Dart Guns: Providing Safe Ways to Handle, Relocate Animals

By: Gail Veley 
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Mike Ross rises early in the morning with one thought on his mind – what his day will entail doing wildlife capture. The 47-year-old helicopter pilot and wildlife capture expert eagerly climbs into the cockpit of his transportation for the day, ensuring all necessary equipment is in place. Because in practically no time at all, his focus will shift to aiming a CO2 powered dart gun into the hind end of the wildlife he’s tracking. Aiming with complete precision every time, Ross has caught almost every animal species you could think of whether it be elk in Utah, whitetails in Texas, giraffes in Africa or other species located elsewhere.

Don't think Ross hasn't been compared to the Crocodile Hunter, given his 22-plus years of experience in wildlife capture. After all of his years in the held, he knows there’s one effective way to tranquilize animals for this delicate job ­– using dart guns. When it comes to safe and effective ways to anesthetize, tranquilize, medicate, vaccinate, biopsy or relocate animals, dart guns offer some of the best, most humane methods for handling all types of animals. This has undoubtedly made the life of deer farmers and others who deal with exotic animals much easier. 

“Darts are easy to use, durable, comfortable to carry in the held and very effective out of the helicopter,” Ross said. Additionally, clients who may experience difficulty using their products can call him for advice. “They can say to me ‘I’m having this problem’ and I know exactly what they are talking about and how to fix it. Our clients are Number One. We are excellent at getting issues resolved," he said. That alone may be one the of biggest advantages Daninject Dart Guns has – an expert and consultant who uses it day in and day out in the field. 

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Perhaps another advantage is that Daninject Dart Guns uses a CO2 operated system that is extremely quiet, enabling an operator to make short, low impact shots at close quarters. With a quick adjustment of air pressure, longer shots up to 60 yards away or further can be made as well. "I have used this equipment during the heat of an African day and during cold frosty African nights with no difference or problems whatsoever," Ross said. Results of his work have allowed wildlife professionals to track migration routes, relocate, tag or collar animals, draw blood for scientific research and other projects.

Originally from South Africa, Ross now calls the U.S. his home away from home and maintains a distribution office in Austin, Texas. Office Manager Mary Helen Renteria oversees every day-to-day business detail. Renteria, a Spanish speaking animal lover, educates potential buyers as to the benefits of using darts. All of their products are CO2 powered, not regulated by federal law and are shipped directly to you. They are extremely accurate, the most humane dart guns currently manufactured and are versatile, low-impact and virtually silent. 

“It’s a reusable dart. If you maintain it properly, you can use it over and over again up to 30 or 40 times or even longer," Renteria said. “The air system releases drugs slowly and makes it a more humane dart, so there is less harm to the animal. This puts much less stress on an animal you are darting, a very important factor to deer farmers. I believe dart guns are some of the best tools when it comes to immobilization equipment." Daninject Dart Guns is a member of The Texas Deer Association, a commercial member of The Association of Zoos and Aquariums, NADeFA and The National Animal Control Association. 

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