Get Involved

The weather right now is not ideal for getting out with the dog. The wild bird season around here has not yet started. So with the rain falling down, and the dog sleeping on the couch, I figure we should have a conversation about the birds that we pursue and what we are doing to help ensure that the wild places we pursue them in are around for years to come.

There are a number of organizations out there that are trying to ensure that the game we pursue is conserved for future generations. These include Pheasant Forever, Quail Forever, Quail and Upland Wildlife Federation, Ruffed Grouse Society that are national organizations with local chapters. Then there are organizations that are state oriented such as the South Carolina Bobwhite Initiative. Even the NWTF has a Quail initiative in their organization.
I am sure I left out a large number of organizations and that is not to slight them; I just don’t want to keep listing organizations.
So where am I going with this? I am thinking that with all the organizations out there, bird hunters do not have an excuse to not be more actively involved with trying to conserve the habitat and increase the bird numbers and stop the decline of the birds in the Uplands.
We as bird hunters need to be involved. Whether it is with a chapter that has a lot of hands on projects or like the chapter I belong to help subsidize the projects that the state does.
Also if you think the local chapter isn’t doing enough, then get involved. Whether it is taking over as an officer of the chapter or being an active member that gives input that is not just complaining about the chapter, involvement is key.
I think another thing that can help is even if you don’t want to be involved locally, for whatever your reason may be, then you should be involved nationally. Join the organization. They are the ones that are doing the lobbying on our behalf, and they need the funds from our memberships to continue the fight and get the funding and programs (CRP) to assist in bringing the bird numbers up. The NRA is a prime example of what a large group of people joining together under one banner can do.
While I think these are good suggestions I also believe education and recruitment are very important. I think that each hunter should not only work to recruit new hunters, by introducing them to the world of bird dogs and bird hunting. Which is always fun and it is good to see the smile on their faces when they get their first bird. That new recruit needs to be also taught the importance of conservation and being involved in order to continue to see the wild places, birds flying and bird dogs doing their thing.

I am not trying to scold anyone or make it seem like I believe I am better than you. I am saying that we hear every year about the decline of quail and other species of upland bird after all the spring counts are done. So we need to take the matter into our hands and join together and make our voices be heard and get our hands dirty to raise the bird numbers and preserve the habitat that is left.

2 Replies to “Get Involved”

  1. Brian, I think this is a great topic to bring up this time of year. It is so easy to get caught up in the hype of bird hunts and field trials, and easy to forget about the importance of working for conservation efforts and connecting with other enthusiasts. Thanks for sharing. Hope all is well.

    1. Laura, I agree so much. Field trials and hunting preserves all exist to imitate a wild bird hunt. Without wild birds and wild places I believe a little of the magic of bird dogs would be lost.
      Hope you are all doing well.

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