Historically it was a logistics thing. In NE you're never hunting more than 45min from a check station (mostly). Some of the CWD check stations in CO are like 5 hours from the trailhead, in the wrong direction from your house.It's incredible to me that eastern states that have to beg folks to shoot enough deer require hunters to report their harvests, but western states that have to throttle down the demand for tags because of insufficient supply are still relying on folks that don't "hang up the phone the minute they state the purpose of the call." I mean, I'm not a stats guy and I guess they'd say that the data they're getting is "good enough." But, like, it could be better, couldn't it?
FWIW, I've had 4 big game tags in Colorado, and have been surveyed 3 times: once for OTC elk, once for LE elk, and once for LE deer.
But in the age of the internet there is no reason why you can't fill out a report for every tag.
Did you harvest an animal
How many days did you hunt
Did you feel like it was crowded
Did you use an outfitter