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Banding Together for Waterfowl

chapter spotlights


The following are just a few of the outstanding DU chapters across the nation.

Rebuilding to The Top

It's not often Mary Ottley isn't thinking about her school's Ducks Unlimited Varsity Chapter. As the DU Area Chairman for the Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia, Ottley takes every opportunity she has to spread the word about the group's fundraising efforts. After years of lower-than-expected attendance and interest in the area's high school operation, Ottley and a group of more than a dozen students rallied to rebuild the chapter; bringing in fresh ideas and a new energy. The work paid off and the DU Varsity chapter was ranked one of the top Varsity Chapters in the country.

From Greenwings to chapter co-chairs

The last few years have been tough for Delta, Colorado. Jobs have evaporated in this small city of almost 9,000, 40 miles south of Grand Junction, with coalmines closing and petroleum extraction dropping.

Chapter Spotlight: State University of New York, Cobleskill

After spending a summer studying lesser scaup in Alaska, Cody Davis, a wildlife management student at State University of New York (SUNY) Cobleskill, wanted to start a banding program in his home state. Back in New York and ready to begin his fall semester, Davis contacted Dr. Michael Losito, a professor and program manager for Wildlife Management at Cobleskill. The pair launched a duck banding program, with the prequalification that all participants had to join the new SUNY, Cobleskill chapter of Ducks Unlimited—the only collegiate chapter in New York State.

Iowa State University Shoots for Record Breaking Year

Iowa State University DU volunteers attend annual Third Term leadership summit

Teen Launches Montana's First Varsity Chapter

Kai Krumwiede, the son of longtime Ducks Unlimited member and former Director of Development Layne Krumwiede, says it was around a campfire that he was issued a challenge to create Montana's first DU high school chapter. "It started at a hunting camp in Big Horn County," Kai recalls. "We were sitting around with a bunch of DU guys and they pretty much dared me to do it."

UGA Bulldogs for DU

University of Georgia Ducks Unlimited was named the number one collegiate chapter in Georgia last year, and their Area Chairman, Jay Weldon, credits that to passion for the DU mission, and maintaining year-round committee relationships.

Delaware's Sussex Tech High School Builds Conservation Foundation

Dave Waters has been an active Ducks Unlimited member since the early 1980s, serving in a variety of positions from chapter delegate to Delaware state shoot chairman, but his biggest success may have been through his side job as a substitute teacher at Sussex Technical High School in Georgetown, Delaware. "There are a lot of 'camo kids,' and as I met them, I found a great interest in wingshooting and clays shooting," Waters says. "I thought Ducks Unlimited would be a good fit here, and pursued it with school officials."

Louisiana's First Varsity Chapter Bags Big Dollars for the Ducks

In 2005, Ducks Unlimited Varsity was introduced in high schools to offer students a way to merge school pride, leadership development, and a love for the outdoors and conservation. With nearly two dozen DU Varsity chapters already established across the country, 17-year-old Connor Gisclair was curious when he saw an ad about the program in Ducks Unlimited magazine. He and several of his friends from South Lafourche High School in Cut Off, Louisiana, are passionate about waterfowl hunting and Louisiana's marshes. So he made a call.

South Carolina Chapter Partners with Southeastern Wildlife Exposition

Ducks Unlimited's East of the Cooper chapter has been the top fundraising chapter in South Carolina since 2006 and a member of the President's Top 100 since the program's inception. In 2013, the chapter was ranked 20th in the nation and was recognized among the President's Elite. Area Chairman Dr. Mark Hartley has been leading the East of the Cooper chapter for about 10 years and attributes much of the chapter's success to its devoted volunteers and its partnership with the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition (SEWE).

First Public School Varsity Event Held in Texas

Cypress Woods (Cy-Woods) High School in Cypress, Texas, hosted Ducks Unlimited's first public high school event in the Lone Star State. Through DU's new Varsity program, Area Chairman Jeff Aykroyd and Area Co-Chairman Ryan Shepherd led the student committee with assistance from District Chairmen Jim Cuskey and Oliver Aldrich III.

Chapter Spotlight: Fort Lauderdale, Florida Chapter

Fort Lauderdale—home of pristine beaches, mega yachts, and some of the most exquisite resorts in Florida. Once a spring break mecca for college students, this popular tourist destination is now host to Florida's largest Ducks Unlimited Greenwing event.

Chapter Spotlight: Fort Bragg, California Chapter

Great things sometimes come in small packages. The Fort Bragg, California, DU chapter is a case in point.

