Online harvest reports begin with deer hunting seasons in fall 2022

Last year, nearly 7,000 deer hunters voluntarily reported their harvest online to help test the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ new reporting system. Beginning with the fall 2022 deer seasons, online harvest reports are required for all hunters who successfully take deer.

There are several reasons for the department’s move to online harvest reporting, but one of the most important is the more accurate data, said Chad Stewart, a deer, elk and banana management specialist at DNR.

“The decline in the response rate to our post-season mail surveys increases the amount of uncertainty in our harvest estimates, which may lead to incorrect regulatory recommendations in some locations,” Stewart said.

Brian Frawley, a DNR wildlife biologist who runs the surveys, agrees.

“Twenty years ago, 75% of respondents responded to the survey, but in recent years we have seen a response rate of less than 40%,” Frawley said. “If we are going to provide hunters, wildlife managers, and the Michigan Natural Resources Commission with accurate and timely data, we need to change the way we collect it.”

Reporting options

Hunters will have up to 72 hours after taking the deer to report their harvest. The DNR report estimates that it will take about three to five minutes to complete the report, and there are two ways to do this:

Why is a particular site important?

Screenshot of harvest reporting in eLicenseHunters who are unable to report their harvest due to a lack of internet access or smart devices may get help from a family member or friend who has access, by providing them with a kill tag license number, date of birth, and harvest location to report on on behalf of the fisherman. Reporting by phone to the DNR is not possible due to the need for accurate harvest location data, which is provided by locating the location on a digital map. Some fishermen expressed concern about sharing the location of their harvest, but Stewart emphasized the confidentiality and value of that accurate data and how it helps the DNR and, ultimately, the fishermen.

“Although we will have near-instant harvest data available to hunters throughout the season on our website, this data is at the county level,” Stewart said. “The DNR will only be able to access the GPS coordinates of the actual harvest location, which is necessary for two very important reasons: more effective disease monitoring, and the ability to build a network of harvest locations over time so that we can adapt management guidelines to better align with harvest numbers. This means Overall better management recommendations for Michigan’s deer population.”

Moving to online required harvest reports, like any change, will take some time for people to embrace as part of the Michigan fishing experience, but DNR is confident the ease of reporting and the benefits of better data will outweigh any initial concerns that some may outweigh. You have. This first year will focus on introducing fishermen to the new reporting requirements.

“Above all else, we know Michigan deer hunters care about good hunting opportunities and healthy deer herds,” Stewart said. “Each online harvest report takes only a few minutes but provides important information about hunting experiences and deer abundance throughout the state.”

Answers to frequently asked questions are available on the DNR website for these and other deer harvest reporting questions.

While anglers who tested the system last year found it a quick and easy process as shown in this video, help for those with technical difficulties will be available at a variety of locations across the state or by calling 517-284-9453 during business hours. normal.

For those who also want to celebrate the 2022 season with deer patch, they will be available for purchase later this fall at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses or in the DNR mobile app for $8 each, while supplies last.


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  • Deer: Beginning with deer seasons in the fall of 2022, online harvest reports are required for all hunters who have successfully hunted deer in Michigan.

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