Georgia Deer Management Assistance Program (DMAP)

DMAP LogoDMAPs are used by most southeastern states to address site-specific deer management issues with science-based flexibility on private lands. DMAPs offer the ability to resolve site-specific deer management issues at the individual property level through data collection and analysis while maintaining simplified and less complex hunting regulations across a much larger geographic area that are responsive to hunter desires (e.g., reduced doe bag limit). This strategy protects more casually managed properties from over-harvest, while affording science-based flexibility for more intensively managed properties.


Outline

Standards for All Management Levels

  • Cooperatives of multiple adjacent lands can be used to meet acreage minimums
  • Eligible properties include public, private, and leased
  • Participants may be an individual or group of individuals
  • Fees are assessed annually
  • Cooperators may choose any management level if minimum acreages are met
  • Cooperators are responsible for collecting harvest data and placing cameras for deer surveys

Management Level 1

  • No acreage minimum
  • No fee required
  • Deliverable Services
  • General harvest and habitat recommendations
  • Technical guidance and data analysis only, no harvest flexibility

Management Level 2

  • 250-acre minimum
  • $200 startup, then $100 annual administrative fee

Deliverable Services

  • Data collection package and property signs
  • Personalized access to a biologist assigned to the property
  • Aging of each deer killed
  • Data analysis and site-specific harvest recommendations
  • Basic boundary map with landcover
  • Annual visit by assigned biologist
  • General habitat management recommendations
  • When biologically justified, antlerless harvest flexibility within the maximum statewide bag limit

Management Level 3

  • 500-acre minimum
  • $400 startup, then $200 annual administrative fee

Deliverable Services

All Level 2 services plus the following:

  • Directly facilitate and coordinate the formation of cooperatives
  • Assistance with live aging bucks
  • Written wildlife management plan covering forest mgmt., food plots, timeline of land management activities, and annual deer harvest recommendations.
  • Map with boundary, landcover, food plots, and forest stand delineation
  • When biologically justified, harvest flexibility relating to buck-only days and antler restrictions 
  • When biologically justified, flexibility in season length within state law

Management Level 4

  • 1,500-acre minimum
  • $1000 startup, then $500 annual administrative fee

Deliverable Services

All Level 2 and 3 services plus:

  • Detailed habitat and wildlife management plan covering habitat management, food plots, detailed forest stand delineations, stand-specific management recommendations, and detailed timeline
  • Detailed map with boundary, landcover, food plots/open areas, forest areas delineated to type, relative age, understory characteristics and densities, soil delineation, burn histories, and camera survey layers
  • At least 2 site visits annually by assigned biologist
  • Site-specific and criteria-specific buck harvest flexibility within the maximum statewide bag limit

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Program Staff

Charlie Killmaster

Deer Management Assistance Program Supervisor

State Deer Biologist
706-557-3350
charlie.killmaster@dnr.ga.gov

Charlie KillmasterCharlie grew up in Coweta County Georgia and was born with an intense love of the outdoors. He first attended college at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College before completing B.S. and M.S. degrees in Wildlife Management and Ecology from the University of Georgia (UGA). For his M.S. research, Charlie conducted a research project on the once overabundant deer population of Red Top Mountain State Park assessing ecosystem recovery following deer population reduction. This key project helped pave the way for the use of quota hunts for managing deer on Georgia State Parks. Following that project, Charlie began his career with the Wildlife Resources Division and served in a statewide capacity in the deer program for 13 of those 14 years. Over the course of his career with DNR, Charlie has led several key initiatives including the development of the Deer Management Plan 2015–2024, reinstating doe days where appropriate, the Georgia Game Check harvest reporting system, the Chronic Wasting Disease Surveillance and Response Plan, and the Deer Management Assistance Program. In collaboration with UGA, Charlie has helped initiate several comprehensive research projects including the impacts of coyotes on deer, cranial abscess in bucks, effects of baiting on deer movements, potential effects of antler restrictions on genetics, development of the Georgia rut map, development of a spatial capture-recapture camera survey technique for deer populations, and investigation of the Appalachian deer decline.

