Bowhunters Invited to Participate in DNR Survey
The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources (WVDNR) invites bowhunters to participate in the 11th annual West Virginia Bowhunter's Survey, according to Scott Warner, Wildlife Biologist for the Wildlife Resources Section of DNR. Since 1995, WVDNR has collected information from bowhunters on more than 75,000 trips, recording more than 250,000 hours of observations on white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, and a variety of small game species providing a wealth of information on wildlife populations.
“Bowhunting is extremely popular in West Virginia with nearly 150,000 bowhunters participating annually in the deer archery season,” said Warner. “Bowhunters are keen observers and we want to take advantage of this trait. With the strong interest in bowhunting in this state, the Bowhunter's Survey is a very inexpensive method for us to collect a significant amount of data.”
Bowhunters participating in the survey will receive a final report on the year's findings. With10 years worth of data, hunters are able to follow trend information on deer harvest, rutting behavior, influences of weather conditions on deer movements, impacts of mast conditions, antler development, along with observations for other game species in the counties they hunt. In addition to collecting information on wildlife, the questionnaire serves as a forum for bowhunters. Comments are provided on everything from hunting experiences to regulations, allowing WVDNR to monitor some noticeable, and some not so noticeable, changes in hunting trends which have always been of interest to cooperators. These can include the type of equipment used, use of safety equipment, distance of shots taken, hunting methods, to the amount of money spent on hunting trips.
“We encourage anyone who bowhunts to participate in this survey,” said Warner. “No matter if you hunted only a few days or have never taken a deer with a bow, the information you provide allows us to make better management decisions.”
The survey is designed so that hunters do not have to reveal favorite hunting areas. No individual hunter's name will be used in the results, and cooperators are asked to participate in the survey whether they killed a deer or not, or whether they hunt one or many days during the season. The survey begins on the opening day of archery season, October 15, 2005 , and bowhunters interested in participating in the survey are to contact Patty Fordyce at (304) 637-0245 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .