5 Reasons You Belong in QDMA

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80 percent of hunters in the U.S. are deer hunters. We are the largest segment of the hunting population and contribute more to conservation efforts than all other types of hunters combined. Surprisingly, less than 1 percent of deer hunters belong to a deer-related conservation organization. Compare that to 41 percent of duck hunters and 8 percent of turkey hunters who belong to organizations specific to their passion. Why is that? Since QDMA leads the way in ensuring the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage, that is a question we frequently ponder.

Perhaps part of the problem lies in some common misconceptions surrounding QDMA. One of the most frequent we hear is that QDMA is only for those who own land. And while it’s true we provide a lot of great content and information for those who own or manage hunting land, that is only a fraction of what QDMA is about. In fact, 35 percent of QDMA members own no hunting land at all — myself included. For those folks, the organization still provides plenty of benefits which I will outline below.

Others have been lead to believe QDMA is all about growing and shooting trophy bucks. Not true. QDMA has never been focused on inches of antler. We do promote protecting most or all of your yearling bucks and harvesting an appropriate number of does, as needed, to create a healthy, balanced deer herd — one that provides a more rewarding hunting experience. But even that aspect of QDM doesn’t define what the organization is about. Every deer hunter stands to benefit from what QDMA has to offer and, because of that, here are five reasons all deer hunters belong in the QDMA.

We’ll make you a better deer hunter and manager

If you own or manage hunting land, great! You’ll love all the information QDMA provides through our website and magazine, Quality Whitetails, about improving hunting land for deer and other wildlife. You’ll learn all about planting and maintaining food plots, as well as habitat management techniques such as hinge-cutting, prescribed fire, timber stand improvement, and more.

If you don’t own land, that’s okay too. QDMA also publishes lots of great information on deer biology and behavior, and hunting techniques for the beginner and advanced hunter alike.

If you want to really take your deer and habitat management skills to the next level, you can register for one or more of QDMA’s various Deer Steward courses, where some of the top deer and habitat experts in the country share their knowledge.

You’ll help fund important deer research

Over the next five years, QDMA has committed to funding $1 million in research, on-the-ground management, and technical assistance for white-tailed deer. The research will cover a variety of topics from deer behavior to disease issues such as CWD and EHD. Deer behavior research can provide information that not only allows us to better manage wild deer herds, but also that can make you a better deer hunter by understanding why deer do the things they do. Additionally, research looking into some of the major disease issues, predation, and competition from invasive species like feral hogs is critical to QDMA’ s mission of ensuring the future of white-tailed deer.

Learn how you can help ensure the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage and receive a $25 Bass Pro gift card with our special membership offer at the bottom of this article!

 

You’ll help introduce first-time hunters to deer hunting

The future of our hunting heritage is directly tied to our ability to increase the number of hunters and pass our passion for deer hunting to the next generation. QDMA has a strong commitment to lead the way in creating hunting mentors and getting more first-time hunters in the field. Programs like our Share the Hunt™ and Field to Fork are doing just that, and QDMA is constantly working to expand these programs into new areas. But we need your help. A recent survey of our QDMA membership revealed that 76 percent of QDMA members, or approximately 43,000, mentored at least one hunter last year, with an average of 3.7 hunters per mentor. When combined with QDMA’s Share Your Hunt™ program and other mentor initiatives, QDMA mentored approximately 160,000 hunters in 2016. Our current goal is to increase that number to 200,000 per year over the next five years. Your membership dollars will help us to provide the resources necessary to make this happen. And just as important as your membership is your willingness to reach out and take someone new hunting each season, whether it be a family member, neighbor or coworker.

You’ll help us advocate for wild whitetails at the local, state, and national levels

Most deer hunters have no idea that our hunting heritage is constantly under attack. These threats come in many different forms at the local, state and federal level. Due to QDMA’s membership and strong support from the professional wildlife community, it is the most respected and influential whitetail organization in North America. As such, QDMA serves as the leading advocate for the wise management of deer and the protection of our deer hunting heritage. Since 2006, QDMA has engaged in over 1,000 policy issues impacting wildlife, habitat and our hunting heritage. But we need your help.There is strength in numbers, and since the threats to our hunting heritage will only grow stronger and more frequent, deer hunters need a robust, unified voice for wild whitetails.

