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DWR crews relocate 100 mule deer off Antelope Island

DWR crews relocate 100 mule deer off Antelope Island
Posted at 8:25 PM, Jan 20, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-20 22:25:31-05

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah -- The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources airlifted 100 mule deer off Antelope Island, Tuesday, to help control its growing animal population.

The process of capturing the mule deer is called mugging, basically the helicopter pilot herds the animals, until a man armed with a net gun can get a drop on them.

“They actually call them muggers and put hobbles on the legs and blindfolds over the eyes -- that helps calm the deer,” said Josh Pollock a wildlife biologist for DWR.

Once the biologists get the does on the table, they check each animal’s weight, tag their ears, give them shots, take a blood sample and monitor temperature.

The information gathered provides a baseline for what's happening on the island and gives an idea of the overall health of the animals.

“The deer have come back very healthy, as a matter of fact some of them has been as fat as we've ever seen them on their rumps,” said Chad Wilson a wildlife biologist for DWR .

Since hunting is restricted on Antelope Island, they have to remove the deer to keep them from competing for resources, which can lead to a population crash.

The DWR crew’s objective is to reduce the deer population. The hope is to reduce it to 350 from 600 to 800.

The deer they catch during this roundup will end up in Mt. Dutton and San Juan in central Utah.