Fill out those deer surveys
If you are one of the hundreds of deer hunters, selected at random, to receive a survey questionnaire by snail-mail from the Ohio Division of Wildlife, be sure to take the time to respond.
So often in the last year – before, during, and after the setting of deer hunting rules – the caterwauling from some highly displeased elements of the hunting community could be heard from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. Each of us is entitled to an opinion, and to air it freely. That’s all well and good as part of the American traditions of free speech and dissent; but mere emotional venting doesn’t fix anything.
The mailed deer survey is an opportunity to share careful thoughts on paper with the wildlife division’s deer managers. They did not go to the trouble of asking because they have nothing else to do. They want and need your input.
State deer managers soon will complete a revision of county deer population goals, and they want hunter views represented. And unlike previous surveys, there is no need to wait until the end of the season.
“This is a very important survey,” the division states. “Among other things, the results will help define short-term population goals (increase, decrease, or remain stable). Results from this survey will be combined with the responses from over 11,000 farmers who have already completed a similar survey. Hunters for this year’s survey were randomly selected from the list of hunters who purchased a license and deer permit by Nov. 16.”
So there. The gauntlet has been thrown down. More than 11,000 farmers have had their say. It is up to each and every deer hunter who has received a survey to fill it out and give a strong, representative voice to the hunting side of this complex social equation.
Of course, if you ignore the survey, you are casting a vote as well –for whatever others, not hunters, think.
State deer managers are on record: “Public input is an important part of Ohio’s deer management program, and survey participants are asked to complete and return their surveys,” they state. “By returning their surveys, hunters can ensure that they have a clear voice in helping to decide the direction of deer management in Ohio. The information provided will remain confidential, and will only be used and presented as a summary of all responses as a whole.”
If you need some background, read the information about balancing deer numbers versus deer quality can be found in the publication: “Quality vs. Quantity: A Closer Look at Deer Herd Condition Trends in Ohio” at: www.wildohio.gov