Photo courtesy of Utah Division of Wildlife Resources
LOGAN – As part of an ongoing program to assess the health and migration patterns of big game animals in the state, the Division of Wildlife Resources will use a helicopter to capture several dozen deer in Cache and Rich counties.
Residents in Cache Valley will likely see a helicopter buzzing around the foothills for a day or two in early March, according to the DWR.
Biologists plan to capture a total of 45 deer at five different sites in Cache and Rich counties, including Hardware Ranch, Millville Face Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and Richmond WMA.
The animals are typically caught by a helicopter crew that uses a net gun and “so it will sound like gunshots.” They plan to be in each area for a couple of hours, according to Jim Christensen, DWR regional wildlife manager.
“It’s the second capture that we’ve done this year,” he said.
“We go in in December and do an initial catch of deer and do a health assessment and place GPS collars on the animals to learn more about their migration patterns. Then in March, we recapture the deer and do another health assessment to get an idea of rate of decline in their fat reserves throughout the winter,” Christensen said.
These studies help biologists determine overall winter survival rates and where to implement habitat projects to improve winter and summer feeding ranges for big game, according to the DWR.
“A healthy population is important for the overall sustainability of the herd,” Christensen added. “We want to manage the deer to a point where we have them for future generations to enjoy. Part of that is sportsman based. People also like to go watch deer and take photographs and videos. We are just trying to be the best stewards of the land and resources as possible and ensure the population remains sustainable.”
The Millville Face and Richmond WMA’s are closed for the winter season and will open again April 11, 2020.