While we often catch more than a few whitetail deer eating our flowers and pass quite a few standing alongside our highways, this doesn’t mean whitetail populations are necessarily thriving across the board. With modern-day issues such as habitat loss, predation and disease, in 2014 the National Deer Alliance (NDA) hosted its inaugural North American Deer Summit to begin addressing whitetail-deer conservation concerns. Today marks the start of the 2015 summit, May 6-8, in Louisville, Ky., to begin establishing solutions and actions.
Hosted in partnership with the Quality Deer Management Association, Mule Deer Foundation, Whitetails Unlimited and numerous hunting industry companies, state and federal agencies, conservation organizations and forest industry companies, the three-day event brings together hunters, hunting-industry leaders, state/federal wildlife agencies, national deer conservation organizations and outdoor media members to collaborate on behalf of deer, deer hunters and our hunting heritage. The goal is to identify specific strategies, timelines and measurable goals for facing threats to today’s deer herd with speakers including: Craig Dougherty, executive director of the NDA; Jay McAnich, president of the Archery Trade Association; international conservationist Steve Mahoney; Brian Murphy, CEO of the Quality Deer Management Association; author and TV host Steve Ranella; and wildlife biologists such as Gary Alt and my friend Jim Heffelfinger.
The plan is to hold future summits every two to three years. For more information on the NDA and the 2015 summit, visit NationalDeerAlliance.com.