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Drone used to scout Skagit Valley elk herd

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MOUNT VERNON — Looking out over the town of Hamilton in the upper Skagit River valley from a hillside on state Department of Natural Resources land, a team of federal unmanned aircraft operators and local researchers scouted for elk.

They couldn’t see elk themselves from that high up, but they knew they were there. Using radio monitors, they noted the general location of collared animals before sending a former military drone over the landscape to capture video footage.

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