Quality Deer Management group to be revitalized on Island

MANITOULIN ISLAND—In an attempt to revitalize the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) group on Manitoulin, a meeting/workshop with a representative of QDMA will be held in early February on the Island.

“I will be attending the meeting being held on Tuesday, February 2 at 7 pm at the Kagawong Park Centre,” said Rob Argue, operations and outreach coordinator for QDMA Canada, on Monday.

“There used to be a branch club of QDMA on the Island,” said Mr. Argue, “and they are looking at reestablishing this group on the Island.”

Gore Bay Fish and Game Club member Ian Anderson told the club at a meeting earlier this month, “I belong to the Quality Deer Management Association. Manitoulin had the first chapter of QDMA in Canada, but our membership dwindled over the years.”

“Now we have a new Canadian director, Rob Argue, coming here to talk about QDM initiatives,” said Mr. Anderson. “I’m a very strong advocate of managing deer properly, it is not all about trophy bucks, but the health of the herd—both males and female deer.”

Mr. Argue pointed out quality deer management 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.

A successful QDMA program requires an increased knowledge of deer biology and active participation in management. This level of involvement extends the role of the hunter from mere consumer to manager. The progression from education to understanding, and finally, to respect, bestows an ethical obligation upon the hunter to practice sound deer management. Consequently, to an increasing number of landowners and hunters, QDMA is a desirable alternative to traditional management, which allows the harvest of any legal buck and few, if any, does.

QDMA guidelines are formulated according to property-specific objectives, goals and limitations continued Mr. Argue. Participating hunters enjoy both the tangible and intangible benefits of this approach. Pleasure can be derived from each hunting experience, regardless if a shot is fired. What is important is the chance to harvest a quality buck—an opportunity lacking in many areas under traditional management. When  a quality buck is taken in a QDMA area, the pride can be shared by all property hunters because it was they who produced it by allowing it to reach the older age classes which are necessary for large bodies and antlers.

The QDMA vision mission is to ensure the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage.

The QDMA serves as a collective and responsible voice for white-tailed deer hunter and managers; to improve the quality of deer herds and hunting experiences through sound deer management; to promote hunter education and participation through the conducting of meetings, seminars and demonstrations and through the production of educational materials such as books, videos and the QDMA’s quarterly journal ‘Quality Whitetails’; to promote and financially support deer research and management projects relating to white-tailed deer management and/or recreational hunting; and to enhance the public image of deer hunters and the deer hunting by providing a code of ethics for members to follow.