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Tuesday, January 30 • 10:20am - 10:40am
UNGULATES: The Wisconsin Deer Management Assistance Program: Improving Relationships One Landowner at a Time

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AUTHORS. Robert Holsman, Ben Beardmore, Robert Nack – Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

ABSTRACT. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) began implementing a Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP) in 2014 to provide technical assistance to landowners in meeting property management objectives. Cooperating landowners enter into three-year agreements for a small fee and receive a suite of outreach services from the WDNR including personal interaction with their county wildlife biologist and a written management plan. We assessed attitude changes of landowners following their participation in DMAP using a non-experimental, pre-test, post-test design. Our findings suggest that DMAP participation increased landowner assessment of agency credibility and improved their understanding of deer-habitat relationships, including deer impacts to forests. In addition to these outcomes, DMAP participants reported high levels of satisfaction with the program. While initial implementation of the program has demonstrated success, challenges remain including recruiting participants, providing follow-up support, and balancing staff work load issues.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 10:20am - 10:40am CST