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qdm=loss of hunting skills?

Old 08-05-2003, 07:47 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Western MO
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Default RE: qdm=loss of hunting skills?

Thanks Jeff, you said it very well. QDM has become very confused in the minds of a lot of people. Food Plots may or may not be a part of QDM. Selective harvest to achieve a management goal is a big part of QDM.

In many cases hunters object to the idea that they would be asked to harvest does...its a huge testosterone thing to kill a buck for many hunters and they just cannot deal with a doe as the harvest.

The false impressions that exist around QDM are endless. Ive seen and listened to guys just go ballistic when the subject comes up. They see the number of harvested deer dropping (why?, does are generally easier to kill than bucks), they somehow see this as an antler growth program....when in fact it would balance doe/buck ratios (increasing the number of bucks) and would balance age classes (increasing numbers of mature bucks), and increase available food sources especially in over populated areas..

In time, the goals of deer herd management will change to a quality approach from the current mindset of herd expansion that has been in place since the 50s. It will take time to educate hunters on the value and overcome the buck at any age is a good deer" mentality.
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:33 AM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: qdm=loss of hunting skills?

tell you what guys, lets put a different spin on this before it gets too ugly, would you say that television shows, especially those which show hunting over bait or foodplots COULD/WILL lead to a decline in our skills as hunters, and the food sources i am talking about have absolutely nothing to do with qdm, just your gut feeling. as far as being educated in the aspects of what qdm is, and comprises, the issue has risen in vt, where i live. and because it has, i have taken it up as a pet peave of mine, and have become very well educated , if i say so myself, as to what it takes to do it right, from controlled doe harvesting, to buck management, to habitat management, i don' t think i have missed very much of it. i have a lot of materials, pro and con, including items from some of the top biologists around the country, and from qdma board members. personally, it isn' t for me, i don' t feel that it should be, in such as state as mine that already has a relatively low deer population, state mandated, as some are trying to get the state to do. but, at the same time, if someone wishes to have their own qdm program, on their own land, and can do it properly, than i say go for it, more power to you. i also feel that the deer management aspect should be left to the state biologists that are being paid to do it, most of us don' t have that kind of expertise to do it in such a way that we don' t do more harm than good. and currently, many of those in this state feel that we still need to have herd expansion, yet we also have a good ratio of 1adb to 3ad. could be better, could be worse. also, many people here feel that qdm is a testosterone thing, becuase when qdm is brought up, the uneducated think qdm=big racked bucks, and that there will be more bucks killed, where by definition, qdm actually is about a lot more than that, and as a sidebar, maybe, and there are studies to prove it, read it myself, cant locate it now, but MAYBE antler restrictions are doing more harm than good. like i said, i cant find it right now, but do remember the study being conducted in the southeast. and qdm, by definition, means that your overall buck harvest will decline, and has to. so anyhow, basically, all i am looking for is are we letting our skills go downhill, because of tv shows, amongst other things? and nope, not trying to stir the pot, or make enemies, you can' t learn if you don' t listen, and i am listening. by the way, my butt is a bit sore from the chunks you guys took out, lol.
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Old 08-05-2003, 11:53 AM
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Old 08-05-2003, 12:13 PM
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Default RE: qdm=loss of hunting skills?

How about if you learn more about deer while sitting near a food source. I learned the hard way that you can see alot of deer before dark sitting on a field, not a food plot but an actual harvested field but you probably won' t kill a big buck unless you get up in the staging areas.

wandering around, sitting on active trails stalking, whether this is in " big" woods or on farmald, this is still hunting

What if your " active trail" leads to a food source? Does it automatically make it not hunting. If sitting over a bait pile is just shooting somebody better let the deer on the land I hunt know so they' ll start showing up for me to shoot every time I go.
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Old 08-05-2003, 12:58 PM
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Default RE: qdm=loss of hunting skills?

Well said Brian.

