QDMA’s 2020 Advocacy Issues

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 2020. To see what issues QDMA engaged in during 2019, click here.

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: Captive Cervid Indemnity

We oppose Alabama S.B. 263, which would authorize the Department of Agriculture and Industries to pay indemnity for captive cervids destroyed to combat chronic wasting disease (CWD). Passage of this legislation would threaten the hunting industry in Alabama, endanger federal grant funds from the U.S. Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program, and would result in issues relating to the definition of cervids, captives, owner of cervids, and more. Read our full letter of opposition here.

Arizona: Trail Camera Ban

We oppose Arizona H.B. 2130. This bill would prohibit the use of trail cameras from June 30 to December 31 for models capable of transmitting a digital image, and from July 31 to December 31 for all other trail cameras. At QDMA, we support pursuits that are ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful, and allow harvest of white-tailed deer in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage. We do not feel that trail cameras cross any ethical lines and feel that they can contribute to deer hunters taking an active role in management. Read the full letter of opposition here.

Connecticut: Import, Sale and Possession of Legally Hunted African Species

We oppose Connecticut H.B. 5104, which would prohibit the import, sale, and possession of items from legally hunted African species. The QDMA opposes this bill for a multitude of reasons, including numerous detrimental effects on wildlife conservation, and the negative impact this legislation will have on decades of scientific research compiled by wildlife experts. Read our full letter of opposition here.

Illinois: Antler Restrictions

We oppose Illinois H.B. 5060, which would implement a four-point antler restriction during the deer season. We oppose this bill, because it is unclear on whether the restriction would protect the majority of yearling bucks and still make the majority of other age classes available for harvest; furthermore, the QDMA is unaware of survey data indicating the proposal is supported by a majority of the affected hunters and landowners. Read our full letter of opposition here.

Iowa: CWD Authority

We support Iowa H.F 2458, which would include chronic wasting disease (CWD) in a defined group of “infectious or contagious diseases” and expand the authority of the natural resource commission to take actions against the spread of CWD. We support this proposal, because it will aid in the battle against CWD and further protect white-tailed deer populations in the state of Iowa. Read our full letter of support here.

Iowa: Invest in Iowa Act

We support Iowa SSB 3116, the Invest in Iowa Act. This legislation will ensure dedicated funding for conservation in the state of Iowa. We support this act, because it will conserve and improve Iowa’s natural resources for years to come. Read our full letter of support here.

Iowa: Use and Training of Dogs on Private Property

We support Iowa H.F. 2174, an act relating to entering private property by persons using dogs while fur harvesting or training dogs on furbearing animals. The QDMA views this legislation as a means to encourage strong working relationships between hunters and landowners. It will assist in improving the already record high approval rates for hunting in the United States, which is essential for the future of our hunting heritage. Read our full letter of support here.

Michigan: Baiting for White-tailed Deer

We oppose Michigan S.B. 37, which would legalize baiting for white-tailed deer. The QDMA opposes the expansion of baiting where not currently legal, and/or where chronic wasting disease (CWD) or other known diseases are present. Such limitations on baiting will further efforts in the battle against CWD and aid in the protection of white-tailed deer in the state of Michigan. Read our full letter of opposition here.

Michigan: Deer Baiting Penalty

We oppose MI S.B. 800, which would reduce the penalty for baiting white-tailed deer to $1.  The QDMA opposes the expansion of baiting where not currently legal and/or where chronic wasting disease/other known diseases are present. Passage of this bill would undermine the Department of Natural Resource’s law enforcement division by reducing the penalty for baiting white-tailed deer to a laughable fee and would not aid in the protection of Michigan’s natural resources. Read our full letter of opposition here.

Michigan: Importation and Transfer of Live Cervids

We support Michigan H.B. 4833, which would prohibit the importation or transfer of live cervids from a region that has tested positive for chronic wasting disease (CWD). This legislation will further efforts in the battle against CWD, and aid in the protection of whitetail deer and our hunting heritage in the state of Michigan. Read our full letter of support here.

Missouri: Legislative Authority Over the Department of Conservation

We oppose Missouri House Joint Resolution 100, which would place Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) in a position of authority over the Missouri Department of Conservation (DOC) and obtain legislative control over wildlife management. The QDMA believes in providing an apolitical, science-based conservation agency with exclusive authority over the state’s forests, fish and wildlife. Read our full letter of opposition here.

National: Agricultural Conservation Easement Program

We support proposed changes to the Natural Resource Conservation Service’s Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP). The proposed changes include protecting highly erodible land by agricultural land easements, providing assistance to partners who pursue “Buy-Protect-Sell” transactions, increasing flexibility for partners to meet cost-share matching requirements, and identifying water quality as a program purpose for enrollment of wetland reserve easements. These changes to ACEP will provide substantial protection and benefit to land resources and wildlife, including white-tailed deer. Read the full letter of support here.

National: America’s Conservation Enhancement Act

We support U.S. Senate Bill 3051, America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, which includes various conservation provisions that address emerging challenges to species and habitat health. Passage of this bill will have a positive ecological impact, promote outdoor recreation, and increase long-term conservation funding. Read the full letter of support here.

