A?group of local hunters have joined together in an attempt to make a difference.
The difference they are trying to make starts with deer management and extends into so much more.
Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) is a national non-profit organization whose goal is to promote conservation of whitetail deer, wildlife in general and the tradition of hunting.
Recently the group of hunters, from Faribault County got together and decided to promote the cause on a local level and start their own branch of QDMA, Farm Country Whitetails.
"We have found that there were many local hunters who had the same concerns but weren't able to effectively communicate with each other about them," branch treasurer Marisa Lehmann says. "And QDMA fits perfectly with what we wanted to do."
Group president Zach Krause says they are concerned with the deer herd becoming imbalanced as far as herd health, age structure, buck to doe ratio and more.
This is where the QDMA?mission fit into what these local hunters and outdoors people were looking to do.
The group will aim to raise funds locally and put the money directly back into the local area and national mission of QDMA.
"We will focus mainly on youth and education,"?Krause says. "Education of many hunters will make a much bigger impact than just purchasing a piece of land for the public to hunt."
There is a core group of about 10 people who have become involved with the local branch of QDMA, but they have already received a lot of support and feedback.
"There are about 130 people who have shown interest in what we're doing,"?Lehmann adds.
They sent out surveys to gauge interest and see where the group should funnel their efforts.
"Education was a huge thing,"?Krause says.
Education will be anything from youth events to in-depth herd management strategies and hopefully include any and all people interested in the cause.
The national group has a variety of ways they have educated and informed individuals about this issue and include; youth field days, food plot tours, archery, exposure to DNR and much more.
"There was also some interest in localized deer counts," Krause adds. "QDMA gives us the resources to get accurate herd analysis such as population, age structure and buck to doe ratio. We would do this through visual counts, trail camera data, and age structure research."
And, now with QDMA this group will have help getting that going on a very local level.
"This brings hope for people in the area to do something different,"?Krause says.
The group raises all the funds for completing these projects and their main fundraising event is their annual sportsman banquet.
And, since this is their first year as a group, they have also been preparing for their first banquet.
"Since this is a local event and the funds are all used locally we want people to come to the banquet not only to support us but to see what we're all about,"?Krause says.
The banquet will be held on Thursday, Aug. 21, at Delavan DHS, Inc. Social hour will begin at 6 p.m. and dinner is served at 7 p.m.
Tickets are presold and can be purchased by contacting Zach Krause at (507) 383-1004.
More information on the group and local branch can be found at www.QDMA.com or the Facebook page for the local branch at Farm Country Whitetails.