The Arizona Game and Fish Department is conducting aerial surveys of deer and javelina populations in Southeastern Arizona this month, with some of the surveys planned for areas in and around Santa Cruz County.
On Jan. 9 and 10, a survey is scheduled for the Patagonia area of Game Management Unit 35B, which covers county areas south and east of State Route 82.
Then on Jan. 15 and 16, a survey is scheduled for the Santa Rita Mountains area of GMU 34A, which includes areas east of Interstate 19 and north and west of State Routes 82 and 83.
AZGFD said the surveys will involve helicopter flights lasting up to five hours, and added that fixed-wing aircraft may also be used.
The agency said it routinely conducts big game surveys with aircraft, calling them a “vital tool used by wildlife managers to accurately set annual hunt permit numbers to ensure the fitness of big game populations.”