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Wildlife Surveys & Harvest Recommendations

In its most basic form, wildlife management is matching the number of animals to the amount of habitat. Using a variety of techniques, Wildlife Consultants can conduct wildlife surveys for white-tailed deer, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, desert bighorn sheep, quail, dove, turkey, song birds, and small mammals. These surveys provide an inventory of your wildlife and a snapshot of the population’s density and composition. In the case of game species, we can use the data to tailor-make harvest recommendations that will help you achieve your desired goals.

There is not a one-size-fits-all survey method.  Every method has its pros and cons. Wildlife Consultant understands the strengths and weaknesses of each method, allowing them to analyze the data using sound science and apply it using experience and common sense.




  • Spotlight deer surveys:
    A spotlight survey, the long-accepted industry standard, is probably the mo
    st common method used for counting deer. Because environmental conditions vary from day-to-day, professional biologists prefer to conduct at least three spotlight surveys with a seven to -10 day interval between each survey. Landowners and/or their managers are encouraged to join the survey crew because this direct involvement often generates even more interest in wildlife on your land. Surveys are typically done in the late summer  and early fall prior to the start of hunting season.
  • Helicopter surveys:
    The helicopter survey  is the preferred survey method of many biologists This technique allows biologists to gather the best herd composition data over a relatively short period of time  and see the animals’ quality  while providing  an opportunity to take select aerial photos. Typically, helicopter surveys are conducted in a two-seat aircraft accommodating the biologist and the pilot, but if the landowner and/or manager wants to accompany the team, a four-seater can be used.  These surveys are typically done in late summer and fall and can be done post hunting season.

Helicopter Survey
  • Trail Camera surveys:
    On land with limited visibility or on small tracts, the trail camera survey is an alternative method for counting deer and other species.  With the advent of infra-red and flash technology, trail cameras can capture clear images that allow biologists to  categorize each individual buck  by age class and judge antler quality for harvest recommendations. At the end of the survey period, a  photo catalog of the individual bucks marked as either “culls” or “keepers” is prepared and provided to the  to help achieve desired management results. This survey technique is most effective beginning in late summer and continuing through the fall. It is also effective in late winter.

Trail Camera Surveys
  • Game bird surveys:
    Traditionally, game bird surveys are conducted for quail and or turkey. By using one or more techniques,  we can assist landowners in assessing  your game bird populations and determine population indices for your property. Techniques used for quail include listening stations, spring call counts, fall covey counts and roadside counts. For turkey, landowners can incorporate summer hen:poult survey and do winter roost surveys later. All these survey techniques provide the land manager with an index of bird numbers that can be used to track populations over time. It is can also be used to  assess bird population responses; thereby, gauging the effectiveness of  any habitat management practices.
Game Bird Surveys
  • Songbird inventory:
    Wildlife Consultants can help songbird enthusiasts determine songbird species composition, relative population abundance and density in a given area, and monitor this over the long-term using point counts and or strip counts depending on the habitat type
Song Bird Inventory

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