‘Flying Deer’ Captured in Utah: Aerial Wildlife Monitoring


Utah wildlife officials recently shared a captivating video capturing what appears to be flying deer, an enchanting sight that, upon closer inspection, reveals a crucial wildlife conservation effort. Biologists utilize helicopters to safely capture and place GPS collars on these deer, facilitating the monitoring of their migration patterns.

Flying Deer Aerial Capture for Conservation

Contrary to Santa’s iconic reindeer, these airborne deer serve a different purpose. Annually, Utah’s Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) conducts a wildlife conservation initiative, capturing approximately 1,200 deer during winter. The captured deer undergo the placement of GPS collars, enabling researchers to study and understand their migration behaviors.

Flying Deer

Health Assessments and Release

The DWR video showcases the intricate process involved in this conservation effort. After capture, the deer are transported to a staging area, where thorough health assessments are conducted. This ensures the well-being of the animals before they are safely released back into the wild. The entire process aims to contribute valuable insights into deer migration patterns, aiding wildlife conservation efforts.

Watch the Conservation in Action

The shared video depicts a person securely attaching a deer to a helicopter, carefully lowering and releasing it, followed by health assessments and the placement of GPS collars. The meticulous procedures highlight the dedication of wildlife biologists to safeguard and understand the state’s deer population.

Watch the video

Community Response

Since its posting on December 20, the video has garnered over 5,000 views and numerous likes, showcasing the public’s interest in wildlife conservation efforts. Comments express appreciation for the gentle handling of the deer, thanking the DWR for its crucial role in preserving Utah’s diverse wildlife.

Joining the Conversation

  • “Great job! Kudos to the pilot for a gentle ‘deposit’!”
  • “Thank you, DWR for all you do!”
  • “Love this,” posted another.

This conservation initiative aligns with ongoing efforts to protect and understand wildlife in Utah, contributing to the broader conversation on environmental stewardship and species preservation.


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