Deer hunters are being asked for their help in a statewide initiative to gather more biological data on the state’s deer population. Hunters who get a deer during the Nov. 13-28 regular deer season are asked to provide an incisor tooth from their deer. Tooth envelopes are available at all deer reporting stations.
“Knowing the ages of harvested deer is critically important, and more information allows us to make better management decisions,” said Nick Fortin, Vermont Fish and Wildlife’s deer project leader. “To produce accurate population estimates, and to better assess our current management strategies, we really need to get teeth from as many bucks as possible.”
Biologists are collecting middle incisor teeth from all regular season bucks to evaluate regional differences in ages and antler characteristics as well as to help estimate population size, growth rate, health, and mortality rates. Each tooth will be cross sectioned to accurately determine the deer’s age, and the results will be posted on the Fish and Wildlife website next spring.
The Fish and Wildlife Department is also asking hunters to participate in its annual deer hunter effort and sighting survey.
The survey asks hunters to record how many hours they hunted and how many deer, moose, bears or other wildlife they saw on each day of the regular November deer season. This information helps the department evaluate how hunting pressure and the number of these animals varies throughout the season and around the state.
A web-based version of the survey is available on the Fish and Wildlife website.
The department also mailed survey cards to several thousand randomly selected hunters, as it has done each year since 1999.
“The information we get from this survey is critically important for the management of deer and other wildlife in Vermont,” said Nick Fortin, Fish and Wildlife’s deer and moose project leader. “If we hear from more hunters, our population estimates will be more reliable, and our management will be more effective.”
The easiest way to complete the survey is to use the new Deer Hunting Log feature in the Vermont Outdoors mobile app. The app allows hunters to track their effort and wildlife sightings during the regular season as well as during the archery and muzzleloader seasons. The app also offers several other useful features for hunters, including a check station locator tool and an online harvest reporting tool.
Online reporting is only available during the archery and muzzleloader seasons. It is not allowed during the regular season. Vermont Outdoors is available through the App Store or Google Play.