CDFW Using Helicopters to Survey Wildlife in Modoc, Lassen Counties

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has begun conducting a series of deer surveys in northern California this week using a helicopter. The survey work began Monday, Jan. 25 in Modoc County. Unless delayed by weather, surveys for deer will end this week in Modoc County and will resume in late February in Lassen County.

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The survey range includes areas used by deer in winter, between Fort Bidwell and Eagleville on the east side of the Warner Mountains, and on the west side of the Warner Mountains in the vicinity of Goose Lake and the Likely Tables.

“To accurately count deer, we need to fly fairly close to the ground, just above the tree line,” said CDFW Senior Environmental Scientist Richard Callas. “Our flight crew will avoid flying near homes and will avoid disturbing livestock such as horses.”

A locally owned and piloted helicopter will be used for the deer surveys. CDFW biologists will be on board to count the number of deer seen as the helicopter flies along a series of predetermined flight paths.

Survey data collected by biologists is vital to CDFW’s efforts to manage and conserve the state’s wildlife populations. The Modoc and Lassen surveys are part of a larger CDFW effort to estimate population sizes of deer herds throughout northern California.