Ever noticed a deer wearing a big, bulky collar? There's a reason for it.
The Nebraska Game and Parks Commission has been working with the School of Natural Resources at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to study the state's mule deer population.
This month, for the second year in a row, the group of about 15 members has been equipping deer with monitoring devices to track their movement in both high-density and low-density areas around the state.
A helicopter crew first captured the deer in the northwest and southwest regions of the state, which can be seen in the video below:
According to the NGPC, these GPS devices will provide wildlife officials with satellite data on the herd's movements and potential survival rates in other areas.
Upon capturing the deer, researchers weighed the does, sampled their DNA and checked for pregnancy. Researchers will then monitor the does so they can capture and collar fawns as soon as their born.
"Our research in southwest and northwest Nebraska is an amazing opportunity to obtain intensive data on mule deer in areas in close proximity at different densities and experiencing different environmental conditions," UNL professor Dr. Benson told the NGPC. "This information will allow us to understand the population dynamics and habitat relationships that result in these different densities, which will have important implications for management of mule deer in Nebraska and should contribute broadly to understanding factors that limit mule deer populations across their range."
If you've ever seen a deer being carried away on a helicopter or walking around with a collar around its neck, now you know why!
Thank you to our wildlife agencies for all their hard work in making sure our wildlife is properly managed!