02/28/2014 03:16 EST | Updated 04/30/2014 05:59 EDT

Saskatchewan researchers to capture moose with helicopter net gun

SASKATOON - Researchers will soon be taking to the air in a helicopter in the hope of capturing moose with a net gun south of Saskatoon.

A University of Saskatchewan research team is trying to learn more about moose that live on farmland, including what they eat and when and where they cross roads.

The university says a professional helicopter wildlife capture crew uses a special gun that shoots a net over the moose, and then a satellite tracking collar is attached to the animal.

The team says it is a proven safe method that works well for capturing large animals.

The collar contains a release that causes it to fall off after two years and no drugs are used on the moose.

The work is supported by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment and the Saskatchewan Wildlife Federation.

"There is a lack of research pertaining to moose ecology in agricultural landscapes," Environment Minister Ken Cheveldayoff said in a release Friday.

"This research will improve our knowledge of farmland moose ecology and the findings will be important as we finalize a moose management strategy for southern Saskatchewan."