If your farm is being overrun by deer, help is available. The Delaware Farm Bureau is piloting a new program, partnering qualified and ethical Master Hunters with land owners to provide effective wildlife management.
Through the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, experienced hunters undergo more training and meet other requirements to become Master Hunters. In addition to advanced hunter education courses, applicants submit to a criminal history check, showing a clean record, before certification. The Master Hunter Program currently has more than 220 certified hunters statewide in Delaware and works with the farmer on an individual basis to see how the program can help with their deer management needs.
Farmers who are experiencing excessive crop damage may contact Todd DeCapua at (302) 384-3553.
The Division of Fish and Wildlife offers three programs designed to assist farmers in Delaware, depending on the severity of their deer damage problem. Each of these programs are designed to help reduce the local deer population through an increased harvest of antlerless deer in an effort to reduce associated crop damage. For information on these programs — Deer Damage Assistance Program, Severe Deer Damage Assistance Program and Extreme Deer Damage Assistance Program — visit the DFW’s website at www.dnrec.delaware.gov/fw/Hunting/Pages/DeerDamageAssistance.aspx or call (302)735-3600.