Caribou Gear

My FWP Hunter Survey

HappyCamper

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Joined
Aug 8, 2023
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123
Location
Montana
I just got done with a very brief call for the random FWP’s elk hunter survey. All they asked were:
1.) did you hunt elk this year
2.) how many days did you hunt elk
3.) did you harvest an elk
4.) did you hunt wolves

These are almost the same exact questions I was asked a few weeks ago for the deer survey only at that time they cared enough to asked which units I hunted and whether I saw wolves.

I can’t possibly see how the information they got from me helps in any way. I told him I harvested an elk but upon learning I used a B tag he indicated the survey only mattered for general licenses and marked me down as a no harvest. As many have discussed already, the harvest and days hunted stats are a joke…
 
I've been really digging in to their harvest data this year, and the known discrepancies are numerous.

One sheep unit I looked at this week had 3 ram tags in 2023. 3 rams shown in the measurement tables, complete with date of harvest, age, measurements.

Harvest statistics show no rams harvested.
 
I've been really digging in to their harvest data this year, and the known discrepancies are numerous.

One sheep unit I looked at this week had 3 ram tags in 2023. 3 rams shown in the measurement tables, complete with date of harvest, age, measurements.

Harvest statistics show no rams harvested.
just careless… I suppose if we take the data too seriously we are willfully following the blind. I’ve also noticed a few limited entry units showing harvest well over the quota.
 
I've been really digging in to their harvest data this year, and the known discrepancies are numerous.

One sheep unit I looked at this week had 3 ram tags in 2023. 3 rams shown in the measurement tables, complete with date of harvest, age, measurements.

Harvest statistics show no rams harvested.

I've mentioned it before, but at a season setting public meeting a few years back, it was revealed that according to the phone surveys, more brow-tined bull elk are harvested in the Elkhorns than there are permits allocated. Maybe folks were confused about the information they were giving, maybe they were admitting to breaking the law, but either way finding out the truth was not pursued in the spirit of not wanting to thwart folks honesty in the phone surveys.

I just get the sense that so much data is bunk/unreliable.
 
This year during my antelope survey I was asked, "Did you harvest your animal prior to, during, or after the season?"

I was asked the same thing.
Then after asking me if I hunted in unit xxx which I had a tag for, they asked if I killed my antelope in that same unit. WTH?
I said “Yes, that’s the only unit I was able to hunt in “.
Kinda weird how they knew what unit I had but then asked what unit I killed it in.
 
I was asked the same thing.
Then after asking me if I hunted in unit xxx which I had a tag for, they asked if I killed my antelope in that same unit. WTH?
I said “Yes, that’s the only unit I was able to hunt in “.
Kinda weird how they knew what unit I had but then asked what unit I killed it in.
Yup - same. Forgot about that one.
 
I haven’t got mine yet. Can’t wait to tell them how many days I hunted deer.
 
I've been really digging in to their harvest data this year, and the known discrepancies are numerous.

One sheep unit I looked at this week had 3 ram tags in 2023. 3 rams shown in the measurement tables, complete with date of harvest, age, measurements.

Harvest statistics show no rams harvested.
I was discussing this with a biologist down here. He was saying how bad some of the phone data is for MSG because the people FWP hires will try and call a certain number of times and then just put it as a no harvest if no ones answers. He personally calls every MSG Hunter in his units now so he can find out if they were successful as well as get feed back. He said one year according to the phone calls he had 1 successful moose hunter total between three units. He called an every one of them was successful.
 
I had a warden tell me that they can’t get any of the information from the people making the calls. One year they had a cow get reported being harvested in a closed unit and he wanted to bare minimum write them up with a warning so it wouldn’t happen again and they wouldn’t give the information over. He said they almost filled for a search warrant against fwp to get the information
 
I had a warden tell me that they can’t get any of the information from the people making the calls. One year they had a cow get reported being harvested in a closed unit and he wanted to bare minimum write them up with a warning so it wouldn’t happen again and they wouldn’t give the information over. He said they almost filled for a search warrant against fwp to get the information
Glad they didn’t give it over. Honestly you can’t guarantee the person making the calls wrote down the right district in the first place. Our biologist has said that a lot of the harvest data gets filed under region 7 vs it being a district number in region 7.
 
