- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 14, 2016

SPEARFISH, S.D. (AP) - State wildlife officials are working to put collars on newborn deer in the Black Hills region to track how many survive.

Last weekend likely was the peak of birthing activity by does, according to the Black Hills Pioneer reports (https://bit.ly/1UNdF9q ). State Game, Fish and Parks Resource Biologist Chris Cudmore said the goal is to collar 150 fawns for the study.

Cudmore said that the department’s staff began capturing deer on June 6.

The survey will provide an estimate of how many fawns survive their first year. By that age, they can find food on their own.

That information combined with other data such as harvest estimates and deer surveys provides a population estimate, and helps determine how many tags are issued to hunters.

The collars are designed to gradually break down and come loose. Researchers can then retrieve small transponders inside.

According to Cudmore, researchers have to move quickly to collar the fawn once it is captured so the animal is not harmed. If researchers stay with the fawn for too long, there is a chance that its mother will abandon it.

The fawn can also be stressed to the point of death if researchers stay with it for too long.

“As soon as we catch it, its heart rate instantly goes up,” Cudmore said. “102-103 is their normal basal temperature. But as soon as they get to 107, that starts to create brain damage. Much above that, they die. We want to make sure we minimize that.”

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Information from: Black Hills Pioneer, https://www.bhpioneer.com

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