ATHENS, GA (September 28, 2017) – In September, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (DNR) became the sixth state wildlife agency to receive the Quality Deer Management Association’s (QDMA’s) Deer Steward training in a customized course for their staff. Ohio DNR set a custom agenda by choosing topics from Deer Steward levels I and II from QDMA’s popular training course for hunters.
“This course helped our employees become better ambassadors for our deer program, regardless if they are working with private landowners or improving habitat on our state-owned wildlife areas,” said Mike Tonkovich, Deer Program Administrator for Ohio DNR. “I’m pleased that a number of our state service foresters attended the event as well. These guys and gals work daily with private landowners, many of whom have an interest in improving their properties for deer through proper forest management. This course helped strengthen existing relationships and forged new ones among the agency staff represented.”
QDMA’s three-day course focused on whitetail ecology, habitat management and herd management. QDMA staff members teaching the course included QDMA Founder Joe Hamilton, CEO Brian Murphy, Director of Conservation Kip Adams, and Assistant Director of Conservation Matt Ross, all trained wildlife biologists. Other speakers included Dr. Karl V. Miller from the University of Georgia, Dr. Craig Harper from the University of Tennessee, Anna Mitterling from Michigan United Conservation Clubs and Bob Nack from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
In the past, QDMA has created customized Deer Steward courses for state wildlife agencies in Delaware, Georgia, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee as well as for the entire staff of Whitetail Properties land specialists. Originally, Deer Steward courses were designed to provide advanced deer knowledge for deer hunters, and most public classes include attendees with professional backgrounds since QDMA offers continuing education credits and a special discount for agency personnel, but demand for customized courses for agencies and private companies has been growing.