column By: John J. Morgan, NBCI Director | October, 21
National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative
Teams of Sweat Equity
John J. Morgan, NBCI Director
Today, nearly every successful shot was precluded by sweat equity invested in traversing the miles necessary to find birds or the labors of creating habitat. The days of walking up our explosive quarry after school with a trusty single shot are long gone. Our challenge now requires scouting, a brace of dogs, high-quality footwear and, you guessed it, sweat equity.
Upland bird hunting has also become a team endeavor. At its core, the connection between hunter and bird dog represent one of the most special teams in the hunting world. Training a bird dog and building a true and lasting bond fully materialize when you become a hunting “team” afield.
Hunting success has also been linked to including additional hunters in your party. Of course, it often includes their teams of dogs. These larger teams not only lend themselves to greater success but also foster a greater enjoyment in the endeavor. A fraternity and an ever-growing sorority have been indelibly formed through the spirit of a team.
Now more than ever, another team has been investing sweat equity making sure there are birds to hunt. Habitat is rarely a byproduct of normal land use. Upland game birds are often coupled with purposeful and intentional management designed to enhance reproduction and overwinter survival. Wildlife professionals invest hours in the planning, restoration and maintenance of habitats supporting upland birds. They work with landowners blending their objectives with practices yielding multiple benefits including covers for game birds.
The National Bobwhite Conservation Initiative (NBCI) is a team that supports these hardworking individuals. Our team works to bring cutting-edge science to those habitat managers, deliver funds and policies that favor what they do and, most importantly, bring a unified group creating its own fraternity and sorority centered on extensive habitat to restore northern bobwhite quail. The NBCI team includes state wildlife agencies, federal agencies, a host of nonprofit organizations and universities. When bird habitat does not “fit” modern land use, it takes a proverbial army, like ours, to work towards meaningful change.
As your team goes afield this fall building your sweat equity, I challenge you to reflect upon the teams that may have already put in their own. Upland bird habitat is not often an accident. Teams were often at work putting it in place. Consider joining one of our many nonprofit partner teams. There are a host of game bird groups out there, and their teams need you. The newly launched “Call of the Uplands” campaign, hosted by Quail Forever and Pheasants Forever, provides a perfect pathway to get involved. No matter the nonprofit team that fits you, grassroots support is the key to the future of both those organizations and the NBCI.
By joining a grassroots team, you are investing new sweat equity into fundraising, habitat development, activism, education and hunter recruitment. I think you’ll find the smile on your face from these successes can rival one produced by a staunch point followed by a successful shot! More importantly, grass root successes can lead to smiles from countless other people, leaving your legacy in its best possible place.
Ruffed Grouse Society and
American Woodcock Society
Browning Partners with Groups to Support Mission and Vision for Conservation Delivery
“Browning is proud to support the Ruffed Grouse Society. Their commitment to conservation ensures the future of upland hunting and the preservation and enhancement of wildlife habitat across North America,” said Shaundi Campbell, Media and Events Manager.
The Browning brand has come to represent “The Best There Is” in firearms and outdoor products, each year adding new innovations, launching new products and doing more for customers – including supporting critical conservation work for ruffed grouse and American woodcock.
“We are very excited to welcome Browning as a new Corporate Partner with the Ruffed Grouse Society and American Woodcock Society,” said Mike Neiduski, Director of Regional Development at RGS & AWS.
“Their commitment to innovation is mirrored by our own dedication to conservation delivery for grouse, woodcock and hosts of other species that depend on healthy, diverse forests to thrive.”