Harvest Summaries & Population Surveys


Deer

Survey Methods

As part of The Wildlife Resources Division's (WRD) goal to maintain a quality deer herd in Georgia, estimates of the state's deer harvest, deer hunter effort, and deer hunter success are acquired each year and then used to inform development of hunting regulations in subsequent years to facilitate meeting desired management objectives.

The question often comes up, “How does WRD get these estimates?” Since at least 1962, WRD has used scientifically valid, survey methodology to get estimates of not only deer harvest, but also harvest estimates of other game species. Harvest estimates are obtained by asking a random sample of approximately 2,500 licensed Georgia deer hunters about their deer hunting effort and success during the most recent deer season. These results are then applied to the total number of deer hunters in the state. The total number of deer hunters in the state is obtained from the hunting license database. The 2,500 hunter sample size is more than adequate, statistically, to produce precise estimates of statewide harvest, effort, and success.

Another question commonly asked is, “Who conducts Georgia’s annual hunter harvest survey?” WRD contracts with public opinion research firms that specialize in natural resource issues. Since 2004, WRD has contracted with Responsive Management, a professionally recognized research firm and neutral third party, to conduct the survey each year. WRD and Responsive Management work together to develop a scientific survey questionnaire and to generate a random a sample of hunting license holders from the license sales database. Responsive Management then administers the survey (by telephone) to this random sample of hunters, statistically analyzes the results, and provides a survey report to WRD.
The survey is made up of several questions pertaining to the recent hunting season, such as number of deer killed, sex of deer killed, county where deer were killed, number of days hunted, and other pertinent questions. Statistical parameter estimates for these data are calculated and applied to the entire deer hunter population to generate statewide and physiographic region estimates.

The survey also is used to ask timely and important questions regarding hunter opinions on hunting and conservation-related issues. The results of these attitude and opinion questions (social science) are often used to scientifically evaluate support or opposition for a particular issue or proposal and also to help inform changes in state hunting regulations.

Another commonly asked question is, “Why isn’t every hunter surveyed?” As mentioned above, a random sample of hunting license holders is generated from the license database. Each hunter has approximately a 1 in a 100 chance of being a part of the survey each year. Like all other scientific surveys, only a relatively small sample is needed to generate statistically valid estimates within accepted standard deviations. Surveys and sample sizes are designed to produce statistically reliable and economically affordable results at the statewide and physiographic region level. This level of management effort allows WRD to produce scientifically sound and defendable estimates of deer harvest and hunter success at the most practical management level.

Technical assistance is available from any WRD wildlife biologist for interested groups and individuals desiring to better manage the deer herd on their property. Biologists may be reached by contacting the appropriate Game Management Section regional office for a particular county. 

Georgia Game Check

Starting in the 2016–2017 season, hunters are required to check their deer harvests through Georgia Game Check. You can view Georgia Game Check Deer Harvest Reporting Data here. 

Annual Deer Harvest Summaries by Season


Turkey

Survey Methods

As part of the Wildlife Resources Division's (WRD) goal to maintain a sustainable wild turkey population in Georgia, estimates of the state's turkey harvest, turkey hunter effort, and turkey hunter success are acquired each year and then used to adjust hunting regulations in subsequent years to achieve desired results.
The question often comes up, “How does WRD get these estimates of turkey harvest and hunter effort?” Since at least 1962, WRD has used scientifically valid, survey methodology to get estimates of game species harvest. Harvest estimates are obtained by asking a random sample of licensed resident turkey hunters—with a sample size of about 800-through a telephone interview, about their turkey hunting effort and success during the most recent turkey hunting season. These results are then applied to the total number of licensed resident turkey hunters in the state. The total number of turkey hunters in the state is obtained from the hunting license database maintained by WRD’s Licensing and Boating Registration Unit.
Another commonly asked question is, “Who conducts Georgia’s turkey harvest survey?” WRD contracts with public opinion research firms that specialize in natural resource issues. Since 2004, WRD has contracted with Responsive Management, a professionally recognized research firm and neutral third party, to conduct the turkey harvest survey each year. WRD and Responsive Management work together to develop a survey questionnaire and to generate a random a sample of hunting license holders from the hunting license database. Responsive Management then administers the survey to this random sample of hunters, statistically analyzes the results, and provides a survey report to WRD.

Turkey Harvest Summaries from 2005 to 2014

Georgia Game Check

Georgia Game Check Harvest Reporting Data

Turkey Production & Population Index Study

The purpose of the turkey production-population index study is to provide an accurate means by which the Department of Natural Resources can evaluate statewide and regional wild turkey production during the breeding season and population levels during the hunting season.

This project consists of two components: A) turkey production index survey started in 1978 and B) turkey hunting population index survey started in 1979.  The production survey provides data on young turkeys seen during the nesting and rearing season, and the population survey provides a measure of the population existing during the hunting season. Data have shown a strong correlation between observed production and hunting season populations. The correlation between the production indices and population indices are used in evaluating annual production and populations and in making comparisons for trends. 

Turkey Production Survey

The turkey production survey is conducted during the months of June, July and August. Cooperators record data related to all turkey broods and hens, with or without broods, that are observed. No special efforts are made to locate turkeys for this survey. The average number of poults seen per observer is used as an index to production. Data are compiled on a statewide and physiographic region basis. If you would like to participate in this survey, download and follow the instructions on this form.

Turkey Hunting Population Survey

The turkey hunting population survey is conducted during the spring turkey hunting season. This data is provided by hunter cooperators. Specific information is recorded about each hunting trip including the date, hours hunted, county or physiographic region hunted, number of turkeys seen, number of gobblers heard, and numbers of gobblers killed. The number of turkeys observed per hour hunted provides an index of the hunting season population. Data are compiled on a statewide and physiographic region basis.

New! Online Survey Option

There are two options for taking the survey online. The left hand option opens the survey in a web browser. The right hand option opens the survey in the Survey123 app—follow the prompt to download the smartphone app. After downloading the app, click the link again to open the survey.Take Turkey Survey

The survey will ask for your DNR Customer # which can be found on the back of your hunting license.

If you prefer a paper option, cooperators can fill out this form.

You can view past survey reports below:

2017

2016

2015

Wild Turkey Production and Population Survey Results: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001.

Long Range Report: 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 20012000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995.


Alligator

Survey Methods

As part of The Wildlife Resources Division's (WRD) goal to maintain a sustainable alligator population in Georgia, records of the State's alligator harvest, alligator hunter effort, and alligator hunter success are acquired each year and then used to adjust hunting regulations in subsequent years to achieve desired results.

How does the WRD get this information?

Harvest records are obtained by surveying Georgia alligator hunters about their alligator hunting effort during the past season. Surveys are completed when a successful hunter validates a harvested alligator at one of WRD's Game Management offices.

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