Hunter Harvest Surveys are a Tradition

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Every winter as Montanans store hiking boots and pack away rifles and shotguns for the season, about 80 telephone interviewers take to the phones to interview hunters about their luck in the hunt. Moose, sheep and goat hunters will be getting calls in December.

The interviewers, seasonal Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks employees, spend nearly 9,000 hours annually gathering data from over 80,000 households in order to produce statistically accurate reports on the statewide harvest of big game, including moose, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, deer, elk and other species.

The resulting harvest reports help biologists in formulating harvest quotas and regulations for the next year.

Interviewers work from statistically accurate random samples of hunters by license type. Most of the interviewers, working from home, make local calls within their geographic areas.

Resident big game hunters and nonresidents who hunt moose, bighorn sheep and mountain goats have been surveyed by telephone since 1981. All residents without an available phone number, and all other nonresident license holders, are contacted by mail.