Quality Deer Management (QDM) in the Towns of Kent and Putnam Valley
Many hunters are probably familiar with Quality Deer Management (QDM) from hunting magazines and other sources. QDM is the idea that a deer herd is healthiest if young bucks are allowed to grow into bigger, mature bucks, and does and bucks are in about a one-to-one balance. QDM focuses on bringing deer populations down to levels that the landscape can support long-term through the harvest of does , while improving the composition and health of herds by promoting larger, stronger bucks who will pass on their genetic material to future generations. In our area, buck-to-doe ratios may be as high as 1:50. In DEP Hunt Surveys for the past few years, hunters have regularly reported seeing as many as seven or eight does per buck. The overbrowsing of vegetation by too many deer, including the seedlings that are our future forest, is evident across the watershed and threatens the very habitat that deer need to survive.
To create bigger bucks, better herds and healthier forests, some QDM measures to promote the harvest of does and restrict the harvest of immature bucks are in effect on four hunting areas in the towns of Kent and Putnam Valley in Putnam County. These are:
- Richardsville Unit - Hunting Overview Map # 89
- West Branch Headwaters Unit – Hunting Overview Map # 88
- Knapp Road Unit – Hunting Overview Map # 87
- Boyds Corner North Unit – Hunting Overview Map #90
On these hunting areas the following conditions apply to all hunters over 17 years of age and will be enforced:
- Only does may be harvested on the following days – no bucks may be taken on these days:
- The first two days of bow season;
- The first two days of regular gun season;
- The first two days of muzzleloader season.
- On all other days of the legal hunting season, bucks may be harvested to meet these requirements:
- Antler spread of at least 15 inches in width and /or,
- Minimum of three points on a side greater than one inch long, excluding brow tines.
- Hunters are encouraged to harvest does over bucks throughout the season. If you harvest a doe on any City hunting area, you can enter the lottery drawing to win a great prize from DEP.
This project is in partnership with the Kent Rod and Gun Club and with the support of the Putnam County Sportsmen’s Federation and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The members of the Kent Rod and Gun Club also unanimously decided to practice QDM on their own lands. DEP will monitor how this program affects forest health and the local deer population and forest health with the assistance of the Club.
Help create a future of bigger bucks, healthy deer, and vigorous forests by following these conditions in the QDM areas this year and encouraging other hunters to do the same!