Is The Fervor Over Quality Deer Management Starting To Wane?

In what is sure to cause some heated coffee shop discussion among deer hunters, acclaimed deer author and photographer, Charles Alsheimer, has penned an upcoming June article for Deer & Deer Hunting magazine entitled “Has the QDM Bubble Burst?” (Click on the link to read an excerpt from that article)

In a nutshell, Alsheimer suggests that due to cultural and sociological factors, both landowner and hunter attitudes about QDM are causing some individuals to re-think their positions on the highly popular deer management concept. Consider these major “pitfalls” now challenging the ultimate success of QDM:

  1. Unrealistic goals – anticipated results not achieved.
  2. Problems with neighbors – uncooperative neighbors become big headaches.
  3. The wrong focus – expectations for producing big bucks too high.
  4. Money matters – disposable income tighter for most budgets.
  5. The burnout curve – poor results eventually beget loss of interest.

My Take

I’ll be quite honest, I have never been a supporter of QDM. To me deer hunting is much more than engineering the deer herd to produce bigger bucks. Sure, QDM supporters will say the management concept produces a healthier deer herd by using more selective harvest practices, as well as proper land management techniques, but the main motivation for most QDM enthusiasts is more deer sporting bigger racks.

What I think, and hope, will evolve from this is a conservation-minded thinking that melds together many of these deer management theories. QDM serves its supporters well if the measure of success for every deer hunt is seeing trophy class animals on a more regular basis.

Unfortunately, that is not how every deer hunter thinks. Sure, most hunters will agree a big-antlered deer is a trophy in any hunter’s mind. Still, I believe there’s a majority of deer hunters who take to the woods each fall carrying with the notion any deer harvested should be considered a “trophy” in the hunter’s mind. In other words, deer hunting management should be more about creating deer hunting opportunity and perhaps less focused about the size/frequency of seeing the deer’s rack.

Your Take

So, what do you think? Are you a strong supporter of QDM who takes issue with people talking about the perceived demise of this popular deer management concept. Or, have you been someone reluctant to jump on the QDM bandwagon because you’ve long had issues with the deer management principle. Either way, leave a comment below and tell us what you think.

© 2010 Jim Braaten.   All Rights Reserved.   No Reproduction without Prior Permission.

Is Minnesota’s Moose In Jeopardy Because Of Global Warming?

Doug Smith: What's killing Minnesota's moose?

Wildlife researchers estimate that there are 5,500 moose in that region of the state. With a 23 percent margin of error, the estimate is not statistically different from last year's estimate of 7,600, but it supports other evidence that the moose population is declining.


Okay, here's what I don't understand.   The convenient excuse Minnesota's moose managers give is that the population is declining because of Global Warming.   The numbers reported show a possible drop in population of 2,100 moose (nearly 28%) within that same geographic range during the past 12 months.   That's potentially a significant population decrease that would surely suggest the past year was ABOVE NORMAL in temps.   Correct?

Problem is when you analyze the climatological data during the past 12 months, Minnesota (as a state average, mind you) experienced near normal temps.   Check out this chart:

 Capture National Climate Summary

Certainly I'm not a trained climatologist or wildlife manager, but the facts I'm being asked to accept by our DNR as a viable explanation for the current Minnesota moose population decline just doesn't add up.   Could it be that Global Climate Change plays an affect on our wildlife populations?   Sure, it probably does to a much lesser extent–although that has not yet been fully proven to my satisfaction.   Yet, if you want me to buy into the theory a warming environment is killing our moose possibly at such an alarming rate as stated in this story…then make sure the facts used point to that very same conclusion.

©2010 Jim Braaten.   All Rights Reserved.   No Reproduction without
Prior Permission.

Ever Witness A Black Bear Give Birth?

WildEarth.TV – Black Bear Den Cam

Beginning this Friday, January 15th, you can use the link shown above to watch a live bear den cam set up nearly Ely, Minnesota.   Lily, the wild black bear, is expected to give birth soon and the North American Bear Center is hoping to capture the rarely seen action live.   Check it out as the camera is scheduled to be functional starting at noon this Friday.

©2010 Jim Braaten.   All Rights Reserved.   No Reproduction without Prior Permission.