The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources was recently named agency of the year by the Quality Deer Management Association.
KDFWR has established itself as one of the most progressive, respected and successful wildlife agencies in the United States and has developed a tremendous working relationship with QDMA on both a local and national level. KDFWR is exemplary in service to their constituents and in management of their natural resources, particularly thewhite-tailed deer.
“A third of the bucks killed in Kentucky are 1.5 years old, and that’s well below the national average,” said QDMA’s Director of Education and Outreach Kip Adams. “Twenty-six percent of the bucks killed in Kentucky are 3.5 years old or older, which is tremendous. They do a great job of protecting young bucks and moving them into older age classes.They also do a great job of balancing their herd with the habitat through the appropriate number of antlerless tags.”
Kentucky has consistently ranked in the top 10 for Boone and Crockett deer harvested in the U.S. and in the top three for Boone and Crockett Deer harvested per square mile. Kentucky offers over-the-counter tags for all residents and non-residents due to thesuccess of its herd, and the non-resident tag fees are among the least expensive in the nation. Additionally, Kentucky has one of the more progressive antler restrictions within their state using antler spread restriction to protect yearling bucks in parts of the state, which is more biologically sound than an antler point restriction.
In addition to deer herd success, KDFWR has been successful in all facets of wildlife and fisheries management. They are committed to making natural resources available to all citizens and have extensive programs in place to do just that. Not only does KDFWR work to promote conservation education publicly and in schools, but they also value continuing education for their staff asdemonstrated by the workshop held in partnership with QDMA to put employeesthrough a modified Deer Steward course.
“KDFWR has worked very well with the public in Kentucky and engages hunters,” Adams said. “They continue to implement new programs to keep all segments of hunting public involved, engaged and learning. They work really well with QDMA Branches and other conservation organizations.”
Presented annually since 2003, the Agency of the Year award goes to an agency that has a record of supporting the philosophy of Quality Deer Management (QDM) and the mission of the QDMA. KDFWR becomes the first repeat winner of the award, having also earned the honor in 2004.