Written by: Brad Luttrell
As hunters, we’re quick to tout our funding of conservation at the first bit of skepticism in what we do. And it’s true—along with firearms sales, conservation is largely funded by our participation in hunting.
But does that alone make us conservationists?
Many who work in the hunting industry live so close to the concept that hunting is conservation, we forget that to many people, hunting is just hunting. It’s how life is, it’s what they’ve always done. They aren’t thinking about how their tag just paid for a field biologist to do fawn counts or study how stream pollution is impacting native fish. In these cases, conservation is really just an unacknowledged byproduct of hunting.
I know a few industry folks and organizations that will get their feathers ruffled by that statement. And that’s OK. We don’t all have to agree on the exact definitions of conservation’s catalysts, because we all seem to agree it’s paramount to the future of our wildlife and wildlands.
I believe conservation can and should go beyond buying a hunting or fishing license. In addition to supporting NGOs that are near and dear to our hearts, one of the best ways we can all help is with our time.
I’m a Co-Founder of GoWild, a digital platform whose community is made up entirely of outdoors enthusiasts. These are hunters, anglers, hikers, foragers, campers, rock climbers and the list goes on and on. While our interests may vary, one thing remains consistent with this like-minded group—we care. We care about each other, the environment, and the future. And we often find our app’s users are always looking to do more.
So Let’s Do More for National Conservation Week
We partnered with Houston Safari Club Foundation to promote an entire week dedicated to educating hunters and anglers on how to get involved and make an impact beyond their dollars.
As Joe Betar recently told me, “Conservation means something different to all of us. Our goal with this week is to get people involved in whatever area they’re passionate about because together, we can really make an impact overall.”
For some, a national effort supported by a Texas nonprofit may seem strange. But here’s the thing—what’s good for conservation in the United States is good for Texas and vice versa. Many of Houston Safari Club Foundation’s initiatives reach far beyond Houston and Texas. We wanted to find an organization that truly cared about preserving the sport of hunting through education, conservation and the promotion of hunting heritage. Those beliefs extend beyond any state line.
We’re hoping National Conservation Week is something that grows organically beyond GoWild or Houston Safari Club Foundation. I would love nothing more than to see this expand to be something promoted by hunting companies of all types and have zero mention to my brand. This isn’t about GoWild. It’s about protecting something I want my children to enjoy. It’s about promoting something that’s near and dear to my heart, as I’m hoping it’s near to yours as well.
Together we’re advocating hunters and anglers find a way to get outside and get involved for the first National Conservation Week, August 12 – 18. These efforts might be clearing trails, stream cleanups, planting trees, assisting with animal counts, habitat improvements, or fish sampling. And there are dozens more ways.
I encourage volunteers to check their state’s fish and wildlife agency’s website for local opportunities. Many states have sections outlining areas where they need help.
It’s easier than you think. Kentucky, for example, even created an app for tracking turkey numbers this year. Simply by getting out and helping track the population count you’re participating in the system. Team GoWild is doing a stream cleanup. We can all find a little way to help make a big impact overall.
We should all be proud that we annually spend big money to contribute to conservation. All I’m saying is let’s not let that be our only contribution.
Written by: Brad Luttrell