From the Northern Crew:
Dear deer people,
Elk season was this week! I spent Tuesday in Benezette helping process elk at the check station.
About 20 elk came through that day (give or take 1), including 2 collared bulls.
The most interesting event of the day though, I think everyone there would have agreed, was a cow elk that had a fully developed fetus in her uterus!
Dr. Justin Brown [PGC veterinarian] said the unborn calf was near term. He submitted it to the lab to get more insight and to find out whether it was alive or dead when the cow as harvested. In the words of OMC, “how bizarre… how bizarre.” [Duane had to Google this – OMC is Otara Millionaires Club, a New Zealand band who had a hit in 1996 titled “How Bizarre”]
Back in the Susquehannock, there are still 12 fawns on-air, evenly split between both study areas. A couple fawns tried to hide from me this week, but they didn’t do a very good job, as I tracked them down maybe half a mile from their usual locations.
Also this week, DCNR made welding repairs on 5 traps for me in preparation for winter trapping season–just over 2 months away!
Field Crew Leader
From the Southern Crew:
It looks like the rut is here. Two of our tagged bucks were hit on Route 322. Both deer were tagged as fawns. One was a yearling that we radio collared as a fawn in June of 2015. He was no longer wearing the radio collar [the collar is designed to drop off sometime after the battery fails], but did retain both ear tags.
The other was captured at a rocket net site with one of our VIT does in March of 2016. I was able to remove both of their lower mandibles to save for deer aging [These are known-age deer that can be used to train PGC personnel to age deer]. Harley, a volunteer, got some hands on experience with this, as well!
In addition to the two tagged road-killed deer, an ear-tagged yearling doe was harvested by an archery hunter a few weeks ago. She was originally captured at one of our rocket net sites with one of our VIT does in February of 2016.
I assisted with an elk check station on Wednesday. Nine or ten elk came through. The largest bull had a green score of 418.
I took advantage of the nice weather on Saturday and started inspecting/fitting tire chains on my truck.
Field Crew Leader
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