Deer Densities Usually Measured Twice

One question I receive a lot here at the office pertains to deer densities. Although
most hunters understand that deer population estimates are important for managing
herds, some do not realize that states often have two periods for estimating their
herd sizes. Deer population studies are often conducted for a fall or prehunt estimate
and an overwinter or posthunt estimate. Posthunt population estimates are annually
compared to the deer population goal for each deer management unit as a basis for
annual adjustments of antlerless harvest quotas. Population goals and density estimates
are usually expressed as deer per square mile of deer range. These densities vary
widely depending on region. However, a general rule of thumb is that a posthunt population
exceeding 40 deer per square mile of deer habitat is considered to be at or above

Dan Schmidt, D&DH Editor