Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

Hunters report more than 24,000 hours of wildlife observations

Weekly News Article Published: February 12, 2013 by the Central Office

MADISON - Preliminary results of the 2012 Wisconsin deer hunter wildlife survey show hunters reported spending 24,868 hours in the field observing wildlife and on average saw 0.39 deer per hour statewide. The next most frequently observed species was turkey.

In its fourth year, the survey asks Wisconsin deer hunters to report on wildlife they see while they are in the woods. In 2012, a total of 1,136 Wisconsin deer hunters sent in reports on 5,017 hunting trips. In all, reports were received from 71 counties and 124 of Wisconsin's 139 deer management units. Trail cam photos can also be submitted.

"In each succeeding year hunters' reports become more valuable," said Jessica Rees, who manages the survey for the Department of Natural Resources Bureau of Science Services. "As year after year of data add up we are able to see emerging trends and changes in wildlife populations that help managers better understand what is going on in of Wisconsin's wildlife populations."

The greatest number of observations were submitted for deer management unit 77M in southeastern Wisconsin with188 observations, followed by DMU 53 in central Wisconsin with 180 observations. In general hunters averaged about five hours per trip. The most trips and observations came from the northern forest followed by southern farmland, eastern farmland, western farmland and central forest respectively.

Preliminary Results for 2012

Deer hunters have reported 1,971 bucks, 4,244 does, 2,510 fawns, and 1,046 unknowns. Statewide, hunters averaged 0.39 deer seen per hour. Deer seen per hour varied between regions with the high being the Eastern Farmland averaging 0.61 deer per hour and the low being the Northern Forest averaging 0.20 deer per hour. The Southern Farmland and Western Farmland saw 0.51 and 0.56 deer per hour, respectively. The Central Forest region averaged 0.28 deer per hour.

Hunter sightings varied greatly by regions, with most sightings occurring in Wisconsin's primary turkey range, the farmland and central forest regions. After deer and turkey the next most frequently seen animal was raccoon.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jessica Rees, 608-221-6360