White-tailed Deer Research
White-tailed deer

The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) and the University of Missouri (MU) are working together to evaluate white-tailed deer survival, reproduction and movement patterns within two contrasting Missouri habitats. The findings will influence deer management in Missouri for decades and be applied to deer population models, disease management protocols and localized deer management efforts.

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Department studied deer survival in Missouri. However, during the past several decades significant large-scale changes have occurred, including shifts in habitat conditions, hunter goals, deer densities, predator populations and harvest vulnerability, and the resulting impacts on survival, reproduction and movements are unknown. If historic estimates do not reflect current conditions, then the accuracy of the Department's population models and effectiveness of management efforts could be affected.

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We are excited to have the opportunity to conduct one of the largest white-tailed deer research projects in the nation, with the assistance of Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Funds.


What if I see a deer with a collar?

Starting in January 2015, you may notice deer with collars or small metal ear tags.

  • We will be monitoring the locations of deer remotely and do not need reports of deer sightings.
  • If you harvest a marked deer or find a dead deer with a collar or ear tag, please contact the number on the collar or tag as soon as possible.
  • Do NOT let the presence of a collar impact your decision to harvest a deer. If you would normally harvest a deer that happens to be collared, do so and contact the number listed on the tag/collar as soon as possible. If you would normally not harvest that deer, then do not let the presence of a collar impact that decision either.
White-tailed deer