Bowhunters Sought as Observers During Deer Season

September 7, 2016

Archery hunters are invited to participate in the first Bowhunter Observation Survey and share their wildlife sightings as a citizen scientist. (wildlifedepartment.com)

    ATTENTION AVID BOWHUNTERS! Here's your chance to impact wildlife management decisions and activities of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation! And all you'll need to do is keep track of things you observe while in the forest or the field.

 For the first time, the Wildlife Department will conduct a Bowhunter Observation Survey during the upcoming archery seasons. Bowhunters are invited to go online and register as an official observer and become a citizen scientist this year.

    "This is a great opportunity to help the Wildlife Department learn more about our natural environment, and in turn help the wildlife that we are mandated to protect and conserve," said Corey Jager, responsive management specialist for the Department.

    Here's how the survey will work:

  • Bowhunters will register by filling out an online form before Sept. 30.
  • Participants will receive an informational packet that they will receive by e-mail before the survey period begins Oct. 1.
  • When in the field or forest from Oct. 1 to Nov. 30, observers will record the number of deer, wild turkeys and furbearers they see, along with the number of hours they spend in the field.
  • Observers will submit reports of sightings either at the end of each hunt, or all at once after Nov. 30 using an online form.
  • After the survey is complete and data are processed, participants will receive a copy of the results.

    "We believe this citizen-science survey will provide valuable information to the Wildlife Department for evaluating population demographics and the general health of these wildlife populations," Jager said. "And it's just so easy to jot down your observations from your hunting trips, but it really could help our biologists make the best management choices for the animals and hunters alike. This survey allows hunters to play a more active role in bettering the future of their sport."

    To sign up, go to tinyurl.com/bowhuntersurvey through Sept. 30. For more information, contact Jerrod Davis, furbearer biologist, at jerrod.davis@odwc.ok.gov or (405) 590-2583, or Dallas Barber, big game biologist, at dallas.barber@odwc.ok.gov or (405) 396-2503.

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