VT, Like I said earlier...I' m not a biologist, and don' t claim to know it all by any means. I CHOOSE to support QDM, frankly because I think it is great overall for the deer. Like Jeff said:

QDM is, and only is....
1. Adequate buck age structure

2. Maintaining population levels at or below the carrying capacity of the habitat

3. Adequate sex ratios

That' s it, period.
Now, I think where the dilemma " mostly" comes in to this is....some folks associate QDM directly with BIG Antlers. Yes, deer can have big antlers under QDM plans, but that is not the goal of a TRUE QDM plan. What Jeff said is exactly right. Personally, I enjoy the aspects of QDM. I like having the opportunity to observe and " select" the deer I want to harvest. It gives me a good feeling knowing I just let a young basket rack 8pt walk, and shot a doe instead. I know that I' m helping the overall herd in the ways listed above. Am I hoping that the 8pt will live and grow big antlers....YOU BET! But that is a bonus if it happens, and the overall goals are more important. Honestly, I want to kill BIG, MATURE bucks. I' ve shot so many small, immature bucks over the years....I just didn' t want to do it anymore. We implemented a self imposed QDM plan that basically involves shooting many, many does each year...and letting almost all the bucks walk. I' ve seen some dramatic changes on our property over the last 5 years.
The # of does, although still high...is coming down.
The # of bucks over 1.5 has gone way up.
The # of mature bucks seen, has gone way up.
The avg overall health of the herd has gotten better, as seen by increases in body weights.
We also put out mineral supplement thoughout property at various locations. We do have food plots (corn, alfalfa, hayfields) but they are not planted by us, and are not specifically for the deer. (cattle farm). The deer feed in these regularly during the year, however by the time hunting season rolls around...all the good stuff is gone. The farmer doesn' t leave much of anything for the deer(which is a bummer). I have hunted farmland for over 20 yrs, and have yet to harvest a deer coming to a " food plot" . I guess I could, but I just don' t focus my hunting in those areas. I enjoy hunting the woods. I don' t consider a food plot the same as a bait pile though. Food plots give all the wildlife year round food, and they are usually decent sized plots as a rule...not concentrated to one specific spot such as a pickup truck load of corn. Personally I don' t care for baiting, and will not hunt over a pile of bait period. Some folks like to, and if it' s legal and they want to...go for it.

Like Brian said, hunting shows, and what the avg joe goes through in the real world are usually very different. I personally think QDM helps to make one a better hunter all around. Understanding what real QDM is all about, is a good thing for hunting and the wildlife.

Maybe I' m wrong, but it seems that your are against QDM very much. What is the reason? You seem knowledgeable enough... Just curious.

It seems to me that the folks that are adamently against QDM, and who say it' s all about antler size....in reality, they are the one' s that are concerned with antlers. They want to be able to shoot " ANY" buck with antlers...and don' t support anything that has to do with antler restrictions. They really contradict themselves, because by saying they don' t want any rules that would lead them to take a doe instead of a buck....this shows THEY are the ones truly concerned about antlers. Not saying this is you, but many folks against QDM seem to think this way.

By the way...if you want to come down (to the impossibly overpopulated va) and swap some of your concrete expertise for some hunting...let me know [:-]
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Old 08-05-2003, 01:41 PM
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Default RE: qdm=loss of hunting skills?

Ive been hunting on feeders and baited areas for 20+ years. Does this take away from my hunting skills. I would say no. If you want to test your hunting skills, book bow hunt for a Nalgai on the King Ranch. That will test your skills.

Be it QDMA, Ducks Unlimited, NWTF, etc....We all have a common goal to protect, conserve, and learn more about the wildlife we all love.

We need to improve the habitat for the entire biota.

Isn' t it ironic how perfectly good wild life habitat can be desimated by big bussiness with million dollar condos and then they have the nerve to call it " Running Deer Estates" or maybe " Whispering Pines Village" .
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Old 08-05-2003, 05:01 PM
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Default RE: qdm=loss of hunting skills?

vtbuck, in your first post you question QDM and its purpose and make references to baiting and food plots and hunters loosing their true hunting abilities. Then when questioned about it you changed a bit and said you knew all albout QDM and its purpose. Something just don' t fit. It sounds more like a " if you don' t hunt the way I do, you don' t know how to hunt, or your are an unethical hunter" type of post. The legal method of hunting doesn' t have anything to do with Quality Deer Management. If you don' t want to hunt with QDM as a goal, go ahead.
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Old 08-05-2003, 05:39 PM
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Default RE: qdm=loss of hunting skills?

vtbuckrulrss - One comment about deer management at the local level. While it is true that the state natural resouces department establishes a hunting framework to follow (and they should), individual hunters are ultimately the ones managing the herd based on what they choose to harvest (with QDM or without).

