Community Deer Management

White-tailed deer walking across street in residential neighborhood.
Community Deer Management

Urban deer issues can be complicated. MDC can help.

When urban deer populations in Missouri require management, the Department of Conservation serves as technical advisor to individuals and communities. MDC:

  • Guides deer population assessment and goal setting.
  • Recommends methods for minimizing conflict between deer and humans.
  • Advises on statutory language for regulations that are compatible with management goals.
  • Cultivates public awareness of deer population impacts
  • Authorizes management efforts.

How to get started:

1. Define and document deer-related problems in your community.          

  • How many deer-vehicle collisions are occurring each year? Is the number increasing?
  • How many complaints do you get about landscape damage or other damage to property?
  • Have your citizens raised health concerns?
  • Have there been other deer-related conflicts?  

Track these complaints and the locations where the complaints are coming from. 

2. Contact MDC for technical guidance.  


3. Decide who within your community or municipality should be involved. 

Participants may include representatives from the municipal government, the police department, the parks department, animal control, and citizens in affected neighborhoods.  

4. Create a plan.

When your team is in place, develop a management plan to actively manage the issues within your community. Be aware that deer management is a long-term process that may require a combination of non-lethal and lethal solutions.

  • Select method(s) to monitor your deer population.
  • Determine short-term and long-term goals. 
  • Develop ordinances to help you attain these goals.
  • Choose which non-lethal and lethal solutions you will use and who will carry them out.
  • Implement a communication strategy for informing your citizens about your deer management efforts.
  • Develop a strategy for maintaining your deer population over time. 

Realize other communities in Missouri have gone through this process and have tried different methods. MDC staff can help you contact these communities to help you explore which methods are the best fit for your community. 

Additional Resources