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Neonate Captures Summer 2017

The summer of 2017 began our second field season capturing and monitoring mule deer fawns from our radiocollared females. In addition to fawn work, we initiated our first field season of capturing and monitoring elk calves that belong to the 35 adult female elk that are collared for the study. These monitoring efforts aim to assess cause-specific mortality, recruitment into the population, sex ratios, and to detail potential dispersal from the population.

This summer we caught 54 fawns 17 elk calves belonging to our radio-collared females. Of these 54 fawns, 30 were males, and 24 female, almost a 50/50 split. Interestingly, over 80% of the calves captures were male. On average, fawns weighed about 3.1 kg (~6.8 pounds), compared to elk calves that weighed on average 21.6 kg (~47 pounds), over 8 times the size of a mule deer fawn!


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