Dis-banning of the Lockatong Creek Branch of the QDMA

After much discussion at our BSC regular meetings, the officers of BSC have determined that due to a varying amount of circumstances, we will no longer maintain our Charter of the Lockatong Creek Branch of the QDMA.

This decision was made due to our having spread ourselves too thin with commitments to other equally important projects that are already matured and that require extensive man-hours to maintain. 

 We at BSC are still spreading the message of QDMA in the Hunterdon County area and will continue to maintain a Quality Deer Management Plan on all of our properties as we have seen great improvement of the deer herd and the quality of the deer in our area. 


Many of our neighbors have joined us in this effort to make deer hunting opportunities to harvest mature bucks and does in our area more enjoyable and of greater quality.

Lockatong Creek Branch of the QDMA  (Chartered April 29th, 2008 - Dis-banded June 2008):  Our main goals still remains to educate hunters, landowners, and the general public about the QDMA philosophy, goals and mission, as well as network with neighboring hunting clubs and landowners to form a consortium to promote the QDMA goals on all properties in our geographical area of responsibility to accomplish our over all goal of bettering the quality of the herd by getting it properly balanced through the harvest of mature deer and in the end result in better quality hunting experiences for all.



Effective: September 2016 - February 2017

Prior to our QDMA Charter the BSC Officers and membership implemented our own form of a Quality Deer Management Plan (QDMP).

(1) The first (1st) antlered deer harvested may be a buck of any legal size in accordance with NJ F&W regulations and NJ law; then harvesting only bucks of 6 points or better.  Bag limits are based on NJF&W Regulations.

(2) Harvesting two (2) antlerless deer per year per member. If a member harvests a "button buck" it counts as two (2) does and he forfeits his rights to harvest any more antlerless deer for the remainder of the entire hunting season until the following September season starts. 


(3) We have implemented this plan from January 2016 to February 2017 for all of the properties that the club owns and/or leases AND for any land that club members hunt within two (2) miles* of posted club property.*This includes, but is not limited to, privately owned land that members have permission to &/or lease to hunt, NJ F&W WMAs(4) Any member who harvests a deer other than as specified in the above allowed regulations is subject to a $200.00 fine per incident. Also, anyone who witnesses the incident or has knowledge of the incident and who does not report it to a club officer is subject to the same $200.00 fine per incident. 

(5) After paying the above fines, any member who doesn't want to abide by the club rules is welcome to leave the club and hunt as they choose.  Multiple infractions may result in the expulsion of the member from the club at the discretion of the club's officers after having convened a special disciplinary action hearing in accordance with club bylaws.  Dues will not be refunded.  


 Quality Deer Management (QDM) is a management philosophy/practice that unites landowners, hunters, and managers in a common goal of producing biologically and socially balanced deer herds within existing environmental, social, and legal constraints. This approach typically involves the protection of young bucks (yearlings and some 2.5 year-olds) combined with an adequate harvest of female deer to maintain a healthy population in balance with existing habitat conditions and landowner desires. This level of deer management involves the production of quality deer (bucks, does, and fawns), quality habitat, quality hunting experiences, and, most importantly, quality hunters.

A successful QDM program requires an increased knowledge of deer biology and active participation in management. This level of involvement extends the role of the hunter from mere consumer to manager. The progression from education to understanding, and finally, to respect; bestows an ethical obligation upon the hunter to practice sound deer management. Consequently, to an increasing number of landowners and hunters, QDM is a desirable alternative to traditional management, which allows the harvest of any legal buck and few, if any, does.

QDM guidelines are formulated according to property-specific objectives, goals, and limitations. Participating hunters enjoy both the tangible and intangible benefits of this approach. Pleasure can be derived from each hunting experience, regardless if a shot is fired. What is important is the chance to harvest a quality buck - an opportunity lacking in many areas under traditional management. When a quality buck is taken on a QDM area, the pride can be shared by all property hunters because it was they who produced it by allowing it to reach the older age classes, which are necessary for large bodies and antlers.


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. [More]

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. [More]

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. [More ]

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. [More]



The QDMA REACH Program

REACH is an aggressive national education and outreach program from the Quality Deer Management Association that benefits hunters, landowners and deer managers in several ways. REACH is the acronym for Research, Educate, Advocate, Certify and Hunt. The program specifically addresses all of the QDMA's core mission elements:

  • Research – Fund whitetail research projects related to Quality Deer Management.
  • Educate – Expand educational activities for QDMA members and the general public.
  • Advocate – Increase the QDMA's involvement in whitetail hunting and management issues.
  • Certify – The QDMA's individual and property QDM certification programs.
  • Hunt – The QDMA's National Mentoring and Hunting program.

