ATHENS, GA (August 28, 2017) – The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) announced the winners of its 2017 Al Brothers Professional and Non-Professional Deer Manager of the Year awards at the QDMA National Convention.
Blake Hamilton is the recipient of the 2017 Al Brothers Professional Deer Manager of the Year Award. In 2013 Hamilton founded Nature’s Eye located in Lufkin, Texas. He currently manages approximately 53,000 acres of habitat. Hamilton’s mission is to educate landowners and their families about the importance of land stewardship and provide the knowledge and resources needed to reach their management goals and objectives.
Nature’s Eye has a QDMA membership requirement for all of its pro-staff members. Also, many of their staff members hold a leadership role in their local QDMA Branches. Hamilton is a very dedicated member of QDMA and has educated a large audience though his online outlets.
Dave and Tom Bastow received the 2017 Al Brothers Deer Managers of the Year Award. The father-son duo are both Life Members of the QDMA and members of the Brothers-Hamilton Legacy Society. The Bastow men have been managing their family farm for over a decade near Edinboro, Pa.
The Bastow family is committed to the QDMA and preserving all wildlife on their family owned property. Featured species include white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, and black bears. This father-son team also encourages family involvement in hunting and deer management.
QDMA’s Deer Manager of the Year awards are named in honor of Al Brothers of Texas, wildlife biologist and author of the book Producing Quality Whitetails, who is considered the father of Quality Deer Management. He was also influential in the founding of the QDMA in 1988.
“Al Brothers believes that to be recognized for exceptional dedication to managing white-tailed deer, an individual must wear multiple hats simultaneously,” said QDMA Founder Joe Hamilton. “The persons receiving these awards are expected to promote and support QDMA, educate fellow hunters/managers, promote ethical hunting, and foster young hunters while tending to the needs of the deer populations under their management. Al is humbled that these awards bear his name, but he is proud to be associated with the quality of those selected for these prestigious recognitions.”