Administered by the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) enables landowners to achieve local deer management goals through additional antlerless deer harvest opportunities.
Any private property of at least 500 acres located outside of municipal boundaries in any of the 89 DMAP counties (see map), regardless of the owner’s legal residence, is eligible for the program. For properties inside the boundaries of a city or town, at least 40 acres are required. Individual parcels of land, regardless of ownership, may be combined to satisfy the acreage requirement as long as no parcel of land is more than ½ mile (by air) from the boundary of another parcel being combined to form an enrolled DMAP property. The acreage requirement is designed to encourage deer management at a scale that will have a meaningful effect on local populations.
To qualify, the landowner(s) must also have clearly defined deer management objectives that cannot be achieved through current antlerless permit availability. Deer management objectives generally fall within one of two categories:
- Addressing deer damage concerns
- Minimizing deer damage to agriculture, forest, or other plant communities
- Achieving recreational deer management goals
- Bringing the deer population into balance with available habitat
- Balancing the adult sex ratio within the local deer population
Landowners wishing to enroll a property to address deer damage concerns must first schedule a site visit with their local MDC conservation agent or wildlife damage biologist. MDC contact information may be found at mdc.mo.gov/contact-engage. The agent or biologist will verify that damage is being caused by deer and determine if DMAP enrollment is warranted. If so, they will authorize the number of permits that will be available for use on the property during the deer season and provide the landowner with an application URL to enroll in the program. On the application, the landowner will designate hunters who may purchase the authorized DMAP permits.
Landowners wishing to enroll a property to achieve recreational deer management goals should contact MDC Private Lands Deer Biologist Kevyn Wiskirchen at Kevyn.Wiskirchen@mdc.mo.gov. Landowners will be asked to collect deer population data prior to enrollment that can be used to determine eligibility and the number of DMAP permits that will be available. This can be a camera survey, observation data, or other information that provides an estimate of deer abundance on the property. More information on collecting population data can be found at mdc.mo.gov/dmap. Once DMAP eligibility has been verified through the population data, the landowner will be provided the application URL to enroll.
The annual DMAP enrollment period extends from May 15 through October 1. All properties, even those that have been previously enrolled, must be enrolled annually by submitting a new application during the enrollment period.
Once a qualifying landowner has completed the online application, they will be contacted to determine how they would like the DMAP permits to be allocated across the hunters they listed on the application. Permits are not transferable and may only be obtained by the hunter to which they have been assigned. All DMAP permits will be available for purchase by October 15. Permits that have been allocated to hunters, but not yet purchased, may be reassigned to different hunters at three points throughout the firearms deer season:
- Changes submitted by November 5, 2021; permits available for purchase by November 12, 2021
- Changes submitted by November 26, 2021; permits available for purchase by December 3, 2021
- Changes submitted by December 17, 2021; permits available for purchase by December 24, 2021
All changes to permit allocation must be submitted to MDC at Kevyn.Wiskerchin@mdc.mo.gov.
The following conditions apply to DMAP permits:
- Each permit authorizes the taking of one antlerless deer.
- Permits may be used during any portion of the firearms deer season with methods allowed during that portion.
- Permits may only be used on the enrolled DMAP property for which they were issued.
- Once assigned to a hunter, permits are not transferable except through the process outlined above. Once a DMAP permit has been purchased, it cannot be reassigned.
- Permits will cost the same as a Firearms Antlerless Permit.
- Nonresidents must first purchase a Nonresident Firearms Any-Deer Hunting Permit, Nonresident Landowner Firearms Any-Deer Hunting Permit, or a Nonresident Managed Deer Hunting Permit to buy this permit.
For More Information
To learn more about the Deer Management Assistance Program, contact your local MDC private land conservationist or conservation agent.