Bill Yox mentioned something in a previous post about Ducks Unlimited not really being for hunters and, I believe, Dave T. mentioned something about Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.
This isn't meant to pick a fight or bicker. I'm genuinely intrigued by their thoughts. I try to join as many of the groups as I can but, in all honesty, I'm only active in one (NWTF) because I simply feel they do the best job at representing what I believe in. But I've never thought of DU, RMEF, etc. as being "anti-hunter" or anything like that.
Could any of you fill me in on why you feel how you feel about some of them? If I'm going to donate time, money, etc. to these groups I want to know I'm doing the right thing. I've not heard any real negatives about them. Maybe you all have had different experiences.
(Time to break from politics for awhile. makes me feel grumpy and mean and I don't think that's really me. At least I hope it's not).
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Too many groups and most people pee their money away. Look at the NRA! They sold us gun owners down the river! Can't trust anyone!
Ballot box, Jury Box or the Cartridge Box....choose one!
This seems to be the breeding grounds for idiots lately. Like there's any other organization fighting for all our Second Amendment rights. Where do these losers come from?
Tony, to answer YOUR question however, you choice was a very good one. The NWTF probably puts more money back into your local state, county and community than any other organization. Buckmasters is right there with 50% of your contributions staying right in your local chapter. The Quality Deer Management Association is next with just about 40% staying put. Then all bets are off. The RMEF does very little locally and though they've begun leaving 3% (YES, Three percent) of your banquet net there in the local chapter, that's usually chicken feed. DU on the other hand has gone completely Yuppie. The national chairman of DU even put out that hunting should not be given any credit for the restoration of ducks in America. Seldom do you ever hear "shooting ducks" mentioned and there are very few guns or hunts offered at their banquets. When you attend one, compare the number of prints, decoys, or gold/silver/diamond jewelry with DU logos being auctioned compared to hunts and guns. You won't need your second set of fingers for the last ones.
Ah now this is better. We can talk without getting mad. I do disagree a bit about the NRA but that's a whole different can of worms. In short, I appreciate the effort they put into defending the second amendment BUT I often feel the way they deliver their messages alienates and infuriates a lot of "fence-sitters" on the gun issue and that's bad news for our heritage.
I can understand to a degree why RMEF doesn't keep a ton of funds in the local area (what, really, do Michigan members of RMEF need funds for? Our elk herd is as big as it can get and it's somewhat artificial to begin with).
But I hear you on the DU/hunting link. NWTF is the first (and to my knowledge the only) organization to not only support hunting but to make one of their missions to promote the hunting heritage.
I've been very, very fortunate to meet some outstanding NWTF people including hunting with Rob Keck on a couple of occassions. In fact, today I killed a gobbler with Louis Yount, a former President of the NWTF and current board member.
He said something very interesting to me: (In a nutshell) he said, we make no distinction between $10,000 Diamond Life members, sponsor members and regular members. They're all NWTF members to us."
I've been a sponsor member of NWTF for four years and while it's "only" $200 or so to be a sponsor, that's a pretty good expenditure for a young guy like myself with two young kids, student loans, new mortgage, etc.
I feel appreciated by the NWTF and I can't find much wrong with their system.
I'm not sure that I understand DU's stance. That seems a little like biting the hand that feeds you. Too bad really, but maybe it will pass.
As if DU's recent public positions on hunting aren't enough, now a huge wedge is being driven between them and Delta Waterfowl by members of both sides. Predator control vs habitat, grasslands vs water, nest structures vs easements, wheat vs duck eggs.... I have donated to both for many years, but it's getting ridiculous. I'm sure the "antis" are eating it up also as they watch from the sidelines as "we" beat ourselves up.
Maybe we aren't as bad yet here in the midwest as our DU banquets still auction several hunts, working decoys, guns, mounts, etc... but the attendence by "not-so-die-hard" hunters has increased rapidly the past few years. My 10 year old knows more about duck hunting than a large portion of the attendees. But, it won't help to throw in the towel and just give up. People still need to see what we do and how well we do it.