Sunday, February 10, 2013


Some hunters love them, others hate them, but you can rest assured all have an opinion of them – we’re talking about mandatory antler restrictions.

Antler restrictions do not equal “Quality Deer Management.” Rather, antler restrictions are a strategy to protect a specific age class (generally 1½-year-old bucks) or classes of bucks, and protecting young bucks is only one of several important features of Quality Deer Management. Many antler restrictions have been employed including point, spread, and beam-length requirements as well as Boone & Crockett score. All restrictions have advantages and disadvantages. In general, QDMA prefers the voluntary passing of yearling bucks to mandatory antler regulations. However, we recognize that antler restrictions may be justified in some situations to achieve specific deer management objectives. Regarding our position on specific antler restriction proposals, QDMA examines each on a case-by-case basis and applies a three-part test.
First, is the restriction biologically sound? This means the proposed restriction will protect the majority of yearling bucks while allowing the majority of bucks 2½ years old and older to be eligible for harvest. This is always the goal of state-mandated restrictions, though voluntary antler restrictions on private lands may seek to protect some older age classes as well. In either case, the antler restriction criteria must be based on data collected from the affected deer population to ensure the right bucks are protected.
Second, is it supported by the majority of affected hunters and landowners? Agencies considering an antler restriction should conduct surveys to determine support levels before enacting the restriction.
Finally, will it be objectively monitored to determine success or failure? Without monitoring, there is no way to know if the restriction should be altered to improve success or possibly removed altogether if it doesn’t work or is no longer needed.
Many restrictions fail one or more of these criteria. The QDMA has supported some antler restrictions, opposed others, and taken a neutral stance on still others. In the long term, QDMA is optimistic that enough hunters will voluntarily pass young bucks that antler restrictions will become unnecessary and even cumbersome to more sophisticated management.
Antler Restrictions around North America
How common are mandatory antler restrictions? To find out, we surveyed all state and provincial wildlife agencies that manage white-tailed deer in 2011 and learned that 22 states and zero Canadian provinces implemented antler restrictions. Click on the image in the Gallery below to see the full-size map of the states. To see more details about the types of restrictions in each state, see page 13 of the
2012 Whitetail Report. The restrictions were statewide for at least one buck in the bag limit for eight of these states, and the type varied among number of antler points, antler spread, length of main beam, or a combination of these. Point restrictions were the most commonly used technique (15 of 22 states), followed by combination restrictions using antler spread and main beam length or antler spread and antler points (four states), and antler spread restrictions (three states).
Overall, these findings were very similar to what states used in 2008, when we previously surveyed agencies on this topic. New Hampshire was the only state with antler restrictions in 2008 that did not use them in 2011. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department employed an antler point restriction in one of 18 wildlife management units from 2007 to 2009 and discontinued its use in 2010. Michigan was the only state to discontinue statewide restrictions from 2008 to 2011. Michigan still employs antler point restrictions; they are just not used statewide. California is the only new state to list antler point restrictions in 2011.
Regarding type, the number of states using point, spread and combination restrictions in 2011 were identical to 2008. Regionally, antler restrictions were most common in the Southeast (eight of 11 states), followed by the Northeast (seven of 13 states), Midwest (five of 13 states), and Canada (zero of eight provinces). It’s important to note that most Western states did not provide the requested information so they were omitted from this analysis. Antler restrictions have a longer history in the Southeast than other regions. This partly explains their increased use in this region and the type of restrictions employed. Combination restrictions are more intensive and provide managers more flexibility to meet management objectives but are a little more challenging for hunters first exposed to them. All four states using combination restrictions were in the Southeast.
Regardless of strategy used to protect yearling bucks, QDMA recommends that state and provincial wildlife agencies conduct extensive education and outreach programs to inform hunters about the benefits of protecting yearling bucks and to garner their support for sound deer management programs. The key to implementing an effective strategy is to devise it from local data and then educate local sportsmen and women on the benefits.
QDMA and Maryland State Chapter QDMA prefer the voluntary passing of yearling bucks to mandatory antler regulations. However, we recognize that antler restrictions may be justified in some situations to achieve specific deer management objectives. This would apply to region A where the politics of deer management has had effects for many years. This was evident at a meeting of western sportsman in Frederick County a few Sundays ago when a leader of a group with a raised voice said to Paul Pedito, “When are you going to fix the lack of deer in western counties?” while at the same time arguing over a hunting license increase of $24.00 (the cost of 2 McDonald’s adult meals), when this increase would pay for much needed deer and habitat studies. The same groups that will not support Antler Restriction’s even when the harvest numbers of yearling bucks averages 70% with bag limits limited to 1 buck and 1 antlerless (less on public land). As some of these groups flex their political muscle, maybe it’s time to ask, what will the cost and impact be to our future hunting and its heritage?
Article content from QDMA National & Opinions related to Maryland by E.W. Grimes, Director of the Maryland State Chapter QDMA

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

DNR Selects Final Hunting And Trapping Regulation Proposals!

Annapolis, Md. (March 27, 2012) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife and Heritage Service has completed an important step toward finalizing the hunting and trapping season and bag limit regulation proposals for the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 seasons. The proposed hunting regulation changes, which included extensive public input, were recently endorsed by the Maryland Wildlife Advisory Commission (WAC).
“We are very pleased with the level of thoughtful input we received during all aspects of the public comment period,” said Associate Director for Game Management at DNR, Pete Jayne..“It’s always productive for us to hear from so many passionate supporters of Maryland’s rich wildlife resources. While most comments were from hunters and trappers, we also heard from a diverse group of non-hunters, hikers, bikers, farmers and landowners. We received over 1,000 comments during nearly two months of public participation and this input led us to make several changes in the proposals.”