All this makes me feel like I should either give outrageous answers or not answer at all. The data would probably end up more accurate if everyone did
 
I even kept a rough number of how many days I spent in a given unit this year to try and help improve my data input. Got the same short list of questions as OP.

Folks making deer calls this year did however ask what units I harvested in, antlered or antlerless, how many days, etc.
 
Glad they didn’t give it over. Honestly you can’t guarantee the person making the calls wrote down the right district in the first place. Our biologist has said that a lot of the harvest data gets filed under region 7 vs it being a district number in region 7.
Idk it wouldn’t hurt my feelings for a check up on it even if the guy did smack a cow where he shouldn’t have at least he wouldn’t have done it twice. That was really all the warden wanted just a hey it’s closed so you know
 
I had a warden tell me that they can’t get any of the information from the people making the calls. One year they had a cow get reported being harvested in a closed unit and he wanted to bare minimum write them up with a warning so it wouldn’t happen again and they wouldn’t give the information over. He said they almost filled for a search warrant against fwp to get the information
I have a warden buddy who’s told me the same. They’ve threatened to get a warrant but they don’t believe the info is even accurate. Said the bio told him that more than 12 cows had been reported harvested in a district that was closed to all harvest. Apparently FWP is afraid of people lying if they think wardens can get the info. What a joke.
 
I even kept a rough number of how many days I spent in a given unit this year to try and help improve my data input. Got the same short list of questions as OP.

Folks making deer calls this year did however ask what units I harvested in, antlered or antlerless, how many days, etc.
I offered to give them the districts I hunted deer in a couple years ago and they said they only take that info every couple years. A better harvest survey may provide some clarity for new hunters but it’s not hard to see what has changed with hunter habits, our season structure does us no favor.
 
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I have a warden buddy who’s told me the same. They’ve threatened to get a warrant but they don’t believe the info is even accurate. Said the bio told him that more than 12 cows had been reported harvested in a district that was closed to all harvest. Apparently FWP is afraid of people lying if they think wardens can get the info. What a joke.
I’m sure some of these reported harvests are just hunters messing up unit numbers but I’ve always wondered how many people hunt units they shouldn’t be. I have had conversations with two people I know that were hunting a bull only unit as if it was either sex. Luckily, those people are are about as literate in elk hunting as they are the regulations! I makes me wonder how many bone heads hunt limited entry units on a general tag.

What really stumps me about my survey is they literally could care less that I notched my b tag. What difference does it make for them? It’s a harvested elk and they are supposedly tracking harvest?!
 
I have a warden buddy who’s told me the same. They’ve threatened to get a warrant but they don’t believe the info is even accurate. Said the bio told him that more than 12 cows had been reported harvested in a district that was closed to all harvest. Apparently FWP is afraid of people lying if they think wardens can get the info. What a joke.
It’s a sad deal he wasn’t trying to bust balls by any means just try and make sure it didn’t happen again if it did they should be able to check on that stuff
 
I was discussing this with a biologist down here. He was saying how bad some of the phone data is for MSG because the people FWP hires will try and call a certain number of times and then just put it as a no harvest if no ones answers. He personally calls every MSG Hunter in his units now so he can find out if they were successful as well as get feed back. He said one year according to the phone calls he had 1 successful moose hunter total between three units. He called an every one of them was successful.
It baffles me how MSG isn't a mandatory reporting tag. These species are so sought after and are extremely susceptible to over harvest. The least someone can do if they draw a MSG tag is fill out a questionnaire.
 
It baffles me how MSG isn't a mandatory reporting tag. These species are so sought after and are extremely susceptible to over harvest. The least someone can do if they draw a MSG tag is fill out a questionnaire.
I agree. FWP does have to call every tag holder for MSG but obviously they don’t have to answer….mandatory would just be easier.
 
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