Wildlife researchers want you to send in your summer deer observations to help biologists monitor deer populations. Brian Dhuey with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources says it’s a great opportunity to be heard. “We always hear from the hunting public ‘you’re not listening to me, you’re not listening to me.’ Well, here’s a great opportunity to be heard and give us information deer in their area.”
Dhuey says the doe-to-fawn ratio is an indicator of annual deer herd production. Citizen observers need to pay close attention to the deer type, specifically whether it’s a doe, buck or fawn when collecting data. “There’s a lot of citizen scientists out there that want to contribute to this type of thing so we’ve had a lot of positive feedback. I don’t think a lot of people know about it so we would really like to get it out … get as many people involved in this as possible. The more data you get the better it is.”
Dhuey says last summer Operation Deer Watch generated more than 4,000 observations, involving almost 10,000 deer. You can easily report your observations online. Just search for “Operation Deer Watch” on the DNR website. You’ll get some guidelines, a tally sheet, link to data. The survey period begins today and continues until September 30.
Summer deer observations have been part of DNR deer management program for more than 50 years but until last season only staff observations and those of other resource and law enforcement professionals were recorded.