QDMA regularly engages in policy discussions that concern white-tailed deer, including legislation and regulations proposed at the local, state and federal level. This page serves as an archive of QDMA’s policy positions for 2019. QDMA evaluates policy matters on a case-by-case basis, and the organization’s position on each is based on what is best for the whitetail resource, hunting rights, and the future of our hunting heritage. For more information on any item below, or to make us aware of a policy issue in your area, contact QDMA Conservation Director Kip Adams.
Alabama: Baiting Deer and Hogs
We oppose Alabama Senate Bill 12, which would legalize hunting over bait for deer and hogs, which would be bad for hunting, wildlife management, and conservation. In a letter to the legislature, we outlined seven reasons we oppose the bill. Read the full letter here.
Arkansas: Memorandum of Understanding for Shared Stewardship
We support the memorandum of understanding (MOU) executed by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. This MOU establishes the framework for working collaboratively on managing wildlife habitat in the state. With these partnerships, we will be able to more effectively manage habitat for the benefit of white-tailed deer and our hunting heritage. Read the full letter here.
California: Forest and Woodlands Restoration Workforce Model Curriculum and Vocational Programs
We support California SB 462, which establishes a forest and woodlands restoration workforce model curriculum and vocational programs within California community colleges. We believe it is critical to support careers that will lead to the preservation of wildlife habitat and white-tailed deer. These careers in conservation will help support wildlife habitat for years to come. Read the full letter here.
Colorado: Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy Act
We support H.R. 823, the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Economy Act. This act increases opportunities on public lands for hunters within the state. Among other beneficial actions, this bill expands the White River National Forest leading to an increase in access for sportsmen and women. We believe public access is crucial to furthering the hunting tradition. Read the full letter here.
Colorado: Wildlife-Friendly Roadway Crossings
We support Colorado Governor Jared Polis’s executive order encouraging the construction of wildlife-friendly roadway crossings. These crossings encourage wildlife habitat connectivity and discourage vehicle collisions with wildlife. We commended Governor Polis on his actions to protect Colorado’s extensive wildlife and their habitat. Read the full letter here.
Connecticut: Hunting Along the Quinnipiac River
We oppose Connecticut Senate Bill 245, which seeks to prevent hunting along the Quinnipiac River in New Haven. Connecticut sportsmen and women generate $90 million in revenue annually, while public land hunting/fishing opportunities continue to decline. Read the full letter here.
Delaware: Non-Resident Student Hunting License Cost
We support Delaware House Bill 97, which allows non-resident college students to purchase a hunting license at resident cost. This legislation will help increase hunting opportunities and encourage the flow of conservation dollars through license fees that would otherwise be absent from college-enrolled students that may not be able to pay the non-resident prices. Read the full letter here.
Georgia: Deer Bag Limits
We support Georgia Senate Bill 72, which would set the framework in law for deer bag limits, provide the DNR the regulatory authority to work within that framework, and legalize big bore air guns. We emphasized that Senate Bill 72 will bring more opportunities for sportsmen and women, as well as play an important role in increasing the economic impact hunters currently have on Georgia’s economy. Read the full letter here.
Hawaii: Apprentice Hunting License
We support Hawaii SB 927, which develops an apprentice hunting license program. We believe it is vital to increase opportunities for prospective hunters to go afield and learn the many benefits of hunting. These programs are crucial for hunter recruitment, retention, and reactivation. Read the full letter here.
Illinois: Apprentice and Youth Deer Licenses
We support Illinois HB 3623, which allows for multiple purchases of apprentice licenses and authorizes a statewide youth deer license. We believe it is vitally important to increase the opportunities for young and new hunters to garner the experiences necessary afield, increasing hunter recruitment, reactivation and retention. Read the full letter here.
Indiana: Forest Management
We support the proper management of forests in the state of Indiana by the Division of Forestry under the Division of Natural Resources. The proper managing of our forests is vital to the continued existence of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. Read the full letter here.
Indiana: Outdoor Stewardship Program
We support Indiana House Bill 1376, which would provide additional funding and resources to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources to create the Indiana Outdoor Stewardship Program. Read the full letter here.
Indiana: State Forestry Commission
We oppose Indiana Senate Bill 610, which would create a state forestry commission undermining the current role of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry. While we greatly value our forests, we feel the current forestry division is best equipped to meet current and future demands. Read the full letter here.
Iowa: Apprentice License Age
We support Iowa’s HF 599, which decreases the age an individual can buy an apprentice license from age 16 to nine. This decrease in age eligibility will help increase the opportunities for the next generation of sportsmen and women to garner the necessary experiences afield to make them an ethical, competent hunter. Read the full letter here.
