Wildlife and Deer Management Objectives by State


Example of Objectives

Links to Agencies and Wildlife Acton Plan


General Objective:  Bobwhite quail and longleaf pine habitats are priority areas in Alabama. Major practices include eradication of fescue and Bermuda grass with subsequent conversion to native grasses, forbs and legumes, and restoration of longleaf pine habitat. Other approved management practices include prescribed burning, strip disking, liming, hedgerow development, pre-commercial thinning of woodlands and establishment of legumes and longleaf pine stands.  From:  Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Cost Share Programs


Quantitative Objective:  Where the yearling males (deer) have an average body weight of 95 to 105 pounds on areas with good soils, there should be concern the deer population exceeds the capacity of the land to support the herd in good condition.  From:  Deer Hunt Reports on Alabama

Alabama Wildlife Action Plan

Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resource



Mission Statement:  To protect, maintain, and improve the fish, game, and aquatic plant resources of the state, and manage their use and development in the best interest of the economy and the well-being of the people of the state, consistent with the sustained yield principle.


  • Optimize economic benefits from fish and wildlife resources.
  • Optimize public participation in fish and wildlife pursuits.
  • Increase public knowledge and confidence that wild populations of fish and wildlife are responsibly managed.    From:  

Quantitative Objective:   Management biologists compile and analyze harvest and biological information and present it to the Board of Game so it can establish population-based and ecologically sound hunting and trapping regulations.  From:  Wildlife Management Overview


Alaska Wildlife Action Plan 

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation


Alaska Department of Fish and Game



Mission Statement:  “To conserve, enhance, and restore Arizona’s diverse wildlife resources and habitats through aggressive protection and management programs and to provide wildlife resources and safe watercraft and off-highway vehicle recreation for the enjoyment, appreciation and use by present and future generations.

Goals:  The Department manages wildlife using the North American Model, which asserts that wildlife is held in public trust — not owned by any one person or entity, regardless of whether the animal is on public or private land or water.

Wildlife is managed based on the overall public good. The North American Model allows non-frivolous use of wildlife, and relies on scientific research-based management. It recognizes that wildlife cannot be managed along political bound aries, so cooperation across boundaries is a neces sity. The North American Model also relies on laws and enforcement, and provides the public a voice in wildlife management decisions.

The goals of our wildlife management program are: to conserve and preserve wildlife populations and habitats; to provide for compatible public uses, while avoiding adverse impacts to habitat and wildlife populations; to promote public health and safety; and to increase public awareness and understanding of wildlife resources."   

Arizona Wildlife Action Plan

Arizona Department of Environmental Quality


Arizona Game and Fish Department


Natural Resources Division - Arizona State Land Department



Statewide Goals and Objectives   General Objective Example for Deer Management   Manage and maintain a healthy, stable deer herd appropriate for the habitat.   

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission Deer Season Summary 
"... The objective of collecting this data has been to monitor trends in deer numbers, buck-to-doe ratios, fawn-to-doe ratios, buck antler development.  AGFC personnel collect several hundred deer samples each year in late winter and early spring to gauge herd health. Samples are collected from all six Deer Management Units. This data gives biologists important information about herd health, timing of the rut and fawn production."

Arkansas Wildlife Action Plan

Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality

Arkansas Game and Fish Commission



Resource Management Mission Statement: "The Mission of the Department of Fish and Game is to manage California's diverse fish, wildlife, and plant resources, and the habitats upon which they depend, for their ecological values and for their use and enjoyment by the public."    from: 

California's Wildlife Action Plan Report a 623 page report that can be dowloaded


California Wildlife Action Plan (summary)

California's Wildlife Action Plan Report a 623 page 

California Department of Fish and Game


California Resources Agency



Goal of Wildlife Commission:  "The Commission shall actively promote, encourage, and provide sufficient opportunity for public participation and input for the purposes of carrying out duties and decision-making processes."  fromColorado Wildlife Commission Policy

Minimize loss of quality fish and wildlife habitat.  Fish and wildlife disease do not significantly impact fish and wildlife.  Colorado citizens are satisfied with the diversity and health of the state’s native fish and wildlife.  Hunters, anglers and trappers are satisfied with the number and variety of fish and game available for harvest.  The Division is regarded as a comprehensive source of objective scientifically based information on fish and wildlife in Colorado. Colorado’s fish and wildlife is managed such that federal ESA listings are minimized and the state retains primary management authority.    From Colorado Division of Wildlife Strategic Plan, 2010 to 2010  

The Cooperative Research Unit "program remains uniquely positioned to support the Department of the Interior’s strategic goal of linking science to decision making through Adaptive Management. Program scientists provide ongoing consultative and technical services on a suite of key elements identified in the Department’s recently published Adaptive Management Technical Guide. These services include conducting primary research on intensively managed high priority species and populations, developing structured decision support models to minimize uncertainty in decision making, and establishing new pathways for communications with partners. Improving the efficiency of decision making through the explicit use of science to support objective driven management are hallmarks of the Adaptive Management framework as well as the CRU program. CRU will continue to provide leadership to achieve the Secretary’s vision for Adaptive Management in DOI."

Colorado Wildlife Action Plan

Colorado Department of Natural Resources

Colorado Division of Wildlife



Goal: Founded in 1971, the mission of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is to conserve, improve and protect the natural resources and environment of the State of Connecticut in such a manner as to encourage the social and economic development of Connecticut while preserving the natural environment and the life forms it supports in a delicate, interrelated and complex balance, to the end that the state may fulfill its responsibility as trustee of the environment for present and future generations. from Mission Statement

Deer Management Objectives Connecticut’s Deer Management Program goals are:  1) to maintain the population at levels compatible with available habitat and land uses; and 2) to allow for a sustained yield of deer for use by Connecticut hunters.  The program has focused on the stabilization of zonal deer populations at moderate densities for the best long-term interest of the deer resource, native plant and animal communities, and the public. Regulated deer hunting efforts have focused on increasing harvest of antlerless deer,  coordinating controlled hunts for overabundant deer herds, assisting communiies and large landowners with deer management issues, and research and management of urban deer populations.   From 2009 Deer Management Summary

Connecticu Wildlife Action Plan

Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (also the 

Connecticut Division of Wildlife and the Connecticut Fisheries Division)



 Delaware Deer Management Plan   "The Mission of the Wildlife Section is to conserve our native wildlife populations, promote responsible resource management and provide wildlife related recreational and educational opportunities for all.

Guiding Principles/ideas:

1. We will manage populations of flora and fauna at socially acceptable levels.  2. We will maximize biodiversity  3. We will protect, improve, and restore native habitat.  4. We will provide and promote safe and enjoyable hunting and other wildlife related activities.  5. We will provide guidance to resolve human-wildlife conflicts.  6. We will educate all users about the value of wildlife and their benefits.  7. Decisions will be based upon science.  8. We will develop partnerships to develop and implement programs.  9. We will perform all activities in a professional manner in accordance with the Code of Ethics established by the Wildlife Society.  10. We will Incorporate public opinion into our decision making process.  11. Will manage wildlife as a Public Trust Resource.   

