Depending on your behavior over the preceding 12 months, you and your loved ones likely received a visit from the fella in the big red suit. While some gifts may be incomparable in nature, the gift bestowed upon our friends at the Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) was one for the ages.
Santa Came Early
It was October 2017 when a visitor arrived at the QDMA National Office unannounced demanding to speak with someone at the top of the organization’s depth chart. When asked by the receptionist how he would like to be addressed to upper management, the visitor kindly asked to be referred to as “Santa Claus.”
Living up to the expectations of such an avatar, the visitor, Ricky Chastain, presented the QDMA with a 132-acre parcel of land adjoining the headquarters of the world’s most respected deer management organizations. After Chastain and his partner Russ Crump of RC-Coggins LLC acquired the property, they knew exactly what they intended to do with it, considering its proximity to QDMA headquarters.
“When we acquired this property and realized a portion of it was right next door to QDMA, Russ and I knew what we were going to do with it,” said Chastain. “Russ had attended QDMA’s educational events in the past and was familiar with their accomplishments. We knew that as a nonprofit they’d be able to use this resource to do great things for wildlife conservation and hunting.”
The Property and Prospective Use
Prior to this generous donation, QDMA HQ was situated on a 23-acre property, which was also donated to the organization back in 2003. Despite the site’s close proximity to development, the property is home to a strong population of whitetail deer and the new 132-acre plot is no different.
The organization plans on expanding programming such as their local Field to Fork and Share Your Hunt programs, which help introduce more people to the hunting lifestyle, as well as using the land for educational purposes. Currently sitting on 155 acres of deer lovers heaven, QDMA will develop food plots, plant trees and perform a number of other improvements to the land to support deer and other wildlife species.
“On behalf of QDMA and our members everywhere, I want to thank Ricky and Russ for this incredibly generous gift, the largest in QDMA’s history,” said QDMA CEO Brian Murphy. “It was an unexpected Christmas present that we will value and use wisely to advance our mission for decades to come.”
Featured Image: Ricky Chastain (center) is flanked by QDMA Senior Director of Operations John Eastman (left) and CEO Brian Murphy (right). Image by QDMA.