By Kevin Tate/Outdoors Writer
When the Tupelo & Tombigbee River Valley Chapter of Ducks Unlimited holds its annual banquet next Thursday, the money the members raise will help fund a mission whose projects span the length and breadth of the continent.
Ducks Unlimited got its start in 1937 when a small group of hunters joined forces to conserve the game they loved during the epic drought and erosion conditions of the Dust Bowl. Today, the group has grown to a membership of nearly 600,000 and has permanently conserved more than 12 million acres of waterfowl habitat across North America. In Mississippi alone, Ducks Unlimited has conserved a total of 289,000 acres, more than 450 square miles. Over the years they have spent $37 million here. Those efforts are a part of their work throughout the Mississippi Flyway, a key migration route for ducks heading south for the winter and north for the summer. In the Mississippi Flyway, Ducks Unlimited has conserved a total of 1.73 million acres and spent $330 million over the years.
The Ducks Unlimited, Tupelo & Tombigbee River Valley Chapter banquet is set for Thursday, Dec. 6, in Building 5 of the Tupelo Furniture Market. Doors will open at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50 for a single, $70 for a couple and $25 for youngsters. All tickets include one membership to Ducks Unlimited, a year’s subscription to DU Magazine and dinner. Individual sponsorships are available for $350, and corporate sponsorships begin at $800. There will be live and silent auctions and a raffle. Tickets are available in the sporting goods department at Scruggs or at Tupelo Farm and Ranch. They may also be purchased online by clicking on “local events” at ducks.org/Mississippi.