Deer Management a year round endeavor

Presenting deer with a proper habitat is at the top of Chad Dacus list for better managing private land deer herds.

Dacus serves as the Deer Program Coordinator for the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

Many private land owners find themselves in the same situation each hunting season with a surplus of does and a few bucks or no deer at all.

Dacus said there are plenty of ways hunters can increase and better manage the deer on their land. The first being to ask for help.

We have got biologists working for the department that can come out and look at a hunters land and tell them what they can do to improve it, Dacus said.

A simple phone call to the MDWFP office at 601-432-2199 will connect hunters with a program biologist in their area.

Going to the departments website at will also give hunters the tools they need to manage their land.

Dacus went on to say that no specific formula could be given on deer management because it changes from place to place. A good way to start better managing your land is to begin a year-round food plot system.

We have so many hunters who go in the woods in the fall and throw out some rye grass, hunt over it, and then leave it untouched until the next year. That is not giving your deer the food they need to survive, Dacus said. Though it is too late to plant most food sources, Dacus said planting seed from the Brassica family which includes rape and turnips will yield good results. One tip Dacus gave was for hunters to go ahead and disc their soil while it is cold. He said this will keep weeds from shooting up.

After you have disced, at the beginning of February throw out White Clover. This is a year round clover and a good source of food for deer, Dacus said.

He said the best advice he could give was to make managing your land a year round endeavor. Year round food plots will increase the size and health of your deer herd.

As far as knowing the number of deer to harvest, it is best to call the MDWFP.

Because there are different aspect of everyones land, there is a different process. I encourage hunters to call us so we can help them, Dacus said.