Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 33

FOOT SNARES and drags used to capture bears in the late 1960s and early 1970s. elaborate cubby sets. I had learned through trial and error that cubby sets needed to be large if they were to be effective. Baiting with a sheep or pig’s head usually did the trick. The cubby itself was an inverted “V” built of logs and measuring at least two feet high, six feet wide and six to eight feet in length, with the bait in a hole at the apex of the V. A complex pattern of small stepping logs was also constructed. As the bear approached the cubby, the stepping logs guided the placement of the bear’s feet so effectively that its right front foot landed on the snare’s trigger as soon as the bait was reached. After the bear was caught it usually destroyed the cubby. Construction of the cubby sets was labor intensive, and they could not be reused. I knew I needed a more efficient method. When visiting baiting areas, bears used specific trails to enter and depart, so I decided to use trail sets instead of cubby sets. The effort expended in construction was much less and proved effective. A location on the trail where the bears stepped over a log was located and the snare concealed, flanked by stepping sticks. The disturbance to the trapping site was slight and easily recycled. This became the standard set used for the remainder of the study. I remember one particular occasion when I had to track a large snared bear into a hemlock thicket. The tenseness of the situation is still vivid in my mind today. It was a hot, humid July day, and the air was still. I slowly followed the trail into the thicket. Stopping and listening after each step, I gradually moved deeper into the darkness and gloom of the thicket. I’m sure I questioned my career path for an instant, but it wasn’t the time to think of much else but the bear in the snare somewhere ahead of me. The insects continued APRIL 2010 buzzing, but another sound soon reached my ears. It was faint at first but unmistakable — the sound of an animal breathing heavily. I froze and stared into the darkness and slowly the shape of an exhausted bear appeared 30 feet to my right. It was on its side with the cable loop around its right foreleg. The area around it was devastated. I began to relax and had nothing to fear, because the bear was too tired to get up. Once captured, the bears were immobilized using a CO2-powered dart gun. The drug we used gave us a limited period during which the animal was completely immobilized. It did not put the bear to sleep, though, but rather blocked the nerve/muscle synapses, preventing the animal from moving. The bear was awake and fully aware of what was happening, but simply couldn’t move. Great care had to be taken to minimize anything that could elevate the bear’s anxiety level. Conversations between technicians had to be kept low and minimal. A cloth was usually placed over the bear’s eyes to reduce visual stimuli. During this period of immobilization the bear was weighed and measured, ear-tagged, tattooed on the inside of the upper lip, and radio collared. All of this had to take place within a 15-minute window. The research team (usually myself and one assistant) had to be organized, and our tasks well planned and carried out with as little disturbance as possible. When finished, I would remain in the area

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010
Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Contents
A Chocolate-Covered Cream-Filled . . . Gobbler
The Close Call
Silent Whispers
The Shot Not Taken
Eastern Coyote
A Grandparents’ Pride, A Grandson’s Gift
In the Company of Children
A Jake for Ben
Early Bear Management
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Lock, Stock & Barrel
Fun Game
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Life & Times of the Whitetail Biologist
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - A Chocolate-Covered Cream-Filled . . . Gobbler
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 6
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - The Close Call
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Silent Whispers
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 14
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - The Shot Not Taken
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 16
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Eastern Coyote
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - A Grandparents’ Pride, A Grandson’s Gift
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - In the Company of Children
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 25
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - A Jake for Ben
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Early Bear Management
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 32
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 37
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 42
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 51
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 58
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Lock, Stock & Barrel
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 60
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - BB1
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - BB2
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - April 2010 - Cover4
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