MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking for the public’s help in tracking the state’s deer population.

The DNR calls it Operation Deer Watch – it’s an annual citizen-science survey that collects information on Wisconsin’s white-tailed deer and gives residents an opportunity to assist with deer herd management efforts.

Participants are invited to report their deer sightings through an online form. The data collected provide insights into the reproductive status of Wisconsin’s deer herd and help shape deer management for the state. Now through Sept. 30, participants are asked to record all bucks, does, and fawns seen during the day.

printable tally sheet is available to help citizen-scientists record sightings and enter their results online at a later time. For safety, participants should not record sightings while driving a vehicle. Instead, wait until the vehicle is stopped to take note of your sightings.

Any deer sightings can be counted, whether you spot deer while in the woods, on a drive, or while out for an evening walk.

“This is a fun and useful opportunity for everyone to enjoy Wisconsin’s plentiful wildlife while participating in citizen science,” said Brian Dhuey, DNR wildlife population and harvest assessment specialist. “The DNR encourages anyone interested in deer 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.

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