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Quality Deer Management

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Quality Deer Management

Post by Pinch Point on Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:39 pm

Since Maryland has pass a new point restriction (6 pt on average) at least 3 measurable point on one side; How long before our state will start to see any results if any? What effects has it had in states with similar laws; and what states may follow? I beleive Pa. is the closest state to Md.with that law and it took 3-5 years to see a differece. I'm looking forward to bigger bucks if it works.
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Re: Quality Deer Management

Post by bowonly on Mon Jul 28, 2014 7:18 am

I know Missouri has been doing this for quite a few years with great success. Arkansas has followed suit and is showing measured improvement in buck antler quality. Here in LA there was an experimental antler point restriction implemented for one of the WMA's for 5 years. By year 5 this area was producing a number of quality bucks. But then the experimental antler point restriction period ended and was not renewed. I think the area showed a vast improvement during the experiment. Give it a few years and I think you will definitely see a difference.
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Re: Quality Deer Management

Post by SlowBow on Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:14 pm

We will never see a difference given the regulations that were passed still allow the taking of two bucks with any size antlers. The regs Maryland put in place are a joke, it was done to appease the QDM crowd, and Maryland is now the laughing stock of deer management.

Given the deer overpopulation, the poor habitat this creates, continuous development and habitat destruction, the environment simply does not support the growth of sizable bucks, and the ridiculous attempts to force the hunting community to accept the will of QDM proponents with useless regulations that accomplish nothing will not make that happen either.

As far as APR's helping produce larger bucks, I've heard both sides. Some say it helps, while many other states that have tried them have discarded them after a trial period because they proved useless and actually hurt the herd because of high grading.


Last edited by SlowBow on Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:31 pm; edited 4 times in total

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PUBLIC LAND BOWHUNTERS: MARYLAND CHAPTER REPRESENTATIVE
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Re: Quality Deer Management

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 31, 2014 8:58 am

Couple a things to note - Quality Deer Management QDM is a package of management efforts that go beyond Antler Point Restrictions APR. True that getting 18 month old small bucks through their first deer season as an antlered legal buck is the hardest issue to improve. If that is improved at least you have live animals to work with beyond that point. APR is only a first step since these 6 & little 8s are really the deer hunters need to pass on to fully develop the QDM management model. Without regulations gun hunters wipe out up to 90% of the buck crop so this is a fundamental starting point. Kinda hard to recruit dead deer..
Next is doe harvest which means harvesting does. An amazing number of male fawns get hit hard here too. This is one of the first things we teach when someone joins our group to hunt with us.  Again kinda hard to recruit dead deer.
Habitat improvement helps a lot if you are committed.
As is predator control if you are committed.
On private land QDM works very well as evidenced by more branch antlered bucks than ever before entered at deer shows and records books.
Private land management is even more successful when neighbors cooperate.
On public lands the key is gun seasons since this is the season that is so destructive to herd balance.
For us QDM has worked on every private property we tried it. We have grown great bucks on marginal and poor soil quality.
My friends in PA love APR and many of them were complaining when APRs were implemented. Once a hunter can take rack bucks as easily as they used to take 18 month spikes, 4, 5 pt whatever bucks an improved culture develops. PA is a prime example of much public land.
It does take everyone getting on board and no loopholes.

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Re: Quality Deer Management

Post by Pinch Point on Thu Jul 31, 2014 6:22 pm

At this point I'm going to admit that I'm on SlowBows side, Maryland has dropped the ball on the APR not making it on all bucks taken. If there is any evidence of antler growth it will be small or not even noticed. As for me, I was hopeful that they would get it right, but pretty sure they didn't. In recent years Ive practiced taken does for meat and tried to allow spikes and four points to grow, I guess it's better than nothing as silly as the new law on APR is. It will still be left to the individual to decide what they will harvest. Good luck this season and keep the post's coming.
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Re: Quality Deer Management

Post by SlowBow on Thu Jul 31, 2014 7:39 pm

It's not that I don't agree with QDM, seems like a reasonable concept. If that's what one wants to practice, I see no reason not to. I practice restraint on young bucks when I have meat in the freezer as well, even on public land. But I DO NOT agree with QDM proponents FORCING this management style on the general hunting public with lobbying, back door politics so that it is passed into regulation on those who do not agree with it. Especially when the regulations passed will not only allow for the continued harvest of yearling bucks in roughly the same fashion as they always have been, but also INCREASE the harvest of promising young 18 month old bucks with good development, young deer with six and eight points, exactly the kind of buck  even a QDM advocate like cory mattson suggests protecting.

