Niagara Gazette


October 26, 2013

Bill Hilts' Outdoor Report for Oct. 27

Niagara Gazette — “Quality Deer Management (QDM) is a management philosophy/practice that unites landowners, hunters, and managers in a common goal of producing biologically and socially balanced deer herds within existing environmental, social, and legal constraints. This approach typically involves the protection of young bucks (yearlings and some 2.5 year-olds) combined with an adequate harvest of female deer to maintain a healthy population in balance with existing habitat conditions and landowner desires. This level of deer management involves the production of quality deer (bucks, does, and fawns), quality habitat, quality hunting experiences, and, most importantly, quality hunters.”

So goes the mantra of the Quality Deer Management Association, a philosophy and an attitude that extends far beyond basic antler restrictions – what we talked about last week. 

“Antler restrictions are part of QDM,” insists Ray Purdy, Vice President with the Upper Hudson River Valley Branch QDMA, “but it’s not the only part. There are four cornerstones to QDM – herd management; habitat management; herd monitoring; and hunter management. It all works in concert with one another. New York’s antler restriction throughout the state has been at least one three-inch antler and it’s been a slow process trying to change people’s attitudes – especially with some of the older generation.”

“We are seeing all ages of landowners and sportsmen and women involved,” adds Purdy. “The younger generation is actually quicker to grasp this way of thinking while the older generation is slow to make the turn.” 

Education is the key for making the transition and to ultimately help them achieve the QDM objectives. It’s those four cornerstones that help those people become armed with the knowledge of what QDM represents.

Herd Management — Cooperators need to understand that this basic premise calls for the harvesting of an appropriate number of does to balance with the habitat. The goal is to protect one-and-a-half year old bucks, but some cooperators may pursue a more aggressive approach to their own QDM co-op. 

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