Iowa: Unused Deer Tags
We oppose Iowa HF 218, which would allow hunters to use unused deer tags the following deer season. This type of practice would drastically slow conservation funding. With hunter numbers already on the decline, we must ensure that state agencies have the funding to implement programs that will benefit hunters for many years to come. Read the full letter here.
Kansas: Deer Permit Transfers
We oppose Kansas House Bill 2167, which would establish a deer permit transfer system to non-residents. Similar permit transfer systems have been tried in the past with poor results. Arguments among landowners, permit brokers and outfitters ensued and led to the eventual removal of the legislature, which we emphasized in our letter to the legislature. Read the full letter here.
Louisiana: CWD Task Force
We support Louisiana HCR 95 and any subsequent related measures in active legislative sessions. This HCR establishes a CWD Task Force to address the threats related to CWD in the state. We believe CWD is the utmost concern for the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. We must do all we can to address the problem. Read the full letter here.
Maine: Deer Baiting
We oppose the legalization of baiting for white-tailed deer within the state of Maine. The QDMA opposes the expansion of baiting where not currently legal, and/or where chronic wasting disease or other known diseases are present. Read the full letter here.
Maryland: Sunday Hunting
We support Maryland Senate Bill 390, which grants the DNR the authority to allow for additional Sunday hunting opportunities. Our letter outlined the impact current restrictions impose on Maryland hunters, and the economic benefits hunters have throughout the state that would increase in passing this bill. Read the full letter here.
Massachusetts: Sunday Hunting
We support Massachusetts S. 487, which removes the ban on Sunday hunting. We believe that it is crucial to increase hunting opportunities for sportsmen and women across the country. We outlined four key reasons for our support in the letter to legislators. Read the full letter here.
Michigan: Legalization of Baiting
We oppose Michigan HB 4687, which would legalize baiting for white-tailed deer in Michigan. The QDMA opposes the expansion of baiting where not currently legal, and/or where chronic wasting disease or other known diseases are present. Read the full letter here.
Minnesota: Captive Deer Regulation
We support Minnesota House Bill 553, which would transfer regulation of captive deer from the Board of Animal Health to the Department of Natural Resources. We asked the state legislature to transfer this authority to prevent the degradation of the North American Wildlife Model for Wildlife Conservation, while reducing the potential impact of captive deer issues on wild deer populations. Read the full letter here.
Minnesota: CWD Research and Prevention
We support SF 2314, which dedicates funds towards Chronic Wasting Disease research and prevention. This appropriations bill allocates funds for MDNR dumpsters, University of Minnesota CWD research, and double fence standards at captive cervid facilities. These improvements are vital to keep CWD contained in Minnesota. Read the full letter here.
Missouri: CWD Regulations
We support the proposed regulations within Missouri on CWD. These regulations would allow for the transportation of deer carcasses directly to taxidermists and meat processors. This helps preserve the white-tailed deer hunting traditions we are fortunate enough to enjoy. Read the full letter here.
Missouri: Feral Hog Hunting
We support the closing of Mark Twain National Forest to feral hog hunting. Feral hogs are a destructive invasive species that have overtaken Missouri. Feral hog hunting establishes a business interest and encourages the illegal release of feral hogs on private and public lands, thus contributing to the growing problem. Read the full letter here.
Missouri: Poaching Penalties
We support Missouri House Bill 260, which would increase the penalties for illegal taking of deer. The bill would help reduce the number of unlawful activities with respect to white-tailed deer poaching and therefore will benefit the state, its wildlife and citizenry. Read the full letter here.
Missouri: Conservation Sales Tax Renewal
QDMA opposes Missouri HJR 18, which would require the renewal of the conservation sales tax on a six year basis by Missouri voters. If this bill passes, conservation funding may decrease, reducing habitat management and restoration efforts. Read our full advocacy letter here.
Montana: Whiskey Ridge Easement Proposal
We support the purchasing of a 4,400-acre perpetual conservation easement by Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. We submitted a public comment indicating the potential for this easement to increase hunting access for sportsmen and women. At QDMA, we believe public access for sportsmen and women is crucial to the continued existence of the deeply rooted hunting tradition. Read the full letter here.
National: USFS Forest Management Activities
We support the categorical exclusion of certain United States Forest Service activities under the National Environmental Policy Act to the extent it allows for the responsible management of our nation’s vast National Forest System. The proposed categorical exclusions would allow for more time and resources to be dedicated to ensuring our forests are managed properly. Read the full letter here.
