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post #1 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-26-2015, 09:53 PM Thread Starter
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Applying New Technology... In the Field

http://ecosystems.psu.edu/research/p...y-in-the-field


Applying New Technology... In the Field

Posted: March 25, 2015

I have always found this job to be exciting—who wouldn’t enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with racing up to a trapped deer and wrestling it to the ground? But it has been even more exciting in the past month.

Applying New Technology... In the Field






Well, perhaps exciting isn’t the right word, but interesting would suit.

In mid-February, the crew and I drove to State College to receive training on using VITS, or vaginally-implanted transmitters, which are being used as part of a fawn study for the spring. The idea behind it is rather simple: each VIT is paired with a specific radio collar.

When a doe is trapped, we sedate her and fit her with the radio-collar and insert the VIT using an applicator and a bit of lubrication. When she gives birth in the spring (we only do this with adult doe and almost all are pregnant), the VIT will fall out in the process and alert us via email to the location of the fawn. We then will use the coordinates to capture the fawns and fit them with a radio-collar and ear tags.

The training, it turned out, was also straightforward, although I found myself quite nervous. Would I hurt the deer? What if I made some sort of awful mistake in the process? Gosh, all of this information is a lot to keep track of. I’m definitely going to forget something.

A nervous person by nature, I wanted to get my turn at inserting a VIT over with as quickly as possible, so I was one of the first to volunteer to have a go at it. And, like I said, the entire process was simple and painless. Well, painless for me… and I’m pretty sure the doe felt the same.

Since that day, our crew has deployed five VITs and collars. Our first doe was a rather hectic process because we had not yet gotten into a rhythm, but we have since mastered the entire process.

doeblanketvit

We now know the proper drug dosage to give the deer based on her size, we have all taken turns at the various roles—wrestling the deer, administering the drugs, attaching the collar and ear tags, inserting the VIT, recording the data—and we approach the situation with a general air of confidence.

Deploying our most recent VIT was an incredibly smooth process and we all stood around with grins on our faces as we watched the doe take off into the forest, a new piece of jewelry around her neck…and one in…other places.

-Kelsey Worthington, field technician
Northern Field Crew
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post #2 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 08:20 AM
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Re: Applying New Technology... In the Field

How many VIT's do they hope to deploy?

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The rest of my money I just wasted.
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post #3 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 10:04 AM
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Re: Applying New Technology... In the Field

Very interesting. Thanks for posting.
Keep us informed as this progresses.

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post #4 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 02:18 PM
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Re: Applying New Technology... In the Field

I read this as I get the e mail. But I don't do facebook so I could not ask if they think the handling of the new born fawns will cause additional predator loss due to adding scent to the fawns which are born scentless.

Over all I think it is groundbraking research and look forward to the results. Waugh!

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post #5 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 06:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Applying New Technology... In the Field

ttt
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post #6 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 08:01 PM
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Re: Applying New Technology... In the Field

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Originally Posted by jimbridger
I read this as I get the e mail. But I don't do facebook so I could not ask if they think the handling of the new born fawns will cause additional predator loss due to adding scent to the fawns which are born scentless.

Over all I think it is groundbraking research and look forward to the results. Waugh!
Here is a study I found on the question you pose, which was a very good one.

http://www.bioone.org/doi/pdf/10.298...T%5D2.0.CO%3B2

The sample size is a bit small but probably representative of the population of deer used in the VIT studies elsewhere.

Definitely an interesting way of getting some more information about this state in the deer's development.
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post #7 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-27-2015, 09:35 PM
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Re: Applying New Technology... In the Field

Quote:
Originally Posted by Goosehunter
How many VIT's do they hope to deploy?
I don't do BookFace either.
But my sister shamed me into registering years ago, so I do have an account.
All that to say I ask Duane Diefenbach this question on the blog and here's his reply.

"We have 40, but because they arrived during the coldest weeks when it was difficult to capture deer we do not expect to deploy all of them. The trapping season will end here in a couple of weeks and we'll let you know how the trapping crews did. For this year, we will try to capture more fawns by hand in May/June."

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post #8 of 128 (permalink) Old 03-29-2015, 01:12 AM
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Re: Applying New Technology... In the Field

Thanks and that answered my question.
It looks like we have someone on staff that has worked that study you posted. If I read that right. Should help increase the sample size which always makes me feel better. Waugh!

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post #9 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 01:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Applying New Technology... In the Field

Trap and Transfer of Deer

Posted: April 27, 2015

It’s often proposed as a solution when deer are in the wrong (or not in the right) place. Can it work?

