The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA), which has never taken a position against our industry in the past, has came at us with both barrels blazing. QDMA is a small organization which was founded on the basis of managing your property and wild deer herd to grow bigger bucks. If you dig a little deeper into their history you will see they are more about “selling you foodplot seed and outdoor products” to make them money than about caring for the deer.
They accuse our industry of commercializing wildlife when indeed it is them that is trying to “make a buck” off of the public’s resources. I have not got to the bottom of why they are attacking us with all their misinformation on diseases, but I would venture to guess that they are looking to build on the free publicity to try and increase their membership and status in the outdoor world. I have also heard that they have some new leadership which could be looking for a cause to make a name for themselves. There is no doubt that having legislation introduced in 9 state (they missed New Jersey and Ohio) is going to bring attention upon us.
I am still working with leadership of other sporting organization to determine how best to handle this, but the most obvious was to make our membership aware of the slander coming from QDMA. I believe a lot of our members might belong to QDMA with the belief that they are a like minded association that supports deer farming. If you are a member of QDMA please contact them immediately and make them aware that as a member you do not support their position against the deer farming industry and the direction they are taking QDMA. If you are not a member of QDMA please contact them and tell them as a land owner you are shocked at their attack on private property rights and you will never support their organization by ordering their products or donating to their fundraisers. Go on to tell them that you will be watching for QDMA stickers in pickup windows and will no longer allow QDMA members or supporters to hunt on your land!!!!
All of these states are going to need our support with letters, emails, phone calls and most importantly “money”. A phone call or email from out of state doesn’t carry a lot of weight with most legislator, but our money spent on lobbying and media will go a long way. I know this is coming at a tough time as you are also being called to donate and support our upcoming conference in Dallas. Please dig deep and try to support all of these states and please do all you can to support NADeFA as we are being spread thin all across the country and will need to continue these and other battles even when the legislation season is over.