California?s deer herds are a valuable resource to both
hunters and non-hunters alike. Deer can be seen
throughout most of California providing enjoyment for
many outdoor enthusiasts. For future generations to
experience the benefits that come from having healthy,
viable deer herds throughout the state, proper
management is essential.
Deer Management Program is composed of branch and
field biologists who work together coordinating programs
throughout the state. The Deer Management Program, its
activities, and staff are largely supported by hunters
through the purchase of hunting licenses and deer tags.
Biologists develop hunting regulations, provide
expertise on habitat and population assessments, compile
harvest information, conduct and direct research needs,
monitor and estimate populations and respond to various
public inquiries related to deer in California.
Biologists also work to coordinate joint projects with
outside agencies, universities and private entities.
In 1976 A Plan for California Deer was
developed to respond to the decline in deer numbers
resulting from the loss and degradation of quality deer
habitat. With the growing human population in California
and continuing loss of quality deer habitats, biologists
have realized the goal to restore deer herd numbers to
those in the1960s is unlikely and unrealistic.
Biologists are currently developing a more realistic
approach through a Strategic Plan for California
Deer in order to more effectively manage deer herds
given the existing and anticipated changes to
addition, important deer habitats are identified through
statewide surveys and investigations conducted
throughout the year. Based on these investigations, the
data are used for analysis of local and statewide
land-use planning efforts, as well as providing
recommendations to the Lands Committee for possible land
acquisition through the Wildlife Conservation Board.