Trap and Transfer of Deer






Ever since I earned my degree in wildlife management, the trapping and transferring deer has been proposed as a solution to having deer in the right place. Trap-and-transfer is a valid technique for restoring wildlife populations (it was done a hundred years ago to restore the white-tailed deer throughout North America). Why can’t it be used to redistribute deer today?

But first, let me be clear. The purpose of this blog is to share information about deer. Not opinions. So what I am about to write here are insights into trapping deer based on my experience and transferring deer (based on what others have learned). I will let the reader decide whether trap-and-transfer could be useful to solve a specific problem.

First of all, in Pennsylvania we have a lot of experience trapping deer (literally thousands over the past 15 years).

When we began trapping in 2002, we reviewed the literature and found that capture mortality rates were highly variable. Researchers in New York published a review of deer capture methods and found that capture-related mortality rates varied from 2% to 21%. Given the time and effort needed to capture a deer and its value as a study animal, having 1 in 5 deer die as a result of capture would not be good.

Fortunately, we have found that our overall capture-related mortality rates are about 4% using Clover traps, rocket nets, and drop nets.

Over the years, we have refined our trapping techniques. For example, we made the trigger mechanism on our Clover traps to include a “break-away” design so that if deer did try to escape they were less likely to hurt themselves even though Clover trap injuries are rare. Also, when we capture deer in rocket nets we sedate them to minimize stress. And we have a reversal drug so that they can quickly recover and be on their way.

If we are so good at capturing deer and minimizing mortality, why can’t we trap and transfer deer from where we don’t want them to where we want more? If it were only that simple.

First of all, the deer we capture in Clover traps may be released in less than 2 minutes (if all they receive are ear tags). Regardless of the trapping method, deer are released at the capture site in a short period of time (minutes in most cases).
What if we were to transfer deer to another part of Pennsylvania? It’s a big state.
Scranton to Coudersport area in Potter County – 157 miles, 3.5 hr drive
Valley Forge to Milroy area in Mifflin County – 151 miles, 2.5 hr drive
Pittsburgh to Kane area in McKean County – 127 miles, 2.5 hr drive

Second, what is required to keep a deer safe and healthy, while sedated and traveling in a vehicle for 2-3 hours? A lot. Deer can get what is called “bloat” because they have a rumen (just like a cow). If they are sedated it is difficult for them to “burp” and gasses can build up. That can be fatal.

Also, while sedated it is more difficult for animals to self-regulate their temperature. Depending on the temperature, they can quickly overheat or succumb to hypothermia.

What would be the capture mortality rate of capturing deer and transporting them 2-3 hours across Pennsylvania? I do not know, but I am sure it would be higher than 4%.

Third, what do those deer do when they wake up after a 3-hr car ride? And where do they go? You can only catch deer in winter – the most difficult time of year for deer. A released deer will now have to figure out where to find food. It will have to figure out where to find cover when the snow gets deep (if it isn’t already) and the temperature drops (if it isn’t already cold).

And how will the deer know the best route to escape predators?

So what would the mortality rate be for deer captured in Valley Forge and transported to central Pennsylvania and released? I’m sure it would be higher than 4%.

It costs the Deer-Forest Study about $1,000 to capture a deer and release it at the capture site.

What would it cost to capture, transport, and release a deer? And have it survive to the following hunting season? Probably much more than $1,000 (that alone is equal to the revenue from 50 hunting licenses).

Finally, we have chronic wasting disease in Pennsylvania. Do we want to risk spreading CWD? Unfortunately, that is no longer a hypothetical concern.

So all of these issues must be considered when trap-and-transfer is proposed as a solution to a problem.

Based on these facts, what do you think?

http://ecosystems.psu.edu/research/p...ansfer-of-deer
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post #10 of 128 (permalink) Old 04-28-2015, 01:56 PM
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Re: Applying New Technology... In the Field

Quote:
So what would the mortality rate be for deer captured in Valley Forge and transported to central Pennsylvania and released? I’m sure it would be higher than 4%.
The other method of population control used at Valley Forge had a 100% mortality rate. It cost about $500 per deer.

The cost could come down when bulk are captured and transported, and in many cases the cost is on the people that want the reduction not on the PGC (sportsmen license dollars).

Why is capture only done in winter? Is it because of the studies being done, data that needs to be recorded? Or are there other reasons. Deer feed in groups most all year long.

What time of year were deer captured and transported 100 years ago. How was it accomplished back then, how can we improve on that? Remember back then deer were transported across multiple states not just one with modes of transportation slower than today.

It can be done. Should it be done is the big question.

Just to stock targets I don't think it should be done. Waugh!

AR is only a pacifier.You will never grow if it's not in your genes.
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