Do You Think the QDM Bubble has Burst?

Discuss Quality Deer Management issues here!
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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: Do You Think the QDM Bubble has Burst?

Postby Everyday Hunter » Fri Apr 02, 2010 5:36 am

ORIGINAL: Swandog09

JPH...Great post.  I think you hit the nail on the head.  I feel that most people who start QDM programs intend to follow every letter of the script.  But soon find out that not everything works for their area.

And eventually change or modify it to work for there individual goals.

Alsheimer's article accurately reflects what I've been observing. He gave five reasons why the rate of growth of QDM will slow, and in the next to last paragraph said there are more reasons.

One additional reason is this, and Swandog009's post relates to it: Many people think completely in black and white terms so they think QDM is an all or nothing issue. When people find out that they can't follow every letter of the QDM script and they can't be "all in," they may see the whole program breaking down, fail to consider the benefits of partial investment in QDM, and become unwilling to pay any of the costs. An all-or-nothing view will be one more drag on the growth of quality deer management philosophy.

Maybe another problem is that when we seen an acronym such as QDM, people tend to think it's some kind of organization, and people don't like being dictated to by an organization. Lots of people confuse QDM with QDMA. QDMA is the organization; QDM is a philosophy of deer management. QDMA doesn't own QDM philosophy, and the practice of QDM changes as deer scientists learn more about what works, what doesn't, and how the practices should be applied on a case-by-case basis. Scientists may differ on some of the principles, so QDM is not a monolithic standard by which all deer management should be judged. It's a good thing it isn't, because if it were that would mean deer managers would stop learning.

Any movement in its infancy is just like a baby -- it grows rapidly. As it matures, the growth slows down. Let's hope that the QDM bubble never completely bursts because better deer management benefits all wildlife.

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
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stillhunter
 
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RE: Do You Think the QDM Bubble has Burst?

Postby stillhunter » Fri Apr 02, 2010 6:43 am

I think that the bubble is going to burst eventually, but it is being proped up and protected by companies and magazines trying to market their products and get wealthy from it and of course by the QDMA attempting to expand in every state and convert people and get legislation passed to make it mandatory. It has become a well organized big business now. We are bombarded constantly by the articles and ads. In D&DH there is such a large percentage of content dealing with it that I am getting turned off and considering not renewing my long running subscription.

Charlie and D&DH have contributed to the growth and promotion of QDM and now he is writing in this and in previous articles about the shortcomings and downsides of QDM (and antler worship). Maybe this is the next big opportunity? Swing the pendulum back the other way to take advantage of the "voice of the hunter" which is calling for this QDM craziness to stop. He was totally on the promotion side (books, articles, etc.) and now is taking a different stance, a more neutral to negative view. I see this for what it is and have not liked it from the beginning and never will. If I never see another big racked buck standing in the middle of a fenced in food plot (we just can't see the fences) in D&DH'g I will not be disappointed.

We need to be able to enjoy the sport of deer hunting for our own personal reasons without being told what deer to shoot and why. It sort of parallels the recent health care debate in a way...where the government is passing laws telling us what to do and when to do it (our guns are next by the way!!). I do not want QDM forced on me for a long list of great reasons.

The bubble can not burst fast enough but it has a "protective layer" that unfortunately will keep it inflated for quite a while.

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JPH
 
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RE: Do You Think the QDM Bubble has Burst?

Postby JPH » Fri Apr 02, 2010 7:50 am

Wow! Two really good, yet opposite posts! I congratulate Everyday Hunter and stillhunter because both of your posts are thought provoking. I also congratulate D&DH for hosting the topic. It is one I have given a lot of thought to myself.

I do have one slight criticism for each of the last two posters though. Everyday Hunter, while I agree with much of what you said, I think you have misread Swandog09. To me it appeared that he was saying that many hunters have accepted some elements of QDM and rejected others, biased on their own situation and NOT taken QDM as "all or nothing". And stillhunter, I think your appraisal of C.A. is unfair. For one thing, I have never seen his writings to be a promotion of antler lust or an unreasonable QDM agenda. I do admit that some of his recent writings have a softer tone to them, but I admire him for his ability to let us share in his growth and ongoing education.

Anyway, good conversation.  

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RE: Do You Think the QDM Bubble has Burst?

Postby buckhunter21 » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:43 am

I agree....Some great conversations!
 
I can also see this 'all or nothing' philosophy going around.  I talk with a lot of hunters and landowners alike, and they feel that if they can't manage their 40 or 80 acres and 'keep the smaller bucks from being shot by their neighbors,' then it's no use in doing anything at all.  They go about their business and shoot that first fork that comes down the trail.  I'm not saying there is anything wrong with this, but if they want to 'manage' their property for bigger deer, they are better off letting it go and hope that it lives another few years.  Once you pull that trigger, you take away any chance that deer has.  Also, I understand how tough it is to manage for mature deer on a small parcel like that if none of your adjoining landowners have the same views as you, since we have two 80s where it's somewhat like that on both.  Best you can do, is manage your land the best you can and not worry about anyone else....Enjoy your time out in the woods and hope for the best!
 
 
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StoneyFF
 
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RE: Do You Think the QDM Bubble has Burst?

Postby StoneyFF » Fri Apr 02, 2010 8:49 am

I think we have to separate QDM from QDMA (which has seen it's share of problems over the last couple of years as an organization), and then we have to separate QDM from Antler Whores.  Yes, we all appreciate a big rack (on a deer or a dear <grin>), but most of us, and certainly those who are proponents of QDM (Quality Deer Management, not QAM, Quality Antler Management) are deer hunters, not antler hunters.  A doe tastes just as good as a buck (sometimes better, less adrenaline and testosterone), and the goal of QDM is a quality deer HERD, not big antlers.  So while I think that the QDMA bubble has somewhat burst, I think the basic concepts of QDM have taken root, and like that clover field you planted, if we put a little time and energy into it, trim it back so it's not overgrown (and trim back our expectations that one food plot will create a bunch of 10 pointers), and keep the faith, we'll see that those portions of QDM that work for any given person and piece of property will take root and we and our children and our children's children will see the benefits long after we're gone.  We just need to remember two things, first, you can't do it all at once, and second, you can't do it all period, so do what you can when you can and shoot straight, and keep the faith!

Stoney
{however, I must admit, Charlie Alsheimer is turning into somewhat of an enigma these days...}

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: Do You Think the QDM Bubble has Burst?

Postby Everyday Hunter » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:05 am

ORIGINAL: JPH

... Everyday Hunter, while I agree with much of what you said, I think you have misread Swandog09. To me it appeared that he was saying that many hunters have accepted some elements of QDM and rejected others, biased on their own situation and NOT taken QDM as "all or nothing". ...

I wasn't saying Swandog thinks QDM is an all or nothing proposition. But his post did remind me that some people do think that if they can't apply all of it, it's no use to try any of it. Sorry if I didn't make that clear. I think the fact that QDM can be very comprehensive approach leads some people to think that it should be comprehensive. Analogies to things like "pieces of the puzzle" lead some people to think that the goal is a complete picture, when more often than not a complete picture isn't possible.

No QDM proponent will say that if you can't implement some practices, it's no use implementing any. Anyone who advocates QDM realizes the inherent limitations of it based on the widely varied nature of private property holdings. If you have 20 or 50 acres, you can do some habitat improvement for the deer, but you shouldn't expect dramatic results in deer health, nutrition, population, antlers, or mortality. Realistically, all QDM can recommend is to do the best you can do with the limitations you have.

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
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RE: Do You Think the QDM Bubble has Burst?

Postby Everyday Hunter » Fri Apr 02, 2010 9:12 am

Stillhunter, welcome to the forum. Not many people still hunt any more, and I applaud you for your name and dedication to the traditional method.

I'm hesitant to reply, because I don't want to sound like your views aren't welcome here. They are, but maybe I'm not getting what you're saying.

However, if I do understand what you're saying I can't agree with a couple of things. First, you seem to be saying that QDM is a profit scheme. I don't think you can back that up. The desire to see habitat managed through QDM is no different from any conservation effort, and the QDMA is no different from RGS, NWTF, DU, TU, or any other conservation organization. It's about the benefits we can offer the species and the habitat so that deer, grouse, turkeys, ducks, trout and other species can thrive.

Second, if CA is writing about the shortcomings and downsides of QDM, and as you say taking a negative view of it now, I can't see it. All he does in this article is observe the fact that the growth curve of QDM has slowed, and he's trying to report on the reasons from his perspective -- which is a very broad perspective because he gets feedback from countless people, the ordinary hunter to the professional wildlife managers. D&DH is simply doing its job by providing a place where this can be reported and discussed. The fact that D&DH gets advertising revenue is a good thing -- because the economics of a magazine don't work without ad revenue. Few people would be willing to pay the price of a magazine that doesn't carry ads.

It's real hard for me to think of QDM as "craziness," especially considering what CA has written in the past. His main theme on QDM has always been that it's first about habitat, and that quality deer habitat benefits all other species that share it. That's not crazy. He still believes that, and if he has changed from that view I haven't seen him say it. And even if he has changed on some point, that's not a big deal. People change over the years -- I don't mean to sound sarcastic, but that's what we call learning. Some people soften attitudes. Others harden them. It's all part of life.

I'd like to see that percentage of contend in D&DH that deals with QDM, but I'm betting it's a subjective matter. Like beauty, it's in the eye of the beholder. 

Also, it's worth noting that one big mistake people often make when writing and talking about QDM is that they make many references to "bigger bucks," but they almost always are talking about maturity. Very misleading.

Steve
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DanP
 
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RE: Do You Think the QDM Bubble has Burst?

Postby DanP » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:44 am

If you mean the folks who want to farm bigger racks, maybe.

If you mean the folks who have figured out that it is about management, population structure, and habitat, these are the ones who are likely to stick with it and enjoy doing what they can.

Dan

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JPH
 
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RE: Do You Think the QDM Bubble has Burst?

Postby JPH » Fri Apr 02, 2010 11:46 am

Everyday Hunter, another great post! It was not long too long ago when I would have accused you of taking the words right out of my mouth. Well, taking them then making them sound much better, smarter, etc., but whatever.

The problem is that I can't seem to muster the passion anymore. Yeah, I agree that the philosophy of QDM is not a money making scheme. But you have to admit that those who are looking to make a buck have sure become quite good at throwing it around. To the casual observer, it is not easy to see where QDM the conservation philosophy ends, and QDM the marketing scheme begins.

I use QDM. Heck, I've even had an article on the topic published in D&DH. I get it and I fully embrace the idea. I just don't lose any sleep over how other people see it anymore. I finally accepted that when someone is critical of QDM, they are not hurting me in the least. Just follow the law and don't cross my boundary.

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Everyday Hunter
 
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RE: Do You Think the QDM Bubble has Burst?

Postby Everyday Hunter » Fri Apr 02, 2010 2:44 pm

I hear ya', Joe. Part of the problem with thinking of QDM as a money-making scheme is that QDM is a Johnny-come-lately to the world of hunting economics. That's small potatoes compares to all the camo companies that are making camo for fashion apparel, the scent-elimination products based on dubious science, the bow manufacturers that come out with the newest must-have bows every year, to say nothing of the sights, rests, quivers, arrows, the latest greatest broadheads and mechanical heads,... try adding it all up, doe pee, optics, the latest, game calls, GPS devices, videos, knives, guns -- you'll never get to the end of the list. Hunting (and deer hunting in particular) is a huge industry, it makes an enormous contribution to the national economy, and almost every one of us would love to make a decent living with just a tiny slice of that pie.

Companies that market products for quality deer management will survive with customers who have large land holdings and enough disposable income to control the land. The guy who struggles to pay the mortgage on his own back-40 acres will benefit too, but he has more inherent limitations. Then there's the guy who has no land. He can resent it, or embrace it, but either way he has to live with it. [/off_soapbox]

Steve
When the Everyday Hunter isn't hunting, he's thinking about hunting, talking about hunting, dreaming about hunting, writing about hunting, or wishing he were hunting.
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