Reporting deer observations helps biologists assess annual deer herd productionMADISON -- In an ongoing effort to include public input in deer management, and to effectively monitor and evaluate Wisconsin’s deer herd, the Department of Natural Resources is continuing its annual citizen-science survey, Operation Deer Watch.
This unique collaboration of data from the public, along with deer observations collected by DNR staff, provides insight on the reproductive status of Wisconsin’s deer herd in 2013. The number of does, bucks, and fawns seen are indicators of annual deer herd production.
“This is a fun and useful opportunity for the public to be the daily eyes and ears for the deer herd in their area.” said Brian Dhuey, DNR surveys coordinator. “Citizens annually provide thousands of observations that the department utilizes in monitoring the herd.”
To get involved, begin recording all bucks, does, and fawns seen between dawn and dusk during the period of Aug. 1 to Sept. 30. Daily observations can be tracked using a tally sheet that is available at dnr.wi.gov, search keywords “deer watch.” Observations can be submitted at the same web site.
“This year, 14,000 deer hunters were selected at random and sent a letter inviting them to participate in Operation Deer Watch,” said Dhuey. “However, if you were not one of the hunters selected to participate we still encourage your participation to help provide insight into Wisconsin’s deer herd.”
For more information, videos, and results of previous years, search the DNR website for keywords “deer watch.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Brian Dhuey, DNR surveys coordinator, 608-221-6342 or Jay Watson, DNR research technician, 608-221-6360.