Title:  QDM: Threat to Deer Hunting in Upper Midwest?
Author(s): Keith R. McCuflery, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Year: 1998
Abstract: Quality Deer Management (QDM) was advanced in the Southeast to improve deer management of overpopulated privatized deer herds. Its success there led to exporting the concept to other regions. However, differences between regions in herd status and biology, landownership and hunting traditions are producing a mixed reception. QDM in the Southeast was aimed at improving the quality (nutritional status) of all deer; bucks, does and fawns. However, when QDM is applied to herds managed at lower densities (relative to K carrying capacity), the focus tends to slip off to being a "big buck" program. The idea of bigger bucks is easy to sell, but the market may be narrower than we desire. Self-interest and the quest for ever bigger bucks could undermine the North American Model of wildlife management where wildlife is held in public trust and allocated on the basis of law rather than landownership, social status, or wealth. Hunters, landowners, and regulatory agencies (biologists) need to work together to define the values we want from deer hunting, to understand the consequences of alternative harvest strategies, and to preserve equitable access to hunting opportunity and deer - both antlered and antlerless.

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42nd Annual Meeting of the Southeast Deer Study Group
February 17 – February 19, 2019
Hyatt Regency
Louisville, KY