QDMA’s Whitetail Summit
QDMA is fighting to ensure a quality, sustainable future for white-tailed deer and deer hunting, and the Whitetail Summit represents our most ambitious effort yet on behalf of deer hunters. Every year, hunters and conservationists meet at national and international gatherings to combine efforts in many arenas, from gun rights to land management to critical species conservation. Believe it or not, there has never been a national gathering of stakeholders focused on the North American hunting culture’s most important species: wild whitetails. Given the number of obstacles and threats that face deer hunting, QDMA believes we are overdue for a national discussion on how to preserve our traditions and the animal on which they depend. We took the initiative to organize and lead such a gathering, the first-ever North American Whitetail Summit.
When: March 3-6, 2014
Where: Bass Pro Shops’ Big Cedar Lodge, Branson, Missouri
What is the Whitetail Summit?
The Whitetail Summit is designed to bring together representatives from all sectors of the deer hunting community to address the current challenges and threats facing white-tailed deer. The stakeholder groups include:
1. Deer hunters. 2. Non-governmental organizations like QDMA and other groups. 3. State/provincial wildlife agencies.
4. Land owners and managers, including public (U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, etc.) and private lands (timber companies, etc.).
5. The scientific community, including universities, research institutes, and others involved in deer research. 6. The hunting industry, including individual corporations and trade associations.
The Summit format – which entails 2 1/2 days of interactive general sessions and breakout groups, concluding with a press conference – is designed to ensure productive debate and collaboration among the six stakeholder groups. The goal by the end of the three days is to identify clear, practical and achievable action items that can be implemented cooperatively by the stakeholder groups. These action items will lay the groundwork for a sustainable future for whitetail hunting and management within the context of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.
A seventh group, the outdoor media, is invited as well and will be free to cover the deliberations of the six stakeholder groups. The media will also play a key role after the Summit is over by sharing action items with the broader hunting community to gain widespread grassroots support.
Numerous representatives of stakeholder groups have already committed to attend, and a few featured speakers and attendees are shown below.
How Can You Attend?
Since this is the first year of the Whitetail Summit and lodging/meeting space is limited at Big Cedar Lodge, attendance is also limited. QDMA will try to fill available seats so that stakeholder groups and geographic regions are equally and proportionally represented at the Summit. To request a registration form, please submit the following information: Name; State; Organization, affiliation or stakeholder group you represent; Phone number and e-mail address; and Reason for wishing to attend the Whitetail Summit.
QDMA is excited and proud to host this important event. We hope QDMA members are equally proud to know their organization, using their support, was the first to take on this important task and bring industry-wide focus on the importance of whitetails and the urgent need to secure our deer-hunting heritage.