You took these adults on their first deer hunt. Now let’s take more.
If you support QDMA; if you have donated to help us keep Working for Whitetails; if you are a member or a raffle-ticket buyer or in any other way stand behind this organization and our mission, then you need to see the photos of what you accomplished. Below are some of the adults you took hunting for the first time this past season, and a lot of them got their first deer.
The photos below are just a few from the 25 Field to Fork events QDMA organized across 17 states last season. QDMA’s Field to Fork is a food-focused hunter recruitment program for adults from non-hunting backgrounds first piloted by QDMA in 2016. It has expanded rapidly since then through the work and support of our network of Branches, volunteers and industry friends. Attracted first by the opportunity to acquire a wild, healthy, local, sustainable food source on their own, Field to Fork recruits then participate in a season-long mentored program that teaches them how to hunt.
The success of Field to Fork has far exceeded expectations. More than 80% of participants are continuing to hunt on their own after the mentored program ends. Many of them are introducing others, sharing their venison, buying hunting equipment, and becoming actively engaged in hunting and wildlife conservation.
We intend to grow Field to Fork even larger, but we need your help. If you’d like to help us create many more new adult hunters this season, become a QDMA donor or member today. If you’d like to participate by organizing a Field to Fork event in your community, contact Hank Forester now.
Help us keep Working for Whitetails by recruiting new adult hunters this season like the ones below.
Georgia – National Headquarters
The first QDMA Field to Fork event in the nation was the pilot project held in 2016 at QDMA National Headquarters in Athens, Georgia. With the help of mentors and volunteers from the Athens Branch, the program has been more and more successful each year. Many of our first-time hunters are now returning as mentors to help others learn how to hunt, a trend we’ve seen in every location.
Georgia – South
The former QDMA National Youth Hunt has now been converted over to a “Destination” Field to Fork hunt for new adult hunters, and the same generous private landowner continued to host the event. Because the site is near Georgia’s Fort Benning, the U.S. Army Marksmanship Unit was again able to participate and provide rifle training for all participants.
QDMA and the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) hosted a Field to Fork event on QDMA Board Chairman Rick Dahl’s land, joined by Natalie Krebs of Outdoor Life. Four new hunters age 20 to 38 were given proper deer hunting knowledge and the opportunity to harvest their first deer. Photos provided courtesy of Natalie Krebs of Outdoor Life and Emily Porter of MDC.
The success of Field to Fork has far exceeded expectations. More than 80% of participants are continuing to hunt on their own after the mentored program ends.
New York – Greater Rochester Southern Tier Branch Event
QDMA’s Greater Rochester Southern Tier Branch led by Branch President Bob Rose built on their 2018 success with more new hunters and mentors. They hosted their second annual community-based Field to Fork program for eight local hunters.
New York – Upper Hudson River Valley Branch Event
QDMA’s Upper Hudson River Valley (UHRV) Branch held its inaugural Field to Fork program in 2019, which included hosting sign-ups at two county farmers markets, two evenings of deer hunting instruction, an official full-day New York Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Hunter Education course, range day, two butchering demonstrations and a Culinary Social. In total, nine new hunters ranging from age 29 to 64 participated, of which six got their first deer. Program support in various forms helped make the event successful, thanks to Cornell Cooperative Extension – Saratoga and Warren County, QDMA’s Capital District Branch, Slate River Farms, as well as the New York Chapter of BHA.
Pennsylvania – John Heinz NWR
QDMA was approached by the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge to help with a mentored deer hunting program at “America’s first urban Wildlife Refuge.” The program recruited 36 local mentors and closed the park for two, four-day hunts.
Pennsylvania – The Bearded Buck
The Bearded Buck of Pennsylvania invited QDMA to partner on a Field to Fork hunt for Traeger Grill employees, which made for an amazing event! If you want to have the time of your life, host a Field to Fork hunt for first-time adult hunters who are professional chefs!
QDMA hosted our second-annual “Destination” Field to Fork hunt at the Clear Fork Ranch near Albany, Texas for 10 new adult hunters (photo below), in partnership with the Texas Wildlife Association, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers (BHA). Photos courtesy of QDMA volunteer Luke Laha.
Would you be willing to recruit and mentor new adult hunters? If not, would you be willing to donate to QDMA to help us expand the Field to Fork program to more communities? We need your help, now more than ever. Visit the Field to Fork page to learn more, and thank you for making Field to Fork possible!
Your support enables our mission: Ensuring the future of wild deer, wildlife habitat and hunting. As a NDA member, you’ll also gain many hunting benefits including better hunting success, more deer knowledge, and more fun! You also receive four issues of our award-winning hunting magazine – Quality Whitetails!