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Deer Management Assistance Program

LDWF’s Deer Management Assistance Program provides professional technical assistance to participating hunting clubs and private landowners and managers to manage their local deer populations and habitats through prescribed deer harvests. Today, there are more than 700 DMAP participants on about 1.6 million acres of land.

How DMAP Works

LDWF biologists survey habitat on land enrolled in the program and provide program participants recommendations for harvest quotas and strategies as well as habitat management. LDWF issues DMAP tags to participants to use during the entire deer season.  Participants collect physical data from harvested deer, including sex, weight, antler development, and lactation, and submit it to biologists. Biologists examine these data and evaluate the growth and development of deer by age class. They identify trends in growth and development and use this information to refine their management recommendations. 

Biologists combine data reports from individual participants from the same parish and/or habitat type to develop parish and regional perspectives. They also combine parish reports into a state population report that managers use to develop hunting regulations.

 

contact
For more information, contact Jimmy Ernst at jernst@wlf.la.gov or 225.763.5448.

 

How to Participate

Complete an application and submit it to LDWF by August 1 (new applicants). Participants must renew their applications annually; submit renewals to LDWF by September. Participants must pay associated fees by September 15. 

Applicants can choose from four tiers of DMAP participation; each tier has a different acreage requirement and level of technical assistance.

Tier 1

    • 1,000 acres or more
    • Quality or trophy buck management
    • Strategies include increased doe harvest to maintain deer herds at balanced levels and allowing bucks to reach older ages before harvest.
    • Mandatory DMAP antlered and antlerless tags and complete collection of biological data, including jaw bones, from each deer harvested. (Special tag allotment rules apply).
    • Deer harvest is restricted to antlered and antlerless deer quotas established by biologists for enrolled property. Hunters must place an antlered or antlerless DMAP tag on each deer harvested. There are no daily or season deer limits for antlered or antlerless deer harvested by a hunter. 
    • Participants receive 15-day modern gun season extensions immediately prior to regular modern gun opening day, and/or immediately after the last primitive gun season day, depending on regional breeding data. Program biologists determine which season extension(s) are appropriate. Participants are also eligible to request an additional 10-day rabbit hunting season extension after the regular rabbit season closure.
    • Fees:
      • 1,000-1,500 acres: $250
      • 1,501-10,000 acres: $300
      • 10,001-20,000 acres: $500
      • 20,001-50,000 acres: $1,500
      • 50,001-75,000 acres: $2,500
      • 75,001+ acres: $3,750

Tier 2

    • 500 acres or more
    • Quality deer management
    • Mandatory collection of biological data, including jaw bones, from each deer harvested.
    • Only antlerless DMAP tags normally issued unless antlered tags are requested and need to meet harvest objectives.
    • Antlerless deer harvest is restricted to antlerless deer quota for enrolled property. Hunters must place an antlerless DMAP tag on each antlerless deer harvested. There is no daily or season limit for antlerless deer harvested by a hunter. Antlered deer must be tagged with hunter’s license tags (unless antlered DMAP deer tags are issued). The antlered deer limit is one per day. The antlered deer season limit is the same as the respective Deer Area.
    • Fees:
      • 500-1,500 acres: $150
      • 1,501-10,000 acres: $200
      • 10,001-20,000 acres: $500
      • 20,001-50,000 acres: $1,500
      • 50,001-75,000 acres: $2,500
      • 75,001+ acres: $3,750

Tier 3

    • 40 acres or more
    • Mandatory documentation of total number of antlered and antlerless deer. 
    • Only antlerless DMAP tags available.
    • Antlerless deer harvest is restricted to antlerless deer quota for enrolled property. Hunters must place an antlerless DMAP tag on each antlerless deer harvested. There is no daily or season limit for antlerless deer harvested by a hunter. Antlered deer must be tagged with hunter’s license tags. The antlered deer limit is one per day. The antlered deer season limit is the same as the respective Deer Area.
    • Fees:
      • 40-500 acres: $100
      • 501-1,500 acres: $150
      • 1,501-10,000 acres: $200
      • 10,001-20,000 acres: $500
      • 20,001-50,000 acres: $1,500
      • 50,001-75,000 acres: $2,500
      • 75,001+ acres: $3,750

