History of the Brothers-Hamilton Society
Following the 4th Annual meeting of the Southeast Deer Study Group (SEDSG) in Texas in 1981, SC Wildlife & Marine Resources Department wildlife biologists Gerald Moore (second from left) and Joe Hamilton (far right) rendezvoused with Al Brothers (center) on the Chaparral Wildlife Management Area near Cotulla, Texas. Gerald and Joe were accompanied by the late Donnie Harmel of the Kerr Wildlife Management Area in Kerrville, Texas and Ernie Davis, wildlife biologist and area supervisor of the Chaparral WMA.
Gerald and Joe were the co-chairmen of the 5th Annual meeting of the SEDSG the next year in Charleston, SC, hosted by the SC wildlife agency. Al Brothers, co-author of Producing Quality Whitetails (published in 1975), was invited to present the keynote address in Charleston. In addition to his speaking engagement at the annual meeting, Al arrived several days early and remained in the lowcountry for almost a week following the meeting. Each night he entertained and educated a different group of interested deer hunters from along the coast and up the Savannah River. This marked the formal beginning of the quality deer management movement in South Carolina. Al was involved in laying the groundwork for an organization to support the white-tailed deer. His enthusiasm for and encouragement of the founding of the Quality Deer Management Association were invaluable. From that initial meeting with Al in 1981, Joe returned to Texas for over 40 visits with his mentor.
Fast forward to 2015 — The NDA’s membership approaches the 60,000 level and we are recognized as the premier support organization for the whitetail. In an effort to formally recognize major donors and to pay tribute to two pioneers in deer management, Al Brothers for his role in introducing quality deer management and Joe Hamilton for founding the NDA, the Brothers-Hamilton Society was formed. In the winter of 2016, at the NDA’s National Convention in Louisville, KY, there were 10 new inductees of the Brothers-Hamilton Society, bringing the total membership to 17 at the time. Dr. Charles Shields from Paducah, KY was among the 2016 inductees. He joined as a Gold Society Member and provided Bronze Society Memberships for Dr. Grant Woods, Dr. Karl Miller, and Dr. Craig Harper. They were inducted in 2017 along with 31 other individuals, two foundations, and one company at our National Convention in New Orleans. So, the membership in the Brothers-Hamilton Society now stands at 54, and interest is increasing markedly for induction into the Society at our National Convention in New Orleans, LA next July — the celebration of the NDA’s 30 anniversary!
A major gift to the NDA through the Brothers-Hamilton Society is an opportunity to leave your legacy, your “track,” to protect our hunting heritage protection programs. These programs include our focused efforts such as advocating for fair and effective deer hunting legislation, research to improve our national whitetail population, and delivering quality outdoor education and instruction to the next generation of North American hunters. In addition to a cash donation, there are other ways to support our efforts and they include a gift of assets, bequests, land gifts, and retirement transfers.
ELIGIBILITY FOR INDUCTION INTO THE BROTHERS-HAMILTON SOCIETY:
- Gifts of $10,000 or more. Only one individual per family can become a Brothers-Hamilton Society member per contribution.
RECOGNIZED LEVELS OF SUPPORT:
- Bronze Society Member – $10,000*
- Silver Society Member – $25,000
- Gold Society Member – $50,000
*Society members will be recognized for accrued donations beyond the Bronze level.
To become a member of the Brothers-Hamilton Society or for more information, please contact Lauren Varner, NDA’s Chief Development Officer or April Robertson, NDA’s Director of Finance & Administration.