Nearly 90 percent of Arkansas is privately owned. People who hunt and maintain these properties have a large influence on the state’s deer quality and quantity. Every time a hunter pulls a trigger or releases a bowstring, they are making a management decision.
The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission’s Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) assists landowners and hunting clubs with the management of their local deer herds. Participants collect and submit biological data from the deer harvested on their property. In return, participants are provided with a customized, property-specific report with future harvest recommendations based on the club’s management goals.
Participants in DMAP learn:
- The importance of balanced sex ratios and age structure
- Disease monitoring, prevention, and abatement
- Quality deer management principles
- The importance of quality habitat and proper herd management for improved herd quality
Participants may also request a free habitat site visit and habitat management plan. Through this plan, AGFC biologists can provide additional recommendations for improving deer and other wildlife populations. Biologists may also be able to identify possible financial assistance to help manage the property.
What are the benefits of DMAP?
- Increased hunting opportunity
- Increased management flexibility
- Improved hunt quality
- Healthier, higher quality deer populations
- Potentially more improved/better wildlife habitats
- More localized management based on harvest, observation, and biological data
Participation in DMAP
Participation in DMAP is voluntary and free. Participation does not affect land-access policies. There are four levels of DMAP programming:
Level 1A | Depredation Management
Assists landowners and cities with deer-related property damage with the focus on reducing overall deer density.
Level 1 | Healthy Deer Management
Maintains the herd at a healthy, sustainable level (at or below carrying capacity). This level provides maximum harvest opportunity with harvest of bucks and does alike.
Level 2 | Quality Deer Management
Provides a moderate level of buck harvest with a relatively higher harvest of does to encourage mature bucks. Buck harvest will peak in the 3.5 age class.
Level 3 | Intensive Deer Management
Provides a high harvest of does with very selective harvest of bucks in order to allow bucks to reach older age classes and reach full antler potential. Buck harvest will peak in the 4.5-5.5 age class.
|July 1||Deadline for clubs to apply or renew with the regional DMAP biologist.|
|September 1||Clubs receive DMAP packets containing DMAP tags, harvest reports and recommendations, management plans, data ledgers, jawbone tags, etc.|
|March 15||Deadline to have all data and jawbones submitted to your DMAP biologist.|
Enrollment is easy; however, certain rules do apply. Landowners and hunting clubs with less than 500 acres are encouraged to join with neighboring landowners to meet the minimum acreage requirement and to increase the success of achieving deer management goals.
Hunting clubs participating in DMAP levels 1, 2 or 3. are required to collect biological (jawbones, weight, lactation, antler measurements, etc.) data throughout the deer season on all deer that are harvest by the club. While DMAP level 1A clubs are not required to collect these data, it is highly encouraged. Each club will be trained on the proper method of collecting such data, and all data collected must be submitted to the DMAP biologist by March 15 each year.