Deer Harvest Registration


Issue/Problem Statement
For management purposes and to satisfy public curiosity, it is essential to determine the number of deer taken by hunters each fall season. Harvest by hunters constitutes one of the most significant mortality factors affecting Nova Scotia's deer herd size.

Objective
To determine as precisely as possible the legal harvest of white-tailed deer in Nova Scotia.

Methods
In 1989, 93 Deer Registration Stations were established at convenient locations throughout the province. These amount to an arrangement with service stations, convenience store owners, etc., that have agreed to fill in a detailed registration form for each hunter reporting having taken a deer. The incentive for hunters to comply is by legislative regulation....on the way home from hunting or within 48 hours. Each hunter must pay one dollar to register a deer. The money is retained by the vendor for service provided. Registration forms are collected weekly by DNR staff. All stations are well signed and listed within the Hunting Summary booklet issued to each hunter upon purchase of their base license. Harvest data provides the ability to compare hunter success, kill by county and Deer Management Zone, kill by dates, sex of animal taken, adult or fawn, and hunting method from, year to year.

Partners
Successful hunters, Deer Registration Station agents and Regional Services - Department of Natural Resources.

Project Dates and Duration
Registration stations are operational during open seasons for deer hunting and closed 48 hours after the close of the last day of hunting.

Progress to Date
During the fall of 1999, 15,818 deer were registered by hunters. This number represents a 22.8% increase over the harvest of 1998 with hunter success increasing from 23.8 to 28.3%.

Reporting
Annual reports available to senior administration and to the public through media, public presentations on deer management, through a report to the Nova Scotia Federation of Anglers & Hunters and through Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Division.

Management Recommendations
This program must be continued as it provides essential information for management decision making. In future, when an improved, fully unique Hunter Identification Number becomes available, it may be possible to replace this system with a more in depth and efficient hunter reporting system through the use of Interactive Voice Response phone technology.

Final Report:
Annual, as above, but not complete until about April when license sales figures become available

Completion Date: Ongoing: annual