Deer get airlifted, taken by DWR for checkups

Dec 3, 2021, 4:39 PM
Deer are seen being lifted by a helicopter for annual health check ups. (DWR)...
Deer are seen being lifted by a helicopter for annual health check ups. (DWR)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- Utah Division of Wildlife Resources will be capturing lots of deer this season by helicopter to give them medical checkups and GPS tracking collars. It may seem a strange to pick up wildlife in this way, but DWR reports that their specialists are trained to gather the deer safely and after completing their health tests, they are released back into the environment.

DWR actually captures around 1,000 different animals including moose, bison, deer, elk, bighorn sheep, and longhorn. Most are taken throughout the months of November and December when they have migrated to lower elevations, but some in February and March as well.

According to DWR, these opportunities to run health assessments and track the deer are essential to understanding migration patterns and habitat needs of the animals.

“It’s interesting to follow an animal through its lifecycle — it teaches us a lot about their behavior and movements,” Jim Christensen, DWR regional wildlife manager, said.

Lots of backcountry is closed to the public for Wildlife Management Areas. These areas are crucial in reducing stress on animals like these deer.

“The challenge comes when deer are exposed to hiking and other disturbances day after day for months in a row,” Christensen said. “Having to constantly flee from people can wear deer down during a time of year when they need to conserve their energy and not burn the fat reserves they need to make it through winter.”

WMAs in Northern Utah will be closed to the public from Jan. 1 until the second Saturday in April.


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Deer get airlifted, taken by DWR for checkups