Declining deer herds and other threats to North America’s deer-hunting heritage will be the focus of the first-ever North American Whitetail Summit being convened by QDMA, March 3-6, at Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Missouri.

“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 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.”

In response to this and other alarming trends, QDMA is convening a first-of-its-kind Whitetail Summit and inviting leaders and stakeholders from the entire whitetail community, including deer hunters, state and federal agencies, conservation organizations, the hunting industry, media, universities, and landowners. The goal of the summit is to identify key challenges to the future of deer hunting and to begin addressing them one-by-one through industry-wide cooperation, within the context of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation.

Numerous representatives of stakeholder groups have already committed to attend, and featured speakers will include internationally acclaimed conservationist Shane Mahoney; Dan Ashe, Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; and Dan Forster, President of the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, a deer hunter and former Vice Presidential candidate, will address Whitetail Summit attendees through a video message. The Whitetail Summit is co-sponsored by QDMA, Bass Pro Shops and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, with additional support from the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the Missouri Department of Conservation and numerous other companies, agencies and organizations.

“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.”

Whitetail Summit attendance is limited. For more information on attending, please visit:

Logo courtesy Quality Deer Management Association

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