What is the Archer’s Index?
The Archer’s Index relies on volunteer archery hunters to report wildlife observations while they are afield in the fall. The hours archery hunters spend sitting quietly provide great opportunities to see a variety of wildlife. There are currently 14 species reported through the Archer’s Index, 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 provide 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 effort also provides other valuable data like fawn-to-doe and buck-to-doe ratios to help manage white-tailed deer populations.
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 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 either in late September or within 3-5 business days of signing up during October and early November.
Already a volunteer? You can enter your Archer’s Index data online. Be sure to have your customer number and survey number to log in. This number 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.