Tier 4

    • No minimum acreage 
    • Only available for nuisance deer issues such as crop or lawn depredation. 
    • Mandatory documentation of total number of antlered and antlerless deer. 
    • Only antlerless DMAP tags available.
    • No fee

 

Rules, Regulations, and Requirements

Rules and Regulations

  • Definitions
    • Antlered buck: a deer with visible antlers of hardened bony material which has broken through the skin naturally
    • Antlerless deer: a female deer (doe) or young buck (button buck) that has no visible hardened antlers
  • Deer harvested on DMAP-enrolled property are not to be validated (reported) by phone or internet.
  • Deer harvested using DMAP antlered or antlerless tags do not count towards hunters’ season bag limits. Hunters’ license tags may still be used on non-DMAP-enrolled property.
  • The DMAP property cooperator will be the person listed on the application as the contact person and will serve as the liaison with LDWF. This person shall be responsible for the tags and provide harvest records to LDWF at the end of the hunting season or at any time requested during the season. Cooperators will be given 48 hours to provide requested documentation. If a hunting camp is used, it is recommended to keep records at this location.
  • DMAP cooperators agree to allow LDWF personnel access to their lands for management surveys or other inspections deemed appropriate.
  • Property enrolled in DMAP must be posted with DMAP signs at a minimum of 1,000-foot intervals around entire boundary of the property and at every entry point onto the property.
  • Assigned DMAP tags are valid only on DMAP-enrolled lands for which they have been issued. All unused tags shall be returned by March 1 to the LDWF office that issued the tags.
  • Tier 1 requires antlered and antlerless tags, and Tiers 2 and 3 require antlerless tags.
  • DMAP tags must be used during the entire deer hunting season, which includes archery, primitive, and modern firearm seasons.
  • The DMAP tag must be attached in such a manner that it cannot be removed before the deer is transported.
  • The DMAP tag must remain with the deer in the field, camp, en route to domicile of its possessor, or stored at a cold storage facility. The tag is no longer required when the meat is identifiable as food rather than wild game.
  • Documentation of all deer harvested in DMAP shall be kept daily on an official DMAP Deer Kill Record. Mandatory records include: DMAP tag number, harvest date, hunter’s name, license number (annual or lifetime) or date of birth (under 16/over 59), and required biological data from harvested deer. Mandatory biological data on Tier 1 and 2 includes (jawbones), weight, antler measurements, and lactation of females (not required for Tier 3).
  • Failure of the cooperator to follow these rules and regulations may result in suspension and/or cancellation of the property’s participation in the DMAP program.
  • Antlerless deer may be harvested any day of deer season on property enrolled in DMAP provided a DMAP tag is possessed by the hunter at time of harvest. 

Deer Kill Record Requirements

  • DMAP Tag Number: the number of the DMAP tag (antlered or antlerless) which was placed on the deer
  • Harvest Date: Enter the month and day. All deer must be logged on the record the day they were harvested. 
  • Hunter’s Name: name of hunter harvesting deer
  • Hunter’s License Number: LDWF number, Lifetime License number, or date of birth (under 16/over 59) for the hunter harvesting deer
  • Sex of Deer: male (B) or female (D) 
  • Deer Weight: Only use weights obtained from accurate scales. Do not estimate weights. Record weights as live (not gutted) or empty (gutted). 
  • Milk Present: Check each female harvested for lactation. If milk or fluids can be squeezed from teats, write “yes” in the box. The udder can be cut open to confirm the presence of milk. This is very important biological data indicating reproduction information.
  • Antler Measurement: Record data from both antlers.
    • Number of Points: total points one inch long or longer
    • Inside Spread: widest inside spread measurement between main beam of antlers
    • Main Beam Length: Measure main beam from antler burr above eye to tip. This measurement is also required for spikes. 
    • Circumference of Main Beam: Measure the smallest circumference at a point between antler burr and first point (brow tine). 
  • Comments: any information on deer abnormalities, hunting conditions or habitat changes that could influence deer health or deer hunting
  • Remove deer jawbones for aging