Conserve Native Wildlife  1. Science must serve as the foundation for all our decisions.  2. We are committed to conserving biodiversity and the integrity of biological functions. We will manage native wildlife species as viable free ranging populations.  3.  We will protect, improve and restore habitats and natural communities to preserve biodiversity.  4. We will restore native extirpated species." 


Delaware Wildlife Action Plan

Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control


Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife



Goal (mission statement):   Managing fish and wildlife resources for their long-term wellbeing and the benefit of the people  From Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Long Range Program Plan

Deer Management:  (1) ensure the existence of robust deer populations that meet the public's desire for recreational opportunities and protection of private property while ensuring the long-term welfare of the species, (2) ensure a high degree of public satisfaction with deer management in Florida, and (3) manage deer habitats consistent with ecosystems health, deer population goals, and customer satisfaction goals.  From:  Strategic Plan for Deer Management in Florida 2008-2018.

Florida Wildlife Action Plan

Florida Department of Environmental Protection


Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission


 Goal:  The Wildlife Division is charged with conserving, enhancing and promoting Georgia's wildlife resources.  From Wildlife About Us

Harvest Strategies for Hunting Clubs


Georgia Wildlife Action Plan

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Wildlife Resources Division



Goal of Department of Land and Natural Resources:  Enhance, protect, conserve and manage Hawaii’s unique and limited natural, cultural and historic resources held in public trust for current and future generations of visitors and the people of Hawaii nei in partnership with others from the public and private sectors." from DNLR

There are black tail deer and deer hunts in Hawaii, deer are non native species.  The management philosophy is:  " Maintaining or restoring the dynamic natural processes is the goal of native ecosystem protection and restoration programs.  
Without a clear understanding of what native ecosystem management involves and why it is needed, public support for these programs will be difficult to obtain. Information and education should be incorporated into protection efforts whenever possible.  Sound scientific research should be the base for management programs and activities." From Managing the NARS

Hawaii Wildlife Action Plan

Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources


Hawaii Division of Aquatic Resources


Hawaii Division of Forestry and Wildlife



Objective:   Title 36–103 of the Idaho Code authorizes the Idaho Fish and Game Commission to administer wildlife policy in the state and mandates that: "All wildlife, including all wild animals, wild birds, and fish, within the state of Idaho, is hereby declared to be the property of the state of Idaho. It shall be preserved, protected, perpetuated, and managed." Title 36–202 IC defines wildlife as: "Wildlife shall mean any form of animal life, native or exotic, generally living in a state of nature."   from Idaho Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Stategy,   Introduction and Purpose

A study on why people hunt deer in Idaho, 2007.


Idaho Wildlife Action Plan

Idaho Department of Fish and Game


Idaho Division of Environmental Quality



 Deer Management Objective:   The JTF recommends that the rate of deer/vehicle accidents be used as the objective to guide deer management and to judge the success or failure of the state’s deer management programs.  The specific target rate (both statewide and at the county level) was set at halfway between the minimum and maximum rates measured during the period 1994 through 2007.  The statewide target rate corresponds to a 14 percent decrease in the accident rate from the statewide peak observed during 2003.  From Joint Deer Task Force Final Recommendations, 2009

Illinois Wildlife Action Plan

Illinois Department of Natural Resources


Illinois Environmental Protection Agency



 Deer Management in State Parks   Deer Reduction: Method of Choice

• Extensive non-lethal management options have been explored in Indiana and elsewhere. Lethal removal has proven to be the most practical and cost effective method of ontrol.Extensive non-lethal management options have been explored in Indiana and elsewhere. Lethal removal has proven to be the most practical and cost effective method of control.

• Research has shown that vegetative recovery generally begins once a Harvest per Effort (H/E) nears 0.20 and a harvest of 15 deer per square mile where firearms are used.Research has shown that vegetative recovery generally begins once a Harvest per Effort (H/E) nears 0.20 and a harvest of 15 deer per square mile where firearms are used.  From Resource Management Spotlight

Indiana Wildlife Action Plan


Indiana Department of Natural Resources


Indiana Division of Fish and Wildlife



Mission IOWA Department of Natural Resources To conserve and enhance our natural resources in cooperation with individuals and organizations to improve the quality of life for Iowans and ensure a legacy for future generations  from Iowa Department of Natural Resources - About Us

Iowa Wildlife Action Plan

Iowa Department of Natural Resources 



 Mission Statement    Fish, wildlife and outdoor recreation are important to the quality of life for all Kansans and to the Kansas economy. As a public steward of the Kansas natural resources, the mission of the Department of Wildlife and Parks is to:

Conserve and enhance Kansas natural heritage, its wildlife and its habitats--to assure future generations the benefits of the state's diverse, living resources;

Provide the public with opportunities for the use and appreciation of the natural resources of Kansas, consistent with the conservation of those resources;

Inform the public of the status of the natural resources of Kansas to promote understanding and gain assistance in achieving this mission.   

Kansas Wildlife Action Plan

Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks



 Mission Statement     To conserve and enhance fish and wildlife resources and provide opportunity for hunting, fishing, trapping, boating and other wildliferelated activities.  from Planning the Future for Kentucky's Fish and Wildlife

Kentucky Wildlife Action Plan

Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection

Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources



 Mission Statement:  "To manage, conserve, and promote wise utilization of Louisiana's renewable fish and wildlife resources and their supporting habitats through replenishment, protection, enhancement, research, development, and education for the social and economic benefit of current and future generations; to provide opportunities for knowledge of and use and enjoyment of these resources; and to promote a safe and healthy environment for the users of the resources."  From About About LDWF and Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheriries Strategic Plan
Deer Management Objectives: 

Each WMA (Wildlife Management Area in the state) has a federal-aid management plan developed by Region biologists and deer are important features of most of these plans. Managed deer hunts are held each year to allow the harvest of surplus deer and prevent habitat damage resulting from overbrowsing. Biological data collected from harvested deer provide a basis for assessment of population health. Seasons are generally shorter on public lands than on private lands because WMAs receive higher hunter use over a shorter period of time than private lands. The Forestry Section of the Wildlife Division has developed a forest management plan for each WMA to insure proper management of the forested habitat. These plans in combination with deer browse surveys are used to assess current and predict future deer habitat conditions.

The LDWF also provides assistance to both the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with deer management on their lands. These agencies have different goals and objectives for their lands, but they also conduct managed deer hunts and collect some physical data from harvested deer. These data are submitted to the Deer Program personnel for review. Region and Program biologists conduct habitat surveys on both the Kisatchie National Forest and various federal refuges. Recommendations are made to these two agencies concerning deer habitat, hunting season dates, etc. on an annual basis.

Range and herd evaluations also are done on private lands that are not enrolled in DMAP. The same general activities are conducted on these properties except those evaluations and deer harvest reports may not contain as much detail as the DMAP reports.


Louisiana Wildlife Action Plan

Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality

Louisiana Department of Natural Resources

Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries



Mission Statement   A Department Vision and Values statement was developed through the TQM process and incorporated into the Strategic Plan specifying that Maine should offer all people the opportunity to enjoy a unique diversity of fish and wildlife resources.  The Vision is of an IF&W that:

  • conserves, protects, and enhances the inland fisheries and wildlife resources;
  • increases opportunities for the use of these resources by all people;
  • responds to the needs of the people by providing services of the highest quality;
  • fosters public awareness and involvement;
  • merits public confidence, respect, and support; and
  • promotes efficiency in program management through employee involvement, initiative, innovation, and teamwork.


