Apply for Private Land Deer Management Assistance Program by May 15

May 13, 2020

Apply for Private Land Deer Management Assistance Program by May 15

Managing the deer population on private land is the focus of the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP). With help from wildlife biologists from the Oklahoma Department of Conservation, cooperators can actively manage deer on their land to reach various goals they choose.

May 15 is the deadline to submit an application for this year’s DMAP.

DMAP cooperators may be landowners, land managers, lease operators or hunting clubs. Active participation of cooperators is required for DMAP to produce the desired goals, which could be growing the deer population on a parcel of land, or producing trophy bucks.

“More than 90 percent of Oklahoma’s land is in private hands, and that means that Wildlife Department biologists are limited when it comes to ‘boots on the ground’ deer management,” said Dallas Barber, Big Game Biologist with the Department. “Working with DMAP participants, using real data and selective harvesting, gives us the chance to create the kind of deer herd that these people want to see on their properties.”

Owing to the large home range of white-tailed deer, only parcels of 1,000 acres or larger may be enrolled in DMAP. This does not exclude smaller properties from participating as several landowners may combine their acreages to meet that requirement. Applicants will submit an enrollment form, a legal description of the property, and a map showing the general location and boundaries of the property. Enrollment fee is $200 for parcels up to 4,999 acres, or $400 for anything larger.

Cooperators accepted into DMAP will work one-on-one with a wildlife biologist to collect and analyze data, and make informed management decisions aimed at reaching their goals. Cooperators will be required to conduct population surveys and gather biological samples including jaw bones for aging.

Should the harvest and spotlight data indicate an over-abundance of antlerless deer, cooperators will be issued DMAP harvest permits consistent with their management goals. These permits allow DMAP participants greater flexibility in antlerless harvest on the enrolled property, including extended rifle antlerless days and increased bag limits. Antlerless deer harvested under DMAP are considered bonus deer and do not count toward a hunter’s annual bag limit.

Landowners wishing to receive deer management advice, but not looking for the high level of commitment required for participation in DMAP, may receive free technical assistance at any time from Wildlife Department biologists.

Approved applicants are notified by Aug. 15.

DMAP applications are available from Dallas Barber, Big Game Biologist with the Wildlife Department. Email him at dallas.barber@odwc.ok.gov or call (405) 385-1791.

For more information, go to www.wildlifedepartment.com/lands-and-minerals/landowner-programs/dmap.