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CHESTER MOORE: Lamar Ducks Unlimited banquet set

The Lamar University Ducks Unlimited Chapter will host its spring banquet at Courville’s Banquet Hall on Thursday, May 3, at 6:30 p.m. to celebrate DU’s 75th anniversary.

“We are looking forward to a great crowd at this year’s banquet,” said Committee Chairman Jesi Courville. “Everyone is welcome at the banquet, which will feature auctions and raffles of wildlife and sporting art, special 75th anniversary items and goods and services donated by area businesses. Proceeds from the event will support DU’s wetlands and waterfowl habitat conservation efforts in Texas, the United States, Canada and Mexico.”

According to Courville, in 2011, the Lamar University Chapter raised more than $16,000 for DU’s wetland conservation efforts and earned the number 12 spot in DU’s ‘Sweet 16,’ the top 16 collegiate chapters in the nation.

“All of our accomplishments over the last year would not have been possible with the supports of our donors, sponsors, volunteers, campus administrators and fellow DU chapters in the Beaumont community,”  Courville said. “We look forward to seeing everyone at this year’s banquet and kicking off another successful year.”

Over the years, I have had several dealings with Lamar and other collegiate chapters and found the concept of college chapters fascinating.

Let’s face the facts here.

College campuses tend to be a breeding ground for lots of belief systems but they usually do not involve camouflage, shotguns and retrievers.

It seems DU has really tapped into something with their movement on college campuses and the Lamar chapter deserves serious credit for helping create a new generation of waterfowl conservationists.

One of the big concerns of the waterfowl conservation community is the generation of hunters coming up since the mid 1990s have never had to deal with small bag limits and short seasons that come when there are big droughts on the prairie nesting grounds.

Times like that are overdue and it will be a shock to the system to many young hunters.

With DU doing such a great outreach on college campuses they are helping to ensure a strong, dedicated contingent of waterfowlers remain to ensure we have a future for waterfowl hunting.

It takes people buying duck stamps, lobbying Congress and supporting groups like DU and Delta Waterfowl to keep viable numbers of ducks in the air.

That is something we do not address enough in the outdoors community.

The only reason there are as many waterfowl as there are today is the efforts of waterfowl conservation groups and the deep conservation ethic that runs in the hunting community.

There have been millions of acres conserved from Canada through the U.S. down to Mexico because hunters want the opportunity to shoot ducks and geese. The benefits have been tremendous for not only waterfowl but also songbirds and a host of other species that use the native grasslands, temporary wetlands and marshes vital to ducks and duck hunting.

As much as it rattles some people’s cages, the fact people like to eat duck gumbo and collect the main ingredient with a shotgun has done more for wildlife conservation in America than just about anything else.

DU alone has conserved more than 12 million acres over their 75-year history.

That is astounding when you think about it.   

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmooreoutdoors@yahoo.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI. you can find him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/extremewildlife.)