Well, it arrived. I am going to complete it right after I post (that way they won't need to spend more to send me reminders as stated in the letter that came with it) what is in it and some unsolicited opinion.
Yeah, it was nuts to send a postcard telling you that a survey was on its way. I don't know how many they sent out, but the postcard was 19 cents, the survey postage was 32 cents, and it is business reply mail, so the return is about the same. With printing costs, for some reason it needs to be on white and blue paper, that makes the physical cost of the survey somewhere in the dollar range. That is actually cheap for a survey.
That being written, I am not so sure what the purpose of it is. I'll explain as I go through the different sections.
Did you purchase anything other than a normal backtag?
If bought anterless tags, how many?
Did you hunt for any of the species in the sections below?
Lists the various seasons
Wants to know what WMU you hunted and for how many days
Only has room to list two
Wants to know if you harvested a buck by WMU
Wants to know how many antlerless you harvested by WMU
Same stuff, but requests beard and spur length
Rabbit, Grouse, Squirrel, Pheasant, Quail, Snowshoes, Woodchucks, Crows
Dove, Woodcock, Coyote, Bear, Snow Geese, Ducks, Canada Geese
Same stuff, which of two WMU's; how many days; how many harvested
Bobcats, Fishers, Quail, Pheasants
Wants to know how many you saw
For the Quail and Pheasants, wants to know how may WILD birds, not stocked
Were you checked by WCO?
Did you participate in any Mentored hunts?
A section for harvest infor for Junior Hunters
And that is it.
Now for the unsolicited opinion.
Part 1 -- Deer. I like that they ask how many days people hunted. This could give them a handle on who their customers really are. And I suspect it isn't people that hunted more than a handful of days for deer. I find it odd that they ask how many wild Quail, Pheasants, Bobcats and Fishers you SAW, but don't want to know how many deer you SAW -- only harvested.
Also, much of this information is already in their hands via report cards such as WMU, season bagged, etc. If they just had this info in a searchable format, they could have the same information in a matter of minutes.
Part 2 -- Turkey. The only piece of information here that isn't already available via report card is number of days hunted. I think that is important to know -- again it defines their customer.
As for people not returning their report cards, if they didn't return it, who thinks someone would return a survey that is 5 X as long?
Part 3 -- other critters. The days hunted defines their customer base. The very interesting part I find in this section is that for Pheasant, Quail, and Ducks, is broken down to preserve and non-preserve harvest and days hunted. I see this is as judging whether the pheasant stamp will fly (pun definately intended) or if they are being beaten up by the commerical competition and should bag the whole pheasant stocking program.
Part 4 -- Fishers, Bobcats, and wild Quail and Pheasants. For the Fishers and Bobcats, who cares? Yeah, its nice to know if there are Bobs about, but as for the Fishers, other than knowing whether the PGC stocking worked, who gives a crap? With respect to the Quail and Pheasants, being a bird hunter, that would be nice to know, but except for a very, very, very small section of the state, that is a known answer -- ZIPPO. Why ask.
Also, the PGC often boasts that they manage over 150 species but they only care about 19 in their survey.
Part 5 -- Mentored hunt. I guess this gages how many took kids under 12 hunting. Good info to have. But why no questions on Youth hunts? Aren't they important? Or is it because they are already license holders that the revenue from them is a given? Is this a tep toward licensing ALL hunters by not having a minimum age?
General opinions -- The PGC manages deer via seasons and anterless allocations, so the info is needed -- even though most of it can be gathered elsewhere. Same story for turkeys.
As for Rabbits (and we were big rabbit hunters for years), Grouse, Squirrel, Snowshoes, Woodchuck, and crow, the PGC does nothing. Why do they need this info other than to point out that people hunt for something other than deer and turkeys.
With repect to bear, how much more info do they need?
Dove, Woodcock, ducks and geese are federally managed, so what does that have to do with the PGC?
All in all, a pretty good sized survey that gets very little information that can't be gathered through other means that the PGC has ANY input on at all.
Now, if it were a way to say "we care about what our cusomers think" then it served that token PR purpose.