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Bowhunter survey lets Nebraskans be eyes and ears in the field

Bowhunter survey lets Nebraskans be eyes and ears in the field

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Nebraska bowhunters can take part in deer and turkey management by participating in a new survey.

I am among the thousands who hunt deer and turkey with archery equipment, and I want you to join me in participating in Nebraska’s new bowhunter survey.

So why should you, an archery deer hunter, consider maintaining a diary and counting free-ranging, wild deer and turkeys for the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission?

The answer: Because, like me, I know you care deeply about wildlife.

We spend innumerable hours in the field bowhunting for deer. We see a lot of deer and turkeys. We are selective with what we shoot and thoroughly enjoy what I call “sit or stand sessions,” patiently watching the surrounding landscape, waiting for the right deer to approach, whether from a tree stand or in a blind. So why would we not be able to log counts of deer and turkeys?

“This survey is very important to us and is entirely dependent on public participation,” said Luke Meduna, big-game program manager for Game and Parks. “We really need our Nebraska bowhunters to be our eyes and ears in the field and document what they see.”

He said participation in the survey will allow hunters to take part in the process of deer and turkey management.

“The data from the bowhunter survey will help us to better understand doe-to-fawn and buck-to-doe ratios, as well as establish a baseline for population trends for both white-tailed and mule deer and wild turkeys,” Meduna said.

The survey is currently underway and runs to the start of the November firearm deer hunting season.

Why not carry the survey through November and December? “When you get into November, fawns become difficult to separate from the does and yearlings, and hunting tactics of the November firearm season aren’t as standardized as they are during the archery season, so we will wrap things up at that point,” Meduna said.

To help keep those costs low, data entry for this survey is available online at OutdoorNebraska.gov/bowhuntersurvey. So bowhunters, bookmark that on your phone browser or PC and enter your data after each hunt.

The bowhunter survey is yet another tool in the box that will go in concert with other deer and turkey surveys in Nebraska to develop effective management strategies and hunting seasons.

Greg Wagner is a public information officer in the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission’s Communications Division. Contact him at greg.wagner@nebraska.gov. Read his blog, In the Wild, at OutdoorNebraska.org.

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