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Outdoors notebook: Research shows bucks less active in early morning |

Outdoors notebook: Research shows bucks less active in early morning

| Sunday, November 9, 2014 9:48 p.m.

Feeling the pressure?

There’s less than a week left in the statewide archery deer season: it ends Saturday. Hunters who haven’t killed a buck with their bow are running out of time.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to roll out of bed before the sun’s up.

Research looking at the movements of whitetails equipped with GPS collars in Pennsylvania has found that, during the first two weeks of November, bucks are least active just after dawn.

Chris Rosenberry, head of the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s deer section, recently penned an article for Penn State’s “Deer-Forest Blog” that said bucks moved less between 8-11 a.m. than at any other point of the day.

“But you better be in the woods and ready by 11 as buck movements increased to some of their highest levels from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m,” Rosenberry wrote.

Researchers tracked deer during two periods: Nov. 1-10 and Nov. 11-20. Movement patterns were largely the same for both, they found.

“So for this year’s season, be smart and you could get lucky. You don’t have to be an early bird to bag that buck,” Rosenberry wrote. “Pack a lunch and keep an eye out for those bucks that are cruising the woods at midday and early afternoon. You may have the best lunch date ever.”

Body cameras

Pennsylvania’s conservation officers have a new tool to use in the field, both for safety and efficiency.

Gov. Tom Corbett on Oct. 31 signed into law House Bill 2178, which gives officers with the Game and Fish and Boat Commissions the right to carry body cameras while on duty.

State and local police have long been allowed to carry the cameras, which can be clipped onto an officer’s uniform and are said to be similar to the dashboard cameras installed in most law-enforcement vehicles. Conservation officers were prohibited from using them, however.

Now that that’s changed, the Game Commission will be equipping officers with them immediately, executive director Matt Hough said.

Bear hunting

Hunters in Maine won a victory in last week’s election.

The Humane Society of the United States spent an estimated $2 million to $3 million pushing what was known as Maine Question 1. It was a ballot referendum asking voters to ban hunting bears with bait, hounds and trapping.

Sportsmen opposed the measure, as did the state’s wildlife agency, and voters rejected it. Randy Cross, a biologist with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, was quoted in media outlets as calling that a “win for science over emotion.”

Good deal

As hobbies go, hunting is a pretty good bargain, according to a new report.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation examined the cost of hunting versus the cost of other activities, such as golf or attending a professional baseball game. According to the report, the average cost of a day of turkey hunting is $37.54. By comparison, a round of golf was estimated at $72.54 and a day at the ballpark at $57.45. The cost of attending 10 movies — the equivalent time-wise of a day afield — was estimated at $185.

Lyme disease

Want to get rid of Lyme disease in an urban area? Control deer.

Scientists with the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s Wildlife Division recently published a study that found urban deer culls were highly effective at slowing the spread of Lyme disease. Cases dropped by 90 percent in two communities with regulated bowhunting seasons, they found.

Bob Frye is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @bobfryeoutdoors.

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