The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community banner

1 - 20 of 128 Posts

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,137 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
http://ecosystems.psu.edu/research/projects/deer/news/2015/applying-new-technology-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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,662 Posts
How many VIT's do they hope to deploy?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,560 Posts
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!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,621 Posts
jimbridger said:
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/10.2981/0909-6396(2008)14[272:DTUOVT]2.0.CO;2

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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,662 Posts
Goosehunter said:
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."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,560 Posts
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!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,137 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
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/projects/deer/news/2015/trap-and-transfer-of-deer
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,560 Posts
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!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
16,019 Posts
Let's just have PGC deer farms, just like pheasant farms and trout hatcheries, so that deer can be stocked...good grief...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,560 Posts
Well look at that. Trask we agree again. We need to build a camp fire and crack open a few cold ones before this all heads down hill again.
Waugh!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,137 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
http://ecosystems.psu.edu/research/projects/deer/news/2015/deer-and-rain-take-2?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+deer-forest-blog+(The+Deer-Forest+Blog)


Deer and Rain: Take 2

Posted: May 1, 2015

When it rains did deer movement follow the same patterns in 2013 and 2014?






Almost 1,700 readers responded to a survey about deer movements. One of the survey questions asked: How does rain affect deer movements?

Here were your responses:

rainchartdeer

In October 2013, we found that temperature had no effect on deer movements because there were no days that were super cold and rainy.

Also, rain did NOT affect the movement of female deer. There was some evidence that females moved a little less in rain, but there was very little difference. However, there was a large difference in male deer movement.

So, how did deer move in October 2014?

I performed the same analysis of deer movement in October 2014 as we did for the 2013 data.

I calculated the total miles traveled by deer during the month of October both during the day and at night.

Then, I accessed NOAA weather data for temperature and rainfall. Total daily rainfall was used to define “steady” rain as <1.0 inch and >0.1 inch (because we had no information on how long the rain fell each day).

In October 2014, there were 8 days of rain. Maximum temps ranged from 44 - 77⁰F, while minimum temps ranged from 25 - 58⁰F.

I analyzed the movement data for these four factors:

1) Difference between day and night
2) With or without rain
3) Minimum temperature (> or <45⁰F)
4) Male or female

And now, for the 2014 results:

Temperature did not appear to have any effect on the total distance traveled by both males and females. Only 4 days in October saw temperatures dip below 40⁰F while it was raining. This is too few days to detect an effect.

For females, there were no significant effects of rain or daylight on the average distance traveled. There is little variability, suggesting that in October most female deer move about the same amount during the day as they do at night.

The graph below represents the distances moved by females in October 2014. The squares are the average distance traveled, while the vertical lines (95% confidence intervals) are a measure of the variability of deer movements.

rainfemale2014

In 2014, throughout the month of October, females traveled just under ½ a mile per day – no matter the weather.

But males are a different story. Rain had a significant effect on movement, but daylight did not. On average, males moved less when it was raining, regardless of whether it was day or night.

rainmale2014

When it rained, males traveled about 1/2 a mile – essentially the same as females – whether it was day or night. When it was not raining, males moved about 8/10 of a mile.

Comparing 2013 and 2014

The scientific process usually starts by observing some phenomenon, such as patterns in deer movements. The next step is to explain what caused the pattern.

However, scientists first like to see the pattern repeated.

In the case of deer movements and rain, we now have 2 years of data that show (in October!) that females do not seem to be affected by rain and males move less when it rains.

So why are males affected but not females? We don’t know!

But, to those of you who agreed deer would move less with rain, you are an expert when it comes to bucks, but the does are still a bit tricky!

-Kate Williams

Kate is a graduating senior in Wildlife and Fisheries Science in the Department of Ecosystem Science and Management. After graduation she is headed to northeastern Washington to work on a study of mule deer.
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
14,137 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
http://ecosystems.psu.edu/research/projects/deer/news/2015/weather-and-climate?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed:+deer-forest-blog+(The+Deer-Forest+Blog)


Will Climate Change Change Deer?

