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Solving Problems with Nature - Naturally

ERIC P. ORFF
Certified Wildlife Biologist
Wildlife Author - Wildlife Lecturer - Wildlife Photographer
Non-Lethal Control of Bats since 1983
nhfishandwildlif@aol.com

NH Nature

New Hampshire Nature Notes by Eric Orff

Friday 11/12/2004 Back to the deer bio checking station and a 3-legged deer.

Well, I wrapped up another deer biological checking station year this afternoon. At 12:06 it started snowing at Wildlife Sports and Taxidermy at the Massabesic Circle in Manchester. I checked nearly 40 deer on Wednesday, the opening day of the firearms season. I did another 23 yesterday on the holiday and finished up the year with another 15 today bringing my total for the year to 134. Most years, and I'm sure this year, I handle more deer than any other of the 20 biological checking stations statewide. About a quarter of the deer brought to my station are tagged on the special WMU-M antlerless permits, so I do have a leg up on most of stations, except for the East Kingston one. I did 106 deer last year. Wildlife Sports is up about 70 deer compared to this time of the season last year.

It always is a busy place with the parking lot filled with cars and hunters. Many are regulars as the inside crew seems to know nearly everyone's name. I see a number of familiar faces year after year, although I can't place a name on most of them. I could see the glee in the faces of the hunters as they arrived to run into the desk to buy a license as the snow tumbled down. There is hardly anything else that brings such a feeling of expectation to a hunters face as a snowfall early in the deer season.

Two UNH wildlife management major seniors stopped by for a couple of hours today. Some kind of class assignment I guess. Julie and Megan waited patiently and where able to watch me check 3 or 4 deer. Although my questioning of them revealed that neither hunt or fish as is the case of most "wildlife " students today. I did spend the better part of an hour with them sitting in the cab of my truck out of the dampness as I rambled on about things. Fatherly advice I wrote it off as. I got them to each grab a leg of a deer once to lift the doe fawn out of a trailer to weigh. Pretty much they stood back as I did my thing. They certainly didn't exhibit the enthusiasm for the job that I would look for if I were ever in a position to hire one of them. I guess dead things just were not their forte.

A 3-legged deer did come in as they were there. It looked to me like a pretty old injury right at the front shoulder. My guess is a run in with a car and not a bullet. I have seen three legged deer before but always much farther down the leg. I speculate that some of them might have been a shooting injury. It always amazes me how well they have healed. Some scar tissue on the nub of what was left of the shoulder but she was pretty well normal looking. In fact I didn't notice that she had only three legs until after we took her off the scale.

I'm certainly hoping that a little snow is left tomorrow as I will be out hunting!


   

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