With the opening of Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer hunting season on Saturday Nov. 17, state wildlife officials are encouraging hunters to record their wildlife observations to help better track population changes and improve management decisions.

The Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey is a great opportunity for hunters to let the Department of Natural Resources wildlife biologists know what they are or are not seeing while deer hunting. The easy-to-do survey has hunters recording their deer and other wildlife observations while in the field and then reporting those observations later through an online form.

In the first two months of the survey, deer hunters have recorded more than 1,809 observations. Hunters have recorded 840 bucks, 1,517 does, 1,136 fawns, and 412 unknowns. Deer seen per hour varies widely by region, with the high being the Eastern Farmland (0.85 deer per hour) and the low being the Northern Forest (0.42 deer per hour). Turkeys, raccoons, and ruffed grouse are the next most commonly seen animals while hunting.

To access the survey webpage, search for “deer hunter survey” on the DNR website dnr.wi.gov. Hunters can print a tally sheet to keep track of their observations and then enter them online through January 2013. Individuals that provide their email address – which must be provided at the bottom of every form submitted – will receive a personalized summary of their 2012 deer hunting season. Hunters can also view results of previous years on the deer hunt survey page.

Hunters can also send in trail camera photos and access a trail camera gallery through the deer hunter wildlife survey page. Take a moment to view some of the photos or watch a video. Check back often, the site is updated as soon as new photos are sent in.

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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