We support U.S. House Bill 925, America’s Conservation Enhancement Act, which includes an array of high-priority conservation provisions. Its passage marks a significant step forward in addressing growing challenges to species and habitat health. This bill will not only have wide-range ecological impacts but will facilitate enhanced wildlife-dependent outdoor recreation by millions of Americans, strengthening conservation funding streams for years to come. Read the full letter of support here.

National: Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act

We support U.S. House Bill 5598, Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act. This act will withdraw 234,328 acres of public land and waters from a proposed sulfide-ore copper mine, which would result in detrimental effects for hunting, angling, fish and wildlife and local recreation industry. QDMA supports this bill, as it is a way to ensure conservation efforts in the watershed continue unimpeded, and hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation opportunities continue for future generations. Read the full letter of support here.

National: Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Foothills Project

We support the U.S. Forest Service Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest Foothills Project. The goals of this project align with QDMA principles that involve active forest management and benefit all wildlife including white-tailed deer. This project outlines actions that focus on the following; restore and maintain activities to create more robust ecosystems, improve watershed and ecological conditions, support high water quality and soil productivity, and provide sustainable recreation and access opportunities to the public. Read the full letter of support here.

National: Conservation Organizations Request for Forest Management

We support actions by the federal government to ensure the nation’s forests remain well managed and productive through the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. Strategic investments that include federal forests and public lands will provide immediate recovery and lasting benefits to the American public through mitigation of potential for wildfires, improvement of forest and watershed health, providing quality habitat for wildlife, and improved access for hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation. Read our full letter of support here.

National: COVID-19 Relief for Non-profit Conservation Organizations

We support actions taken by the US Government for specifically making 501(c)3 non-profit conservation organizations eligible for many of the CARES Act and FFRCA provisions. These actions will assist our organization during uncertain times and support our mission towards ensuring the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat, and our hunting heritage. Read our full letter of support here.

National: CWD Funding

We support increased funding of state wildlife agencies for the purposes of containing the spread of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) in free-ranging deer. Increased investment in state wildlife agency response to CWD is not only vital to ensuring healthy populations of cervids, but also the security of conservation funding streams and the North American model of conservation well into the future. Read our full letter of support here.

National: Everglades Restoration Projects

We support the Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies’ actions to appropriate required funding to advance restoration projects of America’s Everglades. These actions will continue to support the future for Florida’s outdoor recreation industry and the millions of anglers and boaters from around the world who visit this iconic and productive location. Read our full letter of support here.

National: Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act

We support the implementation of the U.S. Department of Interior’s Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act (FLTFA). Once implemented, this act will facilitate modified land exchanges to protect our nation’s special places and increase public access and recreation. QDMA supports implementation of this act because it will provide funding to allow BLM, U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to pursue various land conservation projects to promote hunting, fishing, outdoor recreation, conserve wildlife habitat, protect water quality and preserve resources. Read the full letter of support here.

National: George Washington and Jefferson National Forests’ Liberty Thinning Project

We support the U.S. Forest Service George Washington and Jefferson National Forest’s Liberty Thinning Project. The actions outlined in this project include forest management practices that are vital to the preservation of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat, and our hunting heritage. Execution of this project will aid in the protection of wildlife for the American public to enjoy. Read the full letter of support here.

National: Great American Outdoors Act

We support the Great American Outdoors Act (US S. 3422), which is a bipartisan package that represents one the largest, single direct investments in conservation. It includes legislation that will conserve our nation’s natural resources, expand outdoor recreational opportunities, and spur local economic development in communities across the United States. Read our full letter of support here.

National: Korea Alaska Development Corporation Bering River Inholding

We support the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill (EVOS) Trustee Council’s actions to acquire, retire, and conserve the Korea Alaska Development Corporation Bering River inholding. Such an outcome would provide lasting benefits to the way of life, subsistence, and outdoor recreation activities and industries that are already long established in the region. Read the full letter of support here.

National: Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests’ Land Management Plan

We support the United States Forest Service’s (USFS) Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests proposed land management plan. We also encourage the USFS to continue to consider activities that promote habitat enhancement, forest resiliency, and public access. The QDMA believes that proper, science-based forest management practices are vital to the preservation of deer, wildlife habitat, and deer hunting tradition. Read our full letter of support here.

National: Natural Infrastructure Working Group WRDA Priorities

We support the Water Resources Development Act. This act will modernize America’s water management. Specifically, we support the following priorities for the upcoming legislation; development of important incentives for natural infrastructure, increasing the understanding of levee setbacks and their benefits, modernization of the criteria used to assess cost and benefits associated with projects, and implementation of monitoring plans to assess the impact of projects. Read the full letters to the House and the Senate.

National: Recovering America’s Wildlife Act

We support bipartisan H.R. 3742, Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, which will assure the proper funding for on-the-ground activities that support states’ most urgent wildlife priorities. This legislation builds upon the incredible legacy of the Pittman-Robertson and Dingell-Johnson Acts, which brought iconic fish and wildlife species back from the brink of extinction through cooperative, science-driven wildlife management, supported by reliable funding. Read our full letter of support here.

