For the last 3 years or so, whitetail numbers and hunter success rates have been declining nationwide.
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The recent North American Whitetail Deer Summit hosted by QDMA is well over, but it’s impact is still being felt. The summit identified the principal threats facing deer and deer hunters and spawned a national initiative to do something about them. The summit identified all kinds of issues threatening whitetails, but the 800-pound gorilla in the room somehow got lost in the shuffle.
The summit was held a month ago in Branson Missouri and attracted more than 200 of the best minds in the deer business. Representatives from across the whitetail stakeholder spectrum showed up to take a hard look at issues facing deer in North America.
The group met for two and a half days and produced an extensive list of issues and ranked them from most threatening to least. In all, some 20 items were identified. At the top of the list: 1) hunter recruitment and retention; 2) education to support hunters; 3) hunting and access; 4) influences; 5) the captive deer industry; 6) deer diseases; 7) public concern for population levels low or high.