Our trapping crews have disbanded for the season. Hannah and April will be lonely until the fawn capture crews arrive.
Crew members have left for such jobs as trapping bats in Pennsylvania, banding yellow warblers in Illinois, tracking mule deer in Wyoming, acoustic tagging lake sturgeon in Vermont, collecting wolf scat in Idaho, monitoring mosquitos in PA, and tracking whitetails in South Dakota.
From the Northern Crew:
Dear deer people,
SUCCESS! We completed all 98 pellet transects in the Susquehannock this past Tuesday right on schedule. Thanks in large part to the tireless efforts of my outstanding crew who worked 10-hour days for 6 days a week to accomplish this feat. Sadly, they are all out of hours now having used up their 749-hour allotment this year. This was Emma and Doug’s last week. Tony and Pat headed back to Wisconsin last week. So, I am officially crew-less until fawning season starts mid-May.
Other accomplishments this week: we were able to successfully drop all 3 VIT doe collars remaining from last year (using different equipment than last week when we experienced issues). Lucky for us, the deer cooperated and we were able to get within 20-30 meters of each; we actually had eyes on 2 of the 3 which is ideal when transmitting the drop-off signal. In the attached photos, you can see where the collar detaches with the aid of small springs inside that help to release and push the bolts out.
I spent all Wednesday in State College attending wildlife diseases & carfentanil immobilization training [Carfentanil is a drug used to immobilize elk]. Emma got the other truck inspected and took the trailer to the repair shop.
Next week, I will be helping April complete pellet transects in the southern study area. Then a brief hiatus before fawning starts!
Deer & Elk Section
From the Southern Crew:
This week was slow for completing pellet transects but there were plenty of other interesting things going on.
Panorama looking towards Barrville
I began my week by checking the fawns that we radio collared last summer. One fawn has recently gone off air, so I assume that the batteries in her radio collar have died. Another was found dead at the beginning of this week in Rothrock. On a positive note, I spotted a fawn captured last summer in a pasture with three other deer on Monday. He looked alive and well!
Bret joined me for pellet transects on Tuesday and Thursday. On Tuesday, we found our first Timber Rattlesnake of the year in a rock field in Bald Eagle. We actually heard it before we saw it. It was tucked underneath a rock and nicely gave us a fair warning that we were in its presence.
We also came across a doe that we tagged this trapping season. Thursday, we dropped the final VIT collar in our study area. I was excited to find out how close this doe was to the state forest road compared to the last time that I went looking for her. We only had to hike in 120 meters to collect the collar!
I attended two trainings this week: Wildlife Disease Surveillance training and Carfentanil training.
Next week, Chris, Bret and Hannah will be coming out to help with pellet transects at the beginning of the week. But I’m planning a full week of pellet counts though. Wooohooo!
Deer & Elk Section