The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ACDNR) is asking deer hunters statewide to utilize its new Internet check-in system for gathering harvest data this season. The online check system is one of several data collection methods used to gather harvest information statewide. Wildlife biologists rely on harvest data to assess deer herd conditions and to make season and bag limit recommendations. Hunters are asked, on a voluntary basis, to enter data for each deer harvested during the 2006-07 season. The form is available on the agency’s website at www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/deerdata.cfm.
Wildlife biologists developed the system last year to gather deer harvest data in Barbour County, where a buck harvest restriction is in effect as part of a five-year study. According to Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Biologist Bill Gray, harvest data provides valuable information to help determine deer management strategies. “The online reporting system used in Barbour County last year assisted in gathering physical indices such as weight, antler measurements and age, as well as date of harvest. Statewide reporting will help measure the same components, only on a broader scale,” said Gray. “The data collected may also be helpful in comparing year-to-year trends of harvested deer.”
Data requested in the online check-in will include date of harvest, county of harvest, method of harvest, deer weight and antler measurements. Software-enabled safeguards are in place to assist persons entering the information with making accurate online choices. For instance, information is included on measuring antler beams and determining the ages and physical conditions of harvested deer. Conservation officials stress that the Internet check-in system is voluntary but encourage all hunters to participate. Hunters can log onto www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/deerdata.cfm to report harvests throughout the 2006-07 deer hunting season.
Conservation Commissioner Barnett Lawley advocated launching the online check system as a convenience for hunters and a way to make the Department more accessible to its customers. “I commend the professional biologists and other leaders within the Wildlife & Freshwater Fisheries Division for taking such a progressive step in implementing this scientific process. This Internet tool creates another avenue for hunters to contribute to better wildlife management in the future.”
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR visit http://www.outdooralabama.com/.