Deer Management Objective:  


Provide hunting and viewing opportunity for white-tailed deer, while preventing over-browsing of deer wintering habitat.

Short-term Objective: Bring the deer population to 50 to 60% of the carrying capacity of the wintering habitat by the year 2004, then maintain at that level.


Increase hunting and viewing opportunity for white-tailed deer, while preventing over-browsing of deer wintering habitat.

Long-term Objective: Increase deer wintering habitat to 8% of the land base to ensure sufficient wintering habitat to accommodate a post hunt population of 10 deer/mi2 by the year 2030 (or sooner), and then maintain as for the short-term objective. 

Maine Wildlife Action Plan

Maine Department of Conservation

Maine Department of Environmental Protection

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife



 Mission Statement:  The Department of Natural Resources leads Maryland in securing a sustainable future for our environment, society, and economy by preserving, protecting, restoring, and enhancing the State’s natural resources.

DNR-Wide Objectives

  • Healthy Terrestrial & Aquatic Ecosystems
  • Efficient Use of Energy & Resources
  • Citizen Stewardship, Outdoor Recreation, & Opportunities to Take Action
  • Vibrant Communities & Neighborhoods
  • Long-Term Economic Prosperity
  • Professional Commitment

Deer Management Objectives and Status

General Deer Population Management

1. Develop deer population level objectives for deer management units.  Partially met Deer management regions and management units were developed. Deer population level objectives were not developed.

2. Utilize all available deer management options in an integrated program to maintain deer populations at acceptable levels.  Met MDNR has researched, promoted and implemented numerous new non-lethal and lethal deer control methods. The population has been stabilized, although at higher than desired levels.

3. Develop effective deer population monitoring techniques. Met Collection of harvest data has been streamlined via telephone/Internet check in. Aerial FLIR surveys were implemented in urban/suburban areas (discontinued after 9/11/01).

4. Develop models for deer population assessment, behavior and habitat impacts management.  Met Deer population models were developed. Habitat studies have been conducted. Research studies have been completed in cooperation with universities.

5. Increase the efficiency and application of regulated hunting for deer population control while maximizing recreation opportunities for hunters. Met Antlerless seasons and bag limits were liberalized. Eliminated fee for antlerless harvest tags. Seasons and bag limits were set based on regions. Bonus antlered tags requiring two antlerless deer to be harvested were instituted. Legislation was passed contributing $1 from every hunting license sale to venison donation programs.

6. Assist local governments and communities in developing effective deer management strategies.  Mostly met Urban deer biologist was hired who primarily met with community associations, local governments, etc. Various outreach materials were developed and provided to constituents.  Suburban deer management 6 8 demonstration area was not developed. 

7. Minimize deer damage problems for agricultural operations.  Partially met  DMP program was streamlined significantly. Landowner guide to deer management was created. Deer population still remains too high in some areas, resulting in serious crop depredation problems.

Deer Management on Public Lands

1. Manage deer at levels compatible with available habitat.  Partially  met   Deer harvest monitored on all public lands that had active deer hunting.  Other deer population metrics (deervehicle collisions, habitat impacts, complaints, spotlight counts, etc.) not monitored for all public lands.  Population level objectives for individual public lands were not developed.

2. Balance deer management techniques with traditional and new recreational uses of area.  Partially met   Some public lands underwent the public input process to develop deer management options. Outreach materials were developed. Pilot projects not formally completed. Many public lands not addressed..

Maryland Deer Management Deer Management in Maryland including: Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Anne Arundle,Carroll,Howard,Harford and Cecil County ...

Montgomery County Deer Management Program   County Deer Management Work Group, 1995) calls for the Montgomery ... The goal of Montgomery County's deer management program is to reduce ...

Maryland Wildlife Action Plan

Maryland Department of the Environment

Maryland Department of Natural Resources



 Deer Management Strategy:  White-tailed deer are managed in Massachusetts as a valuable natural resource. As such, MassWildlife sets deer density goals below human tolerance limits. If deer densities exceed human tolerance, people tend to label deer as pests. This attitude is contrary to MassWildlife's mission of wildlife conservation.  

Massachusetts Wildlife Action Plan

Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation 

Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection

Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game 



2010 Michigan Deer Management Plan

Status of Mission Statement:   The Wildlife Division is moving swiftly but deliberatively in our effort to craft a new strategic plan to guide the management of 

Michigan's wildlife resources over the next 10 years. We started this process internally last year and are now actively seeking engagement on priority issues with our stakeholders and the public. The Wildlife Division is expecting to have a final product sometime late this summer that will lead us into the future.   

Michigan Deer Management Plan:  to maintain a healthy whitetailed deer population, using sound scientific management, maximizing recreational opportunities while minimizing negative impacts on ecosystems and other wildlife species and without creating undue hardship to private interests."


Michigan Wildlife Action Plan

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Michigan Department of Natural Resources


 Mission Statement: The mission of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is to work with citizens to conserve and manage the state's natural resources, to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and to provide for commercial uses of natural resources in a way that creates a sustainable quality of life. 

Deer Managment Objectives:    The primary objective of the deer management program has been, and will continue to be population management. The Minnesota DNR is committed to managing deer populations within goal ranges that were established through a collaborative public process. Any regulatory changes will be evaluated first on the basis of how they affect total deer numbers. Other metrics, such as satisfaction, opportunity, or changes in sex ratios, while also important, are secondary to our need to manage deer populations.

Throughout Minnesota, there has been high support for enacting regulations for the benefit of mature bucks; however, there has not been a consensus on which regulation should be adopted. For example, a statewide survey of deer hunters conducted in 2005 indicated that 66% (69% in Zone 3) of hunters supported the concept of enacting regulations for managing for mature bucks. However, no proposed regulation garnered more than 50% support (Figure 1; Fulton et al., 2006). Concurrent with hunter interest to manage for mature bucks is the agency’s desire to manage deer populations at goal densities that were established through a public participatory process. (contains survey on deer hunter attitudes)

Minnesota Wildlife Action Plan
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Minnesota Division of Fish and Wildlife

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency


 Deer Management Goals:   Department wildlife biologists continue to inform and educate sportsmen relative to deer management needs and issues. Our goals are to provide insight into current deer management needs while providing the leadership to identify and guide future issues.  from Deer Program Report

Mississippi Wildlife Action Plan
Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality
Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks


Deer Management Goals  The white-tailed deer is one of Missouri's most valuable wildlife resources. Each year hunters spend around three million hunter-days in the field pursuing the whitetail, contributing millions of dollars to the economy in the process. Public viewing of deer attracts thousands of visitors to our state's public lands annually. A recent survey of urban and rural Missouri citizens revealed that of all animals outside a zoo, people most prefer to see the white-tailed deer. It also is a favorite with children. The whitetail was selected as our state mammal by vote of school-age children.

