Will Radio Collar Tracking Help Save This State’s Deer?

Severe temperatures, disease, hunter and natural predation … it’s all a recipe for one of the toughest areas of survival for big game species including deer, yet they manage to make it each winter to spring.

South Dakota wildlife officials want to find out more about the state’s population and have undertaken a radio collar research program to do so. More than 560 white-tailed and mule deer, including fawns, have been captured and outfitted with transmitters in five areas of the state.

“The primary purpose is to figure out what’s affecting fawn recruitment,” South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks biologist Nathan Baker told the Pierre Capital Journal.

With better information about fawn survival, trends and overall population numbers, while factoring in data including annual hunter kills, weather and others, biologists hope to get a more clear picture of the state’s population. Then they believe they can better and more quickly adjust the tags issued to hunters.

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