MLD Program – Deer Hunting in Texas

Texas Parks and Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) Managed Lands Deer Permit Program, commonly referred to as the MLD Permit Program, is an integral part of white-tailed deer hunting in Texas. Many landowners are involved in the MLD Program because they are interested in habitat management, deer management and the benefits that the program offers them in the management of their property. With the 2011-2012 MLD season completed, TPWD would like to remind all MLD cooperators that collecting and submitting completed harvest data before April 1 is a requirement of the MLD program.

The minimum harvest data requirements from cooperating landowners under MLD levels 2 and 3 must include the following for all harvested deer: date of harvest, sex of deer, age of deer as determined by tooth wear and replacement, field dressed body weight, number of antler points on both right and left beams, inside spread, one main beam length, and one basal circumference. This data is very valuable for evaluating the progress your herd is making, and tracking the impacts of management decisions on the deer herd.

MLD Program - MLDP Program - MLD Permits - Deer Hunting Texas

The more detailed and accurate the data you collect, the more accurate our management decisions become. For those landowners wanting to take their management program to the next level we recommend additional harvest data, aside from the minimum requirements outlined above, which should include the presence or absence of lactation for does, full gross Boone & Crockett scores for all bucks harvested (except spikes) including cull bucks, and a picture of every buck harvested. Remember, detailed data with a good sample size will yield much more accurate management decisions.

TPWD is reminding landowners that failure to submit complete and timely data will result in delayed permit issuance the first time it occurs. Poor or tardy data over several seasons will result in dropping to a lower MLDP level or possibly being removed from the program. Any ranch suspended from the program for non-compliance with the wildlife management plan must wait three years before applying to enter again.

An additional requirement for MLD properties is that an annual late summer/early fall deer survey be completed and that information be submitted to your TPWD biologist. This information helps determine annual harvest, identify potential problems with the herd dynamics, and can be useful in tracking hunter satisfaction through time. If you have questions about your survey (timing, type, etc), contact your local biologist.

Landowners participating in the MLD program can now submit harvest data online in the Texas Wildlife Information Management System (TWIMS), or the data can be mailed or emailed to your cooperating TPWD biologist. By submitting it into TWIMS, you will be able to compare your data with other ranches by county (while still keeping all personal information confidential). The MLD Program is an important component of deer hunting and deer management in Texas, but it only works when willing landowners take an interest in managing their property.

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