From the Northern Crew:
Dear Deer People,
It’s a winter wonderland in the northern study area. We had about 5 inches of snow. It is the most beautiful office I could ask for.
On Monday and Tuesday, I met up with Kyle and Dave to deer age. After going through the certification course for the Game Commission, I was excited to test out my skills. Kyle was a great teacher and observed me as I aged many of the heads myself while Dave recorded all of the data into the iPad. It was a lot of fun visiting the different processors and seeing all the nice deer that people had brought in over the gun-deer season.
Each day after deer aging, I went out for a late day mort run. Unfortunately, one of my fawns has gone missing. Over this last week, I have driven every road in her area, listening for any sign of a “beep.” After going on multiple missions to find her, I was left with only static. I am going to continue to look for this lost fawn through this week.
On Wednesday, I completed a round of locations. It was snowing all morning, but Bret made his way to the DCNR office to meet me. I gave him all of the adult and fawn collars that I have accrued over the rifle season.
On Thursday after the mort run, I started to take apart all of the rockets for the rocket nets. Some of them I had to put in a vice and use a crowbar to get the ends to break free. I used a wire brush and towels to get the threads all cleaned up and re-greased, in preparation for the soon approaching trapping season.
On Friday, I got another set of locations for all of the fawn then spent some time talking with my crew and getting the new crew member Brian all caught up on the buzz of deer trapping. I am very excited to meet my crew.
This week, I will be spending Monday and Tuesday helping April down in the Southern study area with some of her trapping preparations. I will also complete locations, look for the lost fawn, and do last minute preparations before Christmas.
Field Crew Leader
From the Southern Crew:
My week flew by. I began with a mort run on Monday morning; then finished the day scouting some of our old rocket net sites in Rothrock and found a few new clover trap sites, as well. Some sites had with heavy buck activity. I found countless scrapes and rubs throughout the afternoon. I dropped a second truck off at the mechanic’s too. It needs new brakes, ball joints, a bearing and the tailgate is broken.
Tuesday, I stopped at the mechanic’s to see how the trucks were coming along and then headed straight to Penn Nursery to pick up the old elk truck to take it for another test drive. The 4WD was much better; however, it felt like the brakes were going and the driver’s side power window was finicky. I’m also wondering if it needs an exhaust manifold. I scheduled another appointment for the truck to go in next week.
I did a mort run and in the process, a landowner flagged me down to tell me he shot one of our tagged deer. I searched the doe’s tag number in my files and discovered that she was collared as a fawn in 2016. He said she was a nice size for a yearling and the processor told him he’d probably get 60 pounds of meat from her. He still had the head, so I took it from him to remove the lower mandible for the deer aging training.
I finished looking at a few sites in Rothrock that I needed to check on and I submitted a list of Rothrock sites to be mowed to Mark (Rothrock Forester).
Between mort runs every day and two locations/fawn, the work week can fly by quickly. I do a decent amount of driving to navigate to the areas that my fawns reside each week which is the primary reason mort runs/locations can take so long. In addition, I stopped by the Pole Shed to pick up equipment for winter trapping. These totes full of equipment will take refuge in my house and my truck for the next few months.
A snow storm came in overnight and I woke up to about 4 inches of snow on Thursday morning! I was excited to head out to see the fresh blanket of snow and fresh animal tracks in the state forests. I began the mort run and was stopped by two different landowners who wondered how the fawns made out after hunting season. I also completed locations.
Friday, I conducted a mort run and headed back to the office to go through trapping equipment and complete my supply list. I also updated a list of the supplies in each of my totes.
Next Monday and Tuesday, Nate will be traveling to the South so that I can show him how to set up a rocket net. He will also be helping me pull the rocket nets out and make any necessary repairs. I’ll continuing with fawn monitoring for the week and finalize my location file.
Field Crew Leader
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