DNR nets deer in herd research effort - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

DNR nets deer in herd research effort

  By Pam Warnke - bio | email | Twitter | Facebook

SHAWANO COUNTY (WAOW) -- It's a deer hunt like you've never seen. From the sky DNR workers cast a net over the deer population in Shawano County.

"What we're interested in doing is trying to better understand the deer mortality rates across the state," said Chris Jacques a deer research scientist with the DNR.

This is a real life case study taking aim at the state's deer population near the Navarino Wildlife Area. 13 deer came in Friday with 30 bucks and 30 does the goal for this survey.

"We hope by capturing these deer quickly with little activity that we can get our sample or radio collared individuals in the air all at one time," Jacques said.

Flying high through the air each deer comes in by helicopter. They are tranquilized and then marked with radio collars and ear tags. Eventually they are released back into the wild.

"So we can monitor the survival status of these individuals immediately and monitor them through space and time throughout the duration of that animals life," he said.

The project is the first of its kind in this state. The DNR plans to capture more deer each winter to make up for any that die off. Researchers expect the study to take place over the next four years with the results providing solutions to how they estimate the population.

"We've got a lot of traps that we built for a reason. Not only to catch deer, but to eventually turn this study over to the hunters of the state who can continue to do the trapping and tagging in other parts of the state-in areas that we can't study right now. So, if we can help with the capturing of those we can make survival estimates annually to better manage the deer resource for our hunters."

400 hunters are helping the DNR. And, Rusk County is the next stop for this research project. In all, DNR leaders will capture and tag 120 deer. The cost is 465 dollars per deer.


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