Tod's Blog

Adventures with family & friends and other things I'm passionate about…

Archive for February, 2009

We Like To Move It Move It

Posted by todblog on February 4, 2009

January 27, 2009

Dusk is a magical time-of-day where colors surrender to the advancing darkness and it brings a sense of security to those seeking comfort within its shadows. A gentle breeze rustles the few stubborn leaves remaining on a nearby oak tree and it carries the sweet aroma of ripe sliced pears, succulent apples and corn kernels lying on a grassy field. Moments later, a flicking tail or twitching ear materializes from the corner of the field. It is one of the stars of the show who appears like a ghost. One, two, three, four, maybe five or six light brown ghosts materialize from the woods without a sound and gradually emerge on the grassy field. It is a nightly performance that has been repeated over the past week except this time there is a truck parked several hundred feet away. The truck is parked strategically nearby with a good view of the field. The atmosphere within the truck is thick with anticipation as the occupants eyeball the ghosts, watching their every move. Binoculars scan the area looking for other ghosts yet to appear on the field. Taut cool fingers begin to tighten their grip on the truck door levers.

Some of the ghosts have their noses buried deep in the small piles of fruit and corn while others have their heads up scanning their surroundings with nervous tails flickering. Shortly, they too succumb to the irresistible treats before them and resume chowing down on dinner like all the nights before.

Binoculars shift to the left, then right, in an effort to quickly confirm the dinner guest count and that all guests are located properly. “On three,… one, two, three!” A net drops down on the dinner guests and the truck doors burst open with Carhartt chore jackets and rain pants swishing as sprinting legs and boots cover the distance as fast as they can. It’s another successful night with the Roseburg Columbian White-tailed Deer Capture Crew.

In 2003, the Douglas County population of Columbian white-tailed deer (CWTD) were removed from the Federal Endangered Species List which paved the way for the State of Oregon to actively trap and transplant CWTD. Since 2004, the capture crew has been zeroing-in on areas with high CWTD numbers, inviting them to fruit dinners several times a week from November through March, and relocating them into suitable historic habitat in Douglas County, Oregon.

The deer are quickly blindfolded and restrained with hobbles to calm them down and prevent injury to themselves and the capture crew. The deer are medicated, ear tagged and radio collared and placed in a large plywood box to transport each deer to a release site.

The capture crew is a hard working dedicated group consisting of volunteers and Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife employees. They have fine-tuned their deer capture and handling skills over the years and have managed to relocate a few hundred deer. Their work would not be possible if it weren’t for the thousands of dollars received in donations from license dollars, conservation organizations and cooperating private land owners who have contributed to this restoration effort.

I can honestly say, the capture crew likes to move it move it.

Setting the table for the dinner guests
Setting the table for the dinner guests under a 50′ x 50′ magnetic drop net
Wiring the rocket charges for the dinner guests
Sometimes rocket nets are used- wiring the charges before the dinner guests arrive.
Checking the wiring- looks good for a GO
Checking the wiring before showtime- looks good for a GO
Dinner guests arrive and are quick to chow down
Dinner guests arrive and are quick to chow down
bucksonbait
Dinner guests are served…
Ka BOOM goes the rockets and the net covers the deer
Ka BOOM- rockets deploy and the net covers the deer
Blindfolded and hobbled buck ready for transport
Blindfolded and hobbled buck ready for meds, tag, and radio collar
Fawn getting a set of hobbles
Fawn getting a set of hobbles
Keeping records on the deer, meds, tag #, radio frequency, etc.
Keeping records on the deer, meds, tag #, radio frequency, etc.

Administering the meds...
Administering the meds…

Placing deer in the transport box
Placing deer in the transport box
Radio collared doe ready to bolt out of the box
Radio collared doe ready to bolt out the door

A doe is released into her new home- We Like To Move It Move It
A doe is released into her new home- We Like To Move It Move It

Posted in 2009, Stories, Stuff I Get To Do | Tagged: , , , , | 13 Comments »