Hunter management is a critical, yet often difficult aspect
of QDM. Within most hunting groups, support for QDM
varies. It is difficult to achieve the objectives of QDM
unless all hunters are fully committed. Education is the
key. Hunters must fully understand the benefits and
costs of QDM before they become active participants.
Active participation in a QDM program requires hunters
to learn about deer ecology and behavior, and become
participants in management. They must be able to
distinguish fawns, does, yearling bucks,
intermediate-aged bucks (2.5 and 3.5 years old), and
mature bucks (4.5 years and older). Making these
distinctions requires knowledge of body size, shape,
behavior, and other features related to sex and age.
Again, education is the key to success.
Knowledge leads to increased respect for the quarry,
and often a greater focus on the experience rather than
the number or size of animals harvested. Conversations
with other hunters become focused on what is observed
and left rather than what is taken. Landowners and clubs
can become better neighbors as they unite to have areas
large enough for QDM. In brief, QDM fosters a sense of
pride in the deer herd and nature as a whole.