The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages all bowhunters to participate in its annual bowhunter observation survey. This survey provides valuable information that assists MDC in gauging the health of wildlife populations, such as deer and turkey, and helps staff make harvest management decisions.
“This is an easy and very valuable way for bowhunters to get involved in helping MDC manage Missouri’s wildlife resources,” says MDC Resource Scientist Jeff Beringer. “Information provided by the survey helps us assess trends in animal populations and determine if numbers are increasing, decreasing, or remaining stable. This information also has important implications on the establishment of harvest regulations.”
MDC mails surveys to participating bowhunters in early September. From Sept. 15 through Nov. 9, participants record the date, county, number of hours spent bowhunting, and the number of deer, wild turkeys and furbearers observed during their hunts. After Nov. 9, participants mail the postage-paid surveys back to MDC so the information can be analyzed.
To participate in the 2012 survey, email Paul.Rogers@mdc.mo.gov and write “Bowhunter Observation Survey” in the subject line. Participation requests must be received by Sept. 1. Include name and mailing address in the body of the email. Bowhunters can also send their name and address to: Bowhunter Observation Survey, Missouri Department of Conservation, 3500 E. Gans Road, Columbia, MO 65201.
MDC began conducting its bowhunter observation survey in 1983. Beringer said more than 190,000 bowhunting permits were distributed in 2011 but only approximately 7,000 bowhunters participated in last year’s survey.
“To maintain the high quality of information we receive from these surveys, it is very important more bowhunters participate,” says Beringer. “I encourage all Missouri bowhunters help keep Missouri a great place to hunt by participating in the survey.”
For more information about deer and turkey archery hunting regulations, visit mdc.mo.gov and search “archery hunting.”