Opportunities are offered for hunters, anglers and the general public to participate in surveys and scientific data collection. Some surveys and data collection programs may require additional training. Your contributions no matter who you are, skill level, or where you live leads to better management and conservation of your natural resources.
Examples of previous and current public surveys for hunters include the Bowhunter Questionnaire, Deer Hunter Survey, Spring Gobbler Season Survey, Mast Survey and Hunting Outlook, Trapping Report, reporting tagged fish and creel (angler) surveys. Visit each link below for details and requirements.
Citizen Science is volunteer-driven scientific research. Wildlife Diversity offers citizen science programs for non-game species. The success of these programs depends on public participation. Visit each link below for details and requirements.
In the same manner that hunting and fishing has its own set of licensing and regulations, anytime wildlife is collected or handled for educational or scientific purposes, a scientific collection permit is required.
Questionnaires & Surveys
We are conducting a state-wide community science survey of fireflies or lightning bugs in 2023 on state parks, state forests, and state rail trails. If you are staying overnight or visiting, report sightings to help biologists determine species biodiversity and distribution of their populations.
- River Otters
This citizen science project will help WVDNR biologists identify river otter distribution and better manage their population across the state.
- Bowhunter Survey
This annual survey provides valuable information to help manage the white-tailed deer resource and other wildlife in our state.
- Deer Hunter Survey
The West Virginia DNR Deer Hunter Survey will be sent out randomly. It is not open for public input.
- Spring Gobbler Season Survey
This survey has taken place annually since 1983 to better understand hunter participation, interests, experiences, and harvest.
- Hunting Outlook and Mast Survey
We annually survey the state to determine hunting outlook and relative abundance of soft and hard mast produced by trees and shrubs of importance to wildlife populations.
- Trapper Survey
This annual survey provides information on trapping success and numbers of animals harvested each year.
- Hellbender and Mudpuppy Survey
Report hellbender and mudpuppy catches and sightings to help biologists protect these salamanders, symbols of healthy waterways.
- Box Turtle
We conducted a state-wide citizen science survey of woodland, formerly eastern, box turtles in 2020 and 2021 to better understand the distribution and threats to this species of conservation interest.
- Rattlesnake Report
Submit timber rattlesnake observations (live, dead, or harvested) to better understand its distribution.
The West Virginia Natural Heritage Program (WVNHP) compiles and is responsible for locality-based data for ecological communities and rare, threatened, and endangered animal species of West Virginia. Those that use the iNaturalist platform are encouraged to join WVNHP projects.