Powder Valley Nature Center to host free deer management workshop for landowners

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ST. LOUIS - The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is hosting a free workshop for landowners, hunters and wildlife enthusiasts who want to learn about managing deer on their property. The workshop will be held Sept. 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the MDC Powder Valley Conservation Nature Center in Kirkwood.

Topics addressed during the workshop will include deer biology, herd management, habitat enhancement, incentive programs and deer data collection.

“A lot of folks are becoming more interested in quality deer management,” says MDC Private Land Conservationist Jeff Esely, who is organizing the workshop. “One of our goals is to equip landowners with the tools and knowledge they need to effectively manage their deer herd and accomplish their goals.”

Esely adds that the workshop will touch on numerous concepts such as population dynamics, harvest strategies, use of various monitoring methods such as infrared deer cameras and harvest data, and techniques to help manage land to attract and hold mature bucks.

The workshop not only offers a lot for the hunter, but also to all wildlife and nature enthusiasts.

“Many folks are interested in not just deer, but really all wildlife,” Esely says. “I think one of the things we’re trying to convey in this workshop is that if you manage your property for deer you’re most likely going to benefit a number of different wildlife species, such as wild turkey, rabbits, bobwhites and even non-game species like reptiles, amphibians and song birds.”

The workshop will also reveal how landowners can take advantage of a variety of no-cost options and cost-share incentive programs to help make deer management more affordable. These include MDC’s Private Lands Conservationists like Esely who can assist landowners in developing deer management plans, cost-share incentives that can pay much of the cost of doing habitat work, and deer management co-ops.

“I hope landowners come away understanding that there are a variety of resources available to them to help them accomplish their goals in terms of deer management,” says Esely.

The Deer Management Workshop is free but advanced registration is required by calling 636-528-4877, extension 3. Deadline for registration is Sept. 17 and space is limited to 200 participants. Lunch will also be provided free of charge, with the help of MDC, Quail Forever, the Gateway Branch of Quality Deer Management and the National Wild Turkey Federation.

Powder Valley Nature Center is located at 11715 Cragwold Road in Kirkwood, near the intersection of I-44 and I-270.