NC Candid Critter Volunteer Experience: Deployment 6 Set-up & Pick Up

For our sixth deployment with the NC Candid Critter project we traveled to Mitchell County. If you still haven’t heard of this awesome citizen science run project and you are thinking about getting involved, check out my first post on our experience with the NC Candid Critter project.

This time we chose to deploy cameras in Mitchell County. Only a 45 minute drive from us, crossing from North Carolina through Tennessee and back into North Carolina, we chose Mitchell based on an email we received about data deserts. The NC Candid Critter project currently has 27 counties where there has been little to no activity in terms of deployments, they call these areas data deserts. Mitchell was among one of the counties that is a data desert.

Tyler and I felt like the least we could do for this amazing project is drive to a new county to do a deployment. He picked our spots on the site deployment map, not too far off of a main road as we are not familiar with the area. We deployed these cameras the same day that we picked up our fifth deployment.

Both of our sites were only a couple of hundred yards from the road and we hung Tyler’s camera first. Nestled in a grove of rhododendron, we weren’t initially sure about that spot but it looked like there was some game trail sign. We walked down the main road to access a gated road that lead us to my spot.

In my spot, it looked like the forest was relatively new growth. It was fairly thick but I saw deer sign in terms of rubs, and old scat. I was taken aback by the size of the scat as I had never seen deer scat that big before. After hanging the camera I looked up information on deer scat and found out that scat can vary in size form ¾ – 1 inch long, depending on maturity of the animal which seemed promising.

Scat we saw while deploying my camera.

When we went to pick up our cameras we heard a fawn bleat and we froze! We stood in silence and just a few minutes after heard a doe grunt! Other than that we didn’t hear or see any movement but knew deer were close. When we looked at our cameras, both appeared to have been moved, possibly by a bear again but this time we had no definitive photographic evidence, but we each had around 150 pictures.

Some of our other deployments have had more pictures but for this deployment we caught a wide variety of wildlife and that compensated for quantity. We both had a few rabbits and I even had a very nice buck in velvet. In the slideshow below are some of the pictures from both of our cameras from our sixth deployment.

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Stay tuned for seventh deployment as we return to Mitchell with more cameras!

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