The debate over deer farming and managing America’s wild whitetailed deer herd has been going on for some time now, but few places in the United States has the deer farming industry and wild deer proponents managed to coincide better than Wayne, Holmes and Tuscarawas counties.
Those counties make up one of the highest populations of deer farms in the world, and until a Feb. 22 news release by the Quality Deer Management Association headquarters in Bogart, Ga., the two organizations were aware of each other’s stances, but still managed to get along locally.
That all changed when QDMA president Brian Murphy decided it was time for his organization to take a stand against the deer farming industry.
“We as an organization have always sided with the best science of the day, and put the best interest of the wild deer out front,” said Murphy in a phone interview from Georgia this past week. “We’re the advocate of the wild animal, and that’s what we do and why we do it.”
QDMA’s stance is that deer farming is getting out of control, with the industry looking to introduce legislation in several more states to expand deer farming. QDMA has a long list of concerns. On the QDMA website, the issues are wrapped up in a simple conclusion:
“We believe the time is now for engagement and solutions to this complex issue. QDMA’s hope (is that) this will lead to a long overdue nationwide discussion on this topic and development of safeguards to protect North America’s 32 million wild whitetailed deer, 16 million whitetail hunters, and our hunting heritage from potential risks.”