We have recently formed a Quality Deer Management Association cooperative in Washington County, in the Hancock and Big Pool area. We’re off to a really great start with just under 3,000 acres and estimated around 100 hunters and landowners.
We’re growing quickly and, while it’s still a new concept to many, the reception has been (good) for the most part.
We just recently held our meeting to officially launch the co-op and A.J. Fleming (organizer of a cooperative in Garrett County) came down to help answer questions and talk about the success they’ve found in Garrett County.
We didn’t get a chance to speak to every land owner in the area so we’re hoping to keep growing through this first season.
I understand that there are still a lot of people who don’t fully understand QDM, and that’s OK! Five years ago I was there as well. I hunted for many years waiting for that first glimpse of a buck, no matter how big, to get my heart pumping.
Since then, I’ve sought to learn as much as I possibly can about whitetails and how to hunt them.
When I started studying QDM concepts, I started to realize that there was really something behind it and I felt like it was the future of deer hunting.
I still get pumped up when I see that yearling buck these days, but now the bow or gun stays on the hook and I enjoy the experience while waiting for a mature deer. I personally own 60 acres that is laid out long and skinny.
I know that I can’t hold bucks exclusively on my property and that some of the bucks that I pass will likely get killed, but I truly believe that what I’m doing is right and making a measurable difference.
While I loved my upbringing in the outdoors, I want to leave behind a healthier deer herd than the one I hunted growing up in Western Maryland, and I truly believe that QDM is the vehicle to take us there.
I don’t want to ramble, but I am passionate about this. The Washington County Cooperative is just starting, but our goal is about 25,000 acres over the course of the next few years. One of the cornerstones (probably the most well-known) of QDM is protecting yearling bucks.
This past year my wife harvested a 2.5-year-old buck with her bow. She was just as happy as if she’d killed a 160-” Iowa giant. It goes to show that QDM isn’t an impossible goal.
For anybody interested in forming a co-op in Allegany County, I’m available anytime by phone at 240-291-0700 or email at email@example.com.