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Deer Steward 1:
Herd Monitoring
Online Module

Learn all about how to estimate deer populations, gather and analyze important hunter observation and harvest data, and fine tune your management strategies and objectives by completing NDA’s Herd Management online module.

The official NDA Deer Steward online modules will teach you all about deer, how to hunt them, and how to manage habitat and herds.

Why Choose this Module?

Learn from the Nation’s Top Deer Experts and Researchers

This course was developed by the National Deer Association (NDA) and is powered by the leading provider of online hunter safety courses for state agencies and consumers in North America. In this course, you will receive the world’s foremost personal training on herd monitoring.

Comprehensive Learning

Videos and corresponding photos and slides included throughout the course make information easy to learn and retain. The nation’s top deer experts provide you with a complete understanding of deer biology, ecology, and management.

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Developed and Approved by the NDA

The Deer Steward program was developed to meet the NDA’s standards for safe and ethical hunting practices. Since 1988, NDA has worked to promote sustainable, healthy, and balanced deer populations, wildlife habitat, and ethical hunting experiences through scientific research, hunter education programs, hunting advocacy, and active hunter recruitment. NDA is pleased to join Today’s Hunter in being your guide to becoming an advanced deer manager and hunter, and we know you’re going to find the experience enjoyable and rewarding.


Personal Instruction

The NDA’s Deer Steward online modules were developed with the goal of increasing your knowledge and understanding of a specific topic. Whether you’re a brand-new or experienced hunter, landowner, or an aspiring natural resource professional, this is the place to be. Each course is entirely web based, and you will have access to the materials for 90 days after registering, allowing for the flexibility necessary to cover the materials as quickly or slowly as you desire.

Here's an idea of the topics covered in this module.

Survey Techniques for Deer – Dr. Bronson Strickland

Many hunters use population surveys as a way to estimate the number of deer that are using their property. Surveys are a fun and fantastic tool to monitor deer herds and gain valuable information about the deer on your property. Here you will learn about various types of surveys, the information gained, and even how to conduct your very own deer survey!

Harvest Data Collection and Interpretation – Matt Ross

Collecting harvest data from each deer provides the most complete information from which to make management decisions. Harvest data allows you to track changes in harvest numbers, monitor the sex ratio and age structure, better understand herd health, and track your progress towards objectives. This module is your step-by-step guide in collecting data from deer you harvest and how to interpret those numbers over time. A crucial skill for all hunters!

Course Features


Filmed in front of a live audience, our Deer Steward course videos feature professional biologists and deer researchers, the latest and most relevant science, and engaging footage of deer in the wild that gives you a visual representation of their behavior and how they respond to management.

Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about the new and improved course.

Matt Ross – Matt is NDA’s Director of Conservation. Matt received his B.S. in Wildlife Conservation from the University of Massachusetts and his M.S. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of New Hampshire. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, a Licensed Forester, a Life Member of NDA, and a member of the Brothers-Hamilton Legacy Society.

Dr. Bronson Strickland – Bronson is the St. John Family Professor of Wildlife Management, and the Extension Wildlife Specialist for Mississippi State University. He received a B.S. degree in Forest Resources from the University of Georgia and an M.S. degree from Texas A&M University-Kingsville, and his Ph.D. from Mississippi State University. Bronson is a co-director of the MSU Deer Lab, a certified Wildlife Biologist, and Professional member of the Boone and Crockett Club.

Continuing Education Credits

Just like NDA’s in-person Deer Steward courses, registrants must pass an exam to graduate, and continuing education credits from either the Society of American Foresters and/or The Wildlife Society are available. In addition, we’re proud to announce that this course is now compatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Graduates of this course will be eligible to take one of the NDA’s in-person Level 2 courses upon completion.

Learn Your Way on Any Device

Today's Hunter offers online courses that are fully mobile-friendly from start to finish. This safety course is designed to work on your smartphone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer.

Saved Progress

You may complete the course at your own pace. The course can be completed in one sitting or a little at a time over several days. Log in and out at any time, and we'll keep track of your progress. Most students finish the course in a few hours.