Crews will be out tagging mule deer next week in Chelan County

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Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife photo

A state contractor will be out tagging mule deer in Chelan and Kittitas counties next week and officials expect the deep mountain snow will be helpful in that effort.

“While high snow loads in some areas can contribute to stress of these animals in everyday life, snow often aids in the capture process, making it shorter and therefore less stressful for the deer,” WDFW said in a social media post.

The collaring allows Fish and Wildlife to study the movements of mule deer and helps prioritize habitat conservation and management efforts, said WDFW ungulate section manager Kyle Garrison.

Crews contracted by WDFW will use helicopters the reach about 20 adult females mule deer in each area of the east slope of the Cascade Mountains in the two counties.

The deer will be fitted with GPS satellite collars and released.

“In recent years, mule deer have lost winter habitat in the study areas to human development and remaining habitat has declined in quality due to factors such as drought, wildfire, and invasive plant species,” Garrison said.