DNR’s Operation Deer Watch launches Aug. 1

Wisconsinites collect scientific data to inform deer management

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will launch Operation Deer Watch on Aug. 1, allowing citizen scientists around Wisconsin to report deer sightings in their area, which provides crucial data for deer management.

Participation in Operation Deer Watch is simple, requires no registration and can be done using a computer or mobile device. DNR researchers ask participants to report deer sightings, including bucks, does and fawns, between Aug. 1 and Sept. 30 via an easy-to-use online form.

Data collected provides insights into the reproductive status of Wisconsin’s deer herd and helps shape deer management for the state.

Many participants carry a printable tally sheet with them in the car to record sightings and then enter their results online later. For safety, participants should only record sightings when their vehicle is stopped, not while driving.

“This is a fun and useful opportunity for everyone to enjoy Wisconsin’s plentiful wildlife,” said Brian Dhuey, DNR wildlife population and harvest assessment specialist. “The DNR encourages everyone interested in deer, from hunters and trappers to outdoor enthusiasts, to take part.”

County Deer Advisory Councils also use data from the survey to develop deer season framework, harvest quotas and permit level recommendations.

Learn more about Operation Deer Watch by visiting https://dnr.wisconsin.gov/topic/WildlifeHabitat/summerdeer.html.