Jawbone Extraction and Handling Instructions

  • Label deer jawbones to correspond to the Deer Kill Record with a permanent marker or aluminum tag firmly attached to jawbone.
  • If the jawbone cannot be linked to the Deer Kill Record, LDWF biologists will not be able to record the age data in your annual report.
  • You must clean deer jawbones of as much flesh as possible and completely dry them. We recommend using a wire fish basket as a storage container—it allows bones to dry and protects them from scavengers.
  • Do not freeze or store jawbones in sealed plastic bags.
  • Properly label box or bag containing jawbones with name of DMAP club or cooperator as it appears on the Deer Kill Record
Deer jawbone extraction.

Procedures for Using DMAP Tags

Tier 1 (antlered and antlerless tags issued)

  • You’ve harvested a deer.
    • Take the appropriate antlered or antlerless DMAP tag and attach the tag to the deer.
    • Bring the deer to whatever facility your club has where records are kept and data are collected (even if it’s a residence).
    • Record DMAP tag number on Deer Kill Record.
    • Collect all required biological data from deer and record on Deer Kill Record.
    • You are legal and your deer is validated. You can proceed with the cleaning process. Do not call in any information.

Tier 2 (antlerless tags issued)

  • You’ve harvested an antlerless deer (doe or button buck).
    • Take an antlerless DMAP tag and attach the tag to the deer.
    • Bring the deer to whatever facility your club has where records are kept and data are collected (even if it’s a residence).
    • Record antlerless DMAP tag number on Deer Kill Record.
    • Collect all required biological data from deer and record on Deer Kill Record. 
    • You are legal and your deer is validated. You can proceed with the cleaning process. Do not call in any information.
  • You’ve harvested an antlered deer.
    • Detach one of your antlered deer tags from your hunting license. Record the date and parish on the tag and affix it to the carcass with string, wire, etc. 
    • Bring the deer to whatever facility your club has where records are kept and data are collected (even if it’s a residence).
    • Record “Club ID Number and Deer Number” on the report card portion of your license. (Example Club ID 70285 deer #7) [70285-7]
    • Collect all required biological data from deer and record on Deer Kill Record.
    • You are legal and your deer is validated. You can proceed with the cleaning process. Do not call in any information.

Tier 3 (only antlerless tags issued)

  • You’ve harvested an antlerless deer (doe or button buck).
    • Take an antlerless DMAP tag and attach the tag to the deer.
    • Bring the deer to whatever facility your club has where records are kept and data are collected (even if it’s a residence).
    • Record antlerless DMAP tag number on Deer Kill Record.
    • You are legal and your deer is validated. You can proceed with the cleaning process. Do not call in any information.
  • You’ve harvested an antlered deer.Detach one of your antlered deer tags from your hunting license.
    • Record the date and parish on the tag and affix it to the carcass with string, wire, etc. 
    • Bring the deer to whatever facility your club has where records are kept and data are collected (even if it’s a residence).
    • Record “Club ID Number and Deer Number” on the report card portion of your license. (Example Club ID 70285 deer #7) [70285-7]
    • Record antlered harvest on Deer Kill Record
    • You are legal and your deer is validated. You can proceed with the cleaning process. Do not call in any information.

 

Program Success

DMAP participants have improved age structures and sex ratios on their enrolled properties. The percent of young bucks harvested has declined and the number of adult bucks has increased on these properties. For example, states in the southeast have found that 1-1/2 year old bucks account for 75% or more of the antlered buck harvest.

In contrast, on Louisiana DMAP lands, harvest of 1-1/2-year-old bucks in recent years has accounted for 15% or less of the antlered buck harvest. Instead, participants are mainly harvesting older bucks. Some southeastern states have had to establish mandatory antler size restrictions on buck harvest in order to achieve similar results. Participants are also harvesting more antlerless deer, which helps create a healthy population of both bucks and does.