Elk Restoration Goals

  • Re-establish a native species.
  • Gather citizen input in the potential elk restoration zone around Peck Ranch Conservation Area.
  • Define an elk restoration zone that is large enough to support a viable elk population, provides suitable elk habitat, includes a high percentage of land in public ownership, and has minimal agricultural activity and a low road density.
  • Provide suitable elk habitat on public land.
  • Address animal health concerns by implementing a thorough pre-restoration disease testing protocol and developing a disease management contingency plan.
  • Develop a contingency plan to address issues associated with wandering elk.
  • Achieve and maintain a desirable target population within the elk restoration zone.
  • Enhance tourism and economic benefits.
  • Monitor the population to ensure target densities are maintained.
  • Manage the elk population through hunting.

Missouri Wildlife Action Plan

Missouri Department of Conservation

Missouri Department of Natural Resources


Deer Management Objectives   

What is the Adaptive Harvest Management Plan for Mule Deer?

The Adaptive Harvest Management Plan for Mule Deer guides mule deer management in Montana, linking annual mule deer habitat conditions, population surveys and harvest information to set annual hunting regulations that are in sync with the species and how it is doing in a particular location.

 What is the basis for Adaptive Harvest Management in Montana?

Research on mule deer populations and habitats began in the mid-1970s with an unexpected decline in mule deer populations in the western states. Researchers initiated mule deer population studies in the Bridger Mountains of southwest Montana, in the Missouri River Breaks of north-central Montana and in the prairie-badlands along Cherry Creek in the southeastern part of the state to learn what factors influence the number of mule deer from year-to-year. Today with more than 25 years of research on mule deer, this work is one of the most comprehensive studies of a big game species ever compiled in North America.

Another mule deer population decline in the mid-1990s focused attention on the task of integrating the knowledge gained in the past 25 years into a systematic deer management strategy that can be applied consistently across the state. This is the work underway today.

How often does FWP conduct mule deer surveys and why?

Annual surveys of Montana mule deer populations conducted by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks biologists contribute to Montanas valuable information base on mule deer population trends, use of habitat and social structure.

How is the survey information used by FWP?

Today this information is the basis of Montanas mule deer management plan, called Adaptive Harvest Management. FWP biologists use the annual survey information when recommending hunting quotas and regulations and in managing mule deer populations. The goal of mule deer management is to help mule deer populations stay at or close to the average populations observed over the long-term in each type of mule deer habitat in the state. 

Montana Wildlife Action Plan

Montana Department of Environmental Quality

Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Montana Department of Natural Resources and Conservation


 Wildlife Management Mission Statement: The mission of the Nebraska Game and Parks Commission is stewardship of the state's fish, wildlife, park, and outdoor recreation resources in the best long-term interests of the people and those resources.

To accomplish that purpose, the Commission plans and implements its policies and programs efficiently and objectively; maintains a rich and diverse environment in Nebraska's lands and waters; provides outdoor recreation opportunities; manages wildlife resources for the maximum benefit of the people; and attempts to help Nebraskans appreciate their role in the natural world. 

Nebraska Wildlife Action Plan
Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality
Nebraska Game and Parks Commission
Nebraska Department of Natural Resources


Goal of Nevada's Wildife Action Plan: Healthy, self sustaining wildlife populations in healthy plant communities on stable soils; Joshua tree overstory with mature stands exhibiting structural complexity, potential for cavities, and appropriately long fire return interval that does not inhibit Joshua tree regeneration, with vigorous shrub component consisting of the full range of species within range site potential; vigorous, diverse selfsustaining understory of grasses and forbs. 

Mule Deer Management Mission Statement:  To conserve and improve mule deer habitat and minimize factors limiting healthy mule deer populations  

Nevada Wildlife Action Plan

Nevada Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

Nevada Division of Environmental Protection

Nevada Division of Wildlife

New Hampshire

New Hampshire Big Game Plan:  Goal 1: NH will regionally manage white-tailed deer populations by balancing and incorporating social, economic, ecological and public safety factors using the best available science/knowledge.

Objectives: Population objectives are summarized in the following table.

Table 1. Deer population objectives by wildlife management unit (WMU) expressed in terms of adult (1 ½ years old and older) buck kill during the fall hunting seasons. (a decrease in population is targeted in only one of the WMU's, see link above for details).

New Hampshire Wildlife Action Plan

New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services

New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development

New Hampshire Fish and Game Department

New Jersey

The mission of the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and manage the State's fish and wildlife to maximize their long-term biological, recreational and economic values for all New Jerseyans.

Agency Goals

  • To maintain New Jersey’s rich variety of fish and wildlife species at stable, healthy levels and to protect and enhance the many habitats on which they depend.
  • To educate New Jerseyans on the values and needs of our fish and wildlife and to foster a positive human/wildlife co-existence.
  • To maximize the recreational and commercial use of New Jersey’s fish and wildlife for both present and future generations.

 Example of Deer Management Goalshe population management objective for the 2004 – 2005 season is to decrease the deer herd on 62 percent of available deer range, stabilize the herd on 37 percent of deer range, and increase it on the remaining 1 percent. Deer herds will be allowed to increase only in Zone 1, which contains mostly public land and has limited agriculture and minimal potential for deer-human conflicts.  

New Jersey Wildlife Action Plan

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection

New Jersey Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife

New Mexico

 Objectives, Strategies, and Action Plans:

Objective 1: That by 2012 75% of New Mexico’s hunting interests express understanding and support for the Department’s game management strategies.

Objective 2: That by 2012 the Department has established broadly supported management objectives for 9 species of big game, 4 species of small game, and 7 species of fish that maximize recreational and economic benefits within the context of relevant biological, ecological, physical, social, economic, political, spatial, and legislative factors.

Objective 8: That through 2012 hunting and fishing opportunities are maintained through prevention and control of wildlife diseases. 

New Mexico Wildlife Action Plan

New Mexico Energy, Minerals, and Natural Resources Department

New Mexico Environment Department

New Mexico Game and Fish Department

New York

General Mission: "To conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being." 

DMP Quota Setting

"The math involved in setting DMP numbers is actually quite simple, though the process of determining several of the variables in the equation is complex. Here is the essence of the permit setting process:

Step 1. Projected Buck Take X Removal Rate1 = Total # of Adult Does to be Harvested

Step 2. Total # of Adult Does to be Harvested - # Adult Does Taken by Muzzleloader Hunters and Archers and on DMAP tags = Necessary Adult Doe DMP Take

Step 3. Necessary Adult Doe DMP Take ÷ Proportion of Adult Does in DMP Take2 = Total Desired DMP Take

Step 4. Total Desired DMP Take ÷ Success Rate of DMPs = Total # of DMPs to Issue

1 Desired ratio of adult female to adult male deer in harvest

2 This accounts for fawns in the DMP take.

The first two variables (projected buck take and removal rate) are the key places where analysis of deer population trends and management action come into play. The other variables are essentially derived from previous harvest data (for example: "Success rate of DMPs" may be a 3 year average), but we can alter these variables if we anticipate some change in how deer are harvested (for example: "#Adult does taken by muzzleloader hunters and archers" could be impacted by a regulation change). The real art and craft to deer management in New York comes through interpreting the data to project the buck take and in determining the appropriate removal rate.