Posted: May 7, 2015

We have been using our GPS-collared deer to study how weather influences deer behavior. But what about the big picture of climate change. Will it affect deer and deer management?

Will Climate Change Change Deer?






I recently received a report from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources about how climate change will impact wildlife in that state. The report notes that there will be "winners and losers." I wondered what side of the coin deer would be.

In Wisconsin, the white-tailed deer is the "state wildlife animal" and is the subject of an extensive harvest management program with hunting contributing $482 million to Wisconsin's economy. Sounds just like Pennsylvania.

The report noted that winter severity is a challenge to overwinter survival, and research in neighboring Minnesota found that 50% of the variation in adult female mortality is explained by winter severity.

Winter severity is not really an issue in Pennsylvania - especially compared to Wisconsin. This is evident by the fact deer in Pennsylvania do not exhibit yarding behavior like deer in northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Maine, and other northern states. Also, a large percentage of deer that survive the hunting season are alive the following year. This is good news because protecting winter habitat adds another complicated dimension to deer management.

So what do they predict will happen in Wisconsin as temperatures warm 6-8 F degrees? Higher deer abundance through greater survival and reproductive rates. Sounds great, doesn't it?! Deer might be one of the winners!

But hold on, the report also goes on to mention that there's a downside to climate change (remember, the "losers" side of the story?).

Outbreaks of an infectious viral disease, epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) are expected to increase in frequency and severity. This was an issue that I and a colleague of mine, Steve Shea, addressed in our book chapter on deer management in eastern North America in "Biology and Management of White-tailed Deer."

Climate change is predicted to result in warmer summers, longer dry spells, and more intense rain events. The perfect environment for the midge that transmits EHD. This disease will not wipe out deer populations, but initially it will introduce more variability to their abundance. (at least until it becomes an annual occurrence and most of the adult, breeding population develops immunity to the disease)

What about parasites like ticks? Higher temperatures lead to faster development rates of all 3 life stages of the tick. Ticks are the most important ectoparasites infesting white-tailed deer in North America. Eighteen species have been reported from white-tailed deer in the United States. For deer, tick infestation and complications include local irritation, anemia, secondary infections, and disease transmission. Will parasite load on deer increase with climate change? And how might this affect tick-borne diseases in humans?

So what will the future with climate change hold for white-tailed deer? Given their range distribution from Canada into South America, deer will likely tolerate any change given their amazing adaptability in the face of adversity. In more northern climates we will likely see faster growth rates in deer populations but also greater risk from disease.

And the future is now. EHD has already become established in Pennsylvania.

With mild winters outnumbering the severe, wintering yards in Pennsylvania will never be a worry, but new disease threats within our deer herd likely will be.

-Duane Diefenbach
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,560 Posts
Here is hoping everyone takes this for what it is and not as part of the study and not all fact.

This is just a thinking point, a theory that has many truths but nothing that has been proven.

Not much more than any other opinion posted here. Except maybe the name of the person giving the opinion. Waugh!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,650 Posts
casey said:
So what do they predict will happen in Wisconsin as temperatures warm 6-8 F degrees?
I think this idiot alarmist from PSU that masquerades as a scientist better look for a new profession, maybe a burger flipper? If the worlds temps warmed 6-8 degrees from where the are now, they would be 2-4 degrees higher than ever documented through all the ice ages and subsequent warm trends. Obviously this person doesnt deal in reality, but if you keep shouting in, eventually someone in government will believe you and give you more funds for your supposed research.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,560 Posts
What agenda?

Why do I threaten you so much with my opinion? Waugh!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18,560 Posts
eventually someone in government will believe you and give you more funds for your supposed research.
I must say it did have a sort of sales pitch tone to it. Waugh!
 
1 - 20 of 128 Posts
Top