Niagara Gazette — “For example, some QDM areas might enforce a three points on one side combined with a 15-inch minimum spread on an animal,” says Purdy. “In addition, a co-op may ask hunters to qualify through proficiency with a gun or bow before they can hunt a particular area. While this is at the top end of what co-op rules can be about, this is a good example of how serious a co-op can be.”
Managing the does to get deer population numbers in line with the corresponding habitat is critical. It’s also very complicated. Once that happens, and the population becomes healthier, the average age of a doe becomes less but the body weight increases. A healthier doe will also become more likely to give birth to twins or triplets. “To keep the herd stable, you will need to harvest roughly a third of the does every year,” says Purdy who lives in Glens Falls.
Habitat Management — The work that is put into place, including food plots and other forms of habitat enhancement, benefits more than just deer – it benefits all forms of wildlife.
“If there are too many does in a particular parcel of land you will need to pare down the numbers before any meaningful improvement projects can take place,” reflected Purdy, who has been involved with QDM in Washington County for 13 years.
You might want to check out the book “Quality Food Plots” to see what needs to be put into place for food plot initiatives. On the average, it may take three to five years before you begin to see meaningful results in a co-op area.
Hunter Management — Again, education is the key.
“Before we can get people involved we have to educate them," Purdy said. "Our message helps to turn deer hunters into deer managers. I like to call it ‘one-half inch of trigger control.’ We have six co-ops in Washington County now that total some 20,000 acres. Last year in just one of the co-ops we took 15 bucks that were three points on a side and a spread of at least 15 inches. Six of those bucks were four and a half years old or better. Thirteen years ago we didn’t see a single deer that was that old in that particular tract of land.