The process of projecting the buck take involves studying trends in buck harvest relative to previous levels of doe harvest and age structures of previous buck and doe harvests. We incorporate several population indices (bowhunter sighting log, damage levels, winter severity) and evaluate herd health and productivity through yearling antler beam diameters and ratios of fawns to adult does in the harvest.

Similarly, determining an appropriate removal rate (ratio of adult does to adult bucks in harvest) requires analyzing trends in buck harvest relative to previous levels of adult doe harvest. We examine this relationship to identify a removal rate that produces stability at a given population level, allowing for neither growth nor reduction in population. The stability-level removal rate is different at different population levels and is strongly influenced by herd productivity. In some high quality habitats of New York, the deer populations can sustain high removal rates of one or more adult doe to every adult buck. In the poorer quality habitats or areas subject to harsh winter conditions, removal rates may be as low as 0.2 adult does to every adult buck. Once we identify a stability-level removal rate, we relate the current population level to the desired level. If the population is currently greater than desired levels, we prescribe a greater-than-stability-level removal rate, and if the population is less than desired levels, then we prescribe a less-than-stability-level removal rate. The magnitude of difference between our prescribed removal rate and the stability level removal rate depends on our management objective. Typically we manage for conservative changes from year to year, trying to minimize dramatic fluctuations in population levels.

While our intentions usually are for conservative changes, severe winters can have dramatic and rapid impacts on deer populations. In fact, the history of New York's deer population is punctuated with periodic winter mortality events, most recently evident in 2003 and 2004. Though we account for the impact of previous winters when setting DMP quotas, we unfortunately cannot anticipate the severity of the upcoming winter. Other mortality factors such as predation, poaching, and deer-vehicle collisions do influence deer populations, but their impact tends to be fairly constant from year to year or at least the variation in their impact is minimal compared to the potential impact of winter mortality and hunter harvest mortality."

 New York's Deer Management Program - NYS Dept. of Environmental ... This document was collectively developed by the New England Chapter of The ... and the Northeast Deer Technical Committee (NEDTC) in 1988 and revised in 2007 by ... Deer hunting provides recreation to hunters, economic benefits to many ..

Cornell University Integrated Deer 

The goal is to reduce deer associated complaints using fertility control research, fencing, and repellents. 

New York Wildlife Action Plan

New York Department of Environmental Conservation

North Carolina

 Mission Statement:  The mission of the Division of Wildlife Management is to monitor the health and status of wildlife populations, develop and administer programs for their management and wise use, and when necessary help resolve human-wildlife interactions in a manner which will assure a diverse wildlife resource for future generations of North Carolinians. 

Deer Management in Suburban Areas:  Why not just move deer from residential areas?  There are several reasons why moving problem deer is not an option. First and foremost, moving deer does not solve the problem. If a residential neighborhood is located near an area with a high deer population other deer will just move into the neighborhood. Trapping deer is very difficult and expensive even under the best of circumstances. It would be virtually impossible to catch enough deer in a residential situation to make any difference. Deer that have been relocated often do not survive long because of the stress involved in the trapping and transportation process and the difficulty in adapting to a new area.

North Carolina's 2009 Deer Forecast  An article from North Carolina Game & Fish with part two of this year's deer outlook. ... Here's the newest dataon the best places in the state to find your buck. ... Wildlife Resources Commission's Surveys and Research Biologist for Deer... liberalization of regulations regarding the harvest of antlerless deer.


North Carolina Wildlife Action Plan

North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources

North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

North Dakota

Mission Statement:  The mission of the North Dakota Game and Fish Department is to protect, conserve and enhance fish and wildlife populations and their habitat for sustained public consumptive and appreciative use.

2010 Deer Management Goals

Every five years, North Dakota Game and Fish Department biologists establish a benchmark for deer licenses in the state – a number that will guide management decisions for several years.

The five-year goal is an effort that involves biological information from deer surveys and hunter-harvest figures, plus observations and input from game wardens, hunters, landowners and others who have a stake in North Dakota deer management. For this 2010 five-year plan, Game and Fish presented draft goals at the spring advisory meetings, and made numerous changes based on public input received.

The new five-year goal is for a statewide deer population that would provide 124,800 deer gun licenses. Within this total, outlined in the information that follows, are license objectives for each of the 38 hunting units.

It is important to understand that unit and statewide goals will not necessarily match the number of licenses Game and Fish will issue each year. The goal is an ideal number given consistent winter weather and habitat conditions. As the variables change, however, the number of licenses will likely go up or down every year, based on whether harvest needs to increase or decrease to move toward the goal the following year.

For instance, the 2010 deer gun license allocation was about 116,000, with a major reduction in antlerless licenses from the previous year in most units, which will promote deer population growth in those units, at least until the number of licenses can increase to match unit goals. If the population gets too high, Game and Fish may have to greatly increase the number of licenses in order to move deer numbers back down toward the goal.

The new five-year goal is about a 25 percent increase over the goal established in 2005 of 100,000 licenses. Since that plan was developed, through input from hunters, landowners and others, Game and Fish wildlife managers determined that a somewhat higher deer population could still strike a balance between hunter interest, landowner tolerance and public acceptance.  


Deer Management Strategy: " The goal of Ohio's deer program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunity including viewing, photographing, and hunting while minimizing conflicts with agriculture, motor travel, and other areas of human endeavor.  This has bben our goal for over 40 years."


  Oklahoma  Mission Statement:  The mission of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation is to manage Oklahoma’s wildlife resources and habitat to provide scientific, educational, aesthetic, economic and recreational benefits for present and future generations of hunters, anglers and others who appreciate wildlife. 

Oklahoma Department of Environmental Quality
Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation


Mission Statement: "The mission of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife is to protect and enhance Oregon’s fishand wildlife and their habitats for use and enjoyment by present and future generations."

MULE DEER INITIATIVE Commission Briefing - February 20, 2009.  Issue:

Researchers and wildlife managers generally concede mule deer achieved maximum abundance during the 1950s and ‘60s. Since then, mule deer have declined across the West, including Oregon. The most recent decline appened during the early 1990s and, though not fully understood, it is believed to be primarily due to the combined effects of drought and severe winters. Historically, deer populations rebounded quickly after such climatic extremes. However, in recent years, production and survival of fawns have remained at depressed levels. Low recruitment, severe winters, dry summers, changing predator/prey relationships, and increased habitat loss have pushed mule deer populations lower than the department and public desire.

Oregon Wildlife Action Plan

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife

Wildlife Strategy and Tools Page


Deer Management Plan:  "Pennsylvania's Constitution and Game and Wildlife Code direct the Game Commission to protect, manage, and preserve wildlife and their habitat . . . for the benefit of all people, including generations yet to come."   . . . For the deer management program management goals from 2009 to 2018 are:  (1) manage deer for a healthy and sustainable deer herd; (2) manage deer-human conflicts at levels considered safe and acceptable to Pennsylvanians; (3) manage deer impacts for healthy and sustainable forest habitat; (4) manage deer to provide recreational opportunities; and (5) improve the public's knowledge and understanding of deer and the deer management program.

