You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers (and if we don’t, we’ll make them up). Every day fellow MeatEaters send us more than 100 emails and direct messages. There’s a lot of excellent questions, and we have to think real hard or get real creative to answer them. So, we decided to publish a series dedicated to our favorite FAQs. This is Ask MeatEater.
There are many ways to become an effective conservationist. A great way to start is to get involved with one or two conservation groups whose missions appeal to you. There are many to choose from, ranging from groups that focus on a particular species or classifications of wildlife, to those that take a more holistic approach to habitat and policy in general.
If you love turkey hunting, throw your support behind The National Wild Turkey Federation. If you dig waterfowl, join Ducks Unlimited. For elk, go with the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. If you care about whitetail habitat and management, consider the Quality Deer Management Association. For trout anglers, Trout Unlimited is the group to join.That way, your involvement will also help you get educated about something you love and you’ll meet other people who share your passion. In other words, by helping ducks, you’ll become a better duck hunter.
If you’re a generalist outdoorsman or woman and you can’t narrow your focus to that degree, consider getting behind one of the groups that deals with habitat and policy at a national level. I sit on the board of the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership, which is an important group that does good work. Backcountry Hunters & Anglers is another important player, and a few of the MeatEater crew sit on their board. By mixing it up with these organizations, you’ll keep abreast of the rapidly evolving conservation landscape. That’s an education worth having.
Keep this in mind too: If you like to hunt and fish, support conservation groups that are unequivocally in support of hunting and fishing rights. There are some groups that do great environmental work, but they pander to donors who dislike hunting and fishing by drawing too many unnecessary distinctions between the “right” kinds of outdoor activities and the “wrong” kinds. Make good conservation choices and you can help save the planet without destroying the things that make life worth living.