar corn debate.  

We’ve predominately switched to rocket net preparations. After sitting at nets for a few days, I believe we’re getting closer to success but no dice so far.

However, we were successful in retrieving a dropped collar this week! It was a bit of a fight through the mountain laurel, but it was reasonably close to the road.

GPS collar laying on ground next to a pile of deer scat

And afterward we celebrated with a trip to Rutters!

crew selfie

This week we’ll be running Clover traps in Rothrock and trying to rocket net in between rain/wind/temperature obstacles. Next week (weather permitting) we may try to exclusively run rocket nets. 

Wish us luck!

Southern Crew Leader
PA Game Commission

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