It’s May already.  While things are quiet in the field now, it won’t last for long.

[Comments in brackets are from Jeannine and Duane]

From the Northern Crew:

Dear deer people,

Another battery died on a fawn collar from last year. So we’re down to 4 fawns on-air in the Susquehannock. I biangulated these 4 fawns today for the first time since January [biangulation means that Hannah used the antenna and receiver to collect 2 bearings towards the signal – if you know the direction of the signal from 2 or more known locations, you can estimate the location of the deer].

Yesterday, I drove down to Bald Eagle State Forest to help April complete a few pellet transects. Big thanks to Doug for volunteering to accompany me on this whirlwind adventure!

Over the weekend, I spent hours cleaning and organizing the storage shed where equipment is stored. I also emptied out both trucks for the first time post-trapping season and hosed out the beds. Feels good to restore some order to my life! I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts until fawning starts in few weeks…

I have also been discovering some cool things in the forest that are new to me as they don’t occur in Wisconsin where I grew up. For instance, I saw my first-ever Red Trillium today–stunning! We only have white trilliums in WI.

While we were down in Bald Eagle SF, Doug and I saw a bunch of giant millipedes rootin’ around in the leaf litter. They were strikingly colored so I Google’d them when I got home.

It turns out they are North American Millipedes which happen to be the largest millipedes in North America, growing to 10 cm in length–how neat is that?! [They are also super crunchy so I recommend NOT stepping on them]

-Hannah
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer & Elk Section

From the Southern Crew:

Hi all,

Bret and I spent Monday-Wednesday completing pellet transects in the Southern Study Area. Chris, Hannah and Doug helped out this week, as well. We are down to 4 pellet transects in Bald Eagle and 15 in Rothrock. 

Muttersbaugh Gap, Rothrock State Forest

On Wednesday, I also discovered that there is another fawn off air in the Southern Study Area. This fawn was originally radio collared on 6/4/15 in Rothrock. I suspect the battery in his collar has died. His sibling was still on air as of Wednesday [But who knows for who long]. 

In regard to my growing species list for the year, I added an American redstart, an Eastern ratsnake [my most unfavorite snake for their bad attitude and appetite for baby birds!] and an Eastern gartersnake.

All were found in Bald Eagle while conducting pellet transects. Also, remember the killdeer nest that I shared a photo of a few weeks ago? I received word that there are now at least two killdeer chicks running around in the fields outside of the Rothrock study site.

Bret and I will be attempting to drop a GPS collar from a doe on Monday in Bald Eagle using the electronic drop-off device that I used to drop collars from the VIT deer earlier this year. It’d also be great to finish up the pellet transects this week, but probably unlikely. 

I should also mention that the fawn crew starts in a week and a half and I am EXCITED!

-April
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer & Elk Section
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