National Voluntary and Mandatory QDM Initiatives (1993-2000)
Brian Murphy, Executive Director, QDMA
Voluntary QDM Initiatives:
Due to the Quality Deer Management Association's (QDMA) active and ongoing educational efforts, interest by landowners, hunters, and biologists in both voluntary and mandatory QDM guidelines has increased substantially in recent years. While exact figures are impossible to obtain, the QDMA estimates that its members alone have been responsible for implementing QDM guidelines on over 3.75 million acres of private and corporate lands in the United States. Additionally, many thousands of other hunters (non-QDMA members) have implemented similar programs on the properties they hunt/manage. Therefore, the total acreage under voluntary QDM guidelines in the United States could easily exceed 10 million acres.
In response to the increasing demand by the hunting public for mandatory QDM guidelines, the following states have changed their deer management practices in recent years to facilitate greater participation in QDM. In fact, in the last four years alone, more than 10 state wildlife agencies have implemented QDM guidelines in all or part of their states. Many of these programs are outlined below.
Statewide Mandatory QDM Initiatives:
Mississippi (1995-present)-Bucks must have at least 4 total antler points to be legally harvested.
Arkansas (1997-present)-Bucks must have at least 3 antler points on one side to be legally harvested.
Countywide or Regional Mandatory QDM Initiatives:
Georgia (1993-present; 7 counties)-Depending on the county, bucks must have at least 8 total antler points or have antlers at least 15 inches wide to be eligible for harvest.
New Jersey (2000-present, 8 Deer Management Zones) -Bucks must have a minimum of 3 antler points on one side to be eligible for harvest.
Michigan (1997-present; Deer Management Unit 107) -Bucks must have at least 3 antler points on one side to be eligible for harvest. Another 3-county QDM area is currently under consideration.
Kentucky (2000-present)-Implemented antler spread restrictions on 5 Wildlife Management Areas encompassing 45,000 acres including the nation's first state-managed, youth-only QDM area.
Louisiana (2001)-Proposed 3-parish QDM project.
Other QDM Initiatives:
North Carolina (2000)-Reduced buck bag limit from 4 to 2 throughout most areas of the state.
Pennsylvania (1999-01)-Two large areas of private and public lands are being used as QDM demonstration areas.
Tennessee (1998)-Reduced buck bag limit from 11 to 3 statewide.