These goals are the result of a public involvement process.  During development of the Game Commission's 2003-2007 deer management plan, the agency invited individuals representing the interest of sportsmen, agriculture, forestry, environmental conservation, urban-suburban municipalities, the legislature, and the, and the Game Commission to identify deer management goals.  The group unanimously agreed to 6 goals which were later consolidated into the first 3 goals listed above.  Goals (4) and (5) were added to the 2009-2018 deer management program."

The goals are similar to the previous plan, with a new goal of managing deer for recreational activities being added.Some controversy in Pennsylvania's process relates to the proposed us of Adaptive Resource Management as proposed by the Audubon Society of Pennsylvania (see this link for more details).

From the Deer Management Plan:  "  The Game Commission follows an adaptive management approach to deer management. Adaptive management is characterized by establishing clear and measureable objectives, implementing management actions, monitoring those management actions and whether they achieved the objectives, and adapting policy and management actions as necessary.  Adaptive management recognizes deer management decisions must be made without the luxury of perfect information.  Consequently, the focus of adaptive management is on monitoring responses to management actions and learning. By managing white-tailed deer in this way, the Game Commission can effectively adapt management as conditions change. . . 

.. . objectively defining deer-human conflicts is impossible because of the range of values and perceptions exhibited by people.  Rather than attempt to quantify deer-human conflicts, the Game Commission uses Citizen Advisory Committees to help asses deer-human conflicts. 

Deer management objectives are no longer defined by deer densities.  Instead, deer management objectives are defined by measures of deer health, forest habitat health, and deer-human conflicts.  Objectives:

1. Manage Deer for a Healthy and Sustainable Deer Herd.  (1.1) Maintain reproduction at or above 1.50 embryos per adult doe.

2.  Maintain deer-human conflicts at levels where the Citizen Advisory Committees recommend deer populations remain the same or increase.

3.  Maintain deer impacts on forested areas at levels that support sustainable forest habitats. (see Audubon proposal)

4.  Provide annual deer hunting opportunities.

5.  Improve Public's Knowledge and Understanding of Deer and the Deer Management Program

Pennsylvania Wildlife Action Plan
Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection
Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission
Pennsylvania Game Commission

Rhode Island

 Developing the Strategy

The pro-active objective is to define and implement a strategy that will identify, monitor, and thus prevent species of greatest conservation need and habitats from becoming endangered. It will save millions of tax dollars by saving species before they become endangered. The combined efforts of stakeholders, partners, conservation groups, private landowners, and state and federal agencies are essential to the development and execution of the plan.

Congress requires eight elements be included in this prescription for a healthy wildlife future. Those are:
What's here now? -- distribution and abundance of wildlife species. Focus on low and declining species that are indicators of the health of the state's wildlife.

Health check -- location and condition of habitats that are vital to conserving priority species

Threats -- identifying problems that may harm wildlife species and habitat, and priority research for conservation actions

Actions -- prescriptions and priorities for conserving wildlife species and habitats

Monitoring -- how to assess and measure effectiveness of conservation actions

Review -- assessment at intervals not to exceed ten years

Coordination -- involvement of federal, state, local agencies and Indian tribes that manage lands or programs affecting wildlife

Public Participation -- required by law and essential for success in development and carrying out plans.


Rhode Island Wildlife Action Plan

Rhode Island Bureau of Environmental Protection 

Rhode Island Division of Fish and Wildlife

South Carolina

 Mission Description:    “Our field staff will continue doing what they’ve always done with managed species; they’ll just be doing it with a little broader perspective.”

South CarolinWildlife Action Plan
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

South Dakota

Strategic Managment System, Adaptive Resource Management:  "The Division of Wildlife will manage South Dakota’s wildlife and fisheries resources and their associated habitats for their sustained and equitable use, and for the benefit, welfare, and enjoyment of the citizens of this state and its visitors."

"The anti-hunting movement has put a number of wildlife management agencies on the defensive over various wildlife management-related issues. As a result much time and money has been expended by the agencies in countering the attacks. This issue has potential to affect a number of current Division programs as well as being related to a number of other possible issues facing the Division. The issue before Division of Wildlife is to determine how the agency should respond to the anti-hunting movement. Division staff has identified several potential areas vulnerable to attack by the anti-hunting movement: (1) animal damage control programs, (2) trapping in general, (3) lack of data to justify certain seasons/limits, (4) fishing tournaments, (5) archery season, (6) hunting in state parks, (7) aerial hunting of coyotes, (8) varmint hunting, (9) highly visible hunts, (10) lack of adequate non-game and endangered/threatened species programs, (11) trophy hunting and management, (12) wounding/crippling of wildlife, and (13) hunter ethics/behavior."

"Non-Hunters/Anglers: There is a growing number of people who do not hunt or fish but enjoy other wildlife oriented pursuits such as nature study, photography, bird watching, butterfly watching, etc. These groups of people will want viewing opportunities and information on wildlife and have a focus on preserving all wildlife species."

"General Ecosystem Management Goal:  Natural resource management should strive to identify and retain critical types and ranges of natural variation in ecosystems, while satisfying the combined needs of the ecological, socioeconomic, and institutional systems."

South Dakota Wildlife Action Plan

South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources

South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks


 Wildlife Mission Statement:  "The mission of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is to preserve, conserve, protect, and enhance the fish and wildlife of the state and their habitats for the use, benefit, and enjoyment of the citizens of Tennessee and its visitors. The Agency will foster the safe use of the state’s waters through a program of law enforcement, education, and access.  In keeping with this mission, the Agency recognizes its long-standing partnership with sportsmen and the significant contributions that  sportsmen have made and continue to make to benefit all fish and wildlife, including non-game species. In submitting this Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy, the Agency expresses its intent that implementation of this plan be conducted in a way to achieve the Agency’s mission, while sustaining and promoting hunting and fishing in Tennessee."   

Deer Management Objectives:   'Wildlife biologists determine how many animals need to be harvested then determine how many permits need to be issued in order to reach their harvest goals. The permits are then allocated and the end result is a quota hunt. '

Tennessee Wildlife Action Plan
Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency


 Wildlife Mission Statement:  "To manage and conserve the natural and cultural resources of Texas and to provide hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations "

Natural Resources PRIORITY GOAL: "To conserve and protect our state’s natural resources (air, water, land, wildlife and mineral resources) by:

• Providing leadership and policy guidance for state, federal and local initiatives;

• To maintain Texas’ status as a leader in agriculture; and

• Encouraging responsible, sustainable economic development.


• Percentage of Texas waters that meet or exceed safe water quality standards

• Percentage of polluted site clean-ups to protect the environment and public health

• Percentage of environmental violations tracked and reported

• Percentage of land that is preserved and accessible through the continuation of public and private natural and wildlife areas

• Percentage of implemented new technologies that provide efficient, effective, and value-added solutions for a balanced Texas ecosystem

• Average time required in responding to natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes

• Number of jobs created or retained in rural communities through state investment " 

wildlife management plan, one that is based on good science and sound population and habitat ... goes beyond single species (i.e. deermanagement. A ...

