Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

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stash59
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Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby stash59 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 5:22 am

First off I agree with alot of what they teach/preach! And probably shouldn't have used QDM in the title. And should have used "trophy management" instead. So let me now make my points that I wanted to make.

Is managing for older more mature bucks really better for the herd? Yes it makes the rut work better. But better for who? Us hunters or the deer! I'd answer both. But does it "really" benefit the deer, "herd", as a whole? Waayy back, when buck only seasons finally got implemented. The almost depleted herds quickly increased. For the most part these herds were very healthy too. But, yes, the bulk of the buck kill was made up of young immature bucks. With 1.5YO's leading the way and a truly mature buck, 5+YO was rare. We like to think that by leaving the immature bucks live, we are only allowing the older bucks to breed, and thus always passing down only the best genes. But if this is the case. Where did all of the exceptional genes we now see present in today's bucks come from? Wouldn't they have been lost/washed out, because for decades deer hunters were killing most of the bucks before they reached maturity. So I ask does it make a difference to the health of the herd. Even to the gene pool. If a buck passes down his genes when he's 1.5YO or 6.5YO?

Now let's look at it all from a social perspective. Back in the day when true mature bucks were rare. Just the sighting of one of these monsters was a huge deal. Those few old brutes held some mysticism about themselves. Became legends. Inspired tall tails, and even songs like "Da Turty Point Buck". Killing one was often news worthy. And, one heck of an accomplishment. Now days, with intense management, they've become somewhat common place. And some hunters won't even raise an eyebrow at a buck, unless it sports near to 200" of bone. These folks may comment, " oh, but that buck is only 170", that's barely book". And look at all of the backlash that someone gets for killing a 3.5-YO buck these days. And look out if you kill a 1.5YO.

Now I know all of us Beasts are alot more open minded, than the general deer hunting community. I'm not trying to stir the pot. Just wanting to get you all thinking, and am interested in hearing what others think/have to say. Plus I'm bored cause I'm not healed up enough to get out in the field! :lol:


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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby jkelley1487 » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:10 am

First of all, I hope you're progressing health wise and will be able to get back out there soon.

I definitely think the overall quality of bucks has increased in recent history. It's not uncommon to see a 125-130+ buck almost anywhere in the midwest during a hunting season. I think us hunters have benefited from being able to see and take bigger bucks than generations before. Has it been better for the overall deer herd? I'm not sure on that, I don't have the data to back it.

On a separate note, I hate how deer hunting has changed in the same regard. This doesn't apply to the beast but almost every other hunting venue has resulted in buck shaming. It's really bad on facebook where "keyboard hunters" always have to chime in with some critique on a buck. If anyone posts a buck under a 4+ year old and search the comments, someone will pipe off about it. I don't know if it's an ego thing or if they are just watching way too much of the "Outdoor Channel". The elitist deer hunter attitude is something we could all do without, in my opinion.
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby The_Real_Jmill » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:28 am

I'm torn I love seeing bigger deer and would like to think managing them to theoretically increase the age structure and size would be a great thing, but on the same hand I feel it takes away from what hunting Is truly about.
Hunting used to be so simple, we had no trail cameras or target bucks unless we visually spotted them. We scouted hard, read the sign left by the deer and hoped a good one would cross our path, but we were just happy to see a deer let alone a racked buck and it had a certain level of mysticism or whatever you would call it.

I am guilty of using trail cameras and technology, but I wouldn't classify myself as a trophy hunter. I've taken some good ones of public ground as that's all I have ever hunted but am not ashamed to take a smaller buck. My heart gets pumping the same regardless and I suppose the day it doesn't is the day I quit hunting.

As far as what is actually good for the deer I cannot comment on, but I would imagine as deer get to more advanced aged that probably brings diseases etc.
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby Lu Rome » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:39 am

stash59 wrote:We like to think that by leaving the immature bucks live, we are only allowing the older bucks to breed, and thus always passing down only the best genes. But if this is the case. Where did all of the exceptional genes we now see present in today's bucks come from? Wouldn't they have been lost/washed out, because for decades deer hunters were killing most of the bucks before they reached maturity. So I ask does it make a difference to the health of the herd. Even to the gene pool. If a buck passes down his genes when he's 1.5YO or 6.5YO?

You can't impact genetics in a wild situation. Not in the slightest. Half the genes are from mom and half are from dad and dad's half are the same no matter his age. And despite what we think, the most successful bucks only breed a few does per year and those young bucks (1-2) get roughly a quarter of the does themselves.
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby Twenty Up » Wed Feb 19, 2020 7:54 am

Being a former College Chapter QDMA President, I have a biased opinion here.

I think the QDMA has made a tremendous impact on educating the public on how to manage deer herds. To some extent, I believe this to be feasible for the “average” Joe. To think only a couple of years ago, there were folks who believed “once a spike, always a spike”. I believe every hunter is a conservationist and we should manage our resources for future generations.

With that being said, I think the whole age class and antler size has really been spotlighted by the hunting industry. Let’s face it, big antlers sell and catch folks attention.

It’s a necessary evil in my opinion to efficiently manage our deer herds, but as with anything not be taken to extremes. I believe it’s just as important to introduce new hunters to the outdoors and not to limit their experiences because of a particular animals age or antler size.
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby mspaci » Wed Feb 19, 2020 1:06 pm

QDMA, rich guys w lots of land telling me dont shoot a small buck so I can shoot a big one later. Shoot what you want & have fun. Qdma takes alot of fun out of hunting for alot of ppl. I like big bucks too, but when the mood strikes me you just never know. Its ok too, I only compete w myself. I got a buddy who hasnt shot many deer & when he gets a 4 pt he is on cloud 9, & I rather see this than get one myself. Mike
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby bowtechjim » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:50 am

mspaci wrote:QDMA, rich guys w lots of land telling me dont shoot a small buck so I can shoot a big one later. Shoot what you want & have fun. Qdma takes alot of fun out of hunting for alot of ppl. I like big bucks too, but when the mood strikes me you just never know. Its ok too, I only compete w myself. I got a buddy who hasnt shot many deer & when he gets a 4 pt he is on cloud 9, & I rather see this than get one myself. Mike



The only time I ever have an issue with someone shooting small bucks is when they start to complain about never killing big bucks.

