by Patrick Durkin - Saturday, November 19, 2016
The latest smartphone app developed by researchers at Mississippi State University will likely deliver unprecedented scientific insights into deer hunters and hunting tactics.
“Deer Hunt” version 3.0 from MSU launched in early September with the intention of providing hunters their biggest role yet in citizen-science research. Earlier versions of “Deer Hunt” helped hunters, deer clubs and deer camps record and share their deer observations and harvest data, and even let them know which stands are occupied where they hunt.
Those using the app can generate reports on sightings and harvests by stand site or entire properties, and by group or individual. They can also see such details in real-time and, if they choose, they can share the information beyond their group to create local, state, regional and national data to provide a comprehensive analysis of deer and deer hunting.
“Hunters and even state agencies won’t need to save all those blood-soaked data sheets and enter data manually anymore,” said Steve Demarais, a wildlife professor at MSU who developed the app with his colleague Bronson Strickland at the MSU Deer Lab. “This will be much like the Audubon Society’s national bird counts, which have capitalized for years on citizen science to monitor bird populations.”
Besides tracking deer sightings, the Deer Hunt app also lets hunters record whether the does and bucks they see are fawns, yearlings or mature deer; and how many points the bucks carry on their racks. Hunters can also enter information for each stand they hunt, including its location, nearby food sources and whether they’re watching bait or a food plot.
Those are just a few of the app’s features. To download it free for your iPhone or Android, visit MSUDeerLab.com.
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