Texas Wildlife Action Plan

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 

Texas Parks and Wildlife
Texas Wildlife Damage 

Management Service


Mission statement of the Division of Wildlife Resources:  "Our mission is to serve the people of Utah as trustee and guardian of the state's wildlife."  

Mule Deer:  Since 1922, the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) has served as a leader promoting management and protection of fish and wildlife in the western United States and Canada. An organization represented by 17 states and four Canadian provinces, WAFWA has faced the difficult challenge of sifting through the ever-changing societal, economic, political and scientific issues that define natural resource management in a West that has undergone many changes.  WAFWA is particularly concerned about mule deer, a species that lives in every North American habitat except for the tropics, arctic and extreme deserts. Mule deer numbers and distribution have been declining throughout the West since the latter third of the 20th century.  To address this concern, the Mule Deer Working Group was established at the midwinter meeting of WAFWA in 1998. The group was charged with finding “solutions to our common mule deer management problems,” expanding “cooperative research and management in the Western states and provinces,” and sharing information with agency directors and administrators on mule deer issues."

"Mule deer thrive in early successional habitats, where forbs, grassy plants and shrubs dominate. These environments are not as stable as forest habitats, and they rely on fire or some other type of disturbance to return them to an early successional stage. If they are not disturbed, they eventually become more stable plant communities dominated by trees and large shrubs. Tree-dominated habitats offer mule deer a place to retreat from severe weather, but these areas offer very little in the way of food. That is why it is important to provide mule deer with a mosaic or pattern of habitats that can provide food, cover and water."

Utah Wildlife Action Plan
Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Utah Department of Natural Resources

Utah Division of Wildlife Resources


Mission Statement: To protect and conserve our fish, wildlife, plants, and teir habitats for the people of Vermont.
From Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department:"  Vermonters care about wildlife. In fact, a new national survey found that our state ranks number two in terms of the percentage of a state's population participating in wildlife-based recreation. That is why, from its earliest foundation, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has provided a broad range of services and programs to protect and conserve the state's diverse fish and wildlife resources."
Major Responsibilities
  • Provide sustainable wildlife-based activities, such as wildlife viewing and regulated hunting and trapping
  • Develop and implement recovery plans for threatened and endangered species
  • Inventory and monitor populations of various species of wildlife and their habitats
  • Provide habitat information and technical assistance to foresters, loggers, public agencies, municipal planners and private landowners
  • Conduct environmental review of land use development proposals for impacts to critical wildlife habitat, significant natural communities, and threatened and endangered plant and animal species through regulatory processes such as Act 250 and Act 248
  • Review, prioritize, and acquire important parcels of land for wildlife conservation and manage 131,000 acres of state wildlife management areas
  • Monitor wildlife diseases and invasive plant and animal species and their effects on Vermont's wildlife
  • Provide a variety of educational materials, programs and talks to the public regarding Vermont's wildlife


  The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries' mission is:

  • To manage Virginia's wildlife and inland fish to maintain optimum populations of all species to serve the needs of the Commonwealth;
  • To provide opportunity for all to enjoy wildlife, inland fish, boating and related outdoor recreation and to work diligently to safeguard the rights of the people to hunt, fish and harvest game as provided for in the Constitution of Virginia;
  • To promote safety for persons and property in connection with boating, hunting and fishing;
  • To provide educational outreach programs and materials that foster an awareness of and appreciation for Virginia's fish and wildlife resources, their habitats, and hunting, fishing, and boating opportunities.

Habitat for Wildlife

The Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries wants to help you help wildlife on your property. The Habitat Partners© program encourages corporate landowners, private landowners, schools and homeowners to improve habitat in their community that will benefit Virginia's songbirds, mammals, amphibians and other wildlife.


Deer Management Objectives: 

Deer were plentiful and widespread when Jamestown was settled in 1607. By 1900, over-harvest of deer for food and hides had nearly extirpated the species. Since the 1930s, Virginia's deer population has rebounded as a result of protective game laws, restocking of deer into areas where they were absent, and land use changes. Since the early 1990s, deer management objectives have switched from restoring and increasing to controlling and stabilizing populations over much of the Commonwealth.

Under optimal conditions, a deer population can double in size annually. With no regulating factor (e.g., predators, hunters), a deer population would expand to the point where some resources, generally food, would become scarce. Sources of mortality other than hunting (e.g., diseases, injuries, predation) are typically not sufficient to control deer populations. Active deer management is necessary to maintain deer populations at optimum levels to meet the needs of citizens of the Commonwealth. An optimum deer population balances positive demands (e.g., hunting, viewing) with negative demands (e.g., agricultural damage, vehicle collisions, ecosystem impacts). The Virginia Deer Management Plan identifies areas where deer populations should be managed to increase, decrease, or remain the same.




Mission Statement “Wildlife, fish, and shellfish are the property of the state. The commission, director, and the department shall preserve, protect, perpetuate, and manage the wildlife and food fish, game fish, and shellfish in state waters and offshore waters.
 “The department shall conserve the wildlife and food fish, game fish, and shellfish resources in a manner that does not impair the resource. In a manner consistent with this goal, the department shall seek to maintain the economic well-being and stability of the fishing industry in the state. The department shall promote orderly fisheries and shall enhance and improve recreational and commercial fishing in this state.
 “The commission may authorize the taking of wildlife, food fish, game fish, and shellfish only at times or places, or in manners or quantities, as in the judgment of the commission does not impair the supply of these resources.
 “The commission shall attempt to maximize the public recreational game fishing and hunting opportunities of all citizens, including juvenile, disabled, and senior citizens." STATE OF WASHINGTON DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND WILDLIFE POLICY DOCUMENT


Deer Management:  "The purpose of the White-tailed Deer Management Plan is to assess current issues for white-tailed deer and outline strategies to help WDFW prepare for the future. The emphasis in this plan is the scientific management of white-tailed deer
populations, harvest management, and other significant factors affecting deer
populations. The plan is intended to be dynamic, and is designed to facilitate
resolution of emergent issues and allow adjustment of priorities when issues are
resolved. The issues and options in the plan are based on current management
information. As new information becomes available, existing options may be
modified or new ones developed. "
“Hunting seasons and regulation recommendations should be based on good science. When biological information is lacking or insufficient, management decisions should be
conservative to ensure protection of wildlife resources. At no time should decisions favor
income to the agency or recreation over protection of wildlife populations.” 
"The statewide management goals for all deer in Washington are:
1.  Preserve,  protect,  perpetuate,  and manage  deer  and  their  habitat  to  ensure  healthy  and productive populations.
2.  Manage  deer  for  a  variety  of  recreational,  educational,  and  aesthetic  purposes  including hunting,  scientific  study, cultural,  subsistence, and ceremonial uses by Native Americans, wildlife viewing, and photography.
3.  Manage statewide deer populations for a sustainable harvest (WDFW 2008). "


West Virginia

West Virginia State Parks and Forests  …to “promote conservation by preserving and protecting natural areas of unique or exceptional scenic, scientific, cultural, archaeological, or historical significance and to provide outdoor recreational opportunities for the citizens of this state and its visitors.”  This mission statement, embodied in state law, has been the guiding principal for operating the West Virginia State Park system since its inception in the late 1920s.  Additionally, state parks and state forests continue to serve as major tourist attractions and travel destinations.

