November 9, 2010
MADISON - Hunting camp clocks are ticking away the hours to the opening of the 2010 gun deer season and with many deer hunters already in the woods bow hunting or scouting for the gun deer season, it's a perfect time to send in deer observations to the Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey .
The online survey was started in 2009 following examples from other states and with suggestions from hunters that the hours they spend in the woods and the wildlife they observe are valuable for identifying trends in wildlife abundance and distribution. There is also a place to submit trail-cam photos of less common species that may travel through an area, setting off trail cameras.
The survey asks deer hunters to report their hunting activity and share their observations of deer, raccoon, skunk, porcupine, red and gray fox, turkey, ruffed grouse, coyote, bear, otter, fisher, bobcat, house cat, badger, wolf, opossum, elk or any other wildlife seen where they hunt.
New this year is the ability of hunters to get a summary of their hunting activity and observations at the end of the survey period. All they have to do is provide their email address when they log their hunting activity and the DNR will send them a summary at the end of the survey period.
"Wisconsin hunters can help out by reporting their deer hunting activity, even if no deer or other wildlife were seen during their hunting trip," said Jason Fleener, DNR assistant big game ecologist. "The greater the number of reported hunting trips, the clearer picture we'll have of deer sighting rates and relative abundance of deer and other wildlife. Hunters can access the survey by clicking on the "Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey" button on the DNR's website at dnr.wi.gov."
Through Nov. 8 2010, 700 hunters had filed reports covering 2,237 hunting trips across all of Wisconsin's 72 counties. Statewide, they averaged seeing one deer for every 2.6 hours in the woods during this early part of the deer hunting seasons. During the first 8 weeks of the 2009 deer season hunters were reporting 2.9 hours per deer sighting.
More detailed preliminary results from 2010 are available on the Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey web page, final results from the 2009 season can be found their as well. Periodically during the deer season the department will publish up-to-date deer observation numbers giving hunters a good snapshot of what they and others are seeing in their hunting area.
"Deer hunters told us they wanted to share their observations, to tell us what they're seeing or not seeing in the woods, and we're very interested in hearing from them," said Fleener. "The real value of this effort grows as the numbers of reports add up year-after-year indicating trends in wildlife abundance and movement."
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jason Fleener - (608) 261-7589