National: Use of Public Land and Water During COVID-19 Pandemic

The QDMA supports safe and appropriate access to nature during the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to actions that align with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and believe that nature is an ideal place to maintain social distancing while simultaneously providing the public with educational and recreational experiences. Moreover, we support the maintenance of hunting opportunities for in-season species and recreational fishing. This will ensure the conservation of solitary and safe hunting and fishing to the public. Read our full letter of support here.

National: Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act

We support U.S. S. 1499, the Wildlife Corridors Conservation Act. This bill would provide for the protection and restoration of native fish, wildlife, and plant species. We support legislation that will provide long-term habitat connectivity for native species, assist in restoring disrupted wildlife movements, and facilitate coordinated landscape and seascape scale connectivity planning and management. Read our full letter of support here.

Nevada: Nevada Test and Training Range Expansion

We oppose the expansion of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) into the Desert National Wildlife Refuge (DNWR). The DNWR supports habitat for a variety of species, including the habitat and hunting of bighorn sheep. The current proposal would result in the largest loss to the Refuge System in history and would lead to reduced and further complicated access for conservation efforts. We support inclusive discussion among all concerned parties and careful considerations of evolving needs for both the armed forces and wildlife. Read the full letter of opposition here.

New Hampshire: Carcass Importation

We support New Hampshire’s proposal that would prohibit the importation of any hunter killed cervid carcass or parts of a cervid carcass from a chronic wasting disease (CWD) positive jurisdiction. These actions would aid in the fight against chronic wasting disease and further protect white-tailed deer in the state of New Hampshire. Read the full letter of support here.

New Mexico: Agricultural and Natural Resources Trustee Act

We support New Mexico S.B. 273, the Agricultural and Natural Resources Trustee Act. This bill will help preserve the future of New Mexico’s natural resources by appropriating dedicated funding for conservation. Read our full letter of support here.

Pennsylvania: Conservation Project Funding

We oppose Amendment 05143 to Pennsylvania HB1822. This legislation targets and restricts eight conservation funds, which effectively freezes all funding to new conservation projects in the state of Pennsylvania until the end of the Governor’s emergency declaration. Sportsmen and women across the Commonwealth rely on these funds for clean streams for fishing, healthy habitat for hunting, and a multitude of other outdoor recreation opportunities. It is vital to preserve the land and water that the people of Pennsylvania depend on, especially in these difficult times. Read our full letter of opposition here.

Pennsylvania: CWD Response Plan

We support items within the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s (PGC) chronic wasting disease (CWD) response plan. These provisions cover topics including; prohibiting movement of cervids outside disease management areas, prohibiting deer feeding in disease management areas, collaboration for captive cervid operations, prohibiting high-risk cervid importation from outside the state, diagnostic strategies and testing capacity, target removal, and public outreach regarding the severity of CWD. These items will assist in the fight against CWD and aid in protecting the natural resources of Pennsylvania. Read our full letter of support here.

United Kingdom: Hunting Trophy Import/Export Policy

We support actions by the U.K. Government to adopt management policy “Option #4” and continue to apply current controls, based on internationally agreed upon rules, to guide U.K. hunting trophy importation and exportation policy. Well-regulated hunting has been proven to generate sustainable funding as well as provide a critical management tool for wildlife and natural resource habitat conservation around the world. Read our full letter of support here.

Virginia: Canned Hunts

We support Virginia S.B. 774, which would prohibit hunts that guarantee a kill or “canned” hunts. We support this bill for various reasons including: our opposition to the privatization of wildlife, the potential for disease transmission, genetic impacts, fair chase and other social issues. The QDMA supports the ethical and lawful pursuit and taking of white-tailed deer in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage. Read our full letter of support here.

Virginia: Poaching Penalties

We support Virginia H.B. 449, which provides that any person convicted of conducting unlawful activities relating to hunting and fishing, may be prohibited from hunting, trapping or fishing in the Commonwealth for a period of one to five years. House Bill 449 will help reduce the number of unlawful activities with respect to white-tailed deer and other species and therefore will benefit the state, its wildlife and citizenry. Read our full letter of support here.

West Virginia: Bag Limits for Antlered Deer

We oppose West Virginia S.B. 524, which would prohibit the Natural Resources Commission from establishing bag limits for antlered Deer. The QDMA opposes this bill since it would prevent the Natural Resources Commission from performing its stated duty to manage white-tailed deer populations using a scientific approach that is transparent to the public and supported by hunters. Read the full letter of opposition here.

West Virginia: Use of Leashed Tracking Dogs

We support West Virginia H.B. 4116, which would allow the use of leashed tracking dogs to help recover wounded big game animals. This bill will assist hunters in upholding their moral and ethical responsibility by providing a tool to locate a dead or wounded animal, while maintaining the peace of other wildlife through leash requirements. Read our full letter of support here.