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Guest Blog: Kip Adams Addresses Our QDM Poll

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June 01, 2012

Guest Blog: Kip Adams Addresses Our QDM Poll

By Dave Hurteau

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

Comments (6)

Top Rated
All Comments
from NHshtr wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

I'm not sure Kip identified the objective of QDM. He described the tactics; i.e. shooting the right number of does and passing on yearling bucks. But that begs the question of "why?" what is the goal if not bucks with bigger antlers?

I would like to think the goal is a good balance of age classes in the herd (whatever that may be, and it raises more questions of "who's to say?" and "how?").

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

I agree with many of the theories and practices of QDM to some degree, but it's all relative. Early in the season i'll surely pass on younger bucks in favor of shooting does to help the ratio, but i'm a public land hunter mostly and eventually I will shoot a younger buck if the bigger ones fail to show. Our zone in NJ is one of the few in the state with Antler restrictions of 3 or better to a side. I voted in favor of this, but many 1.5 y.o. bucks have 3 points on a side. Nobody wants to eat their buck tag, especially when you paid extra($30 for residents) for it as we do in many of the seasons here. if i owned a couple thosand acres i suppose i might adhere a little more stringently to that philosophy of QDM, but i don't forsee that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

I support it, but I also think to each his own.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

NHshtr- "stewardship of the land" in qdma the land owner or person taking part is doing there part to make the property support a more healthy deer herd. Big antlers can actually be an indication of the health of the deer. A balanced age structure in the wild is also a sign of a healthy wild herd. Thus doing your part to preserve the health of the herd is important to this organization.
The issue lies in the fact that QDMA has a hard time separating itself from the "genetic therapy" that takes place on ranches not free range deer. I "cringe" when i hear the words "cull buck" come out of someones mouth when they have shot a free range fair chase deer. I like the program and i am sure kip has a hard time breaking through to people who build these common misconceptions born from ranchs and hunting shows.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from okiebuckonly wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I'm no expert on the tenets of QDM but generally agree with what I've seen, heard and read. One of the greatest things about their philosophy is that they are constantly learning as new information is available, they base management on site specific conditions which most deer management groups including state Game agencies do not and are very generous with sharing of information.
Contrary to what many hunters and managers believe, not every state or property is overrun with does or overpopulated and QDM seems to recognize this and recognize that in some cases and some areas, restoration of the deer herd is needed to have a healthy , quality deer herd.
Unlike lots of feed and supplement marketers , insurance companies and state agencies, they seem to understand that Deer are like any other resource that can be abused or managed for the future.
In my part of the country most of the soils are highly infertile, thin and low in minerals and subject to high hunting pressure. My land cannot be managed like a fertile river bottom in Ohio and still maintain a healthy and productive deer herd. I think they make that distinction and try to make others aware.
What I have learned is that if the soil is deficient, the vegetation is deficient and if the vegetation is deficient you will never see the high potential of the health of the deer herd or genetic potential of antler development no matter how many does you kill or how much you control the population. Just making more poor quality food available as most deer management programs do will not work in areas where some vital nutrients are not present in the soil or vegetation.
We all have to make the proper management connections and decisions based on what is actually in the field in our own areas and I think QDM has made a step in that direction.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Giannino wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Ive met that guy in person, he did a seminar at the high school for our high school sportsman club, I assisted in getting started, the guy knows his deer thats for sure

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from NHshtr wrote 1 year 46 weeks ago

I'm not sure Kip identified the objective of QDM. He described the tactics; i.e. shooting the right number of does and passing on yearling bucks. But that begs the question of "why?" what is the goal if not bucks with bigger antlers?

I would like to think the goal is a good balance of age classes in the herd (whatever that may be, and it raises more questions of "who's to say?" and "how?").

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

I agree with many of the theories and practices of QDM to some degree, but it's all relative. Early in the season i'll surely pass on younger bucks in favor of shooting does to help the ratio, but i'm a public land hunter mostly and eventually I will shoot a younger buck if the bigger ones fail to show. Our zone in NJ is one of the few in the state with Antler restrictions of 3 or better to a side. I voted in favor of this, but many 1.5 y.o. bucks have 3 points on a side. Nobody wants to eat their buck tag, especially when you paid extra($30 for residents) for it as we do in many of the seasons here. if i owned a couple thosand acres i suppose i might adhere a little more stringently to that philosophy of QDM, but i don't forsee that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbird wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

I support it, but I also think to each his own.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fliphuntr14 wrote 1 year 45 weeks ago

NHshtr- "stewardship of the land" in qdma the land owner or person taking part is doing there part to make the property support a more healthy deer herd. Big antlers can actually be an indication of the health of the deer. A balanced age structure in the wild is also a sign of a healthy wild herd. Thus doing your part to preserve the health of the herd is important to this organization.
The issue lies in the fact that QDMA has a hard time separating itself from the "genetic therapy" that takes place on ranches not free range deer. I "cringe" when i hear the words "cull buck" come out of someones mouth when they have shot a free range fair chase deer. I like the program and i am sure kip has a hard time breaking through to people who build these common misconceptions born from ranchs and hunting shows.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from okiebuckonly wrote 1 year 42 weeks ago

I'm no expert on the tenets of QDM but generally agree with what I've seen, heard and read. One of the greatest things about their philosophy is that they are constantly learning as new information is available, they base management on site specific conditions which most deer management groups including state Game agencies do not and are very generous with sharing of information.
Contrary to what many hunters and managers believe, not every state or property is overrun with does or overpopulated and QDM seems to recognize this and recognize that in some cases and some areas, restoration of the deer herd is needed to have a healthy , quality deer herd.
Unlike lots of feed and supplement marketers , insurance companies and state agencies, they seem to understand that Deer are like any other resource that can be abused or managed for the future.
In my part of the country most of the soils are highly infertile, thin and low in minerals and subject to high hunting pressure. My land cannot be managed like a fertile river bottom in Ohio and still maintain a healthy and productive deer herd. I think they make that distinction and try to make others aware.
What I have learned is that if the soil is deficient, the vegetation is deficient and if the vegetation is deficient you will never see the high potential of the health of the deer herd or genetic potential of antler development no matter how many does you kill or how much you control the population. Just making more poor quality food available as most deer management programs do will not work in areas where some vital nutrients are not present in the soil or vegetation.
We all have to make the proper management connections and decisions based on what is actually in the field in our own areas and I think QDM has made a step in that direction.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Josh Giannino wrote 1 year 41 weeks ago

Ive met that guy in person, he did a seminar at the high school for our high school sportsman club, I assisted in getting started, the guy knows his deer thats for sure

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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