Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - 30

Two for the Ages

Not every deer survives a decade in the wild, but a lucky few beat the odds.
By Jeannine T. Fleegle
PGC Deer Biologist
Being an agency deer biologist, I
see a lot of deer pictures. And I mean
A LOT!
Everyone has a trail camera nowadays. I get pictures of deer with manes,
with hair that's white instead of brown,
and even with no hair at all. There
are deer with lumps and bumps; with
tongues that flop around, or even antlers that do.
But those deer with ear tags and
collars always draw the most interest.
Where was it caught? How old
is it? Where did it go? What did we

learn about it?
The truth is, many of these deer are
not tagged as part of our research but
are, in fact, escapees from cervid farms.
However, every now and again,
we get to tell the tale of one of these
ghosts on film.
A few months ago, a gentleman
gave us a ring to tell us about a picture
his trail camera had snapped of a doe
with an ear tag. The photo was clear
enough to make out a number - 151.
It certainly looked like one of our ear
tags - same size and shape.
Over the years, we have captured
and tagged thousands of deer. We have
also trapped deer in the same study ar-

Above at left, Bill Chaney, of Allport, hunted into the last hour of the 2007 firearms
deer season to take this 10-point, a 10 1/2-year-old that's the oldest on record to be
harvested in Pennsylvania. Six years later, the doe at right turned up on a trail camera
near the same area. It took some detective work, but Game Commission staff traced
the ear tag to a 2001 study, where the deer was captured as a 8.6-pound fawn.
30

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015

Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Intro
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Cover1
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - March 2015 - Contents
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