Erich Long – Drumming Log Wildlife Management
If you’re one of the thousands of people who practice Quality Deer Management in this country, you already know the drill. Manipulate native vegetation, plant some food sources if possible, be patient, and shoot some does in the mean time while waiting for that buck of your dreams. But, for a lot of people who practice QDM, parts of these tasks that make up QDM, is not so easy!
One of my job duties as a consultant is giving seminars on many Quality Deer Management topics. I average around 20 a year while most of them consist of speaking to QDM co–ops. I have noticed a trend as of late that has finally revealed its ugly head.
As I went around this year giving advice and hopefully some knowledge to QDM co–ops in my area in Ohio, I couldn’t help but notice the same thing being asked by the co – ops, “could you say something about the 2 year olds being shot”. My head would jerk off my shoulders at times because of where I thought the co–op was at mentally in the short period of time that they have been practicing. But, I would say yes of course I will and I ended up saying things that the group leaders didn’t really expect me say.
I would wait till the end of the talk and bring it up. I would normally say something like this “If you’re not ready then don’t hesitate to pull the trigger”. Not something that most were ready to hear from a big Quality Deer Management supporter and a professional deer manager. Let me explain. If you’re not ready to climb up to the next rung on the ladder then you’re not ready. It is not our or the group decision to make that choice for you. It would be selfish for us to suggest or demand this out of somebody. It is not our call to do so. Neither I nor anybody else knows what is going through your mind at that moment in time that you pull the trigger. I realize that most of us don’t go out there to harvest a small buck at the beginning of the year but sometimes you have to reward yourself to get through this madness we call QDM.
With that being said though, you have to realize that the co–op will not continue to grow successfully if you make that decision. It is not the co–op’s fault for wanting more out of their deer herd. It’s what supposes to happen! It’s like everything in life; we want what’s best for ourselves and the group at hand.