A few weeks ago I asked, “What do you think of QDM?” And with more than 650 of you responding, I think the poll results constitute a fair representation of F&S readers’ attitudes on the topic. On one hand, more of you love QDM than hate it (35 to 25 percent, respectively). On the other, the majority (39 percent) is on the fence, seeing both positives and negatives.
For now, I’m with the majority. As I’ve said before, I like QDM a lot in theory. But in practice, I have some of the same concerns mentioned in the last post’s comment section. If there’s one person who could get me fully on board, however, it is QDMA Director of Education and Outreach Kip Adams, a certified wildlife biologist, avid deer hunter, and all-around good guy who offers the following response to our poll.
Great poll and a lot of good comments. QDM was officially announced to the deer hunting world in 1975, and in the past 37 years we’ve learned much about managing deer, hunters, and habitat. In fact, those are 3 of the 4 cornerstones of QDM (the final one being herd monitoring). There are many misconceptions about QDM, with two of the most frequent being that it’s all about antlers and its main focus is on antler restrictions. The truth is that QDM is about shooting the right number of does each year (depending on the situation this may be none, a few or a lot), protecting the majority of yearling bucks (it doesn’t require passing bucks until they’re fully mature, and kids are encouraged to shoot any legal deer), improving the habitat for deer and other wildlife, educating hunters to be better stewards of our natural resources, and collecting data from the deer herd (such as harvest or observation data) so we can make good management decisions. Too often QDM critics focus solely on antlers when in reality buck management is only one part of herd management, which is only one of the four parts of QDM. Even if you don’t agree with protecting yearling bucks, hopefully you can appreciate all of the great habitat work that’s accomplished annually in the name of QDM. -Kip Adams