In recent years many outdoor writers, celebrity chefs, and just plain foodies have started embracing a conservation lifestyle that has returned to using our renewable natural resources to provide food that is healthy, nutritious, and free of harsh chemicals whether it be organic wild game or farm fresh produce. While this is a new and trendy approach for many, The Weekly Sportsman columnist Daniel McMaster has spent his whole life connected to the land and what it provides. As the seventh generation of his family to work the land and grow vegetables, hunt the woods, and fish local bodies of water he knows the importance of working with nature and not against it. The continued practice of sustainable farming and conservation has allowed his family to live in the same area of Mid-Michigan since pre-American Civil War.
A graduate of Central Michigan University and St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge, England he holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, history, and military science along with graduate work in defense and strategic studies. Recently retired from politics, he spent over 25 years as a legislative staffer, policy advisor, lobbyist, campaign strategist, elected official, and served as partner and co-founder of Michigan’s first and only bi-partisan grassroots advocacy and campaign firm Grassroots Midwest. He is currently employed as Jail Garden Manager for the Shiawassee County Sheriff’s Office and supervises inmates growing vegetables that are distributed to over thirty local shelters and food pantries in four counties. His passion for politics, duty to citizenship, and love of the outdoors was instilled at an early age via Boy Scouts and Order of the Arrow.
In addition to serving on the Executive Board of Michigan United Conservation Clubs and Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger he also devotes a lot of time to Pheasants Forever. He currently presides as President of the Michigan State Council along with belonging to local Chapters #161 and #399. Along with Pheasants Forever, his wife Lenore and their two sons currently belong to over twenty additional hunting, sportsman, and conservation groups. It is not uncommon to find them at the centennial family farm in Laingsburg shooting clays or in the field pursuing whitetail deer, small game, varmints, and upland birds with their rifles and small bore shotguns (24, 28, 32, and .410). The McMaster family currently resides in the historical district of Owosso just a few blocks from the boyhood home of Thomas E. Dewey and the historic home and writing castle studio of conservationist/author James Oliver Curwood.
Every Sunday his column, The Weekly Sportsman, is published online and in a local Mid-Michigan newspaper. Topics include a unique blend of local hunters and anglers along with their methods, equipment reviews, events, gardening, cooking, and public policy as it relates to conservation.