In my home state, the DNR is trying to lower the doe population by making doe tags available. They have not been totally sucessful at this because many hunters refuse to shoot does. Even if every person in the state did want to follow the state' s mangagement plan, how would each person know how many bucks or does they were suppose to shoot? I know it is all suppose to all wash out in the end, but it doesn' t (especially on the local level). Nobody is organized and they tend to go out and shoot the first buck they see, just like they always have done. Few does are harvested and that situation repeats itself year after year. At least with QDM there is some sort of organized movement toward a common goal.

Every time you pull the trigger on an animal, you are making a local management decision whether you want to or not. If you took an animal last year, did you take that animal for a reason or did you just take it because it felt right? If you are not looking at the local herd and you are not coordinating efforts with your neighbors (or the state), how do you know you made the correct management decision? Wouldn' t a harvest decision based on local observations and a coordinated effort be better than a guess? The nice about QDM is that animals are harvested for a purpose rather than a whim or a need for antlers.

My main point is that hunters are managing locally with or without QDM. There are plenty of buck-only managers out there that are causing more problems than any QDM program. If the 3 basic principles of QDM are followed, there should not be any issues. If the 3 principles are not followed, it is not QDM.
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Old 08-05-2003, 06:49 PM
Fork Horn
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Location: waterville/barre vermont USA
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Default RE: qdm=loss of hunting skills?

guess i have to check back in more often got buried with q and a' s) well, i hope a' s anyway)
first brian, you are very well spoken, like the way you stated everything, and made it easy to understand your point of view. i now have a better view of foodplots and there plan.
wv, when we look at the definitons of qdm, other than perhaps the adequate age structure, would it be fair to say that aren' t we already following the last two rules under( or should under) our states management rules? i know mine strives to keep the animals within carying capacity of the land, and try to get the sex ratios under control at the same time. and with our deer limits here, yep, i' ll take the first buck that comes along. our success rate is roughly 10% for rifle hunters(bucks only), and a bit higher for bow(either sex) and muzzleloader( buck only, try to draw a doe tag here!) me, i am in it for the meat, antlers are nice, but doe taste the same. with such odds against me, that is why i take what i can get. last year i was fortunate to get one of each. for us here, it is a race against time and lack of deer. already tossed your idea of concrete HER way, got a bad look, lol, but what are you looking at doing, and where?
s.texa, may be up for something on the king, if i had the money, but have seen plenty of shows from there and seen the bucks. your p.s. says a lot, and i agree with you on it.
timber, i was just asking if anyone felt that hunting in those situtaions had /will lead to erosion of hunting skills. nope, don' t wish to hunt with qdm in mind, because i do not see it as a necessary tool for my area. in other states, definetely a need for it. we are more concerned with seeing deer, than having the luxury to pick and choose, if we wish to put meat in the freezer. you guys should feel good where you can do some choosing.
sling, what do you mean how would you know who shot what? if the state has the capacity and resources, they should have check stations, and " x" amount of tags available. we also had great resistance when doe seasons were first conducted, but since then, they have become mostlt excepted. but, it has taken i think 20 years to get there. took the deer for the meat, sling, didn' t care what kind of headgear they sported( was a nice little six, though, and a good doe.)
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Old 08-05-2003, 10:32 PM
Fork Horn
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Default RE: qdm=loss of hunting skills?

vtbuckrulrss - What I am getting at is that you chose to take one deer of each sex. I don' t know if that was a conscious decision or if that just represented the opportunities that presented itself at the time. The state did not tell you to take a deer of each sex, that is a decision you made on your own. That decision is affecting the herd on a local level. The question is, did you make the correct harvest decision and are your local hunters making good decisions?

It all depends on what your goals are. Most hunters fit into the category, bucks-only, numbers, QDM, trophy bucks only, or trophy management. Based on your harvest choices and what you have said above, I am assuming you are managing for numbers.

If you are managing for maximum deer numbers that is fine, but it is just another style of management with both positive and negative aspects.
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