Monday, August 24, 2009

Deer hunters asked to send in wildlife observations from field

Deer hunters asked to send in wildlife observations from field
Source: Wisconsin DNR

Wisconsin deer hunters can assist state wildlife officials in monitoring a variety of game and non-game mammals and birds in Wisconsin by submitting their field observations through a Wisconsin Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey Web page.

“Since deer hunters often spend many hours in quiet observation both hunting and scouting, they’re an excellent source of information for species that can be difficult to observe,” said Brian Dhuey a Department of Natural Resources research scientist who monitors wildlife abundance and distribution across Wisconsin.

“Of equal importance and interest to wildlife managers is knowing if hunters spend time in the woods and don’t see deer or other wildlife. It’s important that all hunting efforts be recorded, even if nothing is seen, because they are an important measure of wildlife abundance in an area.”
Deer hunters interested in participating in this survey can find survey instructions and record their sightings online on the Wisconsin Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey Web pag. The survey period begins September 12 and runs through January 2010.

DNR researchers are interested in reports from all deer hunters (archery, gun, and muzzleloader) on the number and type of animals observed while they are out hunting or scouting. Deer, raccoon, skunk, porcupine, red and gray fox, turkey, ruffed grouse, coyote, bear, otter, fisher, bobcat, house cat, badger, wolf, opossum, or other wildlife not normally seen in the area are the focus of this survey.

Wildlife managers use abundance and distribution observations with historical data to get a picture of the landscape.

“Other states including Iowa, Missouri and Ohio, have similar programs for gathering information from deer hunters and find it is a very effective way to take advantage of thousands of extra pairs of eyes in the woods,” according to Dhuey.

Hunters will be asked to report the date hunted, number of hours, where they are hunting (county and deer management unit), weather condition, types and number of deer seen, and numbers of other wildlife seen.

“There’s also a handy tally sheet that can be printed to take into the field,” adds Dhuey, “so you can record things as you see them and log them in to the online survey at a later date. Hunters can also sign-up for periodic reminders to send in their observations and to get updates of the survey results during the season.”

In a separate survey effort some hunters and landowners may also receive a mailed survey asking about hunter efforts put in during the hunting season and techniques used. Dhuey says the primary focus of the online survey is to gather observations on the range of animal species listed.

Hunters can also send in photos

Got a trail camera? Or do you carry a camera with you in the field? 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.
If you have any questions about the deer hunter wildlife survey, accessing the tally sheet, reporting your observation, sending in trail camera pictures of rare wildlife, or the results of the survey, please contact Brian Dhuey at (608) 221-6342.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Dhuey at (608) 221-6342

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