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Winter wildlife work in the Clearwater Region

You may have wondered, what do biologists do in the winter?! Well, even though we typically think of the 'field season' as the spring/summer months, Clearwater Region wildlife staff have a large portion of their work scheduled throughout the winter season. Area residents should be aware that they may see the survey helicopter flying low over the landscape over the next couple of months.

Mule deer surveys are planned for Game Management Unit (GMU 14 -areas from Grangeville to Riggins) between Dec 11-15 to determine herd composition ratios (fawns/does, bucks/does). Staff will also be capturing elk in the greater Slate Creek area of GMU 14 and moose in GMU’s 8, 8A, and 10A between Dec 15-21 to place radio transmitters on animals to determine movement patterns and survival. Finally, Fish and Game will be surveying for herd abundance in GMU 14 for mule deer and elk and elk in the Palouse zone between Jan 1-30. 

The capture and survey schedule may be adjusted depending on weather conditions, helicopter availability and how much area staff are able to cover each day.  Various factors are considered when scheduling wildlife work (personnel and public safety, wildlife welfare, etc), especially in the winter months. 

Why are aerial surveys important? Check out the link here to learn more: Why aerial surveys are important to managing big game in Idaho | Idaho Fish and Game

For questions or more information, contact the regional office at (208) 799-5010.