From the Northern Crew:
Dear deer people,
No mortalities this week!
On Tuesday, my crew had a blast banding geese in McKean and Potter Counties. We were supposed to help band geese again on Wednesday, but they were so successful on Tuesday that they met the quota early!
Speaking of success, it was a good week for bear trapping as well. My crew helped the bear bio aide, Brandon, process a 300+ pounder on Monday. They couldn’t even get the bear completely off the ground with the tripod!
The dark mass is an anesthetized bear in a barrel trap.
The next day we helped him check traps again and he caught 5 bears out of 12 traps, 3 of which were recaptures. One bear in particular had been caught 4 times already this year! [We have written about trap happy critters before. It’s not limited to deer that’s for sure.]
Good news on the vehicle front—we got 2 trucks out of the shop this week and in operable condition! Hoping to have all 3 trucks back on the road by the end of next week (knock on wood). One truck passed inspection [thankfully] and the other is a work-in-progress.
This upcoming week, we will continue to monitor fawns and repair deer exclosures.
PGC Deer and Elk Section
From the Southern Crew:
Most of our week was about completing fawn locations, locations, locations!
There are many obstacles when it comes to obtaining estimated locations for the fawns. In our case, the biggest obstacle we deal with is interference from electrical wires. We’ve also learned that interference from electrical wires is a lot worse on the weekends and during evening hours when people are home and are using their electricity. Sometimes the interference from the electrical wires causes the transmitted signal to bounce or we just simply cannot hear the strength of the signal over the static interference.
The crew also learned to how fix the vegetation subplot fences [the deer exclosures Hannah refers to in her update]. They completed their first subplot on Wednesday. They unknowingly chose one of the most difficult subplots on the list of the 32 fences to be fixed. When they got to the point, they found nothing. No signs of the plot anywhere. Luckily, they had cell service on the top of the ridge in Bald Eagle. I was able to get the corrected coordinates with help from Danielle. They were about 120 m from the plot center.
We have to annually check plots that are fenced to make sure they continue to exclude deer. Most are damaged by snow and branches, but bears and humans also damage them.
The crew truck has had 3 flat tires in the past 3 weeks – two of which happened this week. In addition to the flats, the crew found a shell casing wedged in the tire. Luckily, this did not result in a flat tire. We are looking to get new tires for the crew truck next week. I’m hoping that will fix the problem. We’ll also be getting the oil changed and replacing a taillight. The oil in my truck was changed this week.
Field Crew Leader
PGC Deer and Elk Section