The Managed Lands Deer Permit (MLDP) Program is one the best tools for improved whitetail hunting and deer management in Texas. The MLDP Program is state program administered by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) designed to help landowners with habitat and deer management. From my experiences, the program is great since it is habitat-based with a focus on whitetail deer. Not only does the program allow us to manage the deer on properties, but the TPWD biologists have always been great guys that help tremendously to guide us along the way.
It is important for landowners to understand that Managed Lands Deer (MLD) Permits are habitat, management and survey-based. They are not hunter based. Though the hunting seasons may be more liberal with regards to the number of days a landowner can hunt, they are more restrictive that the county regulations. But, if you want to actually manage your property and the deer found on it then the MLDP Program is the way to go.
MLD Permits are really nothing more than an incentive for landowners to manage their land. In return for habitat management techniques that must be implemented and survey data and harvest data that must be collected the landowner ends up with better habitat and better deer. Sure, you can’t hunt 20 guys on 500 acres, but you will get customized deer harvest recommendations specifically for your property and five months of whitetail hunting and MLDP Level 2 and 3.
One problem some landowners have with the MLDP Program is that nowhere in the permit system does it matter how many hunters are on a piece of land. The property buck harvest to achieve your management goals may be 12 bucks during the deer hunting season. It does not matter if three guys or eight guys hunt the place. You get 12 buck permits. Again, it’s management-based, not hunter-based. The MLDP Program removes person and country bag limits as well as antler restrictions. In essence, one hunter could harvest all the deer recommended and be completely legal as long as he has an MLD Permit to put on the deer.
Properties participating in the MLDP Program do not have to follow the antler restrictions because they are actively working with TPWD biologists, are performing annual deer surveys and collecting deer harvest data to manage the herd. It’s a great program that I would recommend for any landowner that wants to improve deer hunting on their property. It really helps to have professional biologists guide your habitat and deer management efforts to achieve your goals. In addition, there is nothing legal binding and all information is confidential between you and the TPWD biologist helping you.