Deer Management:  There are two components of deer management: harvest management and habitat management. Both are important in determining the quality and quantity of the deer population; however, harvest management is the component which is most often overlooked in a good deer management program. The first step in deer harvest management is the establishment of a clear and well defined objective. A clear objective is essential to determine what harvest goals are needed. For example, if the landowner desires to have more deer on his property the logical step may be to reduce or totally restrict the number of does being harvested. However, if the objective is to manage for trophy or quality bucks, then the landowner must manage to preserve older bucks along with the removal of the proper number of antlerless deer to ensure adequate nutrition for the deer herd. In some situations, deer damage is a primary consideration and the landowner needs to know how many antlerless deer to remove to reduce the population to an acceptable level.

Deer Population Indicators

Deer records can be analyzed and used as indicators of population growth or decline as well as the health and structure of the deer herd. The manager uses these indicators to adjust the harvest of bucks and does each year to meet the desired objective. Some commonly used indicators and their management implications are given below:

  1. Harvest sex ratios - When the purpose is to stabilize the deer herd, a ratio of approximately 1:1 antlerless deer (does and button bucks) to bucks in the harvest is generally used. Thirty to forty percent does in the harvest will usually stabilize the deer herd assuming that the deer herd is being exploited at recommended hunting pressures (normally 1 hunter per 20-50 acres). When the percent of yearling bucks in the harvest exceeds 50%, the recommended exploitation rates can be assumed. When managing for quality or trophy deer the manager should strive for a sex ratio in the deer herd of no more than 3 does to 1 buck.

  2. Harvest Age Ratios - When the harvested deer are aged by tooth replacement and wear, valuable information about the deer herd can be obtained. Age ratios are an indication of survival. For example, if 80% of the bucks harvested are yearlings, survival of bucks to the 2 « years old age class is only about 20%. Weights and antler size of yearling bucks are often compared from year to year in the harvest. The average age of does and bucks in the harvest is also a useful indicator of the population. When managing for the maximum number of deer in the population an average buck age of 1 « to 2 « years and 50% or more of the does in the 2 « years and younger age classes would be desired. In contrast, the trophy manager would strive for a buck age of 5 « or more and over 50% of his does above the age of 2 « years. The number of spike bucks in the buck harvest is another useful indicator. The trophy manager should strive for 15% or less spike bucks. When the number reaches 30% or more it may be an indication that nutrition is declining and more antlerless deer should be removed.

  3. Antler Size - Antler size is correlated to the age, health and genetics of the buck. Proper nutrition and herd management will ensure the health of the buck. Older age classes and superior genetics can be favored by allowing younger bucks to get older and selectively leaving better quality bucks for breeding purposes. It is recommended that antler size be compared by using the average number of points and the average outside spread of the antlers. The average number of points and antler spread of yearling bucks is usually 4 points and 8 inches in West Virginia. These yearling buck averages are similar in our bowhunting only counties in southern West Virginia. However, in these counties the average age of bucks is much higher and trophy bucks are more common. A 5 « year old buck in southern West Virginia averages 11 points with a spread of 19 inches.

  4. Weights -Weight of deer is the most useful indicator of herd health. Average weights can be used to compare age and sex classes. The most commonly used indicator is the average weight of yearling bucks. Dressed weights of yearling bucks in West Virginia average 80 to 110 pounds depending on herd health and range conditions. The manager should be careful to compare either live weights or dressed weights.

  5. Other Indicators - The Division of Natural Resources routinely conducts herd health checks in selected counties in the State. These health checks test for possible diseases in the herd as well as being indicators of herd health. In addition, fetuses are collected from road kills and deer killed on damage permits as indicators of reproductive performance.

Fundamentals of Deer Management  File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat . . . developing an ideal deer management program.Different objectives may require totally different management actions ... basic deer management programs. Each has a definite ...

West Virginia Wildlife Action Plan

West Virginia Division of Natural Resources

West Virginia Division of Environmental Protection


Mission: Working with people to protect and manage Wisconsin wildlife populations and their habitats, and promoting wildlife enjoyment and appreciation for the benefit of current and future generations.

Promote land stewardship practices favorable to wildlife in terrestrial and aquatic systems;
Share responsibility for wildlife resources;
Provide a wide range of wildlife recreational opportunities;
Improve people's knowledge and appreciation of wildlife;
Strengthen the wildlife database; and

Be a leader in professional wildlife management

The state has developed a survey system that uses observations from people around the state, a program that has gotten some significant press attention.

Wisconsin Deer Hunter Wildlife Survey  "
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking for your help in monitoring the relative abundance and distribution of deer and other mammalian/avian wildlife species in the state. The wildlife we are most interested in are; deer, raccoon, skunk, porcupine, red and gray fox, turkey, ruffed grouse, coyote, bear, otter, fisher, bobcat, house cat, badger, wolf, opossum, or other wildlife not normally seen in your area. Since deer hunters often spend many quiet observation hours in the woods, you can provide valuable information about species that are often very difficult to measure. Past efforts in Wisconsin and other states (Ohio, Iowa and Missouri) have provided wildlife agencies with valuable information for managing many wildlife species.  Read more about how deer estimates are made and the vital role that hunter observations, registration stubs, aerial surveys, statistics and summer reports provide in making these estimates."


Bureau of Integrated Science Services, at 608-266-0531 for more information. ... tion goals for sections of the state called deer management units. .

Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources


Habitat Mission:  Promote and maintain the availability of high quality habitat to sustain and enhance wildlife populations in the future.


Goal 1. Conserve and manage wildlife habitats that are crucial for maintaining terrestrial and aquatic wildlife populations for the present and future.

Goal 2. Enhance, improve and manage priority wildlife habitats that have been degraded.

Goal 3. Increase wildlife-based recreation through habitat enhancements that maintain or increase productivity of wildlife.

Goal 4. Increase public awareness of wildlife habitat issues and the critical connection between healthy habitat and abundant wildlife populations.

Goal 5. Promote collaborative habitat management efforts with the general public, conservation partners, private landowners and land management agencies.

Herd Population Management:  "Wherever possible, biologists establish an “objective” for each herd, a target population size that has been set in cooperation with landholders, hunters, and other interested members of the public. Like identifying herds, setting population objectives for each herd can be a challenge. It’s hard to get precise counts of most big game herds; it may be even more difficult to measure the ever-changing relationship between animals and their forage, and different groups of people often have different ideas of how many animals they want.  But choosing a specific number of animals for each herd— an objective—provides state biologists, federal land managers, politicians, landholders, and the general public with a benchmark for making decisions about big game management. The principles that underlie “management by objective” are ideals that can’t always be achieved in the real world. Still, the dual concepts of setting population objectives and managing big game animals in herds, for all their shortcomings, work better than any other approach we’ve tried."

not acceptable mule deer management. The Wyoming Game and Fish ... Apply the best available science, within budgetary considerations, to monitor deer ...

Wyoming Wildlife Action Plan

Wyoming Game and Fish Department

Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality

 State Summaries

Links to sites on the internet offering state wildlife management information