November 10, 2014
Do you think you can manage deer?
Dr. James Kroll thinks you can.
Kroll, better known as Dr. Deer, is the nation’s authority on white-tailed deer. For the past 40 years, he’s taught and trained countless wildlife biologists at Stephen F. Austin University and the Whitetail Management Institute.
Today deer hunters, landowners and land managers everywhere can tap into Dr. Kroll like never before. Since 2012, Dr. Kroll has been developing a comprehensive online white-tailed deer management program that everyone can take advantage of; from students seeking a degree, to hunters and land managers wanting to improve their hunting experience.
The same education that was only available to a handful of students for the past 40 years is now at your fingertips. Kroll has partnered with Kansas State University’s Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation Management Program, the most successful program in the country. All you need for a better hunting experience or a life-long vocation in wildlife management is a computer and an Internet connection.
“I have been watching developments in this program for some time,” Kroll said, “and I could not think of a better program to offer online education in deer management.”
Deer hunters and students will find a program that is flexible, offering education and training both for formal course credit and certifications in specific aspects of deer management.
For example, individuals already involved in game management can be certified in topics such as food plot planning and management, inventorying and monitoring deer herds, landscaping properties for deer and other wildlife species, deer herd and people management, and other critical components to managing game on public and private lands.
James Kroll (Courtesy Drdeer.com)
Hunters wanting more out of their hunting experience can take individual courses, like aging and judging deer, allowing them to become adept at knowing the age of deer before the trigger is ever pulled. Along with the other courses within the curriculum, today’s hunter can become more educated on his passion than ever before.
The overall education is invaluable, and it is one Kroll has dreamed of for many years.
“I became committed to online education after years of having to tell young men and women, who cannot afford to leave their current employment to go back to school, that no online programs exist,” Kroll said.
The new online program will satisfy the need for flexibility in education, allowing individuals to be certified as game managers without interrupting their current employment. The fact that anyone can take these courses is an added bonus.
More than 80 percent of hunters taking the field this season pursue deer, making the species both an ecologically and economically important species.
Dr. Kroll has spent most of his life living, studying and hunting deer.
“I owe a great deal to the whitetail,” Kroll said. “But I am worried about the future, not only of the species, but game management as a career.”
He points out only a handful of colleges and universities offer education and training in game management; studies clearly reveal the wildlife management profession is moving away from traditional programs in favor of conservation biology and non-game species. In fact, only a small percentage of professors in wildlife departments even hunt.
“We are actually moving quickly to a point where landowners and hunters will need to be educated enough to manage their own deer herd,’’ Kroll said. “If not, they take their chances on a one-size-fits-all product that state agencies love to throw out, many of them designed by non-hunters.”
Visit drdeer.com and for more information on the White-tailed Deer Course, click here.