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Categorized | Outdoors

DNRE sharing deer information through new communication tools

The Department of Natural Resources and Environment (DNRE) will be using two new tools to share up-to-date deer harvest information during the firearm deer season. Both of the tools emerge from the new Michigan Deer Management Plan, which was adopted in May 2010. These tools will help enhance public engagement in and awareness of deer management issues.

The first is a new all-inclusive deer website that was created in partnership with the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University (MSU). The website covers everything from basic deer biology to hunting regulations to the newest deer research. The site is available at http://deer.fw.msu.edu/ or through the DNRE website at http://www.michigan.gov/deer.

“We are excited about this partnership with MSU,” said DNRE Wildlife Division Chief Russ Mason. “Deer is a flagship species in Michigan and we want to provide the most current, easy to find information that we can to our Michigan citizens.”

Information between the new deer site and the current DNRE site will still be linked, but resources and expertise available through MSU will allow for more flexible web formats for delivering content.

“This is a great example of our active partnership with the DNRE,” said MSU Fisheries and Wildlife Department Chair Mike Jones. “We partner with the Wildlife Division on many projects, and share a common interest in informing the Michigan public about wildlife research and management; the website will be a great way to make valuable information about white-tailed deer easy to find.”

Concurrent with this website launch, DNRE’s Wildlife Division will be providing short, timely updates regarding hunting conditions and experiences during the 2010 firearm deer season over Twitter. Twitter is a website, owned and operated by Twitter Inc., which offers a social networking and microblogging service. This service enables its users to send and read other users’ messages called “tweets.” Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the user’s profile page.

This mechanism will allow hunters, members of the media, and other interested citizens to see brief reports on hunting conditions and hunter numbers, hunter perceptions and deer sightings, and check station activities from around the state. Wildlife Division staff in the field and working at DNRE deer check stations will provide reports that will be posted near real-time. These updates will also be logged on the new deer website. Twitter users may follow the DNRE Wildlife Division “@MDNREWildlife,” or search Twitter for updates tagged “#MIdeer2010.”

“Our use of Twitter will serve a dual purpose,” said DNRE Deer and Elk Program Leader Brent Rudolph. “It will provide an obvious and immediate benefit to our followers on Twitter, but will also help us manage the flow of information from around the state to be compiled and summarized in more formal reports and press releases.”

Each year, DNRE provides updates for the public on the first few days of the firearm deer season and then provides a preliminary estimate of the firearm harvest soon after the season closes. Final estimates of harvest and participation from all seasons are generated using a mail survey of a sample of licensed hunters that is not finalized until the following spring.

To learn more about Twitter, visit http://twitter.com/ or the DNRE’s Wildlife Division Twitter page at http://twitter.com/MDNREWildlife.

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