Cranes on the brain
Things are regrouping here at the refuge as we had our final deer hunt the weekend before Thanksgiving. We've taken our deer check-in information and have started analyzing the data. The refuge looks at metrics beyond the harvest count such as success rate, average weight of year and a half old deer, and more. The data analysis helps the refuge with monitoring and management of the herd. Our total deer harvest count this season at Big Oaks was 409, an increase from last year.
Mark and I were able to visit Muscatatuk National Wildlife Refuge (which is close by in Seymour!) to help with a waterfowl survey. Muscatatuk comprises multiple wetland areas and is designated as a Continentally Important Bird area.
While helping with the waterfowl survey, we saw plenty of mallards, wood ducks, herons, geese, and coots. Below is a group of mallards swimming
This time of year, sandhill cranes begin migrating south for the winter and stopover in the refuge's wetlands. We were able to see hundreds of sandhill cranes flying into the area like in this video!
After taking time off for Thanksgiving, in the winter time, the interns will help with boundary postings and other upkeep of the refuge.