Staunch conservationist, hunter, and angler, Scott Vance grew up spending his days lost in the beauty and tranquility that is western North Carolina, and fueling what would become a nearly 30-year (and counting) career in conservation.

Graduating with an undergraduate degree in Environmental Science from East Carolina University and a Master’s degree in Wildlife Toxicology from Clemson University, it was ultimately one of his greatest passions—waterfowl and waterfowl hunting—that led him to The Duck Hunters Organization in the role of development director.

“Delta waterfowl embodies everything I love and stand for as an outdoorsman,” Vance said. “It seems extremely fitting that I would land here with this flock after learning so much about the non-profit conservation world through other organizations.”

The smell of autumn riding atop a crisp wind marks Vance’s favorite type of hunting—early season, specifically in Canada or the Dakotas. “It just seems like those early season hunts have such electricity and energy from the ducks, the dogs, and especially from the hunters,” said Vance, sometimes getting so caught up in watching the birds work, that he does not even bother to shoot. His enthusiasm translates to his every day.

“I am extremely passionate about leaving a strong and lasting legacy for the next generation of conservationists and hunters,” Vance said. “My work helps ensure that not only will we have places to hunt and abundant waterfowl to enjoy and pursue, but that we will also have new generations of hunters who are not only safe and knowledgeable, but also deeply appreciate and cherish the opportunities provided and sacrifices of those before them.”

His beloved hunting partner, ‘Hydro’, passed in 2019. A special and renowned dog, throughout his lifetime he was a five-time Master National Retriever, inducted into the AKC Retriever Hall of Fame, and even beyond that, an incredible companion.

“I have no idea how many thousands of ducks (Hydro) brought back to me in his 11 years of hunting, but it was my honor to take each one from him,” Vance said. “He was the most amazing crippled duck finder that I have ever seen and I pray the memories made with him will never fade from my mind. They are truly some of the most treasured times I’ve ever spent afield.”

Outside of the office, you can find Vance and his son busy pursuing something in the water, woods, or wetlands.