I have friends that shoot multiple young bucks every year and complain about never killing big bucks.
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby Dewey » Thu Feb 20, 2020 6:57 am

bowtechjim wrote:
mspaci wrote:QDMA, rich guys w lots of land telling me dont shoot a small buck so I can shoot a big one later. Shoot what you want & have fun. Qdma takes alot of fun out of hunting for alot of ppl. I like big bucks too, but when the mood strikes me you just never know. Its ok too, I only compete w myself. I got a buddy who hasnt shot many deer & when he gets a 4 pt he is on cloud 9, & I rather see this than get one myself. Mike



The only time I ever have an issue with someone shooting small bucks is when they start to complain about never killing big bucks.

I have friends that shoot multiple young bucks every year and complain about never killing big bucks.

Roger Raglin said it best. You’ll never kill a Boone & Crocket if you keep killing those darn Boone & Crickets. :lol:
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 7:16 am

Personally think QDM has always been a natural progression for most anyway. I mean we start off shooting the first legal deer that comes by. We cherish that deer, but sooner or later just any deer loses it’s luster. We keep raising the stakes in one way or another to recapture that initial feeling of success.

I agree with Lu Rome. Just can’t control wild genetics. Basically the best you can hope for in the wild is for a buck to reach his genetic potential. Depending on what part of the country u hunt that might be out of the question. For me I have yearly goals of a 4.5 or older. Then again in a hunting situation a 3.5 and a 4.5 look pretty dang similar to me. So I’m not positive I reach my goal in every situation but I get a smile regardless. And to me that’s what it’s all about.
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby greenhorndave » Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:17 am

I am completely against those genetic abominations in game farms, but QDMA makes sense. If you have private, why not? Let the deer grow to the best of your and their abilities. To me it seems like the practices have helped a whole lot of land owners. I bet it gives them a sense of pride for what they did with their properties and the deer they harvest. Go for it if you can.
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby Hawthorne » Thu Feb 20, 2020 8:59 am

wow ,I thought most on this site laughed at managed land.
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby greenhorndave » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:02 am

Hawthorne wrote:wow ,I thought most on this site laughed at managed land.

Smoke 'em if you got' em! :D
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby Boogieman1 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:18 am

Hawthorne wrote:wow ,I thought most on this site laughed at managed land.


I have raised enough livestock and dogs in my life to know it’s not something u can go off looks. Some of the best breeding stock I have ever seen were gangly runts. But genetically they were stacked and dropped the best offspring. How in the heck someone can determine that in the wilds I dunno. You have guys who preach killing inferior young bucks aka culling. Then you read articles like from buttons to booners. My experience leads me to side with Charles, you just don’t know what a bucks potential is without letting him reach it. That’s why I say it’s a waist of time in real world conditions.
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby Tennhunter3 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 9:20 am

I try to let bucks reach 3.

I think QdM is fantastic it gives bucks the ability to have a life and grow. To me a 1.5 year old is like a young dumb teenager without a intelligent thought. By 3 he has matured and can successfully thrive in his home range.

From a hunter perspective it's a challenge and gives bucks more time to create good genetics and pass those genetics in other areas creating a healthier long term herd. I'm a firm believer deer learn from other mature deer their mothers and mature bucks they follow around in batchelor groups the same way we learn from parents. Some intelligence I'm sure is built in instinctively.

I think some get too caught up in antler scores.

With proper management and antler restrictions most wmas could have healthy thriving herds. I've seen wmas do a complete 180 after restrictions were added. Going from a place people wouldn't hunt if you paid them to having a healthy population and herd. Without QdM this would not have happened.

It does work if they can keep out the poachers and trigger happy rednecks. I'm a big fan of QdM having seen it personally work. And wish more wmas would improve.

I'm all for new hunters harvesting a small buck or two and I am all for young buck tags being given to new hunters.

But to spend ones life killing many young bucks and does one after another is not helping the sport or the herds health. Most are not in need of food they just kill to keep others from enjoying Gods gift of nature. At some point it's wrong to abuse what the creator made. The game farm deer pumped full of chemicals are abominations in my mind.
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Re: Has QDM been good for deer hunting? A different perspective!

Unread postby gsquared23 » Thu Feb 20, 2020 4:02 pm

QDM can have a negative effect on the deer herd if the buck:doe ratio gets too tight secondary to harvesting a ton of does. The bucks have a lot of competition and are more likely to fight and beat the h€ll out of each other, creating more injuries and winter kill. It makes the rut more intense as bucks have to move further to find a doe, definitely better for the hunter, but more stress on the bucks.

Overall, QDM is probably good for both. More decent sized bucks keeps interest up, hunters participating and putting their money into licenses which goes towards conservation, which, in non-corrupt places that aren’t named Illinois, would go towards managing the deer herd for the benefits of the hunters. It seems like a win-win for the most part. I’d agree the huge negative is the elitism and disdain that it can create when trophy hunters with an ego and social media mix. And a new hunter might watch the outdoor channel and get unrealistic expectations, holding out for trophies that aren’t around, and then give up hunting all together.

I have a small farm and I suppose I practice QDM, but I have very little effect on the herd as we don’t shoot many deer, contribute more with food plots and native habitat management/manipulation.
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