Happy belated Earth Day folks! Now hold on, don’t scowl at the screen yet. I know many of you may not think too highly of Earth Day and all that comes with it. I too get annoyed by the hippies flying rainbow flags and walking barefoot around my town, yelling about peace, love and saving the Earth. But when I block them out and think of the bigger picture here, I can’t help but believe that hunters, almost more than anyone, should be huge proponents of Earth Day. Lets be honest here, for most of us, the activities we love most in life are intricately connected to our planet and the living plants and creatures upon it. Without a healthy Earth, we couldn’t do what we love. It’s that simple. So while I know many of us consider this an obvious statement, it’s still worth recognizing.

That being said, I think it can easily be argued that most hunters are more active conservationists than the majority of the typical “Earth Day” fans out there. But at the same time, I also know many of us are still not huge fans of the typical “Earth Day activities”. So in contrast to the obvious Earth Day protocol, like planting a tree (nothing against it though) or watching “Planet Earth“, I would like to offer an alternative.

Today, I’d encourage each and every one of you to join some kind of wildlife conservation organization! There are a great number of organizations today that have been working hard to promote and protect the wildgame animals we love, and they need our help! In my opinion, it seems that there is no better way for a hunter to celebrate a belated Earth Day  than by supporting one of these organizations that have improved our hunting opportunities so much over the years. That being said, I’ve listed below several of the top conservation organizations for the most popular wildgame species in America. If you’re still in the Earth Day mood, I’d ask you to check these organizations out and give some serious thought to joining one. Lets band together to help protect our wildlife and wide open spaces that we love so much!

Quality Deer Management Association: The Quality Deer Management Association (QDMA) is a non-profit wildlife conservation organization dedicated to ensuring a high-quality and sustainable future for white-tailed deer and white-tailed deer hunting. QDMA promotes sustainable, high quality white-tailed deer populations, wildlife habitats, and ethical hunting experiences through education, research, and management in partnership with hunters, landowners, natural resource professionals, and the public.

Whitetails Unlimited: Whitetail Unlimited’s purpose is to raise funds in support of educational programs, habitat conservation, and preservation of the hunting tradition for the direct benefit of the white-tailed deer and other wildlife.

National Wild Turkey Federation:  The National Wild Turkey Federation is the leader in upland wildlife habitat conservation in North America. The NWTF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving the wild turkey and preserving our hunting heritage.Through dynamic partnerships with state, federal and provincial wildlife agencies, the NWTF and its members have helped restore wild turkey populations throughout North America, spending more than $331 million to conserve nearly 16 million acres of habitat. Wild turkeys and hundreds of other species of upland wildlife, including quail, deer, grouse, pheasant and songbirds, benefit from this improved habitat.

Ducks Unlimited: Ducks Unlimited conserves, restores, and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl. The vision of Ducks Unlimited is wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever.

Pheasants Forever:  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.

Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation: The Elk Foundation’s mission is to ensure the future of elk, other wildlife and their habitat.