The Highest Ranking Hunting and Fishing Conservation Organizations

Half of all private donations are made at this time of year, and there are plenty of sportsmen's conservation groups that know how to make good use of the help. Charity Navigator, which evaluates and maintains ratings on more than 5,000 charities, notes that "conservation groups promoting the protection of wildlife and game lands for hunters and fishermen operate more efficiently than the average charitable group." Of the 14 hunting and fishing groups that the watchdog organization reviews, these 11 received the highest ratings.

[This article contains a table. Please see hardcopy of magazine or PDF.]

CHARITY STAR RATING SPENDING TOTAL BUDGET WHO THEY ARE
UNITED ANGLERS OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA **** 88% $912,219 Works to restore California's fisheries and marine resources. Founded 1996; 40,000 members.
U.S. SPORTSMEN'S ALLIANCE FOUNDATION **** 86% $1,528,504 Protects conservation programs and the pursuits of hunting, fishing, and trapping. Founded 1978; 35,000 contributors.
PHEASANTS FOREVER **** 91% $26,012,363 Enhances and protects pheasant and other wildlife populations in North America. Founded 1982; 100,000 members.
QUAIL UNLIMITED **** 91% $9,086,372 Helps support the wise management of America's wild quail populations. Founded 1981; 50,000 members.
RUFFED GROUSE SOCIETY *** 90% $3,160,177 Improves habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock, and other forest wildlife. Founded 1961; 23,000 members.
DUCKS UNLIMITED *** 86% $182,989,127 Manages and restores wetlands and other habitats for North America's waterfowl. Founded 1937; 600,000 members.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN ELK FOUNDATION *** 89% $35,963,202 Ensures the future of wild, free-ranging elk, other wildlife, and their habitat. Founded 1984; 130,000 members.
TROUT UNLIMITED *** 74% $13,924,667 Conserves North America's trout and salmon fisheries and their watersheds. Founded 1959; 125,000 members.
CALIFORNIA WATERFOWL ASSOCIATION *** 84% $7,463,205 Supports California's waterfowl, wetlands, and waterfowling heritage. Founded 1945; 150,000 members.
DELTA WATERFOWL FOUNDATION *** 76% $3,551,281 Works for a sustainable waterfowl population by supporting education in ecological sciences. Founded 1938;40,000 members.
NATIONAL WILD TURKEY FEDERATION *** 91% $28,429,126 Dedicated to the conservation of wild turkeys and the preservation of the hunting tradition. Founded 1973;500,000 members.

EXPENSE KEY

ADMINISTRATIVE FUND-RAISING CONSERVATION-RELATED

HURRICANE AID

It's been only three months since Hurricane Katrina made landfall, but it will be a long time before the Gulf Coast fully recovers from the impact. These two area sportsmen's organizations are still accepting donations to relief funds they've set up for those affected in the hunting or fishing industry.

THE HOUSTON BIG GAME FISHING CLUB

Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund 281-326-0209 info@hbgfc.com

To help individuals and groups in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama directly involved in the big-game fishing industry who have suffered the impact of Hurricane Katrina on their lives and livelihoods.

LOUISIANA WILDLIFE AGENTS ASSOCIATION

LWAA Disaster Relief Fund 337-577-2171 dmoore@wlf.louisiana.gov

To help wildlife agents who have been affected by the hurricane, including 13 who lost their homes. Most were rescuing victims while their own properties were being destroyed.

For links to all charity Web addresses, go to fieldandstream.com