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Deer School Project

Applied Research

Jason Phillips
Extension Agent for Agriculture
University of Kentucky


There is a limited amount of credible information and data available to landowners, farmers and property managers in Kentucky that addresses wildlife habitat management and specifically food plots.  Many clientele seek information from the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service to improve their woodlands and wildlife habitat.  Increased information in these areas will result in an overall improvement in deer herd health and overall satisfaction of the hunters.  Therefore, the habitat will be better suited to produce trophy whitetails, increase hunter success, maximize landowner revenue through hunt leasing and provide overall positive economic impacts throughout the state.   

In response to this need, Extension Agents for Agriculture and Natural Resources Education from Simpson and Allen Counties partnered with Dr. Matt Springer, University of Kentucky Wildlife Specialist to conduct food plot research to assist wildlife managers in making appropriate planting and overall management decisions on their property.  This research involved 6 different annual forages, trail camera surveillance, exclusion cages to monitor grazing pressure and forage nutrient sampling.   

Once the surveillance period concluded, data was compiled and presented at the “Kentucky Deer School”.  In addition to the forage research data, agents worked with University of Kentucky Specialists to offer hands-on training about white-tailed deer.  Dr. Matt Springer presented an interactive session on aging and scoring white-tailed deer.   Dr. Gregg Rentfrow also presented a live processing demonstration with a deer carcass.   

Fifteen people from 4 counties attended the Kentucky Deer School.  According to post-meeting evaluations, 100% of respondents increased their knowledge due to this program.  100% reported that they plan to implement this newly acquired knowledge when processing, aging and scoring deer, or planting food plots.  100% also indicated that they would attend another wildlife program in the future.  Agents have been better informed about food plot forages to achieve various objectives which has allowed for more research-based recommendations to over thirty clientele.

Poster has NOT been presented at any previous NACAA AM/PIC

This poster is being submitted for judging. It will be displayed at the AM/PIC if not selected as a State winner. The abstract will be published in the proceedings.

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Authors: Adam Huber, Jason Phillips
  1. Huber, A. Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, University of Kentucky, Kentucky, 42164
  2. Phillips, J. Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Agent, University of Kentucky, Kentucky, 42134