Operation Deer Watch, an annual citizen-science survey that collects information on Wisconsin's white-tailed deer, gives residents an engaging opportunity to assist with deer herd management efforts.
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources researchers ask participants to report their deer sightings via an easy-to-use online form. The data collected provide insights into the reproductive status of Wisconsin's deer herd and help shape deer management for the state. Participants are asked to record all bucks, does and fawns seen during the day from August 1 to September 30.
Many participants carry a printable tally sheet with them in the car to record sightings and then enter their results online at a later time. For safety, participants should not record sightings while driving a vehicle. Instead, wait till the vehicle is stopped to take note of your sightings.
"This is a fun and useful opportunity for everyone to enjoy Wisconsin's plentiful wildlife," said Brian Dhuey, DNR wildlife population and harvest assessment specialist. "The DNR encourages anyone interested in deer, from hunters and trappers to outdoor enthusiasts, to take part."
Data from the survey is also used by County Deer Advisory Councils to develop deer season framework, harvest quotas and permit level recommendations.