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Quality Deer Means Quality Management

Across much of the coastal plain of South Carolina, the opening of deer season is upon us. In some zones gun season opens on August 15, and in others bow season opens. While in other parts of the state, the opening is weeks or months away. Nevertheless, for those in the coastal plain, the tradition continues.

For as long as America has been a country and even before we have hunted the whitetail deer. Recent studies show that for as long as it can be traced, native Americans harvested between 1.2 million and 1.5 million deer annually. The last year that records are complete, we harvested approximately 1.5 million deer across the United States. Never before has the health of deer hunting been better.

A full 53% of all hunters are deer hunters, and most of those pursue Whitetail deer exclusively. We have at our disposal, better information, better nutrition, better genetics, better land management practices, better equipment, and the list goes on and on.

Leading the way in development and education is the Quality Deer Management Association. By focusing on educating hunters and land managers we are producing better opportunities for quality hunting. While its true deer hunters love big antlers. Quality Deer Management involves the health of the herd as a whole. If the herd is healthy, we will, by default have better and bigger bucks. Whether you “by into” the¬†ideology of the QDMA or not, as a deer hunter, working for the health of the deer herd should be the focus of your efforts in the whitetail woods.

Whether you own land or lease, developing that land to the maximum benefit of the deer herd should be your goal. We all know that deer need food, and food plots are a great way to provide this. But this is one small piece of the puzzle of managing a quality deer herd. They also need cover, safe bedding grounds, secure fawning grounds, water, and mostly they need to be allowed to behave like deer. Which translates into minimum pressure.

For most of us, the work is done, and now we wait anxiously to sit in our stand and hope for the best. Months of dreaming  and working have brought us to this opening day. Everyday spent afield are good days. Enjoy them.