National: House Lands Package
We support the U.S. House of Representatives lands package, which would impact sportsmen and women on a national level. The bill would improve access to public land for outdoor recreation, while reauthorizing numerous conservation programs leaving a lasting legacy for generations of Americans to come. Read the full letter here.
National: 2020 Transportation Bill
QDMA is working with numerous non-profit conservation organizations to assist the federal government with the 2020 Transportation Bill. QDMA advocated for a conservation-minded approach as plans for 2020 are in the works. Everything from waterfowl migration, to boat fuel taxes, to national forest public roadways was addressed. Read the full letter here.
National: Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act
We support U.S. Senate Bill 1081, also known as the Land and Water Conservation Fund Permanent Funding Act. This bill authorizes the use of offshore oil and gas drilling royalties to be used for public land acquisitions and forest management projects. We believe it is vital to support conservation funding measures that will benefit white-tailed deer, habitat, and hunting access. Read the full letter here.
National: Tongass National Forest Roadless Rule Exemption
We oppose the 2001 Roadless Rule exemption for the Tongass National Forest being proposed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). We requested that the USDA reject the blanket exemption and urged them to consider the interests of sportsmen and women, wildlife, and habitat moving forward. Read the full letter here.
National: U.S. House Bill 837
We support H.R. 837, also known as the Chronic Wasting Disease Transmission in Cervidae Study Act. We strongly support HR 837 due to the support the bill will provide toward research into methods that help detect and prevent the spread of CWD. Read the full letter here.
National: U.S. House Bill 877
We support H.R. 877 and the companion legislation in the Senate S. 2092. This legislation includes important provisions to improve hunter reactivation, recruitment and retention efforts, often referred to as R3 efforts. Hunters are the champions of conservation, and this bill helps continue the conservation legacy left by many sportsmen and women. Read the full letter here.
National: U.S. House Bill 1550
We support H.R. 1550, also known as the Chronic Wasting Disease Management Act. Both HR 1550 and HR 837 (listed above) would proactively address CWD across the country by providing the necessary funding for CWD research. Read the full letter here.
National: U.S. House Bill 2607
We support H.R. 2607, also known as the Resilient Federal Forest Act of 2019, which expeditiously enables the United States Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management, through a categorical exclusion under the National Environmental Policy Act, to partake in routine forest management activities necessary to curb forest fires, diseases, and pests. Healthy forests are vital to preserving our white-tailed deer hunting tradition. Read the full letter here.
National: U.S. House Bill 3458
We support H.R. 3458, also known as the Recreation Not Red Tape Act, which seeks to maintain public hunting access on federal lands. We believe it is important to advocate for public deer hunting access so all hunters may have the opportunity to experience white-tailed deer hunting. We urged the House Agriculture Committee to support this bill and preserve our right of access. Read the full letter here.
National: U.S. House Bill 3742
We support H.R. 3742, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act as it gives fish and game agencies the necessary tools to implement each of their respective wildlife management plans for at-risk species. The execution of these plans is vital to a vast number of species beyond just those that are listed as at risk including the white-tailed deer. Read the full letter here.
National: U.S. House Bill 3879
We support H.R. 3879, the Simplifying Outdoor Access for Recreation Act, which streamlines the permitting process for access on our public lands. At QDMA, we believe it is critical to preserve and increase access to our public lands. The increase and preservation of access to our public lands is vital to ensuring hunters have the opportunity to garner valuable experiences afield. Read the full letter here.
National: U.S. Senate Bill 47
We support the U.S. Senate Bill 47, which would impact sportsmen and women on a national level. The bill would improve access to public land for outdoor recreation, while reauthorizing numerous conservation programs leaving a lasting legacy for generations of Americans to come. Read the full letter here.
National: U.S. Senate Bill 2302
We support U.S. Senate Bill 2302, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act. The bill dedicates $250 million in funding to construct wildlife-friendly roadway crossing structures. Roadway crossing structures ensure habitat connectivity and reduce vehicular collisions with wildlife. These structures will help protect white-tailed deer populations, their habitat, and drivers on the road. Read the full letter of support here.
National: Wilderness Additions Act of 2019
We support U.S. Senate Bill 247, Virginia Wilderness Additions Act of 2019. This act would protect crucial public white-tailed deer hunting land within the George Washington National Forest by adding wilderness designations for roughly 5,600 acres. This comports directly with the designated forest management practices for the area, and this adherence to proper forest management is crucial for the continued existence of QDMA’s core principles. Read the full letter here.