While these strategies are not mutually exclusive, each differs in its goals and intensity of management. Because the maximum population approach and maximum harvest approach are very similar, they have been combined into traditional deer management for the purposes of this guide.

Traditional Deer Management

Under traditional deer management, bucks of any age or antler quality may be harvested and antlerless deer harvest is regulated to produce an abundant deer herd and/or to maximize total buck harvest. Under this approach, most bucks harvested are yearlings (1.5 years old), with few bucks surviving beyond their second year.

This management approach is typically the least intensive and sometimes allows herds to increase to levels that can damage the habitat. Depending on herd productivity and the intensity of buck harvest, the sex ratio often becomes heavily skewed in favor of females. In some herds, particularly those where substantial buck harvest occurs before the rut, this imbalance may result in some does not breeding during their first estrous (heat) period, or perhaps delay their first estrus. If does do not conceive during their first estrus, the next breeding opportunity will not occur until 28-30 days later. The doe's fawns will be born one month later for each cycle missed. Later-born fawns have lower survival rates, lower weaning weights, and poorer antler development as yearlings than fawns born at the appropriate time of year.

Quality Deer Management

Quality Deer Management (QDM) is a management philosophy/practice that unites landowners, hunters, and resource managers in a common goal of producing healthy deer herds with balanced adult sex ratios and age structures.

This approach typically involves protecting young bucks while harvesting an appropriate number of female deer to maintain herds within existing environmental and social constraints. A successful QDM program requires an increased knowledge of deer biology and active participation in management. This level of involvement extends the role of the hunter from mere consumer to manager. The progression from education to understanding bestows an ethical obligation on the hunter to practice sound deer management. Consequently, to an increasing number of landowners and hunters, QDM is a desirable alternative to traditional deer management.

Practicing QDM produces many benefits. Typically, the sex ratio becomes more balanced and the number (or proportion) of bucks in the older age classes increases. Often, more mature bucks are available for breeding, resulting in less stress on yearling bucks and an earlier, more-defined rut. In some cases, deer health and body weights improve due to improved habitat conditions, which also benefit many other wildlife species. The lower deer density also helps reduce crop damage and deer/vehicle collisions.

One obvious benefit is the increased presence of mature bucks and the exhilaration of observing their behavior. Many landowners and hunters receive great satisfaction from the increased involvement with their deer herd that QDM offers.

The benefits of QDM do not come without costs. Typically, large tracts of land are required to achieve maximum results. While defining a minimum size is difficult, 600-1,000 acres is a reasonable starting point in most areas. While QDM can be successful on smaller areas, cooperation with hunters on neighboring properties and unique management practices are required.

Participants must take an active role in management and maintain accurate harvest records to assess management progress and fine-tune management strategies. Harvest restrictions and rules, especially for young bucks, must be implemented and enforced. Where high deer populations already exist, initial QDM restrictions generally result in a reduced total buck harvest and an increased doe harvest. As such, QDM often requires a change in hunting practices and a new mindset.

Trophy Deer Management

QDM often is confused with trophy deer management. While the two approaches share several objectives, they also differ in many ways. Under trophy deer management, fully mature bucks with high-scoring antlers are the primary focus. Whitetail bucks typically attain maximum antler size between 5.5 and 8.5 years of age.

Producing bucks of this age and antler quality requires many ingredients not available to most hunters. Because some adult bucks have home ranges of 2,000 acres or more, large tracts of land, often 5,000 acres or more, are required. Because buck home ranges are not uniform in shape and size, few adult bucks live their entire lives on a single property, even on 5,000 acres.

The ability to control hunting pressure is paramount, especially on promising 2.5-, 3.5- and 4.5-year-old bucks. This requires considerable field-judging skill and self-control. Unless the herd is enclosed and supplementally fed, deer density must be kept low to allow optimum nutrition so bucks can maximize antler potential. This often involves aggressive doe harvests (even higher than under QDM) and intensive habitat management. Therefore, while trophy deer management is a biologically sound approach, it is not feasible in many areas and the associated costs outweigh the benefits for most hunters. 



The History of Quality Deer


Where and When Did QDM Originate?

Texas is the formal birthplace of QDM. Beginning in the late 1960s, wildlife biologists Al Brothers and Murphy Ray Jr. began formalizing their novel ideas on deer management, which they outlined in their 1975 book, Producing Quality Whitetails. The QDM movement gained momentum in Texas during the 1970s, but was slow to spread to other parts of the whitetail's range. The idea was brought to the Southeast in the late 1970s and slowly gained acceptance, initially from large private landowners and timber companies.

