Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Wisconsin Natural Resources magazine

Photo of a ruffed grouse. © Jerry Davis

Ruffed grouse
© Jerry Davis

August 2011

Creature Comforts

Be our eyes and ears.

Brian Dhuey

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking for your help with our online survey effort to monitor the relative abundance and distribution of deer and other mammalian/avian wildlife species in the state. Wisconsin hunters, trappers and outdoor enthusiasts make an excellent source of information as they spend many hours in the woods. They can provide hard to obtain information about species that are often very difficult to measure.

Beginning this month and running through September, the public can report their deer sightings through Operation Deer Watch. No special effort is needed; just record the deer you see from dawn to dusk while going about daily activities. The data will be used to estimate deer productivity throughout the state. Knowing the productivity of the herd plays a role in making fall hunting predictions and in assessing herd health.

Photo of bobcat. © Stephen J. Lang

The second survey, Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey, begins in September. Since Wisconsin deer hunters spend many quiet observation hours in the woods they make an excellent source of information on wildlife in their area. The wildlife we are most interested in are deer, raccoon, skunk, porcupine, red and gray fox, turkey, ruffed grouse, coyote, bear, otter, fisher, bobcat, house cat, badger, wolf, opossum, elk or other wildlife not normally seen in your area. Past efforts in 2009 and 2010 have provided the Wisconsin DNR with valuable information for estimating abundance and distribution of many of Wisconsin's wildlife species.

Wildlife biologists also are interested in photographs of rare or endangered species to help document their existence and location within the state. Pictures of moose, Canada lynx, cougar, American marten, stone marten, wolverine, Franklin's ground squirrel and badger are most sought after. Any picture of an animal not normally seen in the area or an unidentified animal is welcomed. Pictures can be emailed along with the approximate date, county and civil township of the photo to DNR Wildlife Management. DNR wildlife staff will try to positively identify all photographs submitted. A trail camera gallery of submitted photos is available to view at Trail Camera Gallery.

Email photos to Brian Dhuey. Refer questions about Operation Deer Watch or Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey to Brian Dhuey at (608) 221-6342.

For online surveys visit Wisconsin Online Wildlife Surveys.