Between January and March of 2020, we placed GPS collars on an additional 45 white-tailed deer in the study area. Trapping efforts ended in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. During winter and spring of 2020, we recovered collars from the remaining 2018 deer in the study. As of August 1, 2020, we have 75 deer with active GPS collars from the 2019 and 2020 field seasons.
We will continue to monitor collared deer in real-time using GPS satellite technology. Locations are stored in the collar every 30 minutes, and we receive a location in real time every 2 hours. After 2 years, the collar drops off through a timed, automatic release mechanism. We then locate these dropped collars with GPS technology to download the remaining data points. We expect the final collars will drop off in March 2022.
2019 Field Season Update
Between January and May of 2019, we placed GPS collars on an additional 69 white-tailed deer in the study area. In addition to the 5 townships where deer were collared in 2018, we expanded into Westphalia and Riley townships during the 2019 field season. As of May 2019, we had 102 deer with active GPS collars: 31 males and 71 females. This included 35 deer collared in 2018 and 67 deer collared in 2019. Deer stop transmitting data for a variety of reasons, including hunter harvest and deer-vehicle collisions.
2018 Field Season Update
Between January and May of 2018, 28 male and 45 female white-tailed deer were equipped with global positioning (GPS) collars within 5 townships of central Michigan: Dewitt, Eagle, Meridian, Watertown, and Williamston. Deer also received yellow or white uniquely numbered ear tags. The study area includes a gradient from rural areas dominated by agriculture to suburban sprawls. Trapping efforts have focused around areas where CWD-positive deer have been detected on the landscape.