Game and Fish biologists and wardens are conducting air and ground surveys of deer throughout the Sheridan Region through mid-December. Classification surveys, or counts, take place after the hunting seasons when winter weather and breeding season make deer more visible and accessible. Ground surveys are done in the majority of the region, but helicopter flights are required in areas with low road densities.
Beginning in mid-November, personnel count and classify every deer they encounter on flights or on driving routes as a female, juvenile, yearling male or adult male.The results are then analyzed as herd ratios, or, the number of fawns counted for every 100 does counted and the number of bucks counted for every 100 does counted. Herd ratios allow managers to monitor trends in the proportion of fawns and bucks in a herd from year-to-year. Classification surveys are not a total count of the entire herd, but rather a sample of the population.
The gathered data will be compiled in coming weeks to determine overall numbers, fawn to doe ratios and buck to doe ratios. These numbers give game managers information on fawn survival and other factors that will influence future management decisions.