Nevada: Ruby Mountain Protection Act
We support S258, the Ruby Mountains Protection Act, prohibiting oil and gas development on Nevada’s public hunting land. It is important that we preserve hunting access to continue to further the hunting tradition. We urged The House Natural Resources Committee to support this legislation. Read the full letter here.
New Hampshire: Coyote Hunting
We oppose New Hampshire House Bill 442, which would prohibit coyote hunting April 1 through August 31. We informed the committee on the impact of coyotes have on fawn survival and recruitment rates, and due to a coyote’s high reproductive rates it would be unlikely to drastically reduce their population through hunting alone. Read the full letter here.
New Jersey: CWD Regulations
We support New Jersey Assembly Bill 5232, which adds protective measures in the fight against CWD by banning the importation of deer and elk into the state. We believe CWD is the utmost concern for the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. We must do all we can to address the growing problem. Read the full letter here.
New Jersey: Public Hunting Lands
We support New Jersey Senate Bill 533, which establishes a principle of no net loss for Department of Environmental Protection lands dedicated to the purposes of hunting, fishing and trapping. At QDMA, we believe public lands access for sportsmen and women is vital to preserving the deeply rooted hunting tradition. Read the full letter here.
New Jersey: Sunday Hunting
We support New Jersey S. 2023 with the caveat for additional expansion. This bill lifts the ban on Sunday hunting with a firearm on private land. We supported this proposal but urged the legislature to expand this initiative to a full lifting of the ban on Sunday hunting in New Jersey. Read the full letter here.
New York: Crossbow Expanded Use
We support New York A076270 and S05818A, which expands the use of crossbows to the extent it positively impacts deer management programs and helps recruit and retain more hunters. These pieces of legislation are vital to ensuring new hunters join and veteran hunters remain within the time-honored tradition of white-tailed deer hunting. Read the full letter for A076270 here and S05818A here.
New York: Gun Raffles
We oppose New York Senate Bill 1413, which prohibits using firearms as prizes in games of chance. We outlined the benefits organizations that raise money through using firearms as prizes, which in turn is used towards benefiting wildlife and habitat management in New York in our letter. Read the full letter here.
North Carolina: Dan River Game Land Plan
We submitted a public comment regarding North Carolina’s Dan River Game Land Plan. We urged the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to continue to take into consideration the interests of sportsmen and women moving forward, including maintaining and increasing public access. At QDMA, we support giving access to sportsmen and women to garner invaluable experiences in the outdoors. Read the full letter here.
North Dakota: Hunting on Easement Refuges
We support the proposed amendment that would allow hunting on easement refuges within North Dakota. We submitted a public comment to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service urging them to enact this amendment to increase hunting opportunities for sportsmen and women in the state. In our comment, we outlined the many benefits that associated with an increase in hunting opportunities. Read the full letter here.
Oklahoma: CWD Prevention
We strongly oppose Oklahoma House Joint Resolution 1022, which would disapprove rules promoted by the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation commission to empower them to do more to control chronic wasting disease. In a letter to representatives we outlined how Oklahoma is one of nine other states that still allows for the importation from CWD positive areas. HJR 1022 would keep borders open to importation putting Oklahoma’s free ranging deer and elk herds at risk to exposure, as well as put its $200 million dollar plus hunting industry at great risk. Read the full letter here.
Oregon: Deer Urine Requirements
We support Oregon House Bill 2294, which requires deer urine used for luring/attracting to come from herds free of chronic wasting disease. This bill would help prevent the spread of CWD to other deer herds that may come in contact with the contaminated urine. Read the full letter here.
Oregon: Poaching Penalties
We support Oregon HB 3035, which increases penalties on poaching in Oregon. At QDMA, we believe it is crucial to preserve the North American Model of Conservation, the concept of fair and ethical hunting and the wildlife kept in a trust for all of us to enjoy. We encouraged Governor Brown to sign this legislation into law. Read the full letter here.
Pennsylvania: CWD Response Plan Proposal
We support the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s (PGC) CWD Response Plan Proposal and its goals to reduce risks of spreading CWD, to monitor for spatial distribution and prevalence of CWD, to prevent the establishment of CWD in new areas, and to maintain prevalence below 5 percent in established areas and slow the geographic spread of CWD. We are especially pleased with the PGC’s interest in working with landowners and hunters. Read the full letter here.
Pennsylvania: License Fee Authority
We support Pennsylvania House Bill 808, which would grant the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) the authority to set license and permit fees as needed. This will better serve the sportsmen and outdoor recreation communities that depend on its services. Read the full letter here.