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, QDM gained popularity throughout other portions of the whitetail's range. By the year 2000, dozens of states and thousands of hunters had implemented QDM restrictions on millions of acres of private and public lands across the United States. Without question, QDM is rapidly becoming accepted as the most desirable and biologically sound deer management approach for today's whitetail herds.

Is QDM for all Hunters?

Not necessarily. But a growing number of hunters have progressed to a stage in their hunting that reflects a change in values and a desire for a "different" hunting experience.

Involvement in QDM is simply an alternative to traditional deer management. Originally, only large properties (1,000 acres or more) were involved in QDM, but smaller properties are now participating through the formation of QDM cooperatives comprised of several smaller properties with similar objectives.

Is QDM Right for You?

Quality deer management is not a panacea and many things should be considered before implementing QDM practices on your hunting land. If you answer yes to the following questions, QDM may be right for you.

Do you have enough acreage to manage your deer population without being severely affected by hunting pressure on adjacent properties? If not, will your neighbors join you and possibly others in forming a QDM cooperative? Is the habitat on your hunting property adequate to produce and maintain a healthy deer herd? If not, do you and your hunting companions have the funds, equipment, and commitment to manage and improve the habitat? Do the deer-hunting regulations in your state allow enough flexibility to manage your herd? Does your state wildlife agency encourage and assist landowners with management and allow adequate doe harvests? Are you and your hunting companions prepared to commit to a long-term (often five or more years) management program? Do you and your hunting companions understand the financial, time, and energy commitments and have realistic expectations regarding a QDM program?

When considering QDM, realistic expectations must be stressed. Management goals should be set with the potential of the local herd in mind. As a quality herd becomes established, it is important not to let expectations exceed the capabilities of the herd or habitat. Significant changes to deer herds and deer habitats do not happen overnight and often take several years to become obvious.

The QDMA promotes:

  • Safe and ethical hunting.
  • Adherence to wildlife and trespass laws.
  • Adequate harvests of adult does.
  • Restraint in harvesting young bucks.
  • Hunter involvement in education and management.
  • Cooperation with wildlife biologists and enforcement officers.
  • Education of hunters and non-hunters toward a better understanding of wildlife management.
  • Stewardship and appreciation of all wildlife.

The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) is a non-profit wildlife conservation organization dedicated to ensuring a high-quality and sustainable future for white-tailed deer and white-tailed deer hunting. Founded in 1988, the QDMA currently has more than 40,000 members in all 50 states and several foreign countries including over 800 deer management professionals - more than any other white-tailed deer organization. The QDMA has developed numerous partnerships with state wildlife agencies, timber companies, hunting groups, and product manufacturers. These partnerships have increased both the awareness of the QDMA and participation in the Association's management philosophy, Quality Deer Management (QDM). Without question, the QDMA is rapidly becoming the most respected and influential white-tailed deer organization in the United States.

Become a QDMA Member

Join today and learn why the Quality Deer Management Association is the fastest growing non-profit white-tailed deer organization in the nation. With over 40,000 members, including over 800 of the nation's leading whitetail researchers and managers, in all 50 states and several foreign countries it's not surprising the QDMA is considered the most respected and influential whitetail organization in United States.

  • A subscription to Quality Whitetails (six issues per year)
  • Discounts on wildlife seed, trees, QDMA merchandise, and deer management equipment
  • Opportunities to participate in a QDMA Branch and attend deer management seminars and short courses
  • New 1-yr. members receive A Basic Guide to Quality Deer Management booklet and Developing Successful QDM Cooperatives booklet and a vehicle decal
  • New 3-yr. members receive an exclusive Primos grunt call with the QDMA logo and a vehicle decal

By joining the QDMA, you will gain access to the most reliable and up-to-date information on all aspects of whitetail management and begin your journey to becoming the most knowledgeable deer manager and hunter possible.

 QDMA Membership: Code of Conduct

 This is the code of conduct that all QDMA members are expected to adhere to in their hunting activities.

  • Members should know and obey all hunting rules and regulations. Any conviction for the willful violation of a game law will result in expulsion from the QDMA.
  • Members should learn as much as possible about wildlife management, recreational hunting, and hunting ethics.
  • Members should act in a manner, which brings credit to deer hunting and the QDMA.
  • Members should present a positive image to the public by setting examples as responsible hunters.
  • Members should participate in hunter education and safety courses and encourage other hunters to do the same.
  • Members should respect the activities and beliefs of other hunters, landowners, and the public.

Members should support the objectives of the QDMA.




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