NEW ORLEANS, LA (July 20, 2018) – The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) announced the winners of its 2018 Al Brothers Professional and Non-Professional Deer Manager of the Year awards yesterday at the QDMA National Convention. Jerry Tibbott of Pennsylvania earned the non-professional award while Darren Boudreaux of Louisiana took home the professional award.
Deer Manager of the Year, Non-Professional
Jerry Tibbott of Pennsylvania, winner of the 2018 QDMA Deer Manager of the Year Award, is a QDMA Life Member and Deer Steward whose passion lies in sharing knowledge with family and friends to help them become better outdoorsmen and better stewards of our natural resources. He is the founder of the Bearded Buck, an outdoor entertainment company and TV program.
“Jerry manages his farm for quality deer and turkey hunting, and passing these principles down to the next generation is something that is very important to him,” said Kip Adams, QDMA Director of Conservation who presented the award. “He has strong family values, and hunting with his son and daughter are some of his most memorable hunts. I am fortunate to be one of his many friends, and in fact my young daughter shot her first deer at Jerry’s place.”
Tibbott completed QDMA’s Deer Steward 1 course in 2007, the inaugural year of Deer Steward, and he is hosting a Deer Steward 2 course at his place in September of this year. In October, he will be hosting a QDMA Field to Fork hunt for new deer hunters. He has also hosted countless first-time youth hunters on his farm as well as veterans and hunters with severe disabilities. He routinely promotes QDMA on his Facebook and Instagram accounts.
“Recently, Jerry made QDMA a title sponsor on his Bearded Buck TV show on the Pursuit channel for no cost to the organization,” said Adams. “That is how deeply his believes in QDMA and the future of deer hunting.”
Deer Manager of the Year, Professional
Darren Boudreaux of Louisiana, winner of the 2018 Professional Deer Manager of the Year Award, is a QDMA Life Member, Level III Deer Steward, and a 16-year employee of the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service where he currently serves as a program liaison and previously served as the District Conservationist.
Darren has been extremely active as a member of QDMA, serving as a volunteer with multiple QDMA Branches, and he has served as the Louisiana State Chapter President since 2009. He has completed multiple Deer Steward modules, joined the QDMA Brothers-Hamilton Legacy Society as a major donor, and was QDMA’s 2014 Volunteer of the Year, having given countless hours of service over the years through events, field days, expos and seminars.
Darren has put his professional knowledge and QDMA education to work on his own 230 acres in Jefferson County, Mississippi, where habitat and wildlife management practices include every recommended activity from invasive species control and trail-camera surveys to prescribed fire and soil conservation. He has given QDMA gift memberships to 20 neighboring hunters and is currently in talks with six of those neighbors to form a QDM Cooperative of over 3,000 acres in size later this year. His land is enrolled in NRCS programs that improve soil conservation, increase pollinator habitat and improve water quality.
When Darren acquired his 230 acres, almost no bucks in the area were older than 3½ years. This past season, Darren was watching five bucks estimated to be 3½ and three more that were all 4½ or older, all on 230 acres. His success with deer and turkey management are a testament to the programs and practices he has implemented while he’s been a steward of those lands. He has also assisted friends with another 444-acre tract in Louisiana where he has guided forest, wildlife and food plot management that has led to significant, measurable increases in deer herd quality.
“No one who views Darren Boudreaux’s record of contributions and accomplishments would disagree that Darren is one of the finest examples of a conservationist and wildlife steward you can find,” said Lindsay Thomas Jr., QDMA Director of Communications, who presented the award.
QDMA’s Deer Manager of the Year awards are named in honor of Al Brothers of Texas, wildlife biologist and author of the book Producing Quality Whitetails, who is considered the father of Quality Deer Management. He was also influential in the founding of the QDMA in 1988.
“Al Brothers believes that to be recognized for exceptional dedication to managing white-tailed deer, an individual must wear multiple hats simultaneously,” said QDMA Founder Joe Hamilton. “The persons receiving these awards are expected to promote and support QDMA, educate fellow hunters/managers, promote ethical hunting, and foster young hunters while tending to the needs of the deer populations under their management. Al is humbled that these awards bear his name, but he is proud to be associated with the quality of those selected for these prestigious recognitions.”
Founded in 1988, QDMA is a national nonprofit wildlife conservation organization with 60,000 members in all 50 states and Canada, and several foreign countries. QDMA is dedicated to ensuring the future of white-tailed deer, wildlife habitat and our hunting heritage. To learn more about QDMA and why it is the future of deer hunting, call 800-209-3337 or visit www.QDMA.com.