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Archer's Index

What is the Archer’s Index?

The Archer’s Index is a survey that relies on volunteer archery hunters to report wildlife observations while they are afield in the fall. Archery hunters often spend several hours a day over multiple days during October and early November sitting quietly, during which time they may see a variety of wildlife. There are currently 14 species reported through the Archer’s Index survey, including birds like wild turkeys and pheasants, and mammals such as gray squirrels, cottontail rabbits, coyotes, bobcats, and white-tailed deer.

What do biologists do with this data?

The Archer’s Index does not count animals or give population estimates. It provides trends by calculating observations per 1,000 hours afield. For instance, one year archery hunters might report seeing 752 deer for every 1,000 hours they spent hunting. We can compare this to information from other years to see if more, less, or the same amount of deer are being seen in the same amount of hunt hours to track deer trends.

This survey also provides other valuable data like fawn to doe and buck to doe ratios to help manage white-tailed deer populations, as well as documenting occurrences of expanding species like bobcats.

How can I help?

If you are planning to hunt deer with archery equipment in Indiana during October and November, please volunteer using the form below. Observations are generally collected from Oct. 1 to the day before firearms season opens. Volunteers can be planning to hunt any number of days during that time; there is no minimum number of days hunted required. Forms and instructions will be mailed to volunteers.

You can enter your Archer’s Index data online. Be sure to have your customer number and survey number to login, which can be found in the upper corner of your datasheet.

Questions? Contact us.

Find Archer's Index data in the annual deer report.

Find previous Archer’s Index reports on the wildlife reports page by using the search box.

Are you a deer bowhunter interested in participating?