03-26-2012: ALERT! Hunting License Fee Increase Bill Defeated!

On Monday, March 26, Maryland's House of Representatives voted 69-62 to kill HB1419. There will be no increase in Hunting License fees this year.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

March 17, 2012 - The Bachman Valley Branch and the Maryland State Chapter presented a crossbow to a young man who recently went through the hunter's safety course.

Last year, Cheri Winter, Bachman Valley Branch Vice President had a friend whose son (11 years old) had recently completed Maryland's Hunter's Safety Course and wanted to hunt deer so she invited him and his son to hunt on her QDM property. The hunt went well even though no deer were harvested. Cheri had to go out of town so she lent her crossbow to her friend, Tom and his son Malcolm to use while she was gone as she had already taught them how to use it. While she was out of the state, she received two texts that Malcolm had taken his first doe and then a second doe and was hooked on crossbows. Tom then asked Cheri to be on the lookout for a used crossbow for Malcolm. Barry Harden, Bachman Valley Branch President had a brand new crossbow and decided to give the crossbow to Malcolm. We invited Malcolm and his dad, Tom to attend our 2012 Annual REACH Banquet where we would surprise Malcolm with the crossbow. E.W. Grimes, Director of the Maryland State Chapter, Barry Harden, President of the Bachman Valley Branch and Cheri Winter, Vice President of the Bachman Valley Branch presented Malcolm with his very own crossbow at the REACH Banquet and Malcolm was thrilled to receive it. The Bachman Valley Branch and the Maryland State Chapter take every opportunity to encourage youth to get into and stay into hunting and we congratuate Tom for his efforts to teach Malcolm ethics and safety about hunting. We thank Cheri for being a great mentor and always extending a helping hand to fellow hunters and youth!

March 17, 2012 - Bachman Valley Branch REACH Sportsman's Banquet

The Bachman Valley Branch & Maryland State Chapter of QDMA held our Annual REACH Sportsman Banquet and had a decent turnout even with the banquet being held on St. Patrick's Day and the beautiful weather. Dale Gertz was our featured speaker and brought his NEW Maryland State Record Pope & Young Buck!
Thanks to all who attended and stay tuned for our next year's banquet. We are making changes and will keep you posted!

March 3, 2012 - Frostburg State University QDMA Branch Educational Event

Frostburg State University QDMA Branch hosted their first educational event March 3rd; The Hands-on Whitetail Deer Workshop Event was conducted in the Gunther building on campus and was open to the public. Guest Speaker was Brian Eyler Maryland’s Deer Project Leader,  Cheri Winter Maryland State Chapter QDMA Secretary and EW Grimes President/ Director Maryland State Chapter.
EW opened the event with a seminar What is QDM and MD QDMA Data Collecting in Maryland.
  Brian Eyler Seminar expanded how harvest data was collected and used by the State to made management decisions and history of Deer management in Maryland. Brian answered many question from students and public attendees.
Cheri, demonstrated her lessons learned from QDMA Deer Steward Classes and her 4 years of collecting fetus date for the State Chapter’s Maryland Fetus Study. ( pictured)
 EW explained the How and Why to Aged Whitetail Jawbones, Jesse Voigt (pictured) President of the FSU Branch Removing Jaw bone from a doe harvested from a QDM Managed Hunt.
The Hands-on Workshop was a huge success with Branch Members, Students, and others attending. FSU Branch and students are now looking into collecting data from road-killed deer from the western area of Maryland. FSU is not far from the CWD area in Maryland this data collecting would be helpful to Maryland’s Deer Project.

Thursday, January 12, 2012


The Bachman Valley Branch will be holding their Annual Sportsman's REACH Banquet on March 17, 2012 at the VFW Post 467 in Westminster, Maryland!

Our featured Guest Speaker will be Dale Gertz with his Maryland No#1 Pope & Young Buck harvested in 2011 with a score of 208-7/8!

Tickets will be available soon! Check on for availability!

Thursday, October 27, 2011


If you have any doubts about QDM and if it works, this is a prime example that it does. The Chester River QDMA Co-op on the Eastern Shores of Maryland has 22,000 acres that are under the QDM principles. This year a 194-3/8 inch buck was harvested by Brian Sears during the early muzzleloader season. They have been managing their doe population and letting the young bucks walk and this is the results. Healthier deer, less crop damage and larger bucks! Any questions?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Maryland State Chapter QDMA presents Award of Appreciation to Barbara Joyce

Barbara Joyce has tirelessly organized outdoor events for many years and recently retired. The Maryland State Chapter QDMA presented her with an award of appreciation for her dedication and hard work over the past many years. We truly appreciate all Barbara has done for women and youth outdoor sporting events. She will be missed. Without people like Barbara promoting and organizing these events, a lot of people would have never gotten into outdoor activities.
Thank you Barbara!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


We have changed our 3D Shoot Date and Location. We are now having the 3D Shoot at Mayberry Archers, 2555 Mayberry Road, Westminster, Maryland 21158 on Sunday, August 21, 2011. Please make your plans to attend.