Wildlife officials to conserve Washington’s deer population using helicopters

Mule Deer
Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will use helicopters to conserve the state’s mule deer population.

In mid-January, professional crews plan to use helicopters to capture 20 adult female deer. WDFW will use humane methods to fit GPS satellite collars on the deer to track their migration patterns.

Data gathered from the collars will help the WDFW protect the mule deer population. The deer habitat in Eastern Washington has been dwindling.

“In recent years, mule deer have lost winter habitat in the study areas to human development and remaining habitat has declined in quality due to factors such as drought, wildfire, and invasive plant species,” WDFW ungulate section manager Kyle Garrison said.

The collars are programmed to fall off after four years of wear. They will then be gathered by WDFW staff.

RELATED: Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife investigates elk poaching

RELATED: Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife highly concerned about chronic wasting disease