In the Field: QDMA/Cooperative Leader Rendezvous

by Anna Mitterling, Wildlife Cooperative Coordinator, MUCC

After a weekend full of talking to landowners and fellow hunters at a cooperative leader workshop in Alpena, the QDMA/Cooperative Leader Rendezvous in Roscommon, catching up with members of  H.U.N.T.’s cooperative in Hersey, and talking with some hunters interested in a cooperative in Sterling - all accompanied by Missouri’s Wildlife Cooperative Specialist, Brian Towe with QDMA - I must say, I am more energized than ever to see cooperatives continue to grow and develop around our beautiful state. 

Michigan held her first joint QDMA Branch and Deer Cooperative Rendezvous this past weekend at the DNR RAM Center near Roscommon on Friday and Saturday. We had about 50 participants and speakers who came together to talk about WHY we care about deer management in our state, and WHY we do what we do. Several speakers from around the state came and presented about CWD, trophy whitetails, prescribed burns, private land habitat grants, UP/Northern Michigan habitat improvement, and the list goes on. While it is always good and valuable to expand knowledge on these things, in my mind, the greatest value was that of discussing ‘why’ and the quality time we had between session, during meals, and around the fire place.


The thought process for this event stemmed from finding ways for cooperatives and QDMA Branches to better partner together. The goals are similar for both, and while there was some overlap, there was much more potential for how the groups could work together to support each other and improve deer hunting and habitat in Michigan.

To open up conversations, Erik Schnelle shared the following video with the group. I recommend you check it out if you want to better communicate the WHY for your passions, and help get other people on board with joining a chapter, branch, cooperative, etc.

In short, if we want people to ‘join a cause’ or a ‘movement,’ we need to seek to inspire a purpose, cause or belief. If you are part of a branch or cooperative, take some time to watch the video above, and evaluate WHY. This will help you build a team around you more effectively.


Thank you to all of you who were able to attend this event, and special thanks to our presenters and organizers as well. It was a great event, that helped energize and equip our branch and cooperative leaders. We are looking to have another event like this next year, so if you feel you missed out, stay tuned for round two!


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  • commented 2015-12-21 09:14:12 -0500
    It always pays to start with “Why?”!