Hunters Asked to Respond to Surveys

Pierre, S.D. – While hunting seasons may be concluding, the
South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Department is beginning the
difficult process of determining the past year’s big game harvest
as part of planning for 2009 management needs.

GFP determines how many animals were harvested through survey
information submitted by hunters.

“Not every hunter will receive a harvest survey card,” Corey
Huxoll, GFP wildlife biologist in charge of harvest surveys, said.
“We take a random selection of hunters for each season and mail
them a card. The accuracy of the survey lies in the percentage of
replies we get on those surveys.”

Huxoll said the goal for each season is to have 85-90 percent
reply. This assures the highest quality for the information that
can be provided to GFP wildlife managers. The initial mailing of
survey cards is timed to coincide with the completion of each
hunting season so information is still fresh in the minds of
hunters.

“To assure we reach a high level of accuracy, we will follow up
our mailing of survey cards with a second and even a third mailing
to those who have not responded,” Huxoll said. “We ask that hunters
return the cards at their soonest convenience after they receive
them. This will provide a great service to our wildlife management
efforts and pave the way to our 2009 hunting season structure.”

In addition to the usual mail-back option, hunters can respond
through a Web site address where they can record their hunting
activities for any of the hunting seasons. Hunters still need
information from their survey card in order to enter the Web site
and answer questions specific to their license.

“Hunters who respond through the Web site will answer the same
general questions such as number of animals harvested, animal
species and sex, how long they hunted, along with their general
hunting satisfaction, just like on the regular survey cards” Huxoll
said. “The advantage to this system is the convenience to the
hunters, cost savings, and quicker receipt of harvest information
for the Department. It not only saves return mail costs, but also
the time it takes to sort the returned cards and enter the
information into the computer.”

Last year, nearly 15,000 hunters used the Web site to submit
their harvest information.

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