The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Online Deer Harvest Form allows hunters to provide important information about their harvest to help better manage the deer population, and keep track of their own harvests over time.
When hunters record their deer harvest online it benefits the state’s deer population by providing state wildlife biologists with information needed to help create sound, scientific wildlife management plans that promote a healthy sustainable herd.
“Alabama’s hunters are the most valuable asset in managing the state’s deer herd,” said Ray Metzler, Assistant Chief of Wildlife for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. “Any data they can provide about their hunt, even if it was unsuccessful, is extremely valuable in creating a better understanding of the state’s deer herd.”
Data collected by the online harvest form include the date and time of harvest, gender of the animal, number of antler points, county where harvested, method of harvest, and the type of hunt (stalk or dog). The form will begin accepting turkey harvest information in the spring 2013.
Hunters are encouraged to report their harvest as soon as possible after the hunt. Hunters can get started inputting their harvest data by visiting the hunting section of outdooralabama.com.
Using the online harvest form hunters can report harvest data by ecoregion within a county, and view the distribution of Alabama’s deer harvest over time throughout the state. The form also allows hunters to view average weights, antler measurements, and other physical characteristics of deer that have been harvested in Alabama.
In addition to providing scientific data about the state’s deer herd, the Online Deer Harvest Form is a convenient way for hunters to keep track of their harvest history by serving as the hunter’s harvest journal; once the information is added to the online database, it is permanently accessible by the hunter anytime, anywhere.
Wildlife biologists developed the system in 2005 to gather deer harvest data in Barbour County. While the online reporting is voluntary, all hunters are encouraged to participate.
“The more harvest data collected the better understanding it provides about Alabama’s deer herd,” Metzler said.
For more information about hunting in Alabama, visit the hunting section of www.outdooralabama.com.