Operation Deer Watch
WAUPACA Beginning Aug. 1, Waupaca County residents and citizens across the state gained a new opportunity to be part of managing white-tailed deer in Wisconsin.
In Operation Deer Watch, people are being asked to record and report all deer they see between Aug. 1 and Sept 30. Go to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) website, www.dnr.wi.gov, and click on the Operation Deer Watch button to get started.
“All deer seen including bucks, does and fawns should be reported during this two month period,” said Jason Fleener, assistant DNR deer specialist. “The observations will be entered into a database and will be used to determine doe to fawn ratios, which are a part of the population estimation equation.”
Summer deer observations have always been part of the population estimation process, according to DNR biologists. The number of deer seen and the number of fawns seen with each doe are indicators of annual production in deer herds. In addition to deer seen, observers are asked to note date and location. Only deer seen between sunrise and sunset are to be counted.
In previous years, the observation period lasted three months and only state and federal biologists, foresters, law enforcement and other government staff participated.
“One of the recommendations of a panel of experts that reviewed our deer population estimation model a few years back was to increase the number of observers and to shorten the summer deer observation period to two months from three,” said Fleener. “We hope to capitalize on the intense public interest in Wisconsin’s whitetail deer population. It’s a great chance for the public to help keep an eye-on-the-herd and add a lot more observations to our database.”