You’ll be connected with like-minded deer hunters in your area

If ensuring the future of white-tailed deer and deer hunting isn’t enough incentive to interest you in joining QDMA, maybe the opportunity to connect with other like-minded deer hunters will. Becoming part of a local QDMA Branch is a great way to make new friends and find new hunting partners. It’s also an excellent outlet for sharing ideas, management strategies, and even trail-camera photos. Additionally, as part of a larger group, you’ll have the opportunity to raise funds and make a positive impact for deer and other wildlife right in your own community.

In conclusion

The future of white-tailed deer and deer hunting is in our hands. It is each of our responsibilities to recruit the next generation of hunters, to advocate for our hunting heritage and support sound wildlife management principles. The easiest way to do these things is by joining a group of like-minded deer hunters with a strong, unified voice. QDMA is that unified voice. If you’re a deer hunter, you belong in QDMA.

For more information about QDMA’s aggressive 5-year mission goals, check out this article.


A Special Offer Just for You!

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Just for checking out this article, you can join QDMA (or renew your membership) for just $30 and you’ll receive a $25 Bass Pro gift card! In addition to the gift card, you’ll receive 6 issues of our information-packed Quality Whitetails magazine, an Aging & Scoring Bucks on the Hoof DVD and a QDMA decal. But most importantly, your membership dollars will help ensure the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. To take advantage of this offer, use the link below or call us at (800) 209-3337. Use promo code BELONG.

JOIN TODAY!


  • David Wetzel

    While I agree with the premise of this article, I find myself less and less inclined to side with the hunting community these days. I have hunted around the world for better than four decades and financially and through volunteer efforts support a number of organizations that are actively pushing for their members to stand up and back hunters and hunting, and particularly to encourage the involvement of youth. But I am constantly confronted with activities I will lump under the general category of “slob hunters” who poach on mine and other private property and/or are accessing public lands out of season or without permits, the wounding of far too many animals by way of taking shots they shouldn’t (a practice encouraged by the equipment industries pushing of longer and longer range capabilities), the general acceptance and practice of “road hunting” by what seems to be an ever increasing number of those calling themselves hunters, the increased occurrence of “farmed” wildlife being shot behind high fences, and generally the suspension of ethical hunting practices in the interest of putting trophies on the wall.

    To be fair, and in the interest of putting blame where due, I have also grown weary of the emphasis put on research by our government game agencies at the expense of the habitat work that lies at the core of truly conserving our wildlife and wild places. Seasons are set, and harvests dictated by the idea that the hunting communities demands must be met, whether or not these regulations are in the best interest of the resources they are tasked with protecting. By way of example consider the liberal archery seasons that take place on elk and deer ahead of, and during the rut that have virtually eliminated bugling by the time rifle seasons open, and leave abundant “walking wounded” animals the norm. In spite of the decline in mule deer numbers in my home state of Colorado, all seasons come before, or at the start of the rut, effectively circumventing the natural process of survival of the fittest!

    I have, and will continue to support groups that put a strong emphasis on hunting ethics in the interest of retaining the support necessary to accomplish meaningful and effective conservation work, (RMEF, ODMA, and B&C come to mind) but I find myself ever closer to putting down my own guns with the passing of every hunting season as I find it difficult to want to lump myself in with the majority of those who call themselves hunters. I believe it is crucial that we police our own, and restore the dignity of our hunting community if we have any hope of retaining the privilege of hunting.


About Brian Grossman

Brian Grossman joined the QDMA staff in August, 2015 as its Communications Manager. Brian is responsible for amplifying QDMA’s educational message for hunters through social media, e-mail, the QDMA website, and Quality Whitetails magazine. He has been a freelance writer, photographer, videographer and web designer since 2003. A trained wildlife biologist, Brian founded the Poor Boys Outdoors and Working Class Hunter web shows and associated media during his free time while working full time as a wildlife manager. He came to QDMA from the Georgia DNR Wildlife Resources Division, where he was a field operations supervisor, overseeing management of 15 Wildlife Management Areas. Brian currently lives in Thomaston, Georgia with his wife, Tina, and his two children, Dakota and Brooke.