It’s official. After 22 hours of in-class instruction and discussion, I am now certified by the Quality Deer Management Association as a Deer Steward. To say I’m tickled with this certification and the QDMA in general is an understatement. And as I write this, I realize I need to be careful not to sound like a little school girl. My apologies if I still do! But in all honesty, I have not enjoyed an educational experience more in my life. Nor have I been more impressed with a set of instructors or presenters. Over the past two days, I have learned more about whitetails and habitat management (and many other topics) than most will in their entire lives. And I am incredibly fortunate to have had that opportunity. But now, maybe not surprisingly so, I feel even more excited and driven to take my education to the next level and continue spreading the good word.
Quality deer management and, by virtue of association, the QDMA has been occasionally assigned a negative connotation by some in the whitetail hunting world. Most often due to one bad apple or a misunderstanding of what QDM actually is. But I can personally report back to you all, that this organization and what it stands for is, without a doubt, the BEST thing going for whitetails and whitetail hunters in America. The work that the QDMA is doing to preserve and protect our whitetail resource and pastime is unmatched and they are doing it for you, me, our children and our children’s children.
I don’t care if you hunt a thousand acres and shoot 4.5 year old bucks or if you hunt public land and shoot the first buck you see, the QDMA is working to protect your right to hunt whitetails and improve the deer, habitat and management philosophies that make that possible. And no matter who you are, that’s something I know we can all stand by.
So without getting too much more into cheerleading mode, in a nutshell, the QDMA Deer Steward Course was a terrific experience. And without hesitation, I would recommend it to anyone interested in learning more about whitetails, habitat and quality deer management. That being said, over the course of the upcoming week, I’ll be sharing with you a more thorough review of the course and a variety of items I learned over the past days. Hopefully I can pass on some small piece of the vast knowledge I acquired over the course of this weekend. So definitely stay tuned!
Lastly, if you’re not a member of the Quality Deer Management Association yet, let me make your next move easy. Go to the QDMA website and sign up for a membership. It’s the best $30 you’ll spend this year, I guarantee it. Quality Whitetails, the magazine they publish six times a year, is more than worth the membership fee by itself. So become a member, contribute to the one organization that works harder than any other to help us whitetail hunters and then dive into Quality Whitetails. I can promise you, you won’ t be disappointed.