Maryland got this so wrong trying to appease a minority of QDM advocates it's mind boggling. They could have done much better by selecting a few parcels of public land for FULL QDM regulation, and let hunters CHOOSE if they wanted to hunt under those restrictions or hunt the other areas as they always had. Should this have worked, the demand for QDM on other areas would have grown

What you have now is flawed regulation that accomplishes NOTHING, with the possible exception of really pissing off the majority of hunters who have no idea these regulations have been implemented until they buy their license and get the reg book this fall.
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Re: Quality Deer Management

Post by Guest on Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:16 pm

Lots of good points - and hey I forgot - our best unit for trophy bucks is the public land in the 4 bow only counties in WV - great herd structure - Lots of older bucks that are huge and all age classes are represented well in the herd - even the older does are huge. The two driving forces are - "Bow Only" which straight up allows deer to flourish - no guns no muzzleloaders no excuses - AND this is a ONE buck tag area - which basically I think is essential if you - me - we - a group - or the public - is serious about growing bucks. In the WVBZ a guy can even shoot a small buck but with the heavy investment of effort to do a hunt there most of us hold out for the better bucks.
In areas where we see 2 buck tags such as where I live in central NC the development of quality - herd balance - is noticeably slower.

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Re: Quality Deer Management

Post by Pinch Point on Fri Aug 01, 2014 6:18 pm

I would like to thank Cory and as well SlowBow. Those were some of the most heart felt and brutally honest post's I've read. There was a lot of great and truthful information in all that was written, that is what make this a great forum. It's great to be involved!! THANKS!!
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Re: Quality Deer Management

Post by SlowBow on Sun Aug 03, 2014 12:18 am

cory mattson wrote:Lots of good points - and hey I forgot - our best unit for trophy bucks is the public land in the 4 bow only counties in WV - great herd structure - Lots of older bucks that are huge and all age classes are represented well in the herd - even the older does are huge. The two driving forces are - "Bow Only" which straight up allows deer to flourish - no guns no muzzleloaders no excuses - AND this is a ONE buck tag area - which basically I think is essential if you - me - we - a group - or the public - is serious about growing bucks. In the WVBZ a guy can even shoot a small buck but with the heavy investment of effort to do a hunt there most of us hold out for the better bucks.
In areas where we see 2 buck tags such as where I live in central NC the development of quality - herd balance - is noticeably slower.

I would agree that a one buck tag system would be a great place to start. What Maryland is trying to do with a any choice for two bucks, and a "quality" tag for your third, in any order the hunter wants to take them, is stupidity. Much of this has history with the QDM lobbying efforts here in Maryland. A decade or so ago, they tried to implement a QDM "county" here in the State. Kent county was the target, an upscale area with good habitat and much leasing. The public outcry against the idea was so great it was shelved before it had even gotten off the ground.

These new regulations flew pretty much under the radar, with the exception of those who closely monitor the hunting legislation proposals. Very very small turnouts at meetings, and the State claiming a big majority of hunters wanted this, even though they publicly stated at these meetings there was no biological or scientific need to implement it. It still remains to be seen how well it will be received this fall by hunters buying licenses who have no idea it was passed.

What this comes down to, in my honest opinion, is a small group of hunters who don't like their neighbors shooting small bucks, and think if they can stop that it will make up for their lack of hunting skills and they'll be killing truck loads of big bucks in no time. I've got news for them, perhaps they should learn how to hunt, and stop thinking demanding the neighbors hunt the way they tell them to, and planting the next big craze in food plot seed that comes along in the commercial line up of their favorite big buck hunting show is going to be their ticket to a booner behind every bush.

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