The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is asking deer hunters in Barbour County to participate in a new online check-in system for gathering deer harvest data this season. Hunters can now complete a web-based report for each deer harvested during the 2005-06 season. The form is available on the agency’s website at www.outdooralabama.com/hunting/deerdata.cfm.
Wildlife biologists developed the system to gather deer harvest data in Barbour County, where a buck harvest restriction is now in effect as part of a five-year study. The Conservation Advisory Board approved the countywide regulation, which is modeled after a similar management philosophy employed the past six years at the Barbour County Wildlife Management Area. The new regulation restricts buck deer harvest in Barbour County to those with a minimum of three or more antler points on one main beam.
Deer hunters outside Barbour County are also welcome to participate by reporting deer harvested in other counties. Hunters completing the online form will be asked to report date of harvest, county of harvest, method of harvest, deer weight and antler measurements. Pop-up windows help the person entering the information to choose the correct data. For instance, information is included on how to measure the antler beams and how to determine the age of the deer.
According to Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Biologist Bill Gray, the online reporting system could provide valuable information. “It’s data that the Conservation Department has not had the ability to widely collect in the past, but it can be very useful in determining deer management strategy,” he said.
Officials stress that the Internet reporting is voluntary for all hunters, but Barbour County deer hunters are encouraged to participate. “We really want to hear from the hunters,” Gray said.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through five divisions: Marine Police, Marine Resources, State Parks, State Lands, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries.