May
19

Ducks Unlimited and the Hunting Film Tour

It’s perfect timing really. Next Wednesday, by midnight, we must have our dream tickets – our special hunt applications – dropped into the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife system for the June draw. On Thursday, we will gather at the Central Washington University Student Union Rec Center Theater, pay our 10 bucks, and watch a great film of successful hunts like the ones we filed for the night before. One of us will win a Yeti65 cooler. Perfect.

This is the Hunting Film Tour, brought to Paradise by Ducks Unlimited (DU). The film is a “two hour conservation minded, fair chase hunting film filled with awesome stories and breathtaking cinematography!” Next Thursday, we will gather to celebrate our hunting heritage, and the conservation of wild things and places which has long accompanied it.

Sitka Gear is the primary sponsor for the Hunting Film Tour, with a number of others including DU, the Sportsman’s Warehouse, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), Wild Sheep Foundation, Yeti, Kimber, Federal Premium and more. All these organizations share a devotion to our hunting heritage and a forever future for wildlife.

You are no doubt familiar with the famous Ducks Unlimited mission statement. DU “conserves, restores, and manages wetlands and associated habitats for North America’s waterfowl.  These habitats also benefit other wildlife and people.” With very few word changes, this is OUR mission – and that of all the Hunting Film Tour sponsors, as well as local outfits like our 98-year-old Kittitas County Field and Stream Club. We are all in the game of ensuring wildlife and its habitat for our children’s children and those who follow them.

Ducks Unlimited formed in 1937, taking in earlier groups which branched out from the Boone and Crockett Club in response to nosediving waterfowl numbers across North America. It became the model for most other successful wildlife conservation organizations which, together, have taken huge strides toward having wildlife for future generations. The 700,000+ world-wide members of DU continue to add to the three and a half billion dollars raised since 1937. At least eighty percent of the money raised is used directly for conservation projects, enhancing waterfowl, wetlands and other critical habitats, and nearly fourteen million acres have been conserved across North America. No other conservation or environmental group can match DU for putting its money where its mouth is, but they all work at it.

The “factories” producing most of the waterfowl we see in our part of the world also provide habitat for billions of land birds and animals. A good many of these areas are under development pressure, and International DU is the organization which has been most successful at finding solutions that protect habitat and meet human needs. Thus, DU is supported by a broad range of sportsmen – not just waterfowl fans.

Restoring and enhancing quality habitat in key waterfowl areas is a game we play each time we commit to look after wild things and wild places into the future.  Some of us play louder than others; consider that eastern Washington is one of the top ten DU support regions in North America.

In Washington, something over 30,000 people buy federal duck stamps. Many of them are non-hunters, who see the duck stamp program as a way to contribute to the future of all bird life. Since its inception in 1934, this federal program has conserved 5.7 million acres and created or expanded 300 federal wildlife refuges. No matter how you look at it, waterfowl habitat conservation serves almost all the wild things in which we share interest.

Of course, you can easily find everything you want to know about waterfowl and the conservation of our habitat. Check out  www.fws.gov/duckstamps/conservation/mbcc.htm, www.birdnote.org, or www.ducks.org.

Ensuring a future is simple, really. The very process of celebrating our hunting heritage involves us in restoring and enhancing quality habitat for wildlife for those who will live in times we will never see. This is a game we are all playing – and it brings us great pleasure.

In six days, the Reecer Creek Rod, Gun, Working Dog & Outdoor Think Tank Benevolent Association will convene in the SURC Theatre at 6:30 p.m. One of us will leave with a Yeti65 Cooler, a bunch of us will have hats, mugs and other swag, and all of us will enjoy a great film of hunters doing what we just sent in our own applications to do.

Get your $10 ticket online at www.huntingfilmtour.com, at 509-423-3954, or at the door of the SURC Theater (the SURC is at the end of Chestnut, just north of University Way on campus).

See you Thursday evening. Let’s celebrate!

Written by Jim Huckabay. Posted in Uncategorized

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