Quality Deer Management

Bill M. from West Virginia asks a question about quality deer management. “We’ve been trying QDM on our 1,000-acre hunting lease for five years, but buck size is still the same. What are we doing wrong?”

That’s a tough question because I don’t have enough information. Maybe you aren’t doing anything wrong. However, there are so many success stories that my guess is that one of two things are happening. I believe that either your club members are not passing up small bucks, or your club members are not harvesting enough does.

Dr. Dave Samuel

In West Virginia, there are no group permits of any kind, so each club member will have to help in the harvest of does. If you have club members who do not understand the need to harvest adult does in larger numbers, you may never reach success with your QDM strategy. And if you are taking out small bucks, or you have outside hunters coming onto your property and taking the small bucks, again, your QDM approach will be more difficult to achieve.

If you have a deer question for Dr. Dave, e-mail your question to Dr. Dave in care of Tom Kacheroski, senior editor of www.sportsmansguide.com‘s content at tkachero@sportsmansguide.com.

Dr. Dave studied deer for 30 years as a wildlife management professor at West Virginia University. In addition he has been a bowhunter for over 40 years, with deer being his main prey. He’s also an outdoor writer and has been with “Bowhunter” magazine for 30 years.

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