The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is in the planning stages of a helicopter capture project. The Dept. is planning to catch around 130 animals. This helicopter capture project will be taking place in the Wyoming Range. Much like earlier projects, animals will be netted from a helicopter by a professional wildlife capture crew. The deer will then be fitted with a GPS collar, as well as have a health check. After that, the deer will be released.

The majority of this project will take place in the Wyoming Range winter range between LaBarge, Kemmerer, and Evanston. However, roughly 25 deer will be collared in Star Valley for the first time. These Star Valley captures are expected to take place in the foothills of the Salt Range between Alpine and Smoot, and also in the Spring Creek area near Fairview.

This new research will allow biologists to build on existing research that has been ongoing in the Wyoming Range herd for the past 10 years. The 130 newly-collared deer will supplement the data of 80 deer that are already collared in the area. The deer being collared will be bucks, does, and fawns. This will bring the total up to 210 deer being collared within the Wyoming Range. Additionally, biologists hope that this will give them better insight into the largest deer herd in the state, estimated at 30,000 deer.

This helicopter capture project is a part of the state’s new statewide Mule Deer Monitoring Program. This program’s main goal is to study and help Wyoming’s struggling mule deer populations. You can read more about this program by clicking here. Likewise, you can read more about collaring deer by clicking here.

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