You asked why there is harvest of deer in the general season in Unit 44, shown on the web site, when there is no general season there for deer.
Good catch! You’re right, there should be no general hunters in Unit 44. I have now fixed the web site.
I investigated the data behind the estimate. Out of 136,000 reports filed, for deer, elk, and pronghorn, and 68,000 reports for general deer tags, just 45 reports said they hunted in Unit 44 and 7 said they harvested. This is less than 0.1% of the reports. These get extrapolated to an estimated 90 hunters and 14 deer harvested.
Unit 44 is an especially desirable controlled deer hunt, and it is hard to draw a permit. It is distressing to think that some people would be illegally hunting in a closed unit.
But my experience says that it is more likely to be an error in reporting the information. Someone might type in the wrong unit number from memory, or by a slip of the fingers. Someone might answer a phone call from our survey crew, and give the wrong unit by memory. Or the survey crew could rarely type it in wrong. Some hunters are young people, older people, or non-residents, who may not be as familiar with the numbers of the units, and more prone to error. Sometimes two tags get mixed up, or they mis-read the question.
Obviously, the harvest estimates are only as good as the data that come into our database. We examine the reports closely, and work hard to fix or remove any records which seem to be invalid. This is very time-consuming and slows us down in posting the data on our web site. We do our best to get the results out both accurately and quickly.
Sorry that we missed this situation We have fixed it now on the web site. Thank you for pointing it out to us.