Colorado Parks and wildlife officials are going hunting for big game this winter -- not to kill the animals, but to collar them.
Workers will be in low-flying helicopters and airplanes from early December through March to do an inventory of thousands of animals. They will also captured and radio-collar 75 elk, 90 moose, 20 desert bighorn sheep, 25 Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep and 1,300 mule deer.
Officials said with the data collected, agency researchers and biologists will track the progress of several wildlife management efforts, check the overall health of big game, help wildlife managers form population models and set future hunting license numbers.
The animals will be collared two different ways. Some will be fitted with a GPS or radio collar at the capture site and released within minutes. Others will be lifted and delivered to a nearby base camp where a group of researchers, veterinarians and volunteers will take blood samples and record body condition, weight, age and sex. A collar will then placed on the animal before it is released.
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