All revolutionary movements begin to create splinter groups once the become main stream, so I suppose this is overdue. You know what I mean, people within the movement begin to think that it has somehow drifted from the original intent and becomes too soft or too hard in one area or another? Well I have been a member of the Quality Deer Management movement for six years, and I am ready to be labeled as a "Breakaway Dissident".
I began to call myself a QDMer is 2003, when I bought a little piece of hunting ground. At the height of my QDMness I was a dues paying member of the QDMA and an active poster both on their forum and on this one, where I was a vocal QDM defender. My approach has always been low key, but I had high hopes that by being a hard core QDM man, I could inspire everyone in North-Missouri and Southern-Iowa to follow suit.
Well six years later, I find myself more than a little disillusioned by my QDM brethren. For one thing, antlers have become way too important. Yes, they talk a good "age over antlers" game, but for too many that is just a slogan. Secondly, they seem to be way too worried about what the hunters across the fence are doing. You want to make hunting/wildlife better? Do it yourself! If the next guy follows the laws and respects your boundary, then leave him the heck alone. If he wants to know how you do things, he'll ask. Thirdly, they seem to think that habitat improvement is locked in a bag of seed mix. Baloney! I have no issue with food plots but wildlife habitat has many dimensions. We should learn about as many of them as we can and work on many fronts to create good conditions.
Hey, I still welcome the cornerstones of QDM. I just think that the movement is loosing its way in a maze of antlers, arrogance and hybrid clover. I move to redirect the movement! Here are the 10 commandments of the new movement listed in order of importance (yes, they are the basically the same as QDM but with an adjusted emphasis):
1) We must focus first on the importance and glory of all God's creation. Conservation efforts must be about the entire eco-system and not just deer.
2) The movement must be biased on respect for game laws and all those who follow them! Poachers are the enemy, not hunters who shoot legal bucks that we would pass on!
3) We must always strive for a deeper understanding of nature and how the whitetail deer fits into it.
4) We must share what we learn with others. This must not be done in a judgmental or condescending manner.
5) We must make a good faith effort to positively impact the habitat in which we hunt, for the benefit of the herd and all wildlife.
6) We must encourage young and inexperienced hunters to kill the first legal deer that offers a good shot. We must celebrate this event with them. We must mean in.
7) We must make a good faith effort to kill an appropriate number of does. When we fill our freezers, we must share the meat.
8) Experienced hunters must make an effort to pass on yearling bucks, unless special circumstances exist. Any restrictions beyond 1.5 years are strictly up to the individual hunter. We must celebrate this event with them. We must mean it.
9) We must constantly re-evaluate the impact of what we are doing and change it as we see the need.
10) We must have fun. We must mean it.
Okay, so two questions. Who wants in and what do we call it?
Ranwin33, like I said it is not really different from QDM, it is a different emphasis. Secondly, in my opinion passing on yearling bucks will bring about a more balanced age structure. As I (and others) see it, letting them survive to 2.5 will give them the chance to survive past their natural stupidity, and nature and the mistakes we hunters make will take it from there.
Goose, nice name but not sexy enough.
OK here are some thoughts:
I want hunting to be fun, and by that I mean I don't want to look down upon somebody for shooting something that they are truly happy with, I would rather be able to share the joy with them.
I truly enjoy running a chainsaw, turning dirt, planting trees, the planning of it all, the research of it all, and then seeing the results of it. It truly brings me to a place I like being.
To me, a year and half here and there to a person who is happy with it, does not bother me one bit. I was there and enjoyed it as well, I look forward to enjoying it with you.
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