General Information

Deer Program
A hunter posing with her first deer
A hunter posing with her first deer in Sharkey County, MS.

The MDWFP White-tailed Deer Program's goal is to provide a quality white-tailed deer population statewide and offer maximum outdoor recreational opportunity to the public without negatively affecting the resource. Mississippi's deer population is estimated to be 1.75 million, with hunters harvesting approximately 280,000 deer annually. Biologists provide deer related technical guidance to managers on private and public lands, conduct seminars, speak publicly, write articles for professional publications, conduct statewide disease surveillance, and assist Mississippi State University with deer research projects.

As the center stone of the Deer Program, the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) is a comprehensive deer management program, consisting of data collection and cooperator education with which the MDWFP tries to put the landowner/cooperator in a better position to manage their lands for a healthy deer herd, while maintaining habitat integrity.

Data from the program are used to develop site specific harvest recommendations, and have prompted numerous research projects to help better understand deer biology. Annually, there are 600+ DMAP cooperators covering over 2.5 million acres in Mississippi.

Assistance Programs

In addition to working with private landowners through the Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP), as mentioned above, biologists also provide technical assistance on various local, state, and federal public lands across the state. Some of the assistance provided to the Wildlife Management Area (WMA) program includes habitat modification recommendations, deer harvest analysis, spring herd health evaluations, population surveys, deer disease surveillance, and regulation recommendations.

For more information about deer management or to request a site visit, see Private Lands Program.

Deer Program Annual Reports

The purpose of the report is to provide deer hunters, managers, and others with information concerning Mississippi's white-tailed deer resource. The report contains biological and sociological data used by the MDWFP to monitor and manage the state's white-tailed deer population.

In Case of Emergency/Report a Violation

In case of emergency or to report a violation, please call 1-800-BE SMART.

Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is caused by a contagious, fatal prion, or abnormal protein, that affects cervids such as white-tailed deer, elk, and mule deer. Prions associated with the disease are found throughout the body of infected animals, but are found in higher concentrations in the eyes, lymph nodes, and nervous tissues. 

To learn more about CWD in Mississippi or to submit a sample, visit our Chronic Wasting Disease page.