Questions on Day One of the National Deer Association

Welcome to Day One of the National Deer Association, November 10, 2020. On this page we’ll answer some of the anticipated questions that our members, supporters and other deer hunters may have about today’s news.

Wait. What?

On July 7, 2020, the Quality Deer Management Association and the National Deer Alliance announced they were embarking on a merger to combine the strengths, resources and core initiatives of their non-profit organizations to better serve deer and hunters more effectively at a time when the need is greatest. Leadership and staff proceeded with strategic planning to unify the two under one organizational structure, and a new Board of directors was elected that comprises members from both organizations. The new organization – with a mission of ensuring the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting – is the National Deer Association (NDA).

What is the mission?

To ensure the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting.

Who is on the Staff?

The new staff includes members from both original groups, with Nick Pinizzotto as President & CEO. See the complete staff listing here.

Who are the Board members?

The Board of the National Deer Association incorporates members from each of the two original Boards and includes 14 voting members and two emeritus (non-voting) members. Additional non-voting members will serve in advisory roles on committees. The Board of Directors are listed here.

How was the name chosen?

A blending of the names of the two original groups made the most sense, combining the National Deer Alliance and Quality Deer Management Association into the National Deer Association, symbolizing the unification process that preserved the strengths of each conservation program. The staff recommended the name because it is a practical, solid name that speaks to our focus: We stand for deer.

Why is the logo the same as the old QDMA logo?

After exploring many potential new logo options, staff and leadership agreed that QDMA’s buck-and-doe silhouette logo remained the best option to represent the new, unified group. The logo’s original symbolism, encouraging hunters to recognize both bucks and does in wise population management, has not lost its relevance. The buck-and-doe logo is familiar to many hunters after 32 years of action and accomplishment. Additionally, the new logo and acronym will represent a merger of the two original groups: QDMA’s logo and The National Deer Alliance’s acronym (NDA).

What are the first priorities of the National Deer Association?

A new, ambitious strategic plan calls for a concentration of effort in four critical areas.

Education and Outreach: The National Deer Association will carry forward the reputation for reliable information for hunters, empowering them to be more informed, successful and engaged stewards of deer and wildlife. Teaching the non-hunting public about the keystone position of deer in the success of all wildlife conservation will be a new goal. Familiar programs, titles and multi-media channels will be strengthened and broadened through key partnerships in the hunting industry.

R3: The highly successful and tested Field to Fork adult hunter recruitment program will be the cornerstone of the National Deer Association’s R3 effort aimed at growing hunter numbers, instilling a desire among experienced hunters to serve as mentors, and increasing acceptance of hunting among the general public.

Policy and Advocacy: Protecting deer and hunting requires skill in the rooms where wildlife policy and legislation are formed. Though both parent organizations spent considerable time in this arena, Nick Pinizzotto in particular brings experience on Capitol Hill to the team. Uniting hunters behind wise deer policy is a primary goal.

Deer Diseases: A number of diseases, most notably the always-fatal chronic wasting disease (CWD), present serious threats to the future of all deer species and deer hunting traditions. The National Deer Association will build a coalition of hunters, wildlife agencies and scientific experts to answer these threats.

Will internal operations and priorities change?

Internally, the strategic plan calls for more consistent engagement with members and communication with volunteer Branches to implement the Association’s mission. Organizational health will be enhanced through an overhaul of the fundraising model and budgeting that will ensure maximum efficiency in the use of member dollars. You can review past financial reports in our annual Whitetail Reports, and a new financial report for 2020 will follow in early 2021.

How will the National Deer Association involve volunteers?

The existing Branch structure through which member-volunteers implement local conservation projects and initiatives will be maintained and strengthened. NDA Branches will continue to deliver the organization’s mission at the grassroots level while supporting national fundraising efforts and conservation priorities. Already, changes to the grassroots volunteer program have given Branches greater flexibility and local control over fundraising and education. Efforts to enhance communication and support of Branches are already underway.

How do I join or support the National Deer Association?

The annual membership fee makes you a member and supports NDA’s mission. You’ll receive the NDA magazine Quality Whitetails and other benefits. A special membership offer is available now, at the time of this announcement, for deer hunters wishing to join immediately and support our work. If you are already a current QDMA member, you’re now a member of NDA until your existing membership term expires. Life Members of QDMA are now Life Members of the National Deer Association.

Does the National Deer Association support and promote the Quality Deer Management (QDM) philosophy?

Yes. The National Deer Association supports sound, science-based deer management, and in most circumstances the QDM philosophy is the ideal framework for deer population and habitat management. In some situations, such as in CWD Management Zones, adjustments to some guidelines may be necessary to do what’s best for the deer resource.

Will the new organization continue to provide a printed magazine?

Yes. The NDA magazine Quality Whitetails will be published four times annually.

What’s next?

The announcement of a new name and strategic plan on November 10, 2020, is only Day One of our work. Day Two means moving forward to tackle the external and internal priorities of the new plan and begin achieving new victories for deer conservation. Stay tuned through our social media network, by signing up for e-mail notifications, and by joining at Let’s get to work for deer!