Hunting Report Cards in the Mail

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Each year following the January extended deer season, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) collects information to determine hunter success, which is one measure of deer population trends. In years past, this amounted to a report card attached to deer permits, but this process is no longer used. Therefore, each deer hunter does not receive a report card.

KDWP uses a statistical sampling system. A random sample of hunters has been selected from each deer management unit (DMU). Also, hunters with various permit types - Hunt Own Land, White-tailed Either Sex, and Firearms Any Deer permits issued through drawing - have been sampled. The report cards for the 2003 and the January seasons have been mailed. Hunters who purchased their first permits in late November are not included in the sample process. The success of hunters who were not selected in the sample will be estimated based on the results of those who were.

The report cards should not be returned until the hunter is finished hunting in all seasons, including the January season. Then the card should include the results for each permit and tag purchased.

Report cards allow hunters to list all days in each season they hunted, plus each DMU they used and the specific DMU where they harvested each deer. The results from this random sample are then used to estimate the total harvest. The estimates are made after it is known how many permits and game tags are sold. KDWP researchers then multiply that number by the success rate from the samples.

"People who receive a report card have an important job," says Lloyd Fox, big game coordinator for KDWP. "I hope that hunters realize how important their cooperation is. We will pursue each hunter in the sample to obtain high compliance and accurate information."

KDWP encourages everyone selected in the random sample to accurately complete their deer hunting report card. Second or third reminders by mail or telephone take time and money from other conservation projects. This information is critical for managing the Kansas deer herd.