blue sky from the level of a stream


From the Northern Crew:

Greetings from the North.

First a Haiku:

Spring is on the way
Traps are moving, deer don’t care
All our cards are down

Things have certainly slowed down the past couple of weeks.  As noted above, we’ve been retiring old trapping locations and moving traps to new areas. Deer are still hitting our bait, but only in some areas.  Two of our old Clover traps had broken welds last week so they are out of commission.

We were able to catch 4 more deer including 2 buck fawns, one very large adult female, and one very large adult male. The buck had been ear-tagged as an adult in 2019, so 7+ years old.  He received a collar.  I would love to see him in the fall! [At this rate our geriatric deer post will be pages long!]

deer standing in Clover trap

Another one of our traps was visited by a large male bear. Consequently, we removed the trap. It had been a good location, but its time was up. This trap was about 4 miles (as the crow flies) from the other bear visitation. It might be the same bear, but that’s based solely on size.  You be the judge.

black bear laying at door of Clover trap

Raccoons have started showing up at one site but haven’t done any damage yet.  Other visitors last week included cottontails, flying squirrels, turkeys, and various songbirds.  We received notification that a doe had dropped her collar (scheduled drop), and the crew retrieved it over the weekend. She was nice enough to drop it relatively close to a road.

Until next time, enjoy the mud!

Northern Crew Leader
PA Game Commission


From the Southern Crew:

Hello all! 

Yet another balmy week in the books. It’s been in the 50’s-60’s and even 70’s which has continued to hinder our trapping efforts. We’ve been attempting to sit at rocket nets in between bouts of heat, rain, and wind. It’s not always a success, but every time we set up we learn a little bit more about the deer in that area and adjust accordingly. The views we are rewarded with of the night sky at cleanup each night helps remind us why we’re so in love with the field despite any hardships.

Salamanders in a vernal pool

The warm weather seems to have triggered activity in the vernal pools of the state forests. It’s a little pulse of life featuring turtles, tadpoles, and newts. Grouse, woodcock, turkeys, and porcupines have also become increasingly common along with the sounds of spring peepers and barred owls starting to couple up for the breeding season. 

porcupine waddling away
Flock of turkeys with 2 strutting toms

The >1” of rain on Saturday combined with wind gusts of 50 mph toppled lots of trees and woody debris which made a few of our traps difficult to access. So we spent a fair amount of time clearing out our access points again (huge shoutout to the DCNR for doing most of the heavy duty work for us!) This week may be our last hurrah in terms of Clover trapping as we start to lean more heavily on the rockets.

Fingers crossed for some upcoming luck.

Southern Crew Leader
PA Game Commission

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