Small-game Hunters Needed for Survey

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Small game hunters in New Hampshire have extra incentive to fill out New Hampshire Fish and Game's annual survey. When they send in their survey form, hunters will be entered into a raffle for a premiere hunting rifle donated by the Sturm Ruger Company. By filling out the Small Game Survey -- a simple form that tells when and where you hunt and which small game species you encounter while hunting -- hunters provide Fish and Game biologists with important data on the abundance and distribution of New Hampshire's small game species, including ruffed grouse, woodcock, snowshoe hare, cottontail rabbit and gray squirrel.

If you are a small game hunter in New Hampshire and want to participate, call (603) 271-2461; email; or write 11 Hazen Dr., Concord, NH 03301.

Don't forget -- all those who complete and send in the Small Game Survey during the 2005-06 season have a chance to win a Ruger rifle, model M77-.204 cal., (retail value: $725), generously donated by the Sturm Ruger Company to help boost participation in the survey.

Data collected in the Small Game Survey helps to improve Fish and Game's management of small game, for the benefit of those species and their habitats as well as those who appreciate these wildlife resources -- hunters and non-hunters alike. Data from the survey guides us in our management decision-making. The information provides good insight into the interests, activities and observations of New Hampshire's small game hunters.

Each year, the results of the Small Game Survey are compiled into a summary report of small game taken or observed during the previous year. This data not only helps biologists better manage small game populations, it also helps hunters know when and where they have the best chance of bagging their intended game. All survey participants are sent a copy of the summary report.

This is the second year Fish and Game has offered a raffle prize to encourage survey participation. (Last year's prize was a Ruger shotgun, won by Jeffery Oja of Dublin.) Historically, a lack of solid information on the densities and distribution patterns of small game has made it challenging to manage these species and their habitats, according to wildlife biologist Julie Robinson, who heads up Fish and Game's Small Game Project. "Last year, thanks to Sturm Ruger, we increased participation in the small game survey fourfold, giving us much better data on the abundance and distribution of small game species," Robinson said. "We are hopeful that we will be able to achieve the same response for this year's survey."

Funding for the Small Game Survey project comes from the Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Program -- supported by hunters through their purchases of firearms, ammunition, archery equipment -- and the unrestricted Fish and Game fund through sales of licenses and permits.