From the Northern Crew:
Dear Deer People,
The beginning of this week was filled with fawn and doe monitoring. With the rut starting up, the little critters are really starting to move around. Some have moved into easier spots to find them, but others have not. It definitely keeps you on your toes and is always an adventure.
Fawn 16428 has been missing for a few weeks now with not a beep to be heard. I filled out a Censor Data Sheet which is for collars that have malfunctioned, fell off or been blown off. In this case, the collar is simply not transmitting a signal anymore and can’t be monitored.
More time was spent on trucks in the shop. Truck 5779 went in for a new EGR valve which was replaced and seemed to be fully functional. But after driving about 200 miles, the check engine light came back on. When they checked, it told them the aftermarket valve had failed and needed to be replaced with a stock one. Again, it seems to be totally fixed. This truck will be going in for an emissions test, tires, and inspection this week with hope that that all will be ready for winter trapping.
On Wednesday, I attended the elk/bear check station in Benezette. On my way there, I got to see my first PA elk. The brute was calmly crossing the river about 20 minutes away from the check station. I was amazed at his size having no idea I would be seeing one much bigger later that day at the check station. My mouth dropped when I saw the massive antlers sticking up from the gentleman’s trailer. The bull ended up scoring 432”!
In total, around 10 elk came through – 3 bulls and 7 cows. I also got to help with a few of the bears that came in to be weighed. I felt back in my element as a Bear Bio Aide.
This week will involve some more time with the trucks in the shop as they get closer and closer to being all tuned up for trapping. I look forward to seeing the deer becoming more and more active. I got word that someone saw one of the collared bucks claims he has a beautiful Boone and Crocket rack.
I am getting more and more excited for all the winter festivities!
Field Crew Leader
From the Southern Crew:
Cool weather and a little rain at the beginning of the week made for prime elk hunt conditions. Before I could trek out to Benezette to assist at the Elk Check Station, I had a few items to check off my list.
The first part of my week was spent monitoring our furry friends. Few made an appearance, but I saw plenty of other deer.
I spoke with our mechanic who is planning to inspect one of the trucks this week. Once this truck is fixed, I have one more (possibly two) that needs to go in.
Wednesday morning I departed for Benezette where I spent my day at the Elk Check Station. By Wednesday evening, 86 of 118 elk had been harvested. We had around 10 elk come through the check station on Wednesday. The largest bull scored at nearly 432, which I believe was the record for this year’s harvest.
I look forward to assisting at Elk Check every year. We collected lymph nodes and obex for CWD sampling, a tooth to age, ticks to identify the species, hair and tongue samples.
I reorganized my truck, dropped off a few “thank you” letters, caught up with some landowners, stocked up on mortality datasheets, finished locations for the week, and completed auto reports.
On Monday, I found a bird nest near the rear left tire of the truck I’ve been driving. Whoops. Not sure when it’s from, but if there were any birds in the nest, they went for the ride of their life. I saw three nice bucks this week—a six, an eight and a ten point. I also saw three spike bucks. The six point and one of the spike bucks were chasing down the ladies. It’s that time of the year!
Field Crew Leader
If you would like to receive email alerts of new blog posts, subscribe here.
And Follow us on Twitter @WTDresearch