Niagara Gazette — “I’ve seen it happen – over 40 landowners working together with one common objective in mind. I’ve seen some landowners who aren’t hunters and didn’t want anything to do with hunting become involved to help the local habitat. It’s pulled all these neighbors together. If you would have told me that 20 years ago, I never would have believed you.”
It’s also led to better landowner relations, which is a good thing.
Herd Monitoring — It’s important to monitor the progress of the deer herd on all of the QDM co-op areas.
“Every deer is checked – whether it’s harvested through hunting or found dead on the property," adds Purdy. "We monitor body weight, whether or not milk is present in the does, antler diameter of the bucks and so on. We also extract a jaw bone from every deer and pull a tooth to determine the exact age of the deer. It’s an important component to the overall program.”
QDM isn’t for everyone. If you wanted to become more informed on developing your own land, you could contact your local QDM Branch to get started. If you don’t know of one, contact Purdy at 518-222-4075 or visit the website at www.qdma.com. Once you have the landowners and the land, all you need is the passion. QDMA will work with a biologist and forester to develop a strategy and set you on the right track. The North Western Branch leader is Joe Ciepiela of Lockport at 625-8279. Other branches exist in the Southern Tier, Rochester area and the Finger Lakes.
“I think that there’s this attitude out there that we are all about trophy hunting and I think that’s unfair,” says Purdy. “When a co-op is run properly, it involves numerous projects that benefit all forms of wildlife, not just deer.”