Duck season has been over for a few weeks now and full blown spring is just around the corner.
For some, that’s an invitation to get the lawn mower ready. For others, it’s a opportunity to get outdoors for the chance of catching a big March bass or bagging an April spring turkey. And for even more, it’s time to make plans for a summer vacation that’s really not too far away.
But for a group of dedicated Texomaland residents, thinking about the chilly winds of fall and the whisper of duck wings overhead on a November morning is something that never really ends.
For them, it’s all about the ducks. In fact, they often talk about it in such terms, saying that all of the hard work they do each year is ultimately “for the ducks.”
And that’s why this evening, chairman Kris Spiegel and his Texoma Chapter of Ducks Unlimited crew is opening up the door on yet another successful DU fundraiser here in the Red River Valley.
This time, it’s the annual Couple’s Cajun Dinner and Sponsor Event slated for Friday, March 6, 2020. Scheduled to take place at the Sherman Municipal Ballroom located at 405 N. Rusk across from Bearcat Stadium, the doors open up this evening at 6 p.m.
Advance ticket prices to tonight’s Texoma DU Couple’s event are $60 for singles and $75 per couple, each providing a good meal, some great prize chances, and a year’s membership in DU. While there are usually tickets sold at the door for an additional $10, seating is limited and a sellout is anticipated again. In other words, don’t delay if you want a ticket for tonight’s event.
If all goes according to plan, tonight’s fundraiser will contain some incredible Cajun cuisine courtesy of Savoie’s Cajun Pot of Shreveport. Once again, the dinner menu will contain a smorgasbord of good eats from the bayou country that includes chicken fingers, fried shrimp, crawfish etoufee, hush puppies, and plenty more.
If the food is one drawing card tonight, the other is the surplus of great hunting and fishing gear that will available through live and silent auction, raffles, special games, and door prizes.
With many of the items carrying an outdoor theme, there will be some amazing framed sporting art, decoys, decorative items, DU collectibles, a trip or two, home furnishings, and special items offered that just about anyone in attendance would like to walk away with.
That includes a number of firearms, things ranging from the latest shotgun wonder for the duck blind to a flat shooting deer rifle that is perfect for next fall’s whitetail hunts to a sidearm that will make the perfect carry weapon in these troubled times we live in.
While the Texoma DU Couple’s Dinner annually brings some great food and merchandise, the real reason for attending tonight, however, is the chance to help the ducks as the saying goes.
Put simply, North America’s waterfowl and wildlife are under siege as population growth surges, agricultural and land use practices change, and vital wetlands and habitat disappear to the push of modern development.
What all of that means is simply this — North America’s ducks and geese can’t keep flying down the flyways each fall without a little help. If they continue to lose the places that they call home each year — spring breeding grounds, summer brood rearing habitat, and fall and winter stops that provide food and secure cover — the future for these winged wonders isn’t a good one.
That’s where the vital work of DU comes in, a group that was formed during the terrible Dust Bowl days of the 1930s when it seemed like it was only a few more years before the skies over North America were empty of waterfowl.
Those far thinking individuals banded together to form the organization, the first of its kind, because they couldn’t stand the thought of a future without mallards, pintails, wigeon, green-winged teal, gadwalls, canvasbacks, redheads, and geese noisily making their way south every autumn season.
Thankfully, what those conservation heroes once imagined never came true, thanks to their hard work, the raising of countless dollars every year, and doing all that can be done to conserve, restore, and preserve what remains of North America’s wetlands and wildlife habitat.
The fact that big numbers of ducks continue to find their way down to Texas each year is proof positive that the idea of doing all of this “for the ducks” works. It worked then, it works now, and it must work in the future.
Because if we’re to make sure that fall flights of waterfowl happen for generations to come, there is much work left to be done to continue winning this battle on through the remainder of the 21st century.
If you’re interested in doing your part to help, be sure to get a ticket for tonight’s Texoma DU Couple’s Dinner, come enjoy a great meal, and pull your wallet out while you’re there.
Because when it comes to doing what we can “for the ducks,” we’ve all got an important part to play.
For tickets and information on tonight’s DU event in Sherman, please call Texoma chairman Kris Spiegel at 903-820-8882, past chairman Eric Kloppers at 903-815-2229, or retired DU regional director Jim Lillis at 903-815-8002.
To learn more about DU, please visit the group’s website at www.ducks.org.