Arrow-right Camera
The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
Cloudy 57° Cloudy
Sports >  Outdoors

Helicopter to be used in Idaho elk mortality study

FILE - Helicopter pilot Jess Hagerman swoops low as Rocky Spencer of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife hangs from the doorway and fires a tranquilizer dart, in air at right, into a Roosevelt elk during a capture procedure south of Elma, Wash., Saturday, March 9, 2002. Starting in mid-December, Idaho Fish and Game crews will be capturing and collaring elk using helicopters. (TONY OVERMAN / Associated Press)
FILE - Helicopter pilot Jess Hagerman swoops low as Rocky Spencer of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife hangs from the doorway and fires a tranquilizer dart, in air at right, into a Roosevelt elk during a capture procedure south of Elma, Wash., Saturday, March 9, 2002. Starting in mid-December, Idaho Fish and Game crews will be capturing and collaring elk using helicopters. (TONY OVERMAN / Associated Press)

Starting in mid-December, Idaho Fish and Game crews will be capturing and collaring elk using helicopters. Cow and calf elk are being fitted with radio collars to monitor their survival rates as part of an ongoing mortality study, according to an Idaho Fish and Game news release.

The study, which is in its fifth year, tracks the movements of elk and allows biologists to investigate elk deaths. Since the study started in 2014, the annual cow survival rate has been 94 percent, according to the news release. The calf survival rate for the winters of 2014-15 and 2015-16 was 80 percent.

However, calf survival rate dropped to 50 percent during the harsher, longer 2016-17 winter.

The elk will be captured with nets or tranquilizers depending on the terrain. Officials hope to capture and collar 60 elk. Currently there are 120 collared elk in the study. The captures will occur in the Silver Valley, the North Fork Coeur d’Alene River and the St. Joe River areas.

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

Local journalism is essential.

Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.

Active Person

Subscribe to the sports newsletter

Get the day’s top sports headlines and breaking news delivered to your inbox by subscribing here.