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IDFG To Capture Elk Calves As Part Of Research Study

As part of a long-term investigation, Idaho Department of Fish and Game biologists plan to capture and radio-collar approximately 30 elk calves on each of two north central Idaho study areas during late May and early June. Calves less than about four days old will be spotted from a helicopter, then biologists will attempt to capture them by hand. The calves will be weighed, measured, evaluated, and fitted with an expanding mortality-sensing radio collar. The radios will be monitored frequently and when a mortality signal is detected, a crew will visit the site as soon as possible to determine the fate of the calf. Calves will be captured from three areas - along the South Fork of the Clearwater River in big game unit 15, an area with good recruitment; along the Lochsa and North Fork of the Clearwater rivers in portions of big game units 10 and 12, areas that exhibits poor recruitment. With this calf mortality information, biologists hope to develop a better understanding of the factors that influence elk recruitment so the Department can better manage elk populations.