From the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
-- With hours ticking away to the Nov. 20 opening of gun deer season and many deer hunters already in the woods bow hunting or scouting, DNR officials say it's the perfect time to answer their Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey.
The online survey started in 2009 asks deer hunters to report hunting activity and share observations of deer, raccoon, skunk, porcupine, red and gray fox, turkey, ruffed grouse, coyote, bear, otter, fisher, bobcat, house cat, badger, wolf, opossum, elk or any other wildlife seen where they hunt.
Hunters can access the survey at http://dnr.wi.gov/org/land/wildlife/harvest/survey.htm.
At the end of the survey period, hunters who provide an email address can receive a summary of their activity and observations.
"Wisconsin hunters can help by reporting deer hunting activity, even if no deer or other wildlife were seen during the hunting trip," said Jason Fleener, assistant big game ecologist. "The greater the number of reported hunting trips, the clearer picture we'll have of deer sighting rates and the relative abundance of deer and other wildlife.
Preliminary reports from 700 hunters covering 2,237 hunting trips across all of Wisconsin's 72 counties show hunters averaged seeing one deer for every 2.6 hours in the woods. During the first 8 weeks of the 2009 deer season hunters were reporting 2.9 hours per deer sighting.
Detailed preliminary results from 2010 are available on the survey webpage. Final results from the 2009 season can also be found there. During deer season, the department will publish current deer observation numbers, giving hunters a good snapshot of what others are seeing in their hunting area.
For more information call Fleener at (608) 261-7589.