GFP asks South Dakota hunters to respond to 2006 harvest surveys

GFP asks South Dakota hunters to respond to 2006 harvest surveys
The S.D. Game, Fish and Parks Department is asking selected hunters for information about their hunting seasons.

Harvest survey cards are being mailed from the department, asking hunters to please complete and return the survey. GFP wants hunters to return the surveys whether or not they hunted and regardless of whether they were successful or unsuccessful at harvesting a game animal.

A statistical procedure is used to randomly select a limited number of hunters to receive a survey card. The surveys are based on achieving high response rates and if the first survey card is not returned in a timely manner, hunters will get a second or even third survey card.

"The goal of our survey program is to receive a response from each recipient," said Corey Huxoll, a biologist with the Wildlife Division. The initial survey card mailings are timed so that hunters receive them near the closing dates of each season. Answers to these surveys supplement other information about wildlife populations and assist in the development of management strategies for the next year's seasons.

In addition to the usual mail-back option, hunters can respond through a Web site where they can record their hunting activities for any of the hunting seasons, according to Huxoll. However, 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 17,000 hunters responded through the Web site.

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