With Wisconsin’s nine-day gun deer opener approaching, state wildlife officials are encouraging hunters to help track wildlife populations by recording their observations through the Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey.

This easy-to-do survey lets hunters record deer and other wildlife sightings during or after their time out deer hunting and then report their observations online or through the U.S. mail.

“This is a great opportunity for hunters to inform wildlife biologists what they are seeing,” said Brian Dhuey, survey manager for the Department of Natural Resources. “With the help from hunters, we can better track population changes and improve our management decisions, especially for animals that are difficult to monitor such as bobcat.”

Hunters can find the survey by searching the DNR website dnr.wi.gov for keyword “deer hunter wildlife.” There is more information about the survey project, a printable tally sheet, and results from previous years such as deer per hour by deer management unit.

Hunters can record wildlife observations until January 2014. Those who provide their email address will receive a personalized summary of their 2013 deer hunting season.

Dhuey says in the first two months of the survey, deer hunters submitted more than 1,400 reports. Hunters logged a total of 2,843 trips, where they observed more than 1,200 bucks, 2,600 does and 1,700 fawns. The frequency of deer sighted, or deer per hour, varies widely by region with the high located in the Western Farmland (0.79 deer per hour) and the low in the Northern Forest (0.33 deer per hour). Turkeys, raccoons and ruffed grouse are the next most commonly observed animals.

People are also encouraged to send in trail camera photos. The trail camera gallery can be accessed through the same Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey webpage.

“Take a moment to view some of the photos or watch a video,” Dhuey said. “Check back often, the site is frequently updated with new photos as we receive them.”

Logo courtesy Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

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