The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) is holding the first-ever Whitetail Summit this spring.
The North American Whitetail Summit will convene at the Bass Pro Shops Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Missouri on March 3-6, 2014.
The summit is being held in response to a series of threats that have the QDMA and hunters across the nation concerned about the health and well-being of whitetail deer. The event will gather key stakeholders in the hunting and wildlife community. Deer hunters, state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, the hunting industry, media, universities and landowners will join efforts in finding a balanced and effective way of managing the herd populations that are being affected by recent threats and obstacles.
How Can You Attend?Since this is the first Whitetail Summit, and accommodations at the Big Cedar lodge is limited, attendance will be determined by specific stakeholder group and geographic location. Find out more about submitting an attendance request here.
“Whitetail numbers are down throughout much of their range due to many factors including EHD, predators, and even over-harvest,” said QDMA CEO and wildlife biologist Brian Murphy in an article from the Association. “In some areas, herds are below what the habitat can support and what provides a quality hunting experience. This is a serious issue with significant long-term implications for the future of deer hunting.”
The format will consist of interactive general sessions and breakout groups, and end with a concluding press conference.
Bass Pro Shops and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are co-sponsoring the summit, with additional support from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Missouri Department of Conservation and numerous others.
The President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have already signed on to speak, and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a deer hunter and former Vice Presidential candidate, will communicate with Whitetail Summit attendees through a video message.
“Whitetail hunters have had it extremely good for a long time, but there are many challenges ahead that will require cooperation and hard work,” said Murphy. “The Whitetail Summit is the first step in this process.”
The QDMA is dedicated to ensuring the future of whitetail herds and conserving wildlife habitat and hunting heritage. They’ve worked since 1988 to educate hunters and other wildlife industry participants about the research and policies involved in deer management, and advocates for consideration of the future of deer hunting as we know it.
What would you want to talk about at the Whitetail Summit? What are the most important deer-related issues to you and your local herds? Share your thoughts in the comments below.