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Wildlife Surveys

Wildlife surveys are a useful tool to help estimate the population and location of mammals and birds on your property for the purpose of better managing your land. They’re also a fun and easy way to demonstrate to the Central Appraisal District that your land and wildlife management efforts are having their intended effect. It is essential that proper protocols are followed each year to generate useful numbers for determining harvest levels and meeting wildlife management goals. Landowners are welcome to participate in any and all of our surveys and many do as a way to learn more about their land.

Wintering and Resident Bird Survey:

Ideal for landowners interested in inventorying or learning more about the population of birds that utilize their property during the winter months. A Plateau birder will establish listening stations throughout your property for observation and record both the number and the different species of birds that are seen or heard at each station. One of our most popular surveys attended by landowners, this is a great opportunity to tour your land with a professional, Plateau biologist who will help teach you about the flora and fauna of your land. To learn more, visit our Seasonal Bird Survey page.

Seasonal Bird Survey:

Ideal for landowners interested in the long-term assessment of bird species that utilize their property year-round, seasonal bird surveys provide a more accurate way of tracking population trends in bird species. A Plateau birder will establish listening stations throughout the property for observation, and over the course of a year, survey each station a total of four times to record the number and different species of birds that are seen or heard. The landowner will receive a detailed report for each survey documenting the observations and a map of survey stations.

Spotlight Survey:

Ideal for landowners interested in actively managing deer populations for habitat improvement or hunting.  Traditional spotlight surveys are ideal for properties between 440 and 5,000 acres and provide estimates of total population size, density, sex ratio, fawn production for the year, and formulate harvest recommendations.
Check out this video featuring Kasey Mock (Plateau Account Manager, West Service Region) and Lee Kothmann (Plateau Wildlife Services Technician Manager) as they conduct a spotlight deer count on a property in Hays County and discuss the importance of spotlight surveys in managing your deer herd and meeting compliance for Wildlife Management.

Managed Land Deer Permit (MLDP):

MLDP programs are ideal for landowners interested in further protecting and managing their property’s natural habitat, through liberalized antlerless deer harvest. Plateau provides full representation with TPWD, prepares and submits all paperwork and landowner-provided harvest data for TPWD approval, and can also conduct the necessary deer surveys, such as camera surveys, and traditional spotlight surveys. Higher level MLD Permits require multiple years of survey data.

Remote Camera Mammal Survey:

For landowners interested in inventorying mammal species on their property or monitoring predator populations, remote camera surveys provide the opportunity to monitor secretive mammal species that would otherwise be difficult to observe.  A Plateau biologist will establish and monitor scent-baited stations  for 14 consecutive nights and data  recorded by infrared cameras. Data will then be analyzed in a detailed report including maps and photos.

Quail Counts & Other Specialized Wildlife Surveys:

These specialized surveys can take many forms and are a great way to learn more about your property while doing something a little out of the ordinary.  Please call or email if you if you’re interested in finding out more.

Remote Camera Survey:

A Plateau biologist or technician will establish two or more baited infrared camera stations and analyze over the period of 7-10 days white-tailed deer population size, sex ratio, doe to fawn ratio, buck age structure and harvest recommendations tailored to your property goals. Ideal for properties less than 500 acres or for properties too densely vegetated for spotlight surveys.

Browse Survey:

For landowners interested in determining  actual impacts of deer on existing vegetation, a Plateau biologist will tour your property to assess the overall condition of woody plants on your property and provide harvest/stocking rate recommendations in a detailed report. Ideal for properties of all sizes.

Distance Sampling Survey:

For landowners with  especially large properties who are interested in understanding animal distribution or for those with a mixture of white-tailed deer and exotics, Plateau offers a distance sampling survey, ideal for properties over 1,000+ acres where deer numbers are high.  A team of biologists will gather data  over the course of three nights and will provide a detailed report with estimates of density, sex ratio and if done in the late summer, fawn production for the year, harvest recommendations, and a map of the drive line.


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