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Beginning this month, Idaho Fish and Game staff will use low-flying helicopters to count deer and elk populations. Flights are scheduled across the state including the Upper Snake Region into March.

YELLOWSTONE — Beginning in December, Idaho Department of Fish and Game staff will use low-flying helicopters to count deer and elk populations. Flights are scheduled across the state including the Upper Snake Region into March.

“These surveys provide crucial information to guide our management decisions,” Curtis Hendricks, Wildlife Manager in the Upper Snake Region, said.

“Flying is not without risk, but it is how we provide accurate information to hunters about the health and distribution of our big game herds.”

Care is taken minimize disturbance to the animals and prevent the expenditure of valuable energy reserves. Generally, the information can be gathered within a few minutes or less of spotting an animal.

“There are some late-season hunts in progress during this time, and we are cognizant of that,” says Hendricks. “We will do our best to minimize the disturbance to hunters should we encounter them.”

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Idaho Department of Fish and Game will capture and collar hundreds of mule deer and elk statewide. Crews will monitor the collared animals to track herd survival through the winter and early spring.

In addition to surveys, the department will capture and collar hundreds of mule deer and elk throughout the state. Crews will then monitor the collared animals to get a better idea of herd survival through the winter and early spring.

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