Pennsylvania Game News - March 2012 - 15
down an old snag that was in front of the tree where the cubs were. When the bucket truck arrived the cubs were as high in the tree as they could possibly be. I gave the bucket driver my snag pole and showed him how to use it. Using the hose from the fire truck the volunteer firemen aimed the water stream above the cubs forcing them lower and lower to the awaiting snare pole. The utility worker managed to snare one of the cubs and lowered him down to me. We wrapped the cub in a blanket and walked it over to the trap but it escaped before we could get it in and it ran off. During the confusion another cub scurried down the tree and ran off in the direction of the first cub. I then decided to continue with the capture of the two remaining cubs, and after quite an effort by the utility crews, we were successful in capturing both cubs. Both cubs were placed inside the culvert trap with the female. The process took nearly an hour, and to our surprise, the two escaped cubs came back and went up a nearby tree. This time they went up a 50-foot spruce tree thick with branches and, of course, they went near the top. The first thing we tried was to use the fire hoses to get the cubs to climb down within range of the tranquilizer rifle, but they were too smart for that trick again. It was then that I leaned over and asked the bucket driver if he was a good shot. He looked stunned but he said, “Yeah.” I loaded up a practice dart and told him to shoot a knot in a tree about 15 yards away. He hit the mark dead on. I then told him where to place the shot. I loaded a dart in the rifle and he proceeded to go up in the bucket until he had a clean shot.
After several tense moments he fired, hitting one cub perfectly. By the time he brought the bucket down so we could reload the rifle, the cub had succumbed to the effects of the drug. In fact he was wedged in a Y-branch and was hanging almost upside down. The bucket went up again and, once again, the dart hit its mark; that proved to be the easy part. Now we had to get the cubs down out of the tree safely. We had enough volunteers to man blankets to catch the cubs as they came down. Their fall, I hoped, would be broken by the many branches of the tree. I then directed the bucket operator to go back up and use a long pole to knock the cubs out of the tree. We then placed the blanket brigade on the side of the tree where the cubs most likely would fall. I got on the other