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I was up to Ludington, 2/26/00, and the locals I talked with are excited about the upcoming April 15 Ludington/Scottville QDM meeting for starting a new QDM chapter for W.Michigan located in Mason county. Brian Murphy from the National QDM should be informative to listen to at the April meeting.

I've also heard that over the last two years QDM supporters have put together about 4000 acres to lay ground work for a chapter in Oceana County adjacent south of Mason County. Are they duplicating efforts here?

There is always much work to do if a new chapter is 100 strong or twice that. Would one stronger larger chapter be easier to get started? I know personally the challenges of starting new organizations after starting and being on the board of several fishing associations. Remember the general fact that in any organization it is the 10% or less of the membership that ends up doing 90% of the work.

My concern is two points. One larger chapter would have a greater selection of the key qualified people to get a QDM chapter started during the first critical months. Also, I would hate to see two adjacent chapters burn out two sets of hard workers duplicating many of the same objectives.

I should point out that I live in Muskegon County 1-1/2 miles South of the Oceana County line. My support is there for for whichever QDM chapter gets started. A few years down the line it is usually easier for a large chapter to form two smaller chapters than the smaller chapters struggling to survive at the start. Any comments?
 

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I think your comments are right on target. Someone should contact the two groups and see if there is interest in forming one chapter covering both areas.

What is most important is to get something started successfully to demonstrate to the DNR that there is substantial interest in QDM programs all around the state.

I hope we are starting to make an impact on the DNR's thinking about QDM. The more chapters and individuals we have promoting QDM, the harder it is to ignore us.

Let's wish these two groups good luck and offer to help in any way we can to ensure their success.
 

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I'll need to do some checking. Presently, we have several non-branch local groups practicing QDM. Another group with several thousand acres signed-up for QDM with varying antler requirements, etc is located in the Hale area. QDMA members who are a member of the Mid-Michigan Branch are leading for the most part these groups.

The Thumb Area Branch formation was finalized in July 1999 and is the only other MI QDMA Branch. And currently, we only have two groups working with National QDMA on forming a Branch - one is Ludington and the other is in the Charlevoix Area. The Ludington Branch formation will probably be finalized in the next few months.

I believe your comments about duplication are right on target. And it's great that QDM is rapidly spreading but not without growing pains. At some point I think we may need a Michigan QDMA Chapter (central group) comprised of a few people that help coordinate certain activities for the various Branches. For example, there is only one MI QDMA website (sponsored by the Mid-Michigan Branch) and this may be sufficient regardless of the number of Branches.

Any and all QDMA organization thoughts are welcomed. Keep them coming!

Boyd

PS - South Central Michigan might be a good area for another Branch.


 

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I did finally get to talk to one of the Oceana landowners on the QDM chapter topic. There is no actual Oceana chapter in the making. They are doing fine as volunteers, and are supportive of the Mason County idea of a QDM chapter. Also, the Oceana QDM supporters want to attend the April 15 QDM Mason ounty meeting. There may be a larger QDM chapter to start with after all.
 

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With different chapters of QDM forming this might get interesting or maybe even dangerous if not careful. The DNR gets a lot of blame because they are trying to manage the heard for the whole state. I'm wondering what might happen when different chapters have different ideas about how they will impact the heard in their respective areas. They will be able to control private property pretty good by having their plan of how many antlerless deer they take or how big or small a rack must be to take. If these chapters stay seperated or even if they eventually combine with each other you will end up with many different opinions within the chapters or chapter itself.

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Some very good points. I think different opinions can be good and healthy. However, I too see challenges that we're going to be faced with, including duplication and possibly sending the incorrect or mixed messages. Perhaps, we need a Michigan QDMA Chapter that helps to coordinate actives for the different MI QDMA Branches. We'll be meeting with Brian Murphy, Executive Director QDMA on April14 and 15 and this will be one of the topics we will be discussing (as the date draws nearer and more specifics get firmed up on Brian's visit, I will post the detail).

Any ideas, suggestions, etc on the direction that you think would be helpful for the QDMA and deer management in MI are greatly appreciated. Keep them coming!!


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Boyd
 
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