Are We Doing More Harm Than Good?

Quality Deer Management

Isn’t it intriguing how a philosophy like QDM can change an entire hunting culture?  Now, the practice of QDM is far from a majority way of hunting, but I believe no one can argue that this idea of healthier, bigger deer is quickly becoming the future of deer hunting.

With this growing trend, some of those who practice QDM may want to tread lightly in one aspect. If you practice QDM, you may take it upon yourself to spread the gospel, and with good intentions.  In order for anything you feel passionate about to grow, you must promote it so others may feel the same experience as you.  Sometimes, this is where good intensions may go awry!

The best part of my profession is helping people achieve their goals, but the most interesting and fun part is observing people’s behavior.  This story I’m about to tell you has stuck with me regarding this very topic.  Several years ago, I pulled up to a meat processor to see what was being brought in to get a feel for what people were harvesting.  When I pulled in, I saw that some had the same philosophy as me.  I couldn’t help but to notice that a good majority of the vehicles there had some old QDMA logo stickers on them and it was going to be nice visiting with like minded deer hunters.  As we admired some great deer that were coming into the processor, some fellow QDM’ers introduced others to QDM and the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), while some even had pamphlets to hand out.  Fast forward a little later that afternoon.  A gentleman came in that had shot a yearling buck.  Everyone there just eyeballed the guy as he walked into the business to drop off his deer to be processed.  When he walked back outside with his trophy, he stuck the rack into a plastic bag and then put his head down with embarrassment making sure not to make eye contact with the crowd and drove off.  The crowd quickly started making comments about what was wrong with the deer that was just dropped off.  Let me tell you that what was coming out of their mouths wasn’t too pleasant to say the least.  I couldn’t keep my thoughts to myself any longer and proceeded to tell them what they just did to that gentleman was wrong.  I told them we didn’t walk in his shoes so we don’t know the whole story.  What they did to that gentleman was demeaning.  They made him feel like he did something wrong.

It’s situations like this we will come across while practicing Quality Deer Management.  The difference between us QDM’ers and others, in my opinion, is that we are held at a higher standard.  We should be professional and educated while handling such situations.  Everyone you meet that is not a part of the QDM philosophy should walk away at least thinking that we are professional and educated on the subject.  QDM’ers aren’t supposed to make people feel threatened or annoyed by their passion.  We must be able to feel the situation out and then educate from there, but in no means should we be overly aggressive. Know when to say when and, frankly, just to shut up and move on.

For this great philosophy to grow like we all want it to, we must understand and come to grips that some people just can’t be reach for whatever reason.  Remember, our comments or physical actions are representing QDM and at times, the Quality Deer Management Assocaition.  We don’t know why he or she killed a lesser quality buck than what we would harvest. We don’t know their story.  It might be he or she’s first buck, or they might get only a few days a year off to go out hunting and that yearling buck just might be good enough for them.  No matter what the reason, we must handle ourselves with class.  How I look at it is as long as they are out hunting instead of golfing, there will come a day when you and I will reach them.

The QDM cause needs all of us for this to continue to grow so we need not to be afraid to confront people and educate, but not at the expense of turning people away because of what we think of their harvest or mind set.  My grandfather would always tell me when I was having problems with people or just life in general; “No Hurry, No Worry, Keep Moving”.  Well, everybody, all of us being at a different place in their own hunting philosophy is what makes the world go around wouldn’t you say!


Thanks for caring about this great resource!


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