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Operation Deer Watch

White-tailed doe
Monitoring deer reproduction has always been part of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources deer management program. Members of the public can report location, deer type and the number of deer seen from dawn to dusk during the summer months. These data help to determine the fawn-to-doe ratio and ultimately deer population estimates.

How to participate

The survey period is from Aug. 1 to Sep. 30. You can help by recording and reporting your observations of deer.

Survey guidelines

  • Report for August and September.
  • Record deer observed from dawn to dusk (when headlights are not used for driving).
  • Record ALL deer you see, not just does with fawns.
  • Do NOT include multiple observations if you are sure the same deer are being seen repeatedly.
  • Do not include trail camera counts in your observations.


Reports should include:

  • number of does with fawns;
  • does without fawns;
  • lone fawns;
  • bucks;
  • unknown deer;
  • date; and
  • location (map)

Survey instructions

Observations are collected using the Survey123 smartphone app. Currently on your smartphone? Use this direct link to install the survey instead of steps 1-3 below.

Step 1) Download and install Survey123 on your device. Go to Google Play (Android) or Apple App Store (iOS) to install.

  • Note: after installation, the app may open and ask you to log in. Close the app and go to step 2.

Step 2) Scan the QR code below with the phone's camera, and click on the link that appears. This will load and open Operation Deer Watch in Survey123. If prompted to log in, click "Continue without signing in" to proceed.

QR code for operation deer watch

Step 3) Once the survey is installed, go to the X at the top left of the screen, then select "Close survey and lose changes". The Survey123 app and Operation Deer Watch are now loaded onto your phone and ready for you to record your observations. Upon your next sighting, open Survey123 and Operation Deer Watch to record your sighting.

  • You can use your phone's GPS to record your sighting location or use the map to pin your sightings.

** DO NOT use the app while driving! **

Spread the word

Please inform others of this opportunity to tell the DNR of deer in their area.


Data collected is used in monitoring deer reproduction and ultimately in population modeling. Annual results are in the Deer Recruitment Surveys report: