The Deer Management Assistance Program, (DMAP) is a
comprehensive deer management program, consisting of data
collection and cooperator education with which the MDWFP tries to
put the landowner/cooperator in a better position to manage their
lands for a healthy deer herd, while maintaining habitat integrity.
The program is continuously interactive and open for modification.
Data from the program are used to develop site specific harvest
recommendations, and have prompted numerous research projects to
help better understand deer biology.
The starting point of DMAP is goal/objective setting by the
cooperator. Then certain data are collected from harvested deer,
(i.e., weights, antler measurements, whether does have been
lactating or not, and a jaw-bone pulled to determine the age of
each deer harvested). After analyzing the harvest data and in some
cases limited habitat evaluation, the biologist will meet with the
landowner/cooperator to discuss harvest strategies that are
designed to meet their specific goals within the limitations of
maintaining a healthy habitat.
Deer management goals vary from club to club and range from
emphasizing total number of deer to having fewer deer and allowing
them to reach their "trophy" potential. Deer harvest
recommendations an be tailored to achieve the entire range of deer
The landowner/cooperative receives a harvest summary report
after each hunting season. This report contains a detailed analysis
of the current year's harvest as well as graphs and charts that
help show trend directions while facilitating data interpretation.
Progress toward the desired goals and objectives are continuously
evaluated. A phone conversation or a meeting with their respective
biologist is usually an annual follow-up to answer the many
questions that will arise. Ideally, the biologist attempts to
schedule at least one meeting in person with each club or, at a
minimum, all the clubs from each county each year.
The demand for DMAP was initially used by many
landowner/cooperators as a way to harvest surplus antlerless deer
with no real interest in deer management. Gathering the required
data was a price they were willing to pay at the time. As more
antlerless opportunity was offered on private lands for longer
periods, many landowner/cooperators dropped from the program, no
longer willing to gather the mandatory data. Clubs which remain on
the program are continuing to strive toward managing their deer
herd to meet their desired objectives.