The 2019 deer trapping season wrapped up a few weeks ago.  Crews did a great job (of course) wrangling this year’s crop of freshmen into the Deer-Forest ranks.

For 2019, there were 121 newly tagged deer added to the study areas; 31 of which got fancy new GPS collars.  Of those, 42 were adult females, 38 were adult bucks, 18 were juvenile females, and 23 were juvenile bucks.  

That 121 does not include deer that were recaptured.  There were 79 recaptures.  A few of them seemed to REALLY like the crew.  Females were recaptured more than males.  But the boys held the record for most individual captures.  Three males were caught 4+ times each.  And Buck 16175…well, he was either extremely lonely or had a crush on a crew member.  He was captured 7 times in March!  

In a recent conversation about turkeys, I asked my companion what turkey do during the day.  The answer – turkey things.  It’s a good answer.   So now we wait for deer to do deer things.  I mean that’s why we collar and tag critters, right?  To try to understand what “things” they do.

These 121 deer will add to the heap of data with their deer thing doings just like their predecessors – all 716 of them.  That’s right!  Since the start of the Deer-Forest Study in 2013, 837 deer have been captured and tagged.  Could we break 1,000 deer tagged in the 2020 trapping season?  It’s a lofty goal but maybe…  

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.  We need to focus on the Class of 2019 and all the deer things they are going to do!

-Jeannine Fleegle
Wildlife Biologist
PGC Deer and Elk Section


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