Biologists from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources a (DNR) are serving as an eye in the sky as they conduct the annual elk population count.
“Our goal is to keep as many of the elk as we can within the elk range, which is basically from Gaylord to Vanderbilt, Atlanta to Onaway,” Katie Keen, DNR communications coordinator, told UpNorthLive.com. “That kind of makes a little square.”
Crews flew some 800 feet above the ground to conduct the count. After the first day, they spotted about 100 elk.
“Last year we saw right around 800 elk, and our model produced that we had a population of around 1,100, so we’re anticipating we’ll see eight to nine hundred elk this year,” said Mark Monroe, DNR wildlife technician.
Estimating an elk population is crucial because that helps determine how many elk tags will be available to hunters this fall.
(Photo source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources)