You're not alone. Lots of people think the doe shooting part of QDM is overboard. In fact, I've made that argument here in PA. But what QDM actually recommends is going heavy on the doe harvest only where the herd is over the land's carrying capacity. In practice that has been true in most places because deer populations grow rapidly and harvests generally have not been enough to keep the herd from growing. We can all have different opinions on how many deer the land can sustain, but QDM is first and foremost about habitat (land), and many, many articles about QDM have said exactly that.
Incidentally, here in Pennsylvania many hunters have complained about the heavy doe harvests since the new herd management policy was implemented around 2002. I, for one, think we've reduced the herd more than we've needed to. But deer managers in PA are not just deer managers. They're also land managers and hunter managers. Today, the PGC announced the antlerless allocations for the 2010 season. In the total of 22 WMUs, they've decreased the antlerless allocation in 19, kept it the same in 2, and increased it in 1.
What that says is not that they've changed their views on deer management, but that they are transitioning from a need for herd reduction to a herd maintenance mode precisely because the land has recovered adequately from years of overbrowsing. Even though I think we reduced the herd more than was necessary, the land will recover more rapidly by a deer reduction in population and then a gradual increase to the real carrying capacity. I see only the area where I hunt. (Besides, I'm not a wildlife scientist, and I mostly see only the area where I hunt.)
While a full-fledged QDM program cannot be conducted on a state-wide basis (due to private property rights, hunter distribution, the lack of control over natural foods, and the impossibility of providing year 'round nutrition, and maybe other things as well), the idea of herd reduction to carrying capacity is one strategy that game departments everywhere must implement if they are going to make sure the land will sustain a healthy, huntable population of deer.
So, you and I aren't far apart on this.
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.