“One of the most frequently asked questions about joining the DMAP program is ‘what do we get out of it?” said Lann Wilf, the North Region Biologist. “It certainly is a fair question since we are asking these guys to spend an entire hunting season collecting data and sending it in for analysis.”
Cooperators’ participating in DMAP has it advantages to the landowners, lease holders or deer clubs, but it also helps the MDWFP gain critical insights and data about the conditions of the deer herd across the state. That information is vital to long term planning for the wildlife department.
At the end of each deer season all DMAP Cooperator Clubs report their data, double checking data sheets, collecting all jawbones matching the jawbone cards with the entries on the data sheets, then mailing them into their assigned DMAP biologist.
The cooperator receives a harvest summary report after the season. This report spells out a detailed analysis of the current and historical harvests including graphics and charts profiling the data. This information helps to identify trend directions while also facilitating data evaluation.
DMAP biologists continually monitor individual club achievements toward reaching established goals and objectives. Then the biologists either make contact with the Cooperator Club liaison person by phone or they schedule a face-to-face meeting with the club members to discuss the hunting results and to answer any questions or concerns that might have arisen during the season. All of this back and forth feedback helps to enhance quality deer management as well as better deer hunting on DMAP properties.
A regional deer biologist will also try to schedule at least one meeting in person with each club or all the clubs together in one county each year.
The cost of participating in DMAP is the time and effort to collect the data for the MDWFP. This data includes sex, weights, antler measurements for bucks, lactation data on does and the jawbones from each harvested deer. Data collection procedures are standardized and mandatory. This information will yield annual harvest recommendations.