CACHE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) — Deer took flight on Thursday, Dec. 8, in Cache County as the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources conducted its yearly checkup of the deer population. It all started with a helicopter ride.  

It’s a bird; it’s a plane; it’s a deer. 

DWR captured deer and flew them to the hardware wildlife management area to get their all-inclusive yearly checkup. 

“It gives us a good index of how healthy the deer is, how healthy the range was throughout the summer and how well it will be able to survive during the winter,” said Mark Hadley, DWR northern region outreach coordinator. 

DWR employees weighed the deer, measured them, checked their fat and muscle content, gave them shots, checked for diseases, did bloodwork and more. 

Some deer liked the doctors more than others. Either way, this kind of work is necessary for the deer and the environment.

“To help the habitat and make it the best it can be for the animals, we need to have data to do that,” said Jim Christensen, DWR northern region wildlife manager. 

But why do they need to use a helicopter? DWR said it’s easier, safer and not detrimental to the deer. 

“A short period of stress for the deer typically doesn’t affect these deer at all,” Hadley said. 

The deer captured either had collars or received collars they can track year-round. Christensen said it is to monitor their survival and migration movements.

After all of the testing, these deer were let go, and DWR is now left with plenty of data to improve wildlife conditions in the state. 

“We’re trying to stay right on top of how are the populations doing and what can we do, can things be done to make habitat things better for the deer,” Hadley said.