The Pope & Young Club, a non-profit North American conservation and bowhunting organization attended QDMA’s inaugural North American Whitetail Summit and supported the event through a grant form it’s conservation program.

QDMA convened a first-of-its-kind Whitetail Summit and invited 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 was 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.

The Pope & Young Club, represented by Executive Secretary, Kevin Hisey, Records Chair, Mike Kistler and Conservation Chair, Mike Schlegel, attended the inaugural North American Whitetail Summit at Bass Pro’s Big Cedar Lodge and Conference Center in Branson, Missouri, March 4-6th.

“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.”

“White tailed deer are the most hunted and economically important big game species in North America and the backbone of the North American bowhunting heritage. Whitetails are pursued by more hunters than any other species and the hunting pursuit of whitetail deer are at a crossroads. Many decades of increasing populations and expanding range has recently resulted in changing societal attitudes towards deer and changing game management practices,” said Executive Secretary of the Pope & Young Club, Kevin Hisey. “Current issues impacting the “state” of whitetail deer include evolving management strategies, over-population in some areas of the country, dramatically reduced deer densities in other areas, impacts of extreme weather, diseases, predation, an increasing game farming/breeding industry, genetic manipulation and political influences. Overriding these topics are issues of hunter access, hunter recruitment and retention and protecting the core foundations, ethics and traditions of our hunting culture. We are pleased to be involved with QDMA and others in addressing these issues. The Summit resulted in excellent discussions and realistic action items. We look forward to being engaged in the outcomes and work to come.”

Established in 1961, the Pope and Young Club is a non-profit North American conservation and bowhunting organization dedicated to the promotion and protection of our bowhunting heritage, hunting ethics and wildlife conservation. The Club also maintains the universally recognized repository for the records and statistics on North American big game animals harvested with a bow and arrow.

Image courtesy Pope & Young Club

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