QDMA set an organizational record for winter and spring membership growth, recruiting more than 7,000 new members in the first four months of 2014 and reaching a record level of nearly 55,000 members in the United States and Canada.
“QDMA is in the strongest position in the organization’s history,” said CEO Brian Murphy. “Membership is growing faster than at any time in our history, new volunteer Branches are on the rise, and we are having a greater positive impact on our deer-hunting heritage than ever before, both at the grassroots and national level.”
The success of the recent North American Whitetail Summit is just the latest achievement in a list of new accomplishments. Conceived and organized by QDMA, the first-ever Whitetail Summit attracted more than 200 leaders from throughout the whitetail industry who helped identify challenges facing the future of deer hunting and management. Many also called on QDMA to create and spearhead a national deer coalition to serve as the unified voice of all deer hunters and guardian of North America’s wild deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. “I am pleased to say we have willingly accepted this challenge and will soon be unveiling the largest and most significant deer coalition ever established,” said Murphy.
Meanwhile, QDMA’s mission work continues to expand:
- Rack Pack youth program membership is at an all-time high, with more youth hunts and educational events happening in 2014 than any previous year. The newly launched “QDMA in the Classroom” school outreach program is growing rapidly.
- QDMA’s Deer Steward education program recently certified its 1,000th hunter, including 686 people who have completed Level I, 308 at Level II and 35 who are Level III graduates. Level I graduates include military personnel stationed in combat zones who are offered the online Deer Steward course free of charge.
- QDMA’s first Wildlife Cooperative Specialist helped start 11 new QDM Cooperatives in the past year, impacting 65,000 acres in Missouri. This unique position is funded in partnership with the Missouri Department of Conservation, and new positions in other states are likely to follow based on interest expressed by additional state wildlife agencies.
- As QDMA membership has grown, so has our volunteer base. QDMA Branches conducted well over 200 educational events in the past year in 35 states and 3 Canadian provinces; organized more than 35 youth, military or special hunts; started or helped maintain 120 QDM Cooperatives; recruited over 11,000 new QDMA members; raised over $2.4 million for conservation; and donated over 20 tons of venison to those in need.
- With 2014 being a very active legislative year for wildlife policy, QDMA has already engaged dozens of issues affecting the whitetail resource and deer hunters. Since 2006, QDMA has fought for hunters in more than 500 major deer initiatives.
- QDMA recently released the sixth annual Whitetail Report, a comprehensive status report on the condition of white-tailed deer, the single most important game species to the North American hunting industry.
- Since 2006, QDMA has directed more than $500,000 to whitetail research with the potential to benefit deer hunters and the whitetail resource, and recent growth will help expand the number of research projects being funded.
- With traffic at QDMA.com more than doubling in the past year, combined with educational events like the National Convention, outreach through social media and e-mail, television appearances and speaking engagements by staff, the organization is reaching more deer hunters than ever.
“The QDMA staff and our volunteers are committed to growing membership and increasing mission success, and their hard work is paying off,” said Murphy. “We’re on a steady and rapid incline, and we’re fighting for deer hunters harder than ever.”