Moose & Elk To Get GPS Collars

We finally figured how all the moose and elk of Eastern Idaho are able to navigate the mountains so well: GPS!

It must drive those critters crazy to hear, “Turn right in 400 feet. Recalculating. Arriving at Winter Range on left. Recalculating.” Apparently when the snow melts the collar sends the game to higher elevations using the direct route to avoid traffic jams too.

Idaho Fish & Game Regional Wildlife Biologist Shane Roberts is especially in tune with big game movements because the first project he has slated for this winter is to capture and put GPS collars on 30 moose and 30 elk as part of a joint project between the Wildlife Conservation Society, Idaho Transportation Department and Fish and Game.

In addition to using helicopters to trap moose and elk, Fish and Game will also be trapping mule deer later this winter as part of an ongoing study to monitor winter survival.

Along with trapping, hired helicopters are also used to conduct aerial surveys of various deer and elk populations. All of this work requires low-level flying that can be dangerous. Over the past decade, aerial surveys have resulted in minor and serious injuries to Fish and Game personnel and the deaths of three biologists and two hired pilots.

All Fish and Game employees who fly must attend training conducted by Idaho Division of Aeronautics and follow strict flight protocols. Pilots and aircraft hired by Fish and Game must follow precise training and maintenance certification guidelines specified by the U. S. Department of Interior.

Comments & Discussion

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  1. Can’t help but think all those choppers buzzing around overhead aren’t the most calming things for all those critters on the ground. Good thing they don’t have rifles, I guess.

    EDITOR NOTE–Gordon, you talkin’ about the critters or the choppers having rifles?

  2. Lets see, how can we hack into the GPS units? Sure would make that hunting easier.

    EDITOR NOTE–Sounds like you are the kinda guy who would turn around “deer whistles” on car bumpers during the season too!

  3. I propose that they contract with Rex Rammell, Idaho’s own “Elk Whisperer,” to install the collars.

    He’s probably looking for work. While he’s at it, maybe he should put one of them collars on his own self, so it’s easier to keep track of HIM!

    (Sorry. I digress.)

  4. Dang why didn’t I think of that Editor?

  5. Let’s see! Wolves kill lots of Elk Moose, and Deer. When the snow gets deep these animals move to lower elevation for food. Wolves follow them and continue to eat them as their primary food source. If the snow is too deep, they will die of exposure or lack of food. Then the wolves will feed on the carcasses When the snow leaves, they return to the high meadows and then the wolves will specialize in taking the fawns and calves. There are significantly fewer game animals today than 10 years ago. Now, how much money will be spent for these same results? Looks like someone got an “A” in grant writing!!!!

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