Visual display of the Aldo Leopold papers : 9/25/10-4 : Species and Subjects

				
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We left the island on this day. 
It will be seen, therefore, that our traps were set on nine 
different nights, and that we oecured deer on three of these nights, 
hd we known as much about the construction of traps then as we do 
now, it would undoubtedly have been possible to have captured at 
least six or eight deer, The fact is, deer entered the traps quite 
reqdily and the traps can be further modified to capture a larger 
percentage. 
With traps in use only nine nights, and with only nine traps, 
this is a very favorable average and will compare extremely well with 
the results obtained by wolf, fox and other trappers. 
Our main diffieulty was one of transportation. ',e had to haul 
a ton and a half load forty miles, over terrible roads and against 
many odds. Our return trip, likewise, was very difficult. Having 
succeeded under these difficulties we are prepared to say that deer 
trapping under ordinary circumstances can be(ide a fairly easy 
proposition. 
Handling the Deer: 
The deer handle very easily; more easily, in fact, than many 
barnyard cattle. This is due to the fact that they cannot see people 
and because they have no opportunity to do much mumping. The doe 
Jumped a few times when we first approached the trap, but from that 
time on she was docile.   We loaded the deer on a stoneboat and hauled 
them in to the buildings. The dow was kept in her crate for eight 
days. She ate readily, being fed twigs of balsam and cedar, apples, 
oats and corn as well as snow.   She was especially greedy for apples, 
and once ate five, one after the other, as fast as she could munch them.

On the third day she succeeded in turning about so that she faced the 
door. -After this she would paw vigorously whenever a hand or branch 
was put inside the orate, but she ate while we watched her and seemed 
to aept herself to the small quarters in excellent shape. 
The fawns handled so easily that we placed tko in a single trap. 
They seemed to have ample room and took their captivity quietly although

they would attempt to strike with the fore-feet whenever the door was 
raised. 
In addition to the two trapped fawns and the trapped doe, we 
housed four other fawns in traps ( two in a crate ), these fawns being 
those we ran down or cornered on snowshoes.   These fawns were not as 
husky as the trapped animals. One died in the crate dizng the first 
night, but since this animal was extremely weak when picked up, its 
death is in no way attributable to the Crap. fe fawn very weak when 
run down, died enroute to the game farm. 
Five deer housed in these traps were transported forty miles by 
team and snowmobile on February 24 and 25; four were liberated at the 
game farm in the pheasant rearing field. Most of the deer lay down 
whibb on the trip, and they were no worse to handle than any other kind 
of livestock. Infbct everyth     Indicates that both adult and young 
deer can be handled easily if indled correctly. 
 
 

					
				
					
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The four fawns mentioned above were captured as follows. On 
February 19 I located a fawn under the bluff by 6ayor Thompson's 
cabin. I followed it about a mile and a quarter before it turned 
back. On the 20th Xr. Johnson and I went to this bluff and cornered the 
fawn between us, gradually closing in on it. Finally we got the fawn 
where it had to run under a fallen ctdar in a run-way. It nale a 
brea* toward me and I succeeded in holding it. Mr. Johnson tied the 
deer with my shoe laces and we then carried it In to the buildings. 
It bleated like a young calf when first captured, but quieted down 
at once when we covered its head with a sweater so that it could not 
see us. This fawn was in fine condition and was not weak. It lived 
and is now at the game farm. 
On Pebruary 22 we started a herd of nine deer, with three fawns 
in this herd. We took the fawn tracks and found the first fawn 
floundering in the deep snow about a quarter of a mile away. It was 
very weak and did not bleat when tied up.   This is the fawn that 
later died in the crate. The University reports it in an emaciated 
condition, as we suspected. 
We followed a second fawn track and chased the animal about a 
half mile. It was very frisky and when we tried to tie its legs, 
bleated and kicked vigorously. It had an injured underlip, probably 
torn on a branch. It quieted down when its head was covered. The 
fawn died enroute to the game farm, probably as a result of the 
infected lip. 
On February 23, we searched under the East Side bluff, Mr. 
Johnson following the ice and I the top of the bluff. Mr. Johnson 
,'located a large fawn and signalled me. I went along the bluff a half 
mile to find a place to get down onto the ice. We then closed in on 
the deer. When we were but a few rods apart, the fawn jumped, from 
an ice cake right over Johnson's head. We then followed it up, 
catching up with it in some bad cake lee a half mile back along the 
shore. It had gone into the icy water when we were closing in on it 
and was no doubt cold. Just as we caught up to it, the fawn jumped 
Sand slipped on the ice, sliding about ten feet and striking its head 
on a big cake. We ran up to the animal thinking it had just been 
stunned, but it died immediately. an we draggd it in as a specimen. 
The University reports the animal in good condition except for a dis- 
located hip. This animal was probably a yearling. 
We found a fawn track on the East Side near the RYellw House" 
and discovered the fawnAs bed. We intended to drag a trap over to this 
spot or else to track the fawn down, but tw days later noticing that 
all the tracks were freshly snowed under, we hunted about and found 
the fawn dead in its bed. We searried it across the island for a 
specimen and the University reports to us that the fawn was in very bad 
condition. Although there are places on the island where food is 
available for fawns, the fawns do not move about much beyond a very 
restricted area. This fact is important. In other words, local food 
donditions are important and must be considered separately from 
conditions a mile or so away. 
The do* which was shot in January to send to the University 
Veterinarian Department, was not shipped out until our visit in Feb- 
ruary. .he University reports the doe in excellent condition, with