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QDM Building Blocks

The 4 Building Blocks of Quality Deer Management

While QDM guidelines must be tailored to each property, there are four cornerstones to all successful QDM programs: herd management, habitat management, hunter management, and herd monitoring.

Herd Management
Perhaps the most important part of QDM is herd management. Determining the appropriate number of deer to harvest by sex and age is essential. In many areas, deer populations are at or above optimum levels and herd stabilization or reduction is needed.

Habitat Management
Improving available nutrition is another important cornerstone of QDM. The diet of a healthy herd should contain 12 to 18 percent protein and adequate levels of calcium, phosphorous, and other important nutrients.

Hunter Management
Hunter management is a critical, yet often difficult aspect of QDM. Education is the key. Hunters must fully understand both the benefits and costs of QDM

Herd Monitoring
Herd monitoring is the final cornerstone of QDM. Two types of data are commonly collected - harvest data and observation data. Harvest data should be collected from every deer taken or found dead on a property. Commonly collected harvest data include sex, age, weight, antler measurements, and reproductive information.