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Tuesday, January 30 • 6:00pm - 9:00pm
Poster Display. Understanding Relationships Between Habitat and Deer Demographics and Health Through Partnerships with DMAP Participants

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AUTHORS: Amanda McGraw, Dan Storm, Dustin Bronson - Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT: To relate deer health to habitat quality across the state of Wisconsin, the Department of Natural Resources has begun a collaborative project with landowners who have enrolled in the state’s Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP).  This is an overview of the public recruitment process and development of instructional data collection materials to assess deer body condition.  Landowners were recruited in summer, 2017 through a series of workshops and email announcements.  A variety of tools were developed to facilitate quality data collection by landowners.  A detailed protocol was provided in a kit that contained supplies necessary for data collection.  A training video was filmed and posted to the DMAP website, and an electronic datasheet was developed to allow cooperators to submit data from their computers or smartphones using Survey123 by ESRI.  Paper datasheets and postage-paid envelopes were provided for landowners as an option to submit data via U.S. mail. A pilot study in 2016 resulted in 12 landowners submitting data on 56 deer. Based on participant feedback, we modified the protocol for 2017 to increase efficiency and clarify instructions.  Data submitted by participants was used to determine the most useful metrics for assessing body condition of deer in the fall.  Pilot study participants were enthusiastic and all re-enrolled in the project in 2017.  About 77 DMAP cooperators have signed up to participate in the project in 2017.  We anticipate data from between 300-500 deer will be submitted by January, 2018.  Cooperators also agreed to let DNR staff visit properties to collect data on habitat condition, as it relates to deer health.  Habitat data collection will begin in summer, 2018.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 6:00pm - 9:00pm CST
Ballroom C & Foyer