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DNR to conduct aerial survey of deer through February | Environment

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DNR to conduct aerial survey of deer through February
DNR to conduct aerial survey of deer through February

Snow-covered ground helps biologists to tally in chronic wasting disease zones    

Helicopter teams will conduct aerial deer counts throughout Dane and Iowa counties and near Baraboo from Wednesday through mid-February, according to the state Department of Natural Resources.

DNR biologists are conducting aerial deer counts in portions of the chronic wasting disease management zone.

Regional spokesman Bob Manwell in Fitchburg said in a news release Wednesday that completion of the deer count operation is dependent on the presence of several inches of snow, which helps deer stand out on the landscape from the air.

Areas in western Dane and eastern Iowa counties and in the Baraboo area by Devil’s Lake State Park are scheduled for survey flights, officials said.

The DNR said about 260 square mile sections will be surveyed.

 The helicopter deer survey flights are conducted during daylight hours, flying about 100-150 feet above tree-top level at speeds of 35-40 mph.

The DNR explained that deer surveys using fixed-wing aircraft are also done at about 500 feet above ground in straight line transects oriented east-west and extend across the length of some of the CWD Deer Management Units. About 3500 linear miles will be surveyed in the current CWD management zone.

The DNR said helicopter and fixed-wing surveys are used by wildlife managers to estimate populations of various wildlife species, including deer, beaver, otters, ducks, eagles, ospreys, and trumpeter swans.

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