The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) has named the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department as the recipient of its 2017 Agency of the Year Award. The award was presented at QDMA’s 2017 National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, in recognition of the agency’s commitment to a strong deer management program.
“The white-tailed deer is a charismatic symbol that has come to represent the importance of wildlife conservation in Texas,” said QDMA founder Joe Hamilton. “The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department understands deer hunting is an essential and longstanding contributor to the state’s culture, economy, and motivator for land stewardship.”
The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s signature deer management program has been so successful that its 80 wildlife biologists work with over 10,000 properties on 25 million acres, including nearly 200 wildlife Cooperatives actively receiving deer harvest and management recommendations. Texas is one of only a few states with a wildlife Cooperative program that includes a dedicated Cooperative staff member and incentives for participating landowners.
“Successful management of white-tailed deer is dependent on a strong partnership with hunters and landowners,” said Kip Adams, “QDMA’s Director of Education and Outreach. TPWD’s engagement of hunters has been a catalyst to spark that partnership for wildlife and habitat conservation.”
Additionally, according to data compiled by QDMA for its annual Whitetail Report, Texas has one of the best buck age structures in the whitetail’s range. During the 2015-2016 deer season, only 23 percent of bucks harvested by hunters were 1.5 years old while 59 percent were 3.5 years old or older.