Pennsylvania: Sunday Hunting
We support Pennsylvania Senate Bill 147, which would allow for hunting on Sundays. We outlined four key reasons to allow Sunday hunting, and the impact those reasons would have in our letter to the committee. Read the full letter here.
Rhode Island: Canned Hunting
We support Rhode Island’s S0880, which would prohibit “canned hunting” in the state of Rhode Island. We urged the legislature to adopt the New England Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers’ suggested additional language prohibiting the use of native species like white-tailed deer for “canned hunting”. It is important to stop this unethical practice of harvesting deer through the collaborative effort of many conservation organizations. Read the full letter here.
South Carolina: Feral Cat Control
We oppose South Carolina’s SB 105, which would allow for Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) as a means to address the feral cat problem within the state. Feral cats remain one of the most devastating invasive species in South Carolina and are a public health risk. We must promote more effective means of addressing this problem and denounce plans that will not adequately handle the issue. Read the full letter here.
South Dakota: Carcass Transportation Ban
We support South Dakota’s carcass transportation ban. We believe it is crucial that we support all the necessary steps to actively address CWD and mitigate the risks it presents to the hunting community. We supported the regulations promulgated by the South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks Commission with a public comment. Read the full letter here.
Texas: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department
We support the continued existence of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). TPWD provides many critical programs for the conservation of wildlife habitat, hunting and many other outdoor traditions. We urged the Sunset Advisory Committee to continue TPWD and the programs that they provide to the citizens of Texas. Read the full letter here.
Utah/Wyoming: Ashley National Forest Land Management Plan
We support the Ashley National Forest Land Management Plan to the extent it responsibly furthers deer habitat, sound forest management and increased access to public lands. We submitted a public comment urging the United States Forest Service to consider these important principles moving forward. Read the full letter here.
Vermont: Andrews Community Forest Management Plan
We support the Andrews Community Forest Management Plan and submitted a comment on this plan outlining our position. We urged those concerned with the Forest Management Plan to support the responsible forest management activities outlined in the plan and highlighted the benefits of building upon hunting opportunities for Vermont’s citizens within the forest. Read the full letter here.
Virginia: Piney River Vegetation Project
We support the Piney River Vegetation Project within the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests. This project would add habitat diversity through the utilization of various forest management activities. Additionally, this project would improve access for deer hunters by repairing damaged Forest Service roads. These actions are vital to the continued existence of white-tailed deer and our hunting heritage. Read the full letter here.
West Virginia: Deer Seasons and Bag Limits
We oppose West Virginia Senate Bills 577 and 586, which impact white-tailed deer hunting seasons and bag limits. We urged the senate committee that successful deer management requires a scientific approach and support from the public. Read the full letter here.
We oppose West Virginia’s House Bills 2984, 3053 and 3059, which would impact white-tailed deer hunting seasons and bag limits. We are not opposed to an antlered bag limit reduction, which according to DNR staff would have minimal impact on harvest level, but we are opposed to the changes occurring at the legislative level rather than the DNR level. Read the full letter here.
Wisconsin: Carcass Disposal Dumpsters
We support Wisconsin SB 325, which provides funds for the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to establish a grant program for carcass disposal dumpsters. We believe deer hunters are the greatest stewards of the deer they pursue. We must provide them with the tools necessary to tackle Chronic Wasting Disease while recognizing recommendations made by the DNR. Read the full letter here.
Wisconsin: CWD Research
We support the Wisconsin CWD Research Act, which would fund much-needed research into CWD management and strategies for halting the spread of the disease. Read the full letter here.
We support Wisconsin’s Earn-A-Buck program as it allows for the sound management of the state’s deer herd. This program is an effective tool to decrease the risk of overpopulation and spread of CWD. With programs like this, we ensure that our white-tailed deer hunting opportunities are around for years to come. Read the full letter here.
Wisconsin: Healthy Herd, Healthy Hunt Legislative Package
We support LRB 0293, LRB 4072, and LRB 3300, labeled the “Healthy Herd, Healthy Hunt” legislative package within the state of Wisconsin. This package seeks to address Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) by allocating the necessary tools and funds to combat the disease. The legislative package would provide funding for CWD research, testing kiosks, and carcass disposal dumpsters. Read the full letter here.
Wisconsin: Poaching Penalties
We support Wisconsin Assembly Bill 39, which would increase the penalties for the illegal taking of deer, by increasing the current ‘wild animal protection surcharge’ imposed by the court. The bill would help reduce the number of unlawful activities with respect to white-tailed deer poaching and therefore will benefit the state, its wildlife and citizenry. Read the full letter here.