|The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) is a proud supporter of the Wild Harvest Initiative®. As a founding partner, we recognize the importance of documenting the enormous biomass of wild protein procured by hunters and anglers in the United States and Canada. With white-tailed deer being the most widely distributed and pursued big-game animal in North America, it’s no surprise this species provides more wholesome, sustainable meals than any other wildlife species. Each year, approximately 6 million white-tailed deer are harvested in the U.S., resulting in more than 240 million pounds or nearly 1 billion delicious venison meals. This is roughly comparable to the consumption of domestic turkey, which speaks to the importance of sustainable wild protein. If deer hunting ceased, the replacement costs of wild venison would be staggering with respect to space, water, nutrients and effluent management. |
Equally important are the cultural values and traditions associated with hunting and angling. Countless families, communities and cultures throughout North America are connected through traditional pursuits, many of which are centuries old. The WHI is the first effort of its type to quantify the consumption of wild biomass while also documenting the economic, ecological, nutritional and cultural values associated with hunting and angling.
As society becomes more urbanized and disconnected with nature, this compelling set of data and undeniable narrative will be instrumental in demonstrating the vital role of hunters and anglers in conservation. The WHI will, perhaps for the first time, clearly articulate how sportsmen and women contribute to clean air, clean water and the maintenance of wild ecosystems. These attributes are directly intertwined with human health, economic prosperity and even global security. For these reasons, QDMA will remain a steadfast supporter of this long overdue and incredibly necessary effort – for hunters, anglers and the very health of our planet.