When I am looking at the statistics pages, what is the difference between the two different "Take Method" figures for "All Weapons Combined"? The figures don't really seem to add up--I'm certainly missing something.
[Deer and elk general hunt harvest estimates]
Answer: This is the most complicated part of reporting the harvest statistics.
I'm pretty sure that you are asking about deer and elk general hunt harvest estimates on the IDFG web site.
We have 3 kinds of general hunting seasons, for most of our hunts, but the names are confusing.
"Any Weapon" is the hunt most people use, when they are hunting with a rifle, although bow, crossbow, handgun, shotgun, and muzzleloader are also allowed.
"Archery" is just for bow and arrow (not crossbow).
"Muzzleloader" is just for muzzleloaders.
For lack of a better term, we use "All Weapons Combined", when we mean all of these added together.
"Any Weapon" usually means hunted and harvested with a rifle.
For general hunts, we report 4 sets of numbers -- Any Weapon, Archery, Muzzleloader, and All Weapons Combined, for each hunting unit.
For controlled hunts, we only report the total, because almost everyone hunts with one particular weapon on each of the controlled hunts.
In general hunts, a person can hunt using any or all of the different weapons, and we do want to capture that level of detail.
So we add up the days hunted using each type of weapon, and the animals harvested with each type of weapon, in each unit.
Here is an example for Game Management Unit 1 on our web page.
2012 Deer General Hunt Harvest Statistics
Year TakeMethod #Hunters #Harvest %Success
2012 Any Weapon 7,996 3,664 45.8%
2012 Archery 835 135 16.1%
2012 Muzzleloader 8 7 82.4%
2012 All Weapons Combined 8,186 3,805 46.5%
If you add up the numbers under the estimated Harvest, they do add up (3664+135+7=3806, slightly different due to rounding in the estimates). That fits, because each animal can only be harvested by one particular weapon.
But if you add up the numbers under the estimated number of Hunters, they DO NOT add up (7996+835+8=8839, not 8186).
This is the way it should be, because hunters can choose to hunt with all of the different weapons, and some hunters could with 2 or all 3 of the types of weapons in that unit. So it adds up to a higher total. "All Weapons Combined" counts each hunter just once, even though he may have hunted with all of the different types of weapons on different days.