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Neighbor_guy

Question for Lou... Hunter success rates???

15 posts in this topic

So a couple of us were talking on the way to work the other day and got to wondering about the way the DNR figures success rates. Do they go by licenced hunters, or registered deer.

Just an example...

lets just say a hunter buy's a tag for each deer season, and a bonus tag. That way I have even numbers. For sake of argument all hunting will take place in intensive zones, therefore allowing for all tags to be used. (one buck of coarse)

Lets just say the Hunter in this situation shoots a doe, in one of the seasons, and tags her with his bonus tag. He then tries to hold out for a good buck. Regular firearms season comes and goes. Muzzy comes and goes. And he gives up the late archery season due to weather, and his ice fishing habit.

Does this hunter go in the sucessfull category? Even if he did not fill a single "primary tag"? Is he considered 1/4 successfull? Or does he get one vote?

What about people who fill all thier tags and possible bonus tags? Do they get one vote? Or do they get 5 votes?

I guess I am just wondering how it all works? Do they track hunter ID numbers, tags filled. I guess we are just wondering how the DNR gets to the numbers they do.

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That's a good question. It's become more sophisticated over the last few years. In the old days (pre-electronic, pre-bonus permits), you just divided the harvest by number of licenses. It got muddier when it was non-electronic with bonus permits and I think success rates were inflated because of the double registrations you mentioned. So, it was pretty reliable when everyone had one tag and became not so reliable when we had multiple tags and no way to track individuals. I've tried to go back and correct success rates since I have several years of now good data.

Stepping forward, we now have electronic registration and multiple tags. So here's what I do ... I analyze the data based on unique MDNR numbers. So, it doesn't matter if you use an archery license or bonus permit because you have the same MDNR number. In other words, you get one vote no matter how many licenses you buy or deer you register. Using that, we can get at overall success (~40%). I can then look at what tags are used when, how many, and during what season to derive season success (archery, firearm, muzzleloader). In other words, I run the analysis for that season and MDNR number so if you had a gun license and bonus permit and filled the BP during the season, voila you are successful.

We can also look at how many deer successful hunters take. That's how we can announce that 75% of hunters only tag one deer, 20% tag 2 and 5% tag 3+ despite the regulations saying you can tag 5.

The one qualifier with the data is there's no reliable way to get at cross-tagging because we have to look at registration data. So, if one guy fills the tags of 9 other people, then in my analysis we have 10 successful hunters. There's really no other way around it.

So to make a long answer longer (can you tell I like data?), we use both licensed hunters and registered deer. For you excel nuts out there, I use pivot tables pretty heavily and the new version with 1 million rows is a data geek's dream.

Does that answer the question?

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Thanks for the answer--good explanation to something I've wondered about as well.

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Throw in 50,000 car killed deer per year,the number poached each year, bow hunting, muzzleloader hunting, the number of deer shot and wounded that will die and not recovered and how many don't get registered and I think our harvest is really way higher then when we hear about 225,000 taken during rifle season.

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Thanks Lou. That helps a lot.

So to clarify. We get a set of numbers that are cross referanced to each other, but unique at the same time.

Overall success rates. Individual season success rates. And success rates per hunter.

Must be fun watching all the numbers come together.

Thanks again,

442-500-443 wink

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Thanks Lou. That helps a lot.

So to clarify. We get a set of numbers that are cross referanced to each other, but unique at the same time.

Overall success rates. Individual season success rates. And success rates per hunter.

Must be fun watching all the numbers come together.

Thanks again,

442-500-443 wink

Exactly. Each license has a code (firearm - 212, bonus - 430, archery - 213) and we can track by that number generically or by person individually. Using that 9-digit number (MDNR), we can track the individual part. So, you'll always be XXX-XXX-XXX in the database but you might only purchase a 212 and 430 license every year or maybe a 213 if you draw Ripley (I made that part up I have no idea if you bowhunt).

For even more info, the reason permit area is collected at the time of sale is we use the data for both random hunter surveys, estimates of hunting pressure, and local success rates because 90% of hunters who kill a deer, kill one in the area they say they hunt most often.

Yes, if you're a data person, it's really fun to watch everything come together.

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Throw in 50,000 car killed deer per year,the number poached each year, bow hunting, muzzleloader hunting, the number of deer shot and wounded that will die and not recovered and how many don't get registered and I think our harvest is really way higher then when we hear about 225,000 taken during rifle season.

I have wondered the same thing.

Is there any data estimations or consideratoins with these other situations?

I have to believe just between car/deer kills and unrecovered(wounded)deer, its a very significant number of deer.

Poaching and lack of registration is obviously in the mix too, but I wouldnt imagine its a large percentage.

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No doubt about it. Registration estimates a minimum number of deer in the bag. Given, it's by far the largest percentage of take but it's still a minimum. D-V collisions are very tough to estimate because different road authorities have jurisdiction over carcass removal and they have different reporting standards. State Farm insurance publishes an annual national estimate (by station)and I really can't argue how they compile their number. It's posted on another thread. Generally speaking, the number of collisions tracks reasonably well with populations.

As for wounding, predation, poaching and non-registration, while it occurs (obviously), I don't think it represents a significant proportion of mortality or reporting in the of registration compliance. We have to remember that hunting is by far the #1 source of white-tailed deer mortality.

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We have to remember that hunting is by far the #1 source of white-tailed deer mortality.

Unless it's me you are talking about! I end up hitting at least 2 deer per year with my truck and generally only tag one while hunting! wink I bite at this whole hunting thing!

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What is the inflation factor for non-registration??

When I lived in Duluth, when I talked to people about deer hunting, I was very surprised with the amount of people that didn't register their deer. Most of them were the guys that just go walk behind their house, but still...

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I also believe that non registered deer are higher in number than what's accounted for..

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I honestly don't think it's that high. I've worked many registration stations taking samples and what you typically see is one person walking in with a handful of stubs and no deer. In other words, the deer isn't present at the time of registration but it's still registered. Certainly it occurs but MN's registration system has been consistent since time began so the non-registration should be consistent as well. In other words, I'm sure it's out there (maybe more than I think) but it's likely not contributing enough to make a difference in overall tabulation of harvest. It's the old comparison between the individual and the population. Some individuals don't registered, but overall, the population does register so therefore the individuals contribution is minor.

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I still think wounded/unrecovered deer would be more significant than non registered deer.

Man, the guys that hunt around us are just awful hunters, and have been for years.

Example, in the 2005 rifle season the party to our west lost 2, and the party to our east lost 2. Argh.

When I hear those volleys of 5 or 6 shots(or more sometimes), one thing comes to mind. A deer thats very likely winged or going to get winged due to poor shot opps because that deer is now running full steam.

Bottom line if you combine unregistered deer, deer poached, deer wounded, its got to all add up in the end and be something fairly significant. I just find it hard to believe all added together its small.

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