DFG's deer harvest statistics will always be off base until they make the hunter return/report cards mandatory. The regulations may say it’s a requirement but that doesn’t mean everyone complies. Similar to Nevada, I would like to see a penalty for not complying, whether successful or not. Until they change this matter, the data will simply be a poor estimate only. Maybe I wouldn’t say poor if I knew how they determined the ‘estimated deer kill’ from the reported.
I know DFG doesn’t generate the big revenue like other western states do but they could at least adopt some of their practices that have been proven to work year in and year out.