From the Northern Crew:
Dear deer people,
While we haven’t come across any more late-bloomer fawns since last week, we have been catching bears! We shifted our schedule around this week to accommodate the bear trapping schedule while still monitoring fawns each day.
A blood sample is collected from all captured bears (left photo) and they are fitted with ear tags that can be identified in camera trap photos (right photo).
We helped Brandon, the bear bio aide, process a total of 5 bears this week – 1 of which was a female cub weighing only 50 pounds! Each bear gets 2 sets of ear tags, a set of standard metal tags and a set of colored cattle tags. The larger plastic cattle tags allow bears to be individually identified in trail camera photos which can provide a type of mark-recapture population estimate.
We had 3 fawn mortalities this week – 2 preliminary predator kills and a possible slipped collar.
Next week, we will continue to assist with bear trapping and hopefully make some progress on getting our last truck up-to-snuff for inspection.
Field Crew Leader
From the Southern Crew:
The crew split their hours between bear trapping and veg plot fence work. The crew helped Emily (Southern Study Area Bear Trapper) process 3 black bears in Bald Eagle SF this week.
Bear bait can be tempting to eat, even though it’s out-dated pastries!
I conducted the usual fawn locations and focused on getting our trucks in good running condition. Our crew truck has new shoes (tires) and the crew seems to be loving them. I got the back brakes replaced on my truck, as well. You don’t realize how important these field trucks are until you don’t have them. Nothing would be possible without them.
Thursday, Asia (PhD student) came out with me so that I could show her the area where most of our fawns are collared. She’s looking to set up some scent stations and cameras for part of her project [we’ll be sharing more about this project in the near future, but Asia has been too busy].
Sarah and Kara reported seeing a black bear with silver tags while hiking to a veg plot in Rothrock. They spotted the bear from far away, so they hid in the brush and the bear ran right past them. They also stumbled upon a timber rattlesnake while hiking to a veg plot. I saw a nice yellow morph timber rattlesnake this week as well. He/she slithered off the road after I took a few nice pictures of it. I also saw the sibling to the collared fawn at Reeds Gap State Park again (see photo at beginning).
Next week, we’ll try to get the crew out to help move bear traps and hopefully catch a few more bears before they wrap up this round of bear trapping. We’ll continue to monitor the fawns and work towards completing maintenance on the veg plot fences.
Field Crew Leader