Idaho Crews Take to the Sky in Search of Panhandle Elk

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Low-flying helicopters may be spotted in north Idaho as Idaho Fish and Game biologists deploy the next round of elk tracking collars.

Helicopter crews will fly the Silver Valley, North Fork Coeur d’Alene River and St. Joe River drainages to capture and collar elk for the sixth year of an ongoing elk survival study. This data helps inform big game seasons and address factors limiting to herd health and hunting opportunity.

Over the winter, crews will capture up to 60 calves and fit them with a GPS collar. Collars are made to expand as the animal grows and will eventually drop off male calves as they mature, but will remain on cows. Collars track where and when an animal moves. From this, biologists learn about elk habitat use, seasonal movements, and perhaps most importantly, determine how many die and what caused their deaths.

Go here to read more about the study.

(Photo source: Idaho Department of Fish and Game)