From the Northern Crew:
It was another busy week in the Northern Study Area! This week I was able to successfully drop a malfunctioning collar. In order to do this, you have to be within 500m of the deer itself. Breaking out the yagi (a large antenna) and receiver, I honed in on where the VHF signal was the strongest. The receiver has bars on the front screen that increase in size as you get closer to the collar.
It can be difficult because there is sometimes a lot of “bounce” in the mountains, meaning that the signal might sound like it is coming from one direction but in reality the signal could be emanating from 180 degrees behind you.
It sometimes takes time and patience [and experience] in order to definitively locate the signal direction. I punched the code which detonates the collar drop off device. Thankfully, the collar was successfully dropped and retrieved [this does not always happen so easily. We have chased many a deer over hill and dale over many a day trying to drop a collar].
One of the fawns in the southern portion of the study area is MIA. The fawn’s signal has not been clearly heard since last Thursday and ordinarily her collar emits a very strong signal. I have been searching for her every day, but so far no luck. Brandon was also kind enough to bring his more powerful yagi and helped me look for several hours. Hopefully she will turn up soon.
I walked in on a doe with a malfunctioning collar. For several months, her collar has been sending out false “mortality signals” so I walked in on her just to make sure she is still alive. I am happy to report she is still going strong. She is also the mother of our only successfully tagged set of twins.
A highlight of the week was being able to spot a fawn that I haven’t seen since we captured him. This particular fawn is sometimes a trickster and has moved around a lot in the past! I also saw one of the twins this week and two porcupines during a nightly mortality run.
PGC Deer and Elk Section
From the Southern Crew:
A relaxed, yet productive week back after a full week of vacation!
Bret and I accompanied Jeremy and Avery on an elk capture event. We didn’t capture any bulls, but we had an exciting morning attempting to call in two separate bulls. Both responded immediately and ran in our direction, but unfortunately were never in an ideal position to be darted. The first bull was with a harem, but we didn’t notice any cows with the second bull. It was an incredible experience, nonetheless!
Bret and I dropped a truck off in Harrisburg to be surplused on Thursday.
The rest of the week was dedicated to fawn monitoring and was able to see a number of them.
Another great week in the field!
Field Crew Leader