Any private property of at least 500 acres located outside of municipal boundaries, 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 requirements 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
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. Landowners with property enrolled in DMAP are eligible to receive DMAP hunting permits. These permits enable landowners and hunters on their property to harvest additional antlerless deer during deer season above and beyond the county-level permit limit.
Landowners wishing to enroll a property into DMAP must decide whether their deer management goals most closely relate to addressing deer damage or to achieving recreational objectives, as previously outlined. Those wishing to address deer damage concerns must first schedule a site visit with their local MDC conservation agent or wildlife damage biologist. MDC contact information can 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 DMAP permits that will be available for use on the property during the deer season and provide the landowner with an online application link 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 below. Once DMAP eligibility has been verified through the population data, the landowner will be provided the online application link 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, or renewing a previous application, during the enrollment period.
When you enroll in the program, you are offered liability protection under Missouri’s Recreational Use Immunity Law (RSMo Section 537.347).
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 must be initially assigned to hunters prior to Oct. 1, and DMAP permits will be available for purchase by Oct. 15 anywhere other permits are sold, including through the MO Hunting mobile app. 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 Nov. 4, 2022; permits available for purchase by Nov. 11, 2022
- Changes submitted by Nov. 25, 2022; permits available for purchase by Dec. 2, 2022
- Changes submitted by Dec. 16, 2022; permits available for purchase by Dec. 23, 2022
All changes to permit allocation must be submitted to MDC at Kevyn.Wiskirchen@mdc.mo.gov.
The following conditions apply to DMAP permits:
- Each permit authorizes the take 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 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 Nonresident Managed Deer Hunting Permit to buy DMAP permits.
For More Information
To learn more about the Deer Management Assistance Program, contact your local MDC private lands conservationist or conservation agent. Contact information and additional program details can be found at mdc.mo.gov/contact-engage.