• This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Quality Deer Management Association, which marks 30 years of habitat improvement and understanding that has led to healthier deer populations across the United States. The Quality Deer Management Association, founded by Joe Hamilton, has set the industry standard for habitat management concerning whitetail deer. By implementing Quality Deer Management programs on our property at Great Southern Outdoors, we have seen a tremendous improvement in herd health, body size, and antler growth.

    Great Southern Outdoors began an intensive deer management program in the 1980s. Since the implementation of this program, we have gotten our sex ratio down to two does per one buck, increased body and antler size, and improved the overall health of the herd. One of the main rules for our hunters is to only harvest a buck with 8 points or better, and a spread outside of the ears. This protects yearling bucks from being harvested, allowing for an older age class of mature bucks to be present, and ultimately increasing your chances of harvesting a much larger buck. This also allows for more successful reproduction and increased fawn recruitment.

    In the state of Alabama, typical free-ranging whitetails have an average spread of around 16 inches. At Great Southern Outdoors, we have been able to help hunters harvest countless bucks with spreads greater than 20 inches wide. This is all thanks to the Quality Deer Management program we follow. Habitat manipulation, doe management, and harvest restrictions have allowed us to support an incredibly healthy and mature whitetail population for several years now, with minimal supplemental feeding and without the use of high fences. The free-ranging whitetail population at Great Southern Outdoors continues to blossom and satisfy our clientele year after year.

    Below is an example of two deer harvested; one an average 16” that is what one would typically see across the state of Alabama, and one mature 23” buck that was harvested at Great Southern Outdoors. It is evident that our deer management programs are efficient at increasing herd health and overall body condition of the individuals on our property.

  • Thanks to the Quality Deer Management Association, hunters, landowners, and biologists have all been able to come together to collaborate their ideas to find the most efficient deer management program. By implementing the suggestions made by the QDMA, you will be able to see a true difference in the health of your deer herd. I encourage everyone to check out the QDMA website, educate yourself on any topics you may be concerned about regarding whitetail deer, and consider implementing their management program on your own land. The ultimate goal is to have fun and make memories while constantly working to improve your deer population. At Great Southern Outdoors, our ultimate goal is to provide hunters with a fun and successful hunting trip that they will never forget.