From the Northern Crew:
Dear deer people,
Last week, I investigated a fawn mortality. All evidence points to bobcat kill. The carcass was cached under leaves, a few ferns, and some twigs. Only the haunches were chewed on. No broken bones.
On Thursday, April and I attended deer age training. Then put our skills to the test by categorizing 100 deer jaws into fawn (6 months), yearling (18 months), and adult (30+ months). It was actually kind of fun! The first few were tricky, but after looking at 100 sets of teeth it became much easier. I hope I can help age some deer at least one day this season. [To age deer for the Game Commission, deer agers must pass with a 95 or higher. All agers get retested every 3 years to keep them sharp.]
While I was down in the State College area, I noticed that the foliage was much greener than up here in the Susquehannock where we’re already at (or rapidly approaching) peak fall colors!
This week, I will be taking Roof Rack to a mechanic in Wellsboro in hopes they can fix the emissions issue. Cross your fingers.
Field Crew Leader
From the Southern Crew:
Tess and I had a table at Reeds Gap State Park Fall Fest on Saturday. A lot of people came through, a few specifically because we were scheduled to be there. We spoke about our equipment, the fawn survival study and winter deer trapping. Although it rained continuously all day, Tess and I had a good time and the festival went really quick. We had one report of a collared fawn and its sibling being seen by visitors on the hay ride.
We have reason to believe that this collared fawn and its sibling have been without a mother. We aren’t positive, but none of the park employees or the fawn crew members have ever seen her and her sibling with a doe. When the fawns were younger, we saw them almost daily. They are still often seen throughout the week by park employees, but have been spending more time on the mountainside above the park then previously. Either the doe is really smart and spends her time on the mountainside out of sight, or she isn’t around anymore. There was a doe that was hit by a vehicle at the west entrance to the park a few months ago. I wasn’t aware of this until last month. [This may be true but fawns are more likely to be spending time away from their mother the older they get. It is not uncommon for fawns to be see traveling ‘alone’ even in late August. They grow up fast and independence is their first foray into adulthood.]
Hannah and I attended Deer Aging Training this week. The training is required for all deer agers for collecting harvest data to monitor deer population trends. Hannah and I will most likely not get involved in much, if any deer aging, since we must be available to conduct follow ups on tagged deer that are harvested this year.
With the Columbus Day holiday and working on Saturday, this week will probably go pretty quick for me.
Field Crew Leader
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