Flying deer? That’s business as usual in Utah

Last month, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources airlifted dozens of mule deer from Antelope Island State Park by helicopter to monitor their health. ©Dan Streiffert

Keeping an eye out for flying deer? That’s not so unusual for Utah wildlife biologists. Last month, the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources airlifted dozens of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) from Antelope Island State Park by helicopter to monitor their health. The deer were blindfolded and flown dangling from the aircraft in orange bags to the islands Fielding Garr Ranch. There, teams weighed and measured the deer and monitored their fat resources to gauge how well prepared they were for winter. They also drew blood, provided vaccines and in some cases fitted the deer with tracking collars.

“Doing the helicopter is one of the safest ways for the people … and for the animal,” Eric Anderson, a DWR district wildlife biologist, told the Standard-Examiner.

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