With September 1 now only a few weeks away, it’s almost time for the local chapters of Ducks Unlimited to begin holding their annual fall fundraising events.


One of those chapters is the Texoma Chapter of DU, which is changing locations this October, moving from their recent home at North Texas Regional Airport to the Hilton Hotel banquet facilities in Denison.


As the group changes locations this year, it is also celebrating some very good financial numbers as well as several awards stemming from the 2018 fundraising dinner — more on that in upcoming weeks.


Also making a location change this fall is the Bryan County Ducks Unlimited Chapter, formerly known as the Durant DU chapter.


The newly revamped Bryan County DU Dinner will be held on Thursday, Oct. 24 at the Top Notch Turf Farms in Colbert. This year’s dinner will run from 6-10 p.m.


“Yup, our Durant DU Chapter is expanding to all of Bryan County,” said chairman Chris Dorman in a text message. “And being located at a new venue in Colbert, we think this will help grow our chapter.”


For information on the Bryan County dinner in late October, visit the FU website at www.ducks.org/events/oklahoma or call Dorman at 405-517-7187.


A little closer on the calendar is an upcoming Whitesboro DU Happy Hour. That gathering of quacker backers begins at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 6 at La Hacienda Mexican Grill on Hwy. 82 in Whitesboro.


In addition to the combination of outdoor friends, good Tex-Mex food, and your favorite cold beverages, the event is recruiting new committee members as well as rallying current ones. All of this is to jumpstart preparations to get ready for the annual Whitesboro DU event later on this fall.


For information on the Whitesboro DU Happy Hour, call chairman Doug Rodgers at (903) 814-5826.


TPWD Big Time Texas Hunts — In addition to the TPWD Drawn Hunts mentioned in a separate story today, hunters need to remember that tickets are also now being sold for TPWD’s annual Big Time Texas Hunts.


Those tickets enter purchasers for a chance to win any of 10 exciting premium guided hunt packages in this year’s Big Time Texas Hunts drawings. TPWD says in a news release that all lodging and food is included and most of the packages allow winners to bring friends along to hunt.


According to TPWD, for the 2019 drawings, there are packages to hunt bighorn sheep, mule deer, white-tailed deer, pronghorn antelope, alligator, waterfowl, upland game birds, wild hog and exotic game animals.


In addition to awarding some amazing hunt packages to the winners, the annual Big Time Texas Hunts entries raise over $600,000 each year for TPWD and it’s ongoing wildlife research, habitat conservation efforts, and public hunting programs across Texas.


As a reminder, this year’s Big Time Texas Hunts entries are currently available online for $9 each at www.tpwd.texas.gov/buyentry or for $10 each at statewide license retailers. Entries will also be sold by phone at 800-895-4248.


2019 ICAST Breaks Records — At last week’s 2019 ICAST Show in Orlando, organizers say a record number of booths greeted the 14,500 sport fishing industry buyers, media members and exhibitors who gathered in central Florida.


Held at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando from July 8-12, the show also had a record number of entries — more than 1,000 — in the ICAST New Products Showcase.


“Across the board, this was a record-breaking year for ICAST, proving, once again, that ICAST is the cornerstone for the entire sportfishing industry,” said ASA President Glenn Hughes, in a news release. “This was the largest year yet for ICAST in both the number of exhibitors and the number of registrants.”


Hughes also noted: “In fact, the total number of registered buyers was up six percent over last year. We made a commitment to our board of directors and our Trade Show Committee to ensure buyers know that there is nowhere else to be than ICAST this week in July and those efforts are paying off.”


“After all my years in this industry, I’m still gratified to see the incredible amount of excitement and momentum that helps define ICAST,” added Travis Owens, senior director of Sales at Costa, and Trade Show Committee chairman, in the news release.


“Our sport, and our industry, continues to grow not only for our core consumer but also in the growing number of women and young people who are participating in our sport and attending the show.”


Produced each summer by the American Sportfishing Association (ASA), the 2020 ICAST Show will be held in the North/South Building at the Orange County Convention Center In Orlando next summer from July 14-17, 2020.