- Updated: 26 July 2011
- Published: 26 July 2011
- Hits: 505
Virginia's deer management program has been noted for both its simplicity and its success. Today, with the exception of several counties in far southwestern Virginia and on selected National Forest lands in western Virginia, the emphasis of Virginia's deer management program has switched from establishing and expanding deer herds to controlling their growth. This change in management direction has resulted in liberal deer hunting regulations and an increased kill of antlerless deer.
In Virginia, most deer population management objectives and regulations are generally set on a county basis. There are currently 99 county management units ranging in size from 26 to 1,112 square miles in area (average = 401 square miles). There are exceptions to the countywide management rule. Deer hunting regulations are established over large areas to be as simple and uniform as possible and to avoid confusion. To set regulations on this basis, however, is to assume that deer habitats, deer densities, and hunter pressures and public demands are similar over the entire area. Because these assumptions are not always true, regulations set over a large area will in some areas be too conservative and in some areas too liberal. To meet unique deer management circumstances in these areas, alternative site-specific deer management regulations and/or season (e.g., the special urban archery season) and deer management programs must be developed and implemented (e.g., DMAP, DCAP, out-of-season kill permits). This is where DMAP comes in.
For more information on DMAP, what it is and how you get into DMAP: http://www.dgif.virginia.gov/wildlife/deer/dmap.asp