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You can help wildlife by returning tracking collars intact

Cheyenne – The Wyoming Game and Fish Department is encouraging anyone who finds or harvests an animal with a radio collar or transmitter to return it as soon as possible to any Game and Fish office or employee throughout the state.

“Between our projects and those through the University of Wyoming Cooperative Fish
and Wildlife Research Unit, there are a lot of radio-collared animals around the state,” said Laramie Wildlife Biologist Lee Knox.

Throughout Wyoming, people may come across collared big game animals including moose, mule deer, pronghorn, bighorn sheep or elk. In addition, some game birds have been marked with radio telemetry devices as have trophy game animals, including black bears, grizzly bears, mountain lions and wolves.

“Sometimes we have animals that have been collared or radio-tagged in other states or by other agencies that turn up in Wyoming as well, and gaining insight into the travels of the animal allows managers to better understand their long-range movement patterns on the landscape,” said Knox.

While it is not illegal to harvest a radio collared animal, Game and Fish asks the collar be removed without cutting or damaging the band or radio. The collars can be unbolted or slid off the neck of the animal. Cutting the band can damage the electronic components that extend into the belt material, and the collar can not be put on another animal until repairs are made.

If you do find a collar, contact the nearest Game and Fish Department office or call the Cheyenne Headquarters at (307) 777-4600.