I hope everyone had an enjoyable Thanksgiving break with their family, friends and maybe even fit in some time to be outdoors. Thursday morning started off exciting for us. At about 7:30 am I received a call from my fiance, Mike, that he had just shot his biggest buck to date. If I must tell on myself, I answered this call from the house because I had decided to sleep in. Lesson learned.
It made for a perfect Thanksgiving day story, especially since the buck was killed in the bean field behind our house. Mike has farmed this property for years but as of Spring 2018, the 200-acre piece was officially in his name. The first year of actually owning the property, a buck that will hang in our living room and meat donated to Michigan Sportsman Against Hunger. I couldn’t be happier for him – he’s one of the most dedicated hunters I know, and I’m lucky to know a lot of them!
If you made a Thanksgiving memory, hunting or not, please feel free to share in the comments!
Today is Tuesday, November 27, 2018 or #GivingTuesday. I remember this hashtag being shared in the past but for the first time realized that I wasn’t sure how it came about.
A cultural center in New York City along with other collaborators launched the movement in 2012. The idea was to use social media and other platforms to connect diverse individuals, communities, and organizations around the world to encourage giving. This ‘giving’ usually takes the form of donation (time and money) to address local challenges.
Today I want to remind you of the generous contributors of the Michigan Wildlife Cooperatives Program and what they stand for as conservation organizations. Without them, this program wouldn’t exist.
Michigan Department of Natural Resources
“We are committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. We strive to protect natural and cultural resources, ensure sustainable recreation use and enjoyment, enable strong natural resource-based economies, improve and build strong relationships and partnerships, and foster effective business practices and good governance.”
How you can GIVE:
If you are interested in supporting the MI DNR there a couple of great options. If you support these causes, you are making a difference for wildlife habitat.
- Buy a 100th-anniversary elk restoration license plate. Funds from the plate go directly to habitat restoration. For more information click HERE.
- Sponsor habitat projects on state lands through the Adopt-a-Game-Area program. This program helps provide nesting, brood-rearing, foraging and winter habitat for grassland wildlife. For more information click HERE.
Michigan United Conservation Clubs
“Michigan United Conservation Clubs is the largest statewide conservation organization in the nation. Founded in 1937, our mission is to unite citizens to conserve, protect and enhance Michigan’s natural resources and outdoor heritage. This mission drives everything we do as an organization.
Our strength in is our membership and support: over 70,000 hunters, anglers, trappers and conservationists and over 200 affiliated local clubs around the state. We were founded in 1937 with a simple purpose: harness the combined strength of Michigan’s outdoors community to protect conservation from politics. Since then, we have been the foremost power in Michigan protecting the rights to hunt, fish and trap. Our policies are determined by our members through Michigan’s most robust grassroots policy-setting process. Our experienced and professional staff carry out the resolutions adopted by our members through a suite of conservation programs ranging from direct advocacy and communications to on-the-ground wildlife habitat conservation and youth outdoor education.”
How you can GIVE:
Michigan Pheasants Forever
“Local Michigan Chapters – Pheasants Forever is dedicated to the conservation of pheasants, quail and other wildlife through habitat improvements, public awareness, education and land management policies and programs.
Pheasants Forever is the only national organization with a model of chapters keeping 100% of the funds they raise. While belonging to a larger national organization that has a voice on federal and state conservation policies, chapters are tasked with finding projects for their funds. Michigan takes full advantage of this model using funds raised for projects locally as well as other areas in the state of Michigan.”
How you can GIVE:
Purchase a membership HERE. Pheasants Forever is proud to have a 35 year history of putting 91 cents of every dollar raised straight into upland wildlife habitat conservation and a *4-star rating on Charity Navigator.
Quality Deer Management Association
“Since 1988, QDMA has worked to promote sustainable, high-quality deer populations, wildlife habitats and ethical hunting experiences through research, education, advocacy, and hunter recruitment. QDMA teaches deer hunters how to improve local deer populations, habitat and hunting experiences.
To enhance the fun and excitement of deer hunting, QDMA encourages the protection of most or all yearling (1½-year-old) bucks combined with an appropriate harvest of does, when necessary, to maintain a healthy population in balance with habitat conditions and hunter desires.
Working with habitat and planting food plots increases a hunter’s connection to the earth, to wildlife and the outdoors, and many QDMA members report happily that hunting becomes a year-round pursuit instead of being limited to hunting season.”
To learn more about what QDMA does as an organization, please click HERE.
How to GIVE:
90% of QDMA’s funds go towards programs, member benefits and mission delivery. They also have a *4-star rating on Charity Navigator.
*Charity Navigator is an evaluator of charities. The rating system examines two broad areas of a charity’s performance; their Financial Health and their Accountability & Transparency. Ratings show givers how efficiently a charity will use their support, how well it has sustained its programs and services over time and their level of commitment to good governance, best practices and openness with information. A 4-star rating is the HIGHEST an organization can receive (YAY PF and QDMA).
I hope you are encouraged to give to conservation on this Giving Tuesday. Your support of natural resources and its wildlife means more than just dollar signs – it means your belief in what the outdoors has to offer us and future generations. Thank you!