Chapter Spotlight: Pentagon Chapter

All DU volunteers are remarkable. But even within DU's exceptional volunteer community there are individuals who have taken the volunteer spirit a step further.

Chapter Spotlight: Northwest Suburban, Illinois Chapter

Illinois DU chapter sends a "taste of home" to troops overseas

Chapter Spotlight: Northern Minnesota Chapters

The sum success of 30 northern Minnesota DU chapters is greater than the whole

Chapter Spotlight: Columbia, Missouri Chapter

Ask anyone on the Columbia, Mo., DU Chapter committee and they all say the same thing: this chapter knows how to have fun.

Chapter Spotlight: Indy Sponsor Chapter

When the governor, two past presidents of DU and the current president of DU all plan to attend your sponsor event, you want to pull out all the stops.

Chapter Spotlight: Kiowa County Chapter

The first Kiowa County DU dinner was one for the books. After a tornado rated EF5 ripped through the Kansas town in 2007, the community rallied together to rebuild the town and support DU, setting the new state record for best first-time event.

Chapter Spotlight: Garrison Wildlife Chapter

The Garrison Wildlife DU chapter of Minnesota began hosting their Fishing for the Ducks ice-fishing tournament on Lake Mille Lacs in 2005 and it's become a popular event drawing thousands each year.

Chapter Spotlight: Bethel Chapter, Alaska

Chapter Spotlight on the Bethel Chapter in Alaska. Featured in the November 2010 Ducks Unlimited E-Newsletter.

Northern Tazewell Chapter

It wasn't long ago that the Northern Tazewell DU Chapter in E. Peoria, Ill., struggled with event attendance. When Chairman Bill Hartter came on board in 2008, that all changed. Teaming up with a handful of new committee members, Hartter took charge of the chapter and adopted new policies designed to get more people through the door.

Memphis Chapter

The Memphis, Tenn., Ducks Unlimited chapter earns its way into the chapter spotlight this month with its most recent event, the Pigs in Flight BBQ Competition, held in March.

Pee Dee River Basin Chapter

The small South Carolina towns of Hemingway and Johnsonville continue to support one of the state's finest Ducks Unlimited chapters. With a population of less than 2,500 between these neighboring towns, the Pee Dee River Basin Chapter continually produces a full hall as supporters come from all over the region to enjoy their annual dinner.

Brazos Valley Chapter

The Brazos Valley DU Chapter had nothing short of a packed house for their banquet this past February in College Station, Texas. With more than 400 pre-sold tickets, the chapter improved its revenue by over 30 percent and gained 100 new members. Thanks to great leadership from Co-District-Chairmen Ben and Michelle Jones, the chapter added eight new committee members, resulting in more pre-sold tickets, sponsorships and underwritings.

Milwaukee School of Engineering Chapter

With an enrollment of just over 5,000 students, the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) does not show up on too many radar screens. A premier school for engineering, MSOE is very well-respected in higher education circles and is now on the DU radar screen as a remarkable Cinderella-story chapter in the 2009 Sweet 16 of DU College Chapters.

Little River Chapter

Under the guidance of Larry Wilkins, DU regional director, the Little River Chapter in North Carolina pulled off a very successful event this past year with their annual dinner held on Oct. 15.

Blackfoot River Chapter

Who says you can't have a DU event with a town of only 1,100 people? The Blackfoot River Chapter of Ducks Unlimited in Lincoln, Mont., never fails to have a full hall for every event. In the heart of big-game-hunting country and some of the finest elk hunting in Montana sits the town of Lincoln, which boasts no more than five waterfowl hunters, even on a "ducky day."

Union County Arkansas Chapter

Once again, the Union County Chapter in El Dorado, Ark., showed why they are annually a Top 100 chapter during their fall event this past October. The chapter honored their co-chairman Kathy Clayton, a breast cancer survivor, by wearing the traditional breast cancer awareness pink shirts embroidered with the DU logo the night of the event.

Gaylord Michigan Chapter

The Gaylord, Mich., DU committee hosted a Sportsman's Night Out (SNO) on Sept. 23 in the hopes of rebuilding a chapter that has lost most of its members in the past few years. Area Chairman Rick Nash and Co-chairman Scott Johnston took charge of this event during the early planning stages and recruited younger volunteers from the area to assist.

Clarksville TN

"A new committee in 2008 re-energized the event and the committee worked hard on underwriting and donations to bring the events success back," said Joey Wright, chairman of the Clarksville Chapter. "After the event, attendees left excited that the 2008 event in Clarksville had regained its status of an event like the good old days."

