HUNTING – Researchers conducting a major study of white-tailed deer in northeastern Washington are asking successful hunters to collect certain organs when they’re field dressing does this season and bring them to collection stations.
Hunters who tag a female deer in Units 117 (Selkirk), 121 (49 Degrees North) or 124 (Mount Spokane) can contribute to the Fish and Wildlife Department study by bagging the heart, kidneys, reproductive tract and liver plus two teeth.
This extra effort can help the study peg the body condition of the deer as well as the conception dates, said study leader Woody Myers.
Hunters who bring in a complete set of useable samples will be entered in drawings for $100 gift cards in four categories: youth, senior, disabled and holders of antlerless permits.
Sportsmen’s groups are contributing to the prize drawings and the Inland Northwest Wildlife Council is going a step further by collecting the samples from the fresh road-killed deer they collect for local charity houses.
Hunters should get details on how to collect the samples and locations of collection barrels before going into the field. Request them by email from Woodrow.Myers@dfw.wa.gov.
349 elk counted at Turnbull Refuge
GAME – Elk are status quo but Moose are gaining ground at Turnbull National Wildlife Refuge, according to a Sept. 25-26 helicopter survey.
The annual survey conducted by the Washington Fish and Wildlife found 349 elk on or near the refuge, including 39 bulls, 207 cows and 103 calves, said Howard Ferguson, district biologist.
The overall number is slightly above average for the past eight years, but the ratio of bulls is slightly down as well as the ratio of calves to cows, he said.
“We counted 14 moose on this year’s survey, well above the eight seen on average and second only to the 18 moose seen during the 2009 survey,” he said. They also counted 216 wild turkeys.
Foul weather kills Oregon swallows
BIRDS – Oregon scientists say thousands of swallows died during recent Willamette Valley rains, likely of starvation because the birds feed on insects while flying and they couldn’t get out in the weather to feed.
Veterinarians said four days of steady rain and wind helped make September the wettest on record in the Valley. Storms came when birds would have been feeding in preparation for winter migration to Central and South America.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife says it got calls about dead and dying birds from residents ranging from the Port of Saint Helens on the Columbia River to Junction City north of Eugene.
Groups of 10 to 200 barn and violet-green swallows were reported dead or dying in barns and other structures where they perch.