Delta Waterfowl Announces 2021 Volunteer of the Year Finalists
The heart of The Duck Hunters Organization beats strongly thanks to the passionate efforts of more than 4,000 Delta Waterfowl volunteers across the United States and Canada. These dedicated and tenacious individuals work collectively to support Delta’s mission to produce ducks and secure the future of waterfowl hunting. Their drive and commitment while representing hundreds of local chapters throughout North America are indispensable to the organization.
Each chapter has the opportunity to nominate a local candidate for the prestigious 2021 Delta Waterfowl Volunteer of the Year Award sponsored by Stoeger. While all volunteers are highly deserving of praise and recognition, the selection committee painstakingly whittled the list to seven finalists. They are:
Missouri River Valley Chapter
Blue Springs, Missouri
Big Muddy Chapter
After establishing two incredibly successful Delta chapters within Missouri, Wycoff was still not satisfied with his contributions to ducks and duck hunters. His commitment to the future of waterfowl hunting has remained visible through his impactful fundraising efforts, and most notably, his recent creation of a mentored hunting course for adult-onset waterfowlers inspired by Delta’s HunteR3 recruitment philosophies.
Mount Pleasant Chapter
Mount Pleasant, Texas
Chairman of the Delta Waterfowl Mount Pleasant, Texas Chapter, Yancey played an essential role in fundraising efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the challenges of holding in-person banquets in 2020, he led his committee to a record-breaking event raising over $50,000 in net revenue. The funds have already supported First Hunt program experiences in his regions, as well as a significant number of wood duck box installations.
Southern New Brunswick Chapter
Sussex, New Brunswick
Having been involved as a chapter chair for 10 years, Floyd has played an integral role in his committee’s fundraising efforts, rallying behind online fundraising and acting as a soundboard for surrounding chapters. In further support of Delta’s duck production mission, he has been the driving force behind the placement of 1,000 nesting structures — a mix of Delta Hen Houses and wood duck boxes — throughout his local region.
Coastal Palmetto Chapter
Conway, South Carolina
Spencer’s commitment to Delta Waterfowl is deeply rooted throughout his whopping 16 years of dedicated volunteer service. From collecting donations, selling sponsor tables and ensuring success at chapter events while acting as the emcee, his leadership through various tribulations has been crucial to the success of the chapter. Additionally, Spencer annually organizes several local Delta events, including wood duck box builds and First Hunt outings.
Capitol Callers Chapter
Des Moines, Iowa
Recently leading the charge for his chapter’s most successful fundraising banquet, Wirt has unified his local community behind Delta Waterfowl. From working with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on Delta HunteR3 recruitment efforts, to installing wood duck boxes with local high schoolers and Boy Scout troops, Wirt’s efforts align wonderfully with the goals of The Duck Hunters Organization. Wirt has been involved with Delta since founding the Aldo Leopold Chapter in Burlington, Iowa, nearly 10 years ago.
Persevering through canceled fundraising opportunities and other Delta events, such as the otherwise-annual Crawford County (Pa.) Youth Day, Christie has been the driving force behind one of the Atlantic Flyway’s most impactful local chapters. Her past 7 years of volunteerism for Delta Waterfowl involve non-stop advocacy, most visibly through her work undertaking numerous multi-package raffles and securing extra funding for the chapter’s locally impactful Waterfowl Heritage Funds.
Kankakee River Chapter
A 16-year Delta volunteer, