Washington state helicopter crash kills 1 during mule deer survey

POMEROY, Wash. — Officials say one person has died following the crash of a helicopter contracted by Washington state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife to help with mule deer surveying.

Garfield County Sheriff Drew W. Hyer says the crash happened at about 2 p.m. Saturday.

The investigation has been turned over to the Washington State Patrol, the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Fish and Wildlife spokesman Bruce Botka said Sunday that a pilot and two crew members were aboard the helicopter when it crashed. He says the helicopter was operated by Hell’s Canyon Helicopters.

The crew had been contracted to shoot nets onto mule deer. After the deer are trapped, the helicopter lands so the crew members can take samples from the deer and put tracking collars on the animals.

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