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Operation Deer Watch 2012

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Operation Deer Watch 2012

In our ongoing effort to involve the public in deer management and to effectively monitor and evaluate Wisconsin’s deer herd, the Department of Natural Resources is continuing its citizen-science survey, Operation Deer Watch. This unique collaboration of data from Operation Deer Watch along with DNR observations will provide insight on the reproductive status of Wisconsin’s deer herd. The number of does, bucks, and fawns seen are indicators of annual deer herd production.

This extra monitoring by the citizens of Wisconsin has the potential to provide thousands of observations. This is your opportunity to be the daily eyes and ears for the deer herd in your area, to become personally involved and committed to the success of Wisconsin’s deer herd, should not be missed.

Participating in the survey is simple. Beginning August 1st record all bucks, does, and fawns seen during your day. Keep track of your observations on our tally sheet and then enter them online through September 30th. For more information, videos, and results of previous years, go to the DNR webpage and keyword search 'Deer Watch'.

Questions about Operation Deer Watch can be referred to Brian Dhuey at (608) 221-6342 or Jes Rees at (608) 221-6360.

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The Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey went live online September 15, the opening day of the 2012 deer season. This will be the fourth year of the survey which asks deer hunters to report their field observations of a variety of wildlife species, hunting conditions and hours spent pursuing game. Deer hunters’ efforts have produced valuable information for estimating abundance and distribution of many of Wisconsin’s wildlife species. Results of previous years are available online.

The past three years, Wisconsin deer hunters have reported a total of 37,000 hunting trips encompassing 218,000 hunting hours. Trips have been reported from all 72 counties in all years. Statewide, deer hunters averaged seeing 0.32 deer per hunting hour in 2011, up from 0.28 deer per hunting hour in 2010. The most frequently observed species other than deer were turkeys.

Hunters can find survey instructions, record sightings, and view survey results online by keyword searching ‘deer hunter wildlife’ on the WDNR homepage [dnr.wi.gov]. A tally sheet is also available for times when hunters do not have access to the internet or a computer. Hunters should record all of their hunting activity throughout the deer season, even if no wildlife sightings were made. The survey period begins September 15 and runs through January 2013.

Trail Camera Photos Wanted

The Wildlife Surveys group is also interested in photographs of rare or endangered species hunters may have captured on their trail cameras. Photos can be emailed to Wildlife Management. This information will help document their existence and location within the state. Trail camera photos can be viewed in our online trail camera gallery.

Questions about the Wisconsin Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey, accessing the tally sheet, reporting your observation, or the results of the survey, can be referred to Brian Dhuey at (608) 221-6342 or Jes Rees at (608) 221-6360.

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