QDMA Announces 2011 National Conservation Award Winners
Nashville, Tenn. - The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) announced the winners of its 2011 Conservation Awards at their 11th annual National Convention at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. QDMA's Conservation Awards recognize achievements in deer management, wildlife conservation, and support of the mission of QDMA.
The 2011 awards and recipients are as follows.
Agency of the Year: The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Since 2006, this agency has provided more than $100,000 in support to QDMA in three key areas. First was to establish a QDM Cooperative on public and private lands surrounding a National Wildlife Refuge (After three years, the Cooperative now encompasses over 200,000 acres). Second is an ongoing study of the impacts of urbanization and habitat loss on the future of deer hunting. Third is assistance in creating the first-ever national symposium on white-tailed deer, slated to take place in early 2013, which will align state and federal agencies, universities, conservation organizations and industry leaders to address challenges and threats faced by the most important wildlife resource in North America, the white-tailed deer.
Corporate Achievement Award: Whitetail Properties TV
A group that focuses on selling recreational hunting land, Whitetail Properties emphasizes land stewardship and wise management of the whitetail resource in all their communications. They have continuously supported and promoted QDMA in their broadcasts, and have even offered their video production talents to create QDMA commercials and video elements for QDMA's National Convention. They are also partnering with QDMA to produce a DVD on aging and judging whitetails in the field.
Joe Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award: Dr. Grant Woods of GrowingDeer.tv
As a research wildlife biologist, consultant, speaker and communicator, Dr. Grant Woods is one of the most well-known deer experts and advocates of the QDM philosophy in North America. A Charter Life Member of QDMA, Grant now teaches hunters about QDM through his Web broadcast, GrowingDeer.TV. He is a staunch supporter and promoter of QDMA.
Al Brothers Professional Deer Manager of the Year: Dr. Karl V. Miller of the University of Georgia
A professor of deer ecology and management at the University of Georgia, Dr. Karl V. Miller has contributed much new knowledge about whitetails to the hunting community. He continues to lead cutting-edge research in response to new challenges to the whitetail resource, including most recently the impact of coyotes and other predators on fawn survival. Karl is also a Charter Life Member of QDMA.
Al Brothers Deer Manager of the Year: Stu Lewis of South Carolina
Stu Lewis came to QDMA's first National Convention in 2001 seeking a better way to manage deer and habitat. He joined QDMA as a Life member. Later, when QDMA introduced the Deer Steward certification course, Stu attended the first Level I course, and then the first Level II course. He was one of the first two people to achieve Deer Steward Level III. He has put his knowledge to work on the ground on his hunting property in South Carolina, turning average land into a wildlife habitat showcase, which he shares with youth, college students, veterans and physically disabled hunters.
Signpost Communicator of the Year: Patrick Durkin of Wisconsin
This award honors communicators who go the extra mile to share accurate, reliable information about whitetail hunting and management with hunting audiences. Patrick Durkin of Wisconsin has been doing that for many years through his roles as editor, freelance writer, and columnist. His commitment to finding the facts and science behind deer management issues has often put him at odds with some hunter groups, yet he has remained steadfast, helping advance the QDM philosophy through his efforts.
Wildlife Officer of the Year: Sgt. Lynwood Kearse of South Carolina DNR
Lynwood Kearse has been a wildlife officer for 25 years, and along the way he has gone beyond the call of duty to get more people involved in hunting. He is in charge of South Carolina's "Take One, Make One" program, which paired 34 youth hunters with adult mentors in 2010 alone. He is also involved in South Carolina DNR's mobility-impaired hunts and helps organize Wounded Warrior hunts for veterans.
To view photos of the award presentations, visit:
For more information or photographs from the award presentation, contact Lindsay Thomas Jr., QDMA Director of Communications, at 800-209-3337.
Founded in 1988, QDMA is a national nonprofit wildlife conservation organization with nearly 50,000 members in all 50 states and Canada, and several foreign countries. QDMA is dedicated to ensuring the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. To learn more about QDMA and why it is the future of deer hunting, call 800-209-3337 or visit http://www.QDMA.com