DWR Biologists Use Helicopter Rides, Ultrasound, To Check on Deer Pregnancies

Mar 5, 2019, 6:28 PM | Updated: 6:41 pm

CACHE COUNTY, Utah — Pregnancy checkups are part of the routine, even for some deer.

Several does were airlifted by helicopter Tuesday to a site at the Hardware Ranch Wildlife Management Area, where teams of biologists, and volunteers were waiting to check their vitals.

Among them, Brigham Young University Graduate Student, Sydney Lamb was heading up efforts to check on their fawn, waiting to be born.

“We’re looking at survival, as well as trying to understand some of the reasons why they may or may not be surviving,” Lamb said. “It’s important to fawn survival, how fit their mothers are, and what kind of like habitat conditions that their mothers can provide for them, and some of that’s compounded by weather.”

BYU Graduate Student Sydney Lamb

Pursuing a masters’ degree in wildlife and wildlife conservation, Lamb’s study is funded, in part, by Sportsmen for Fish and Wildlife, the Mule Deer Foundation, and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, or DWR.

Lamb says the study has given her a greater appreciation for the wild animals.

“These animals are tough,” Lamb said. “They survive a lot of pretty difficult situations especially as far as weather goes in terrain, in the fact that a lot of does give birth to twins. It’s pretty impressive to me.”

Biologists use a portable ultrasound to check on the fawns, as well as several other tools. Tracking devices, inserted into the soon-to-be mother deer, fall out when the new does are born, allowing the DWR to catch up with them soon after.

DWR Biologists use portable ultrasound devices to check on the pregnant does

“We’re able to go in and find the fawns within one to three days of birth,” Lamb said. “They just kind of hunker down there.”

The DWR started using the ultrasound machines several years ago to track the survival rates of the fawn which, Cache District Wildlife Biologist Jim Christensen, said usually sits at around 50 percent. Those numbers vary, depending on the weather and food available to them.

While the study helps the DWR figure out how many hunting licenses they can issue, Christensen says it benefits many other people too.

“People across Utah love deer. They love to see them. They love to watch them. They love to hunt them,” Christensen said. “And so they’re very interested in the survival and general well-being of the deer across the state.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

16-year-old Ayden at Red Butte Garden....
Shara Park

Wednesday’s Child: Ayden hopes to be an author

For this week's Wednesday's Child, 16-year-old Ayden is looking for a family to encourage him to reach his goal of writing imaginative stories.
14 hours ago
Karah Brackin

Granite School District facing staffing shortages

Despite the pandemic, Granite School District’s spokesperson, Ben Horsley, said they have always needed more paraeducators. 
14 hours ago
Orem High School student council and cheerleaders getting ready to welcome their fellow students....
Matt Rascon

Thousands of students return to school in Alpine School District

The Alpine School District readies itself to welcome its 85,000 students back to the classroom.
14 hours ago
Follow @KSL_AlexCabrero...
Alex Cabrero

Provo sculptor to unveil latest creation at Little League World Series this week

For the first time, a team from Utah is in the Little League World Series. The tournament in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, will also feature a Utah sculptor who will be unveiling quite a statue.
14 hours ago
(Weber County Sheriff's Office)...
Madison Swenson

Vehicle recovered from Pineview Reservoir after leaving roadway

A vehicle was recovered from Pineview Reservoir Tuesday after authorities say it left the roadway.
14 hours ago
First responders at the fatal crash on Trappers Loop. (Mountain Green Fire Protection District)...
Michael Houck

Motorcyclist dead after crash, thrown ‘150 feet’ into embankment on Trappers Loop 

A motorcyclist is dead after a crash on Trappers Loop, causing him to be thrown down the embankment.
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
DWR Biologists Use Helicopter Rides, Ultrasound, To Check on Deer Pregnancies