Charlie’s interest in deer and wildlife doesn’t stop with work, outside the office he spends the lion’s share of his time hunting and fishing with friends and family. Most family vacations Charlie and his wife Lindsay plan with their two daughters include camping combined with hunting or fishing. Over 90% of protein in the Killmaster household is acquired through hooks or bullets. Almost equivalent to his passion for wildlife and conservation is Charlie’s love of cooking and eating wild game and introducing others to it.

Matt Goode

Wildlife Biologist
404-987-4182
matthew.goode@dnr.ga.gov

Matt GoodeMatt grew up in Blairsville, Georgia, where he enjoyed many outdoor activities in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. He received his Bachelor of Science in Forest Resources from the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Georgia and his Master of Science from the Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries at the University of Tennessee. His Master’s research focused on developing a new method of estimating white-tailed deer population densities using non-invasive genetic markers.

Since pursuing his education, Matt has worked several jobs in the wildlife field. Matt was a technician for the USDA Forest Service at the Savannah River Site, in Aiken S.C., where he worked on white-tailed deer fawn mortality and Rafinesque’s big-eared bat roost habitat research. He also worked as a technician for USDA Wildlife Services assisting with a variety of conflict wildlife projects in the greater Chicago, IL area. After Illinois, Matt worked as a biologist for the Habitat and Species Management Section of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, where he conducted on the ground habitat management techniques, such as prescribed fire, mechanical treatments, and herbicide applications. Now, with the Wildlife Resource Division of Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Matt will provide landowners with technical assistance to help meet the goals and objectives of their property. Matt will service the east central and northeast portions of the state.

Emily Belser, Ph.D.

Wildlife Biologist
706-318-2695
emily.belser@dnr.ga.gov

Emily BelserEmily Belser grew up in Summerton, SC. Emily attended Clemson University, where she graduated with a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology in 2011. She went on to earn her M.S. in Forest Biology under Dr. Karl V. Miller at the University of Georgia’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, where she studied cranial abscess disease in white-tailed deer across both public and private lands in Georgia. After graduation in August 2013, she made the long trek over to Texas, where she began her Ph.D. studies under Dr. David G. Hewitt at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, studying white-tailed deer behavior and supplemental feed use at feed sites on the long-term study on the Comanche and Faith Ranches. Near the end of her Ph.D. work, Emily began working full time for Texas Parks and Wildlife as a Regional Biologist. She spent much of her time working with private landowners to achieve their wildlife management and whitetail harvest goals. After two years working with TPWD, Emily successfully defended her Ph.D. Dissertation, and made the move back to Georgia to begin working with GADNR and the newly created DMAP. Emily will work with landowners and cooperatives in the southern GA region.

In her spare time, Emily enjoys hunting and working with her English Cocker Spaniel, Winston.

Calvin Wakefield

Wildlife Biologist
706-318-0823
calvin.wakefield@dnr.ga.gov

Calvin WakefieldCalvin received his Bachelor of Science degree from Missouri Western State University in Wildlife Conservation and Management with a minor in geography. He then earned a Master of Science degree from University of Georgia in Forest Resources. His research focused on gobbling activity and roost behaviors of wild turkey in Georgia, specifically how hunting, harvest, and nesting activity influences gobbling activity and how hunting alters roosting strategies.

While pursuing his degrees, Calvin worked several jobs conducting land management. Calvin worked at Loess Bluffs National Wildlife Refuge to restore and manage wetlands and prairies. During his time spent with the National Park Service, Calvin worked to monitor and control invasive species including feral hogs. Calvin has also worked for Woods and Associates, Inc. implementing habitat improvements for deer and turkey populations. With Wildlife Resource Division, Calvin will provide landowners with technical guidance to assist with meeting their goals for the deer herd using their property. This covers everything from habitat improvement recommendations and food plot plantings to harvest recommendations and data analysis. Calvin will service the west central and northwest portions of the state.


Maps of Each Staff's Area

DMAP Biologist Zones


More Information