Low-level helicopter surveys of bighorn sheep and elk are planned in Idaho this month by Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials, including flights near Salmon and Challis.

It takes between one and four weeks to survey each management area, Mike Demick with Fish and Game said in a news release. In the Salmon and Challis areas, elk surveys are planned in unit 36A. In March, a bighorn sheep survey is planned for the Salmon River below Panther Creek.

Mule deer and elk will also be captured and collared throughout Idaho during the survey period. The winter and spring herd survival rates can be monitored through the collared animals.

Fish and Game Wildlife Biologist Bret Stansberry of the Salmon office said disturbance to the animals in all the survey processes is “kept to the minimum needed to acquire accurate information; generally less than a few minutes.”

Stansberry also said if survey crews see people recreating in areas where they are conducting surveys, they will “do our best to temporarily avoid areas where we observe people.”

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