NACOGDOCHES, Texas -- If you ever doubted change was an essential part of whitetail deer hunting, put a little pressure on your deer herd and see how quickly they adapt.
Change, though, hasn’t always come so quickly in the deer-hunting world from a technological aspect. But things just got better.
Dr. James Kroll, known to many as Dr. Deer and the “Father of Modern Whitetail Management,” has spent the last four decades at the forefront of whitetail deer management, training wildlife managers at Stephen F. Austin State University.
Today, Dr. Kroll’s lessons are available to the world in the form of on-line education that all deer managers and deer hunters will not want to miss. Dr. Kroll is bringing his knowledge to your computer through a virtual classroom. The courses, 22 in total, offer would-be managers and hunters an opportunity to become accredited in whitetail deer management through an online Game & Fish University.
“Education is changing,” Dr. Kroll said, “and it is time for wildlife management training to embrace new technologies. The Game & Fish University Online is a state-of-the-art online education program that will give men and women access to training and education only available through brick and mortar universities in the past.”
Dr. Kroll’s classroom is now as close as your laptop. His lessons on whitetail management are designed to fill a void between the science of managing deer and the mythology of deer hunting that has driven the market place for decades.
“There is a substantial market for trained game managers in the U.S.,’’ Dr. Kroll said. “This market is growing both among public agencies and private landowners/commercial operators. The course is aimed at producing a classically trained game manager in the ‘game-keeper’ tradition. Ultimately creating a better herd, a better forest and a better hunter.”
Dr. Kroll and Ben H. Koerth, Whitetail Research Scientist with Dr. Deer, Inc. provide a “from the horse’s mouth” program, delivered by the folks who discovered much of the current knowledge about whitetails, as well as pioneered many of the modern management methods for the species.
This program offers courses focusing on the three important aspects of managing the most popular game species in North America, the white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus). The courses begin with detailed discussions and demonstrations on the basic biology, ecology and behavior of the species; then, proceed to practical aspects of habitat management, including native forage management strategies, food plots and supplemental feeding/nutrition. Reproductive biology and nutrition are emphasized.
The courses include the most critical aspects of wildlife management: people management and economics. Finally, white-tailed deer (as with any game species) are a crop providing both consumptive and non-consumptive values. Hunting skills needed for harvesting and photographing deer are the final focus of the program. Harvesting topics include: bow hunting, firearms, guiding, TV and magazine production and marketing/commercial hunting operations. The final product is certification of competency in all of these skills.
“The course is unique in that students can opt to take only the modules they need to improve their skills or satisfy employment requirements,’’ Dr. Kroll said. “Hunting clubs now are requiring members to successfully pass the aging and judging course to maintain their membership in the club.”
Successful completion provides accreditation from the top white-tailed deer research and education program in the Nation, the Institute for White-tailed Deer Management and Research. A top natural resource management university soon will accredit the program; providing opportunities for course credit.The courses can be found by visiting https://drdeer.digitalchalk.com or by visiting DrDeer.com.
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