From the Northern Crew:
Dear Deer People,
Preparations for trapping season are underway! And I am happy to report that there were no mortalities of any kind and the fawns are running all over. With the rut in full swing, it was an adventure to find some of the fawns. Thankfully some have made it to locations that are easier to get to and I am now able to get more accurate locations.
On Tuesday, I was finally able to take truck 5773 into the shop for an emissions test (after it was in the shop for two different EGR valves). Unfortunately, I was told that I had not put enough miles on that truck between replacing the EGR valve and taking it for the test, so it failed. I will be taking it in again this week after driving it the next couple days. I will also be taking truck 5775 into the shop for a check engine light and bad power steering. Hopefully by next week, all the trucks will be all tuned up for winter.
I met up with Bret to look through tire chains and talk more about winter trapping. Also, I was able to go though and organize all of the trapping and capture supplies in the shed and clean out and restock all the trucks.
This week I will extract the Clover traps out of there grassy depths and start repairs and, take the trucks into the shop, and continue with daily mortality checks and telemetry.
PGC Deer and Elk Section
From the Southern Crew:
I woke up refreshed on Monday morning (thanks to the end of Daylight Savings time) and headed out to conduct a mort run and begin biangulations for the week. I was able to pick up 17 of the 18 fawns. A fawn in Bald Eagle has been giving me trouble for the past month. I only found her signal once last week and not a single day this week. I conducted yet another search for her Monday morning. I found and drove a different logging path up the ridge and then went for an hour and a half long hike across the ridge and down over the opposite side. She hasn’t turned up. It’s not uncommon for her to disappear and come back to the ridge above where we captured her.
Another issue I was experiencing Monday were weak collar signals. At first, I was under the impression electricity use was high. There are many power lines that run parallel to and intersect the roads. They are hard to avoid and give off much interference. At certain times of the day and on weekends, interference can be through the roof! I switched between three receivers. At times, the collars sounded strong with the omni (roof antenna), but weak or nonexistent using the H antenna. I thought there was absolutely no way that my good antenna could be going bad! I had just replaced the wire two weeks prior and had just used the same antenna in the morning to obtain biangulations. I was feeling a little impatient and frustrated. I pulled out a different H antenna, and low and behold, the signals were much clearer. Mondays!
Tuesday, it snowed most of the day! It was slushy snow in the valley, but when I hit the mountains in Rothrock, I discovered a blanket of fresh snow! By Wednesday evening, I had completed most of the locations.
I spoke with our mechanic who had to order a few parts for Truck 6087 to pass inspection. I also spent about an hour while I was coming through Rothrock searching for new trap sites. I found a promising one. We’ll see.
On another note, I saw at least one buck every day, except for Thursday! On Monday, I caught an 8-point and a 10-point squaring up in Bald Eagle, until I came in and ruined their fun! The larger buck did run the 8 point off at one point, but the 8-point came back for more. Tuesday, there was a wide 6-point that ran across the road in front of me. Wednesday, I saw a 4-point feeding with a fawn in a field.
Bret and I had to put off our trip to Loyalsock Game Farm to pick up a truck until next week. I’ll continue with monitoring and hopefully have a little time to search for new trap sites for January.
Field Crew Leader
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