You are a valued member of the conservation community!
Once again, on the eve of the Nevada big game tag draw, I find myself writing the Director’s message for the 2019 Big Game Hunting Guide. I haven’t drawn a big game tag for a couple years so I’m living vicariously through friends and family who have drawn tags.
I am filled with what I affectionately call “pre-draw optimism.” As I write this message, the draw has not yet taken place, but I feel lucky this year. Truth be told, despite the lack of success to warrant it, I feel lucky every year. For the last couple years, my pre-draw optimism was rudely replaced by a bad case of the post-draw blues after learning I was unsuccessful in drawing a tag. Regardless of whether I draw a tag, I remain a proud, license-carrying member of the conservation community.
Chances are if you are reading this publication, you, a friend, or family member drew a tag. Some of you may hunt alone or in a small group. Although you may not consider yourself a member of a community, especially if you personally didn’t draw a tag, you are. Each man, woman, and child who applies to hunt big game in Nevada, whether a Nevada resident or not, is part of our conservation community.
Our community also includes members who don’t apply for tags or buy a hunting or fishing license. This community extends to our friends and family who support wildlife through their actions. Our conservation community is deeply committed to and passionate about the conservation of wildlife. I am truly grateful to be part of this community and for the efforts and contributions of its members.
A community is defined as, “a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.” Not everyone in a community shares identical attitudes, interests, and goals; communities are diverse. It is the contributions of this diverse group of members which determines the success of the community as a whole. Some contribute through involvement with wildlife conservation organizations, while others volunteer on wildlife habitat projects or volunteer to teach hunter education classes. I know of no other community that universally contains the level of interest, enthusiasm, and dedication that exists within the conservation community. Members of the conservation community are determined to leave it better than when they found it. That mentality, “better than when we found it,” defines the conservation community.
If you’re a hunter, I hope that by the time you are reading this message both you and I will have learned that we each drew a Nevada big game tag. If we don’t draw a tag, I hope you will find solace in knowing that despite not drawing a tag, you are still part of a pretty special group filled with some of the most passionate and dedicated members found anywhere.
Thank you very much for being such a valued community member, best of luck on your outdoor adventures, and no matter what, always endeavor to leave it better than you found it.
Director, Nevada Department of Wildlife