The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) announced on Monday that registration has opened for its 2014 Deer Steward courses, which are highlighted by a tour of the Duck Commander/Buck Commander warehouse and the NorthCountry Whitetails’ Demo Property.

QDMA’s Deer Steward certification program is in its eighth year, and for the third-straight year registrants also have the option to take the first level online.

If you’re looking for the personal touch of an in-person class, the 2014 Deer Steward Level I location will take place in West Monroe, Louisiana, accompanied by a rare tour of the famous Duck Commander/Buck Commander warehouse, as seen on A&E’s reality TV show Duck Dynasty!

If you’re already a Level I Deer Steward, this year’s Level II courses will be offered at the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commissions’ Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area in northern Florida and at NorthCountry Whitetails’ habitat demo property in southwestern New York.

2014 Dates and Locations

Level I Course:

April 11-14 – West Monroe, Louisiana – Field Trip: Duck Commander/Buck Commander Warehouse

Level II Courses:

June 27-30 – Tallahassee, Florida, at the Joe Budd Wildlife Management Area
September 5-8 ­– Hornell, New York, at NorthCountry Whitetails’ Demo Property

The Deer Steward certification program is a personal learning experience designed to offer hunters an opportunity to learn from the world’s top experts about Quality Deer Management (QDM). The first two levels are courses, Level III is an application; all three need to be taken in succession. By taking both Levels I and II, graduates are able to design and implement their own comprehensive property-specific white-tailed deer management plan. So, for the price of a new firearm or bow, attendees gain enough knowledge to become advanced deer managers

Each course follows the four Cornerstones of QDM as a guideline. Level I courses include nearly 20 presentations over a two-day period, followed by an optional half-day field trip; Level II courses involve more hands-on experience. Attendees will learn techniques on aging deer jawbones; taking soil samples and interpreting soil test results; determining acreage of food plots and calibrating equipment; population surveys; forest and early succession habitat management; analyzing harvest data; making property maps; and much more. Level III status is the recognition of those who have given back to the resource over a long period of time, rather than something you can learn in one weekend.

Online Deer Steward

Through a unique partnership with Clemson University, individuals who have a high-speed Internet connection also can choose to enroll in the Level I class on-line, making Deer Steward as convenient and affordable as it’s ever been! Once registered, attendees gain access to a digital recording of one of our previous Deer Steward Level I courses (filmed in front of a live audience) and will have up to 180 days to complete the series of six sessions (approximately 17 one-hour topics) at their own pace. Speakers include Kip Adams, Dr. David Guynn, Joe Hamilton, Dr. Craig Harper, Dr. Karl V. Miller, Brian Murphy, Matt Ross and Dr. Grant Woods.

Just like the in-person classes, registrants must pass an exam to graduate, and Continuing Forestry Education (CFEs) credits (14.0 hours) from the Society of American Foresters will be available. In addition, graduates of the online version of Deer Steward will be eligible to take one of the in-person Level II courses upon completion.

Registering for a 2014 Course

To register, call 800-209-3337 or visit www.QDMA.com and look for the Deer Steward links under the “Advanced Ed” menu.

Program Costs

In-person Courses (Deer Steward Levels I and II):

$800 Non-QDMA Members
$750 Regular QDMA Members
$700 QDMA Life Members, Sponsor Members and Corporate Sponsors, Partners and Supporters.
$50 Early Bird discount if registering before February 21. Special group savings also available for QDMA Branch officers/directors (up to 25% off).

Cost includes instruction, most meals, a course handbook, and a framed course certificate. Travel and lodging are not included.

Online Deer Steward(Level I only):

$200 Non-QDMA Members
$175 Regular QDMA Members
$150 QDMA Life Members, Sponsor Members and Corporate Sponsors, Partners and Supporters.

FREE for Active Military in Combat Zones

Online fees increase $50 per level with CFE’s. Cost includes instruction and a course certificate.

Logo courtesy Quality Deer Management Association

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