Deer Management

A deer standing in the woods.The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Deer Project is responsible for managing native white-tailed deer and exotic sika deer. The Deer Project utilizes broad-based deer management techniques to meet their diverse goals, which are:
  • to ensure the present and future well-being of deer and their habitat;
  • maintain deer populations at levels necessary to ensure compatibility with human land uses and natural communities;
  • encourage and promote the recreational use and enjoyment of the deer resource;
  • and inform and educate Maryland citizens concerning deer biology, management options, and the impacts that deer have on landscapes and people.

During the last couple of decades, the primary focus of the Deer Project has been to slow a rapidly growing deer population. While hunting remains the most cost-effective and efficient population control mechanism available in most Maryland landscapes, continued urbanization has necessitated the development and use of non-lethal techniques where hunting is not practical or acceptable. Therefore, the Deer Project employs a blend of hunting-related deer management methods and proven non-lethal deer management techniques to manage deer.

2020-2034 Maryland White-tailed Deer Management Plan
The 2020 – 2034 Maryland Deer Management Plan provides the foundation for all deer management activities and decisions until 2034. In addition to the plan, deer managers produce annual reports on Maryland deer (both white-tailed and sika) populations and their management.


Voluntary Quality Deer Management:
A Concept Worth Considering
QDMA Maryland State Chapter Logo


To learn more, visit the Maryland Chapter of the Quality Deer Management Association's website:

For more information, please contact:
Maryland Department of Natural Resources
Wildlife and Heritage Service
Tawes State Office Building, E-1
Annapolis, MD 21401
(410) 260-8540
Toll-free in Maryland: 1-877-620-8DNR, Ext. 8540