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Indiana bowhunters asked to help count wildlife

The DNR is again asking bowhunters to volunteer to count furbearer species and other wildlife this fall for science.

The information helps the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife monitor species and track population trends. The collaborative project is called the Archer’s Index and has existed since 1992.

Volunteers receive a standard survey sheet and instructions to record hours hunted and count sightings October to late November.

“The data gathered from bowhunters helps biologists see trends over time in furbearer populations,” said Geriann Albers, furbearer biologist for the DNR Division of Fish & Wildlife. “Without volunteers, we couldn’t capture this amount of data throughout the state within a small timeframe.”

Species recorded include badger, beaver, bobcat, bobwhite quail, coyote, deer, fox and gray squirrels, gray and red fox, grouse, domestic cat, muskrat, opossum, rabbit, raccoon, river otter, skunk and wild turkey.

Previous surveys have shown downward trends in observations of red and grey fox and upward trends in bobcat sightings in the last 20 years. The data is useful for making informed wildlife management decisions.

The DNR seeks volunteers throughout the state. To volunteer, email dfw@dnr.IN.gov or call (812) 334-1137.