Estimating deer populations on your property : population dynamics
Although landowners frequently want to know how many deer are on their land, knowing exact numbers is not realistic, nor is it necessary for successful deer management. However, having a basic understanding of population dynamics is important, as it can help a landowner identify how and why the population may be increasing or decreasing. Knowing whether the population is larger or smaller or whether it includes more does or older bucks over time is more important than knowing the exact number of deer. Determining the population demographics over multiple years and understanding the relationships that influence trends can help a landowner make appropriate decisions to reach management objectives. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) manages and monitors the statewide deer population and demographic trends over time to maintain populations at levels within the biological and cultural carrying capacity. Deer have historically provided economic, cultural and recreational benefits to Missouri citizens. However, areas with high deer populations may suffer negative impacts, such as more deer-vehicle collisions, greater loss of crops and long-term habitat damage (Figure 1). Deer population dynamics information should be incorporated into management decisions that influence deer populations within an area.
Archive version. For the most recent information see extension.missouri.edu.