Leavenworth Chapter

The Leavenworth DU chapter is a unique chapter in that the committee consists of Armed Forces members, retirees and base employees from Fort Leavenworth. Pulling their military experience and backgrounds together for recruitment, event organization and committee camaraderie, the chapter became Kansas Chapter of the Year in 2008 and is hosting a number of events this year.

Johnson County Chapter

After putting on the largest conservation fundraising event ever held in their county last October, the Johnston County DU chapter is more than qualified to be this month's spotlight chapter.

St. Croix (Stillwater, MN) Chapter

With such a dedicated and well organized group as the Stillwater Chapter it's no coincidence that they are named the spotlight chapter this month. Originally formed in 1976 with eight members, the Stillwater Chapter, now 25 members strong, thrives on their experience, teamwork and their ability to raise money for the ducks.

Anchorage Spring BBQ

Good location, great volunteers and the commitment to make the event the best it could be were a winning combination for the Alaska Ducks Unlimited chapter. Their spring event in Anchorage in late April topped the charts with just over 900 attendees, making it the largest in Alaska DU event history.

Galveston, Texas, Chapter

With the sheer devastation Hurricane Ike left in its wake, most believed it would be years before Galveston, Texas, would return to its former glory. This was not the mindset of Rusty Legg, chairman of the Ducks Unlimited Galveston Chapter. Legg, a longtime DU volunteer and committee member since 1975, understood that Galvestonians were resilient, and he rallied his members, giving the city something to look forward to from this 39-year-old DU chapter.

Purdue Collegiate Chapter

In the midst of March Madness the Purdue Collegiate Chapter of Ducks Unlimited has made the Sweet 16 both on and off the court. The lone Hoosier state chapter has made great strides in four short years.

Mexia, Texas, DU Chapter

The Mexia Chapter holds an event in a town with no more than 6,500 people and still manages to pack 625 people in to their event. Focused on raising money for habitat conservation, the Mexia Chapter emphasizes having a great time at all their events.

Atlantic Frontier Chapter

The Massachusetts Atlantic Frontier DU Chapter had another exceptional year in 2008. The Westport, Mass., chapter has taken top honors in Massachusetts for the past three years, as well as being a strong competitor for the top chapter in New England.

Copper County Ladies Chapter

A can-do attitude is what you'll find in the Copper County, Michigan, DU Ladies Chapter. Under the direction of Area Chairman Judy Evert, these 13 ladies believe the sky is the limit year in and year out.

Middle Peninsula, Virginia, Chapter

The Middle Peninsula Chapter was once declining, but reorganized in 1999 and has continued its efforts year in and year out. The chapter's twelve-man roster is dedicated and committed to DU's mission, and it has high hopes for the years ahead.

Independence, Kansas, Chapter

"The Independence Chapter has committed itself to focusing on underwriting along with pushing hard for sponsors," said Barry Allen, DU regional director for Southern Kansas. "This continued push and focus is what drives this chapter and what sets the example for many others."

Hamilton County, Nebraska

"The method of success for the Hamilton County Chapter of Ducks Unlimited is its coach-ability," said Pat Baughman, DU senior regional director for Western Nebraska. "The members of this committee and chapter are driven by the need for resources and are passionate about waterfowl."

Hockomock, Taunton, Massachusetts

Hockomock Chapter maintained a positive DU attitude in the face of adversity a few years ago and it's reflecting in their chapter's success. A few years ago, the Hockomock chapter nearly fell apart as new leadership was appointed and members left the committee.

Marion, Arkansas, Chapter

District Chairman Mike Morrison says the recipe for success in his chapter is a combination of knowledgeable people and their intense dedication.

Big Horn River Chapter

Chairman Chris Logan recognizes that the chapter's success continues to thrive on their ability to receive 100% organizational underwriting from businesses in the community. Establishing a spreadsheet of local businesses, each committee member had a list of businesses to contact.

South Central Kansas Chapter

South Central Kansas Chapter committee members have led by example, pulling together to host six events in 2007, earning them the 2007 Presidential Citation award.

Western Kentucky University Chapter

"The WKU Chapter has been a pleasure to work with since it was chartered in 2001," said Ben Burley, DU Kentucky senior regional director. "The chapter leaders combine a strong belief in the mission of Ducks Unlimited with raising funds in a fun atmosphere. T

Helena, Montana Chapter

A chapter that began with only eight committee members has become a nationally recognized chapter with 28 extremely active committee members who have dedicated their time and efforts to Ducks Unlimited's goal of conserving wetlands.

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