It’s a bird…It’s a plane…
No its helicopter chasing deer!
If you live in or are spending time around eagle in early January, you might see a low flying helicopter buzzing around town. Have no fear, it’s just the Colorado Parks and Wildlife office conducting their annual inventory of mule deer and elk. This process is essential to the CPW team to establish the management plan for the deer and elk population each year. Here is a note from Craig Wescoatt of the CPW.
“Colorado Parks and Wildlife will be conducting their annual helicopter inventory of mule deer and elk sometime during the first week or beginning of the second week of January. Times vary based on weather conditions. As Eagle residents are aware, the elk are moving down close to neighbors or in some cases into neighborhoods. These animals then usually retreat onto public lands during the day but stay in relative close proximity to the homes next to these areas. This means that a high possibility exists that for a short period of time, hopefully well under 10 minutes, a helicopter may be in relative close proximity to homes and doing exactly what CPW asks others not to do, disturbing wildlife. This annual inventory is the primary management tool that allows CPW to determine if herds are increasing, decreasing, are healthy or in need of study. The relatively short disturbance impacts are outweighed by the information garnered from this effort. CPW management of local species is heavily reliant on this inventory.”
With all that being said, we hope you drive and travel around eagle with some heightened awareness in the next two weeks and keep a lookout for wildlife on the road.