MADISON — In its third year of serving the people and wildlife of Wisconsin, the Deer Management Assistance Program continues to build relationships with landowners, hunters and property managers to manage deer and improve wildlife habitat.
Following the March 1, 2016 enrollment deadline, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources received 228 new DMAP applications covering over 124,000 acres in 62 counties. This brings the three-year total number of landowners involved in DMAP to nearly 1,000, with 220,980 acres enrolled in the program statewide.
“The DMAP cooperator base continues to expand, allowing for increased opportunities for private landowners, public land managers and DNR staff to properly manage forests while improving habitat for deer and other wildlife species,” said Bob Nack, DNR DMAP coordinator. “The partnerships being developed to do good things for the wildlife we all enjoy are really impressive.”
DMAP applicants can sign up at one of three levels of enrollment based on property size; each offers a different enrollment fee and set of benefits. Properties of any size can enroll at Level 1 at no cost to receive benefits such as consultation with a local DNR wildlife biologist, access to online deer and habitat management publications and participation in local DMAP workshops and citizen science opportunities. Properties greater than 160 acres can enroll at Level 2 or 3 for a minimal three-year fee. Along with all Level 1 benefits, Level 2 and 3 properties receive a site visit from a local DNR wildlife biologist and forester, a property-specific management plan and the potential for reduced-price antlerless harvest tags. Properties within a half mile of each other can combine acreage to sign up as a group cooperative and qualify for benefits at a higher enrollment level.
DMAP cooperators at any level may also attend one of several workshops offered around the state in the spring and summer of each year.
“DMAP workshops provide information on the habitat needs of deer and other wildlife, proper forest management techniques to benefit wildlife, cost-share programs for habitat improvement projects and much more,” said Nack. “Our focus for these workshops is to get cooperators thinking about which strategies they could implement on their property to provide the best habitat for the wildlife they want to watch or hunt.”
Summer workshops are open to DMAP cooperators, and combine professional presentations, discussion, hands-on activities and tours of DMAP properties to share information on the principles of wildlife habitat and deer management. Workshops also provide an opportunity to network with wildlife and forestry professionals and other DMAP cooperators.
Four summer workshops are scheduled for 2016:
- July 22: Jefferson County
- July 30: Sawyer County
- August 13: Buffalo County
- August 27: Juneau County
Overall, reception of DMAP continues to be positive. On average, 82 percent of DMAP cooperators rated the quality of service through DMAP as “good” or “very good.” DMAP site visits also received high marks, with 91 percent of cooperators responding that they were “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the site visit.
Landowners not currently enrolled in DMAP can attend the remaining summer workshops by signing up for DMAP at any time. Level 2 or 3 applications received now will immediately receive DMAP benefits and will be eligible for a site visit in 2017. To find more information and to enroll in DMAP, visit dnr.wi.gov, keyword “DMAP.”