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Wisconsin seeking residents to help biologists monitor deer herd

From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

-- Wildlife researchers are asking hunters and wildlife watchers to continue sending their summer deer observations during August and September.

In 2010, the Department of Natural Resources launched Operation Deer Watch, a new summer deer observation effort involving outdoor enthusiasts and hunters. Summer deer observations have been part of the states 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.

The number of deer seen with and without fawns are indicators of annual deer herd production. Data from Operation Deer Watch will be used with DNR observations to help determine the fawn-to-doe ratio. The vast amount of observation data citizens can provide will help the wildlife biologists effectively and accurately monitor Wisconsins deer reproduction.

We ask citizens to continue to participate in this survey by documenting information about summer deer observations, said Brian Dhuey, wildlife surveys researcher. The results from Operation Deer Watch become more meaningful as we gather many years of summer deer observations and can monitor production trends.

Researchers are interested in sightings of bucks, does and fawns.

Last summer, Operation Deer Watch generated more than 4,000 observations. A total of 9,662 deer were observed by 1,378 individuals during August and September 2010. The statewide estimate for the 2010 fawn-to-doe ratio using Operation Deer Watch data was 89 fawns per 100 does.

A video gives survey instructions and a link to record sightings. To participate in the survey, go to

A tally sheet in pdf format is available at

Dhuey says it is important that all information be filled out for each observation. Please ensure the date, deer management unit, and the type and number of deer observed are recorded, without this information the data are of little value, he said.

The survey period begins August 1 and continues until Sept. 30. A report summarizing the results of the 2011 deer observations will be produced at the end of the survey period and sent to all individuals who enter their email address on every observation form.

For more information call Brian Dhuey at (608) 221-6342 or Jes Rees at (608) 221-6360.

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