Game Monitoring & Population Surveys

Fort Hunter Liggett monitors game to comply with the Sikes Act Improvement Act’s requirement for Department of Defense installations to manage lands for wildlife conservation, and as part of our responsibility to provide the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) with annual population and harvest information for their requirement to manage the State’s wildlife and their habitats.

Why collect population data? Quite simply, the information is necessary to successfully manage game in many situations. Accurate information about the numbers of animals and fish being harvested is essential for estimating the effects of people on fish and wildlife populations. Population data is used to interpret game health and evaluate population status relative to the goals for a population. These estimates give managers the information needed to make sound decisions concerning hunting seasons, bag limits, and population management.

Here’s some of what we do:

  • Deer spotlight survey for estimating deer densities in different habitats.

  • Deer and elk daytime composition counts for sex ratios, age structure, and an index of population status.

  • Deer and elk check station harvest data collection for herd health and habitat condition.

  • Waterfowl survey for species presence, distribution, and abundance.

  • Track and record harvest data and customer usage for all fish and game.

We understand that data collection can be intrusive, and many people consider information on fish and wildlife harvests personal. However, hunters and anglers play a significant role in the collection and use of harvest data. Your harvest reporting is an important part of ensuring a sustainable harvest of healthy game. By providing this data, you help improve your own future opportunities for hunting and fishing success and enjoyment.