I bet you are wondering what I’m talking about when I say The One Percenters. Of course you do. That’s the curiosity in all of us. Well, I am going to talk to you about that a little. Some of you may be offended, some may be moved to act and others will know they are part of the one percenters.
Our wildlife populations did not just increase over the years without some help. Help from volunteers that give their time to improve the natural resources in their communities and states. Most of the volunteers are involved with multiple organizations such as the Big Game Conservation Association, Ducks Unlimited, Pheasants Forever, and more. Not to mention they are most likely the ones volunteering for events at their kid’s school and their churches.
Out of My Circle of Friends – Less Than One Percent Volunteer
These volunteers are always stretching themselves to continually give back. When I look around at my circle of hunting friends I take notice of who is involved. Out of all my friends that hunt less than one percent are actively involved in a conservation organization. I’m not talking about sending your annual membership fees to get a free hat, t-shirt or something else. No, I’m talking about giving your time to help with a banquet, habitat project or any other event.
Have you been hunting recently? If so, you have very likely been a recipient of the benefits offered by local and national hunting and conservation groups. These groups function on the money donated by hunters and partners with the work often carried out by volunteers. If you have enjoyed hunting, it might be time to spend some of your money and off-season time to work in the name of conservation.
Conservation Organizations Work to Improve Habitat
If you really think about it, hunting as we know it would not exist without the help of conservation groups. They work tirelessly to improve the habitats of game species across the continent. All of this is done to ensure that hunting continues as a rich heritage for years to come while also ensuring that the wildlife species are thriving. Ultimately, conservation would not exist if it were not for these groups.
The reality; however, is the fact that many of these groups are supported by a significant corps of volunteers. These volunteers help provide the manpower for conservation projects. Without their help, the projects that have improved habitat across the continent would not have succeeded. From building water catchments to improving land quality, volunteers are the workhorses that drive conservation efforts.
Ways to Give Back
If you are a hunter, you are in a great position to give back. How about spending some time this off-season working with groups to improve hunting in your area? It is not complicated or difficult to get involved with these groups; you just have to know how. Here are some ways you can get involved:
As mentioned earlier, all conservation and hunting groups need volunteers. Just contact the group you want to work with an ask how you can help or where they need volunteers. They will be more than happy to point you in the right direction.
Money makes the world go round and it is no different with conservation groups. Conservation costs money, period. If you have money you would like to donate, it will be put to good use. The great thing about outdoor conservation groups is they are very transparent with where money is going so you do not need to worry if it will be used properly. With the majority of conservation groups, 80% to 90% of the funds donated go directly toward conservation efforts (the rest going toward administrative costs). If you want to donate, you can be confident that your money will be put to good use.
All groups need advocates. An advocate is someone who is willing to champion the cause of a group or an individual. While we often think of advocates in a political sense, this is not what our goal should be. As advocates of conservation groups, we must strive to be vocal, present and honorable.
Spreading the word about the work of various conservation groups is key; however, just as important is the ability to communicate the truth when anti-hunting groups try to malign the name of conservation.
An advocate must always be present, meaning he or she must be willing to be a resource and help when needed. Even if this just means being active on social media, an advocate seeks to transmit helpful information at any given time.
A great way to hurt conservation efforts is to hurt the name of conservation groups by lacking integrity. Anti-hunting groups are more than happy to exploit the missteps of those who represent hunting and conservation groups. Whenever you are representing a group, make sure you are acting with this highest level of integrity.
Are you involved? Need information on ways to get involved? Let us know your thoughts!
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