Beginning December 9, Colorado Parks and Wildlife biologists will assess deer and elk populations by taking low-altitude helicopter flights in southeast Colorado, west of Interstate 25.
Then, beginning December 15, biologists will launch similar helicopter flights in the southeastern plains of Colorado to the east of I-25.
Southeast Region residents can expect low-flying helicopters that spend a small amount of time in a specific area and then move on searching for more deer, elk and bighorn sheep.
The flights beginning December 9 will target El Paso and Teller counties before sweeping into Park and Fremont counties, north of U.S. Highway 50, and then through Lake and Chaffee counties. Then the biologists will fly in south through Pueblo, Custer, Huerfano and Las Animas counties.
The eastern flight plan calls for helicopters to tour along the South Republican River drainage from Flagler to the Kansas state line. Then the helicopters will turn south into Kit Carson and Cheyenne counties followed by tours of Kiowa, Prowers and Baca counties.
The helicopter surveys will conclude with flights along the Arkansas River from the Kansas state line to Colorado Highway 71 and southwest along the Purgatoire River.
If the weather permits, CPW biologists hope to conclude their flights east of I-25 before Christmas. Helicopter surveys west of I-25 could continue into early January.