The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) announced on Monday that registration has opened for its 2013 Deer Steward courses, which are highlighted by a property tour of Lee and Tiffany Lakosky’s Iowa farm and a course offering at Dr. Grant Woods’ Proving Grounds, as featured on GrowingDeer.TV.
QDMA’s Deer Steward certification program is in its seventh year overall, and for the second-straight year, registrants also have the option to take the first level online.
If you’re looking for the personal touch of an in-person class, the 2013 Deer Steward Level I location will take place in Fairfield, Iowa, accompanied by a rare property tour on land owned, managed and hunted by the Lakoskys!
If you’re already a Level I Deer Steward, this year’s Level II courses will be offered at Dr. Grant Woods’ Proving Grounds in southwestern Missouri and at a University of Tennessee demonstration area in the Appalachian foothills, where Dr. Craig Harper has performed much of his wildlife habitat research.
2013 Dates and Locations
Level I Course:
May 17-20 – Fairfield, Iowa – Field Trip: Lee and Tiffany Lakosky's personal farm
Level II Courses:
June 7-10 – Branson, Missouri, at The Proving Grounds (as seen on GrowingDeer.TV)
August 16-19 – Andersonville, Tennessee, at a University of Tennessee demonstration area
The Deer Steward certification program is a personal learning experience designed to offer landowners, hunters and natural resource professionals an opportunity to learn from the world’s top experts about Quality Deer Management (QDM). The first two levels are courses, Level III is an application; all three need to be taken in succession. By taking both Levels I and II, graduates are able to design and implement their own comprehensive property-specific white-tailed deer management plan. So, for the price of a new firearm or bow, attendees gain enough knowledge to become advanced deer managers.
Each course follows the four Cornerstones of QDM as a guideline. Level I courses include nearly 20 presentations over a two-day period, followed by an optional half-day field trip; Level II courses involve more hands-on experience. Attendees will learn techniques on aging deer jawbones; taking soil samples and interpreting soil test results; determining acreage of food plots and calibrating equipment; population surveys; forest and early succession habitat management; analyzing harvest data; making property maps; and much more. Level III status is the recognition of those who have given back to the resource over a long period of time, rather than something you can learn in one weekend.
Online Deer Steward
Through a unique partnership with Clemson University, individuals who have a high-speed Internet connection also can choose to enroll in the Level I class on-line, making Deer Steward as convenient and affordable as it’s ever been! Once registered, attendees gain access to a digital recording of one of our previous Deer Steward Level I courses (filmed in front of a live audience) and will have up to 180 days to complete the series of six sessions (approximately 17 one-hour topics) at their own pace. Speakers include Kip Adams, Dr. David Guynn, Joe Hamilton, Dr. Craig Harper, Dr. Karl V. Miller, Brian Murphy, Matt Ross and Dr. Grant Woods.
Just like the in-person classes, registrants must pass an exam to graduate, and Continuing Forestry Education (CFEs) credits (14.0 hours) from the Society of American Foresters will be available. In addition, graduates of the online version of Deer Steward will be eligible to take one of the in-person Level II courses upon completion.
In-person Courses (Deer Steward Levels I and II):
$800 Non-QDMA Members
$750 Regular QDMA Members
$700 QDMA Life Members, Sponsor Members and Corporate Sponsors, Partners and Supporters.
$50 Early Bird discount if registering before February 22. Special group savings also available for QDMA Branch officers/directors (up to 25% off).
Cost includes instruction, most meals, a course handbook, and a framed course certificate. Travel and lodging are not included.
Online Deer Steward (Level I only):
$200 Non-QDMA Members
$175 Regular QDMA Members
$150 QDMA Life Members, Sponsor Members and Corporate Sponsors, Partners and Supporters.
FREE for Active Military in Combat Zones
Online fees increase $50 per level with CFE's. Cost includes instruction and a course certificate.