JEROME, Idaho — This winter, Idaho Fish and Game conducted deer and pronghorn capture operations in the Magic Valley. This is one of the first collaring projects to take place in the Magic Valley area. GPS collars provide data on causes of death, survival rates, migration corridors and habitat use.
This data provides necessary baseline information about mule deer and pronghorn within the region.
These operations are conducted during the winter because that's when big game congregate in large numbers.
"The reason we do it in the winter is because, that’s the time that gives us the best chance to get the data that’s going to actually help us manage the populations to be healthy populations. We keep our chase... very short, two to three minutes. It’s a one time thing, it’s not a repeated chase," said Sierra Robatcek, Regional Wildlife Biologist for Idaho Fish and Game.
Idaho Fish and Game uses collar data to inform businesses and agencies to help establish wildlife friendly fencing, energy development projects and recreation planning.
"Migration corridors and habitat use is really important data for us to use for things like technical assistance, so working with partner agencies like the Forest Service and the BLM who actually manage the landscape, we can provide the data to them to help inform some of their decisions," said Robatcek
Fish and Game is working with neighboring states on migration modeling efforts using collar data.
The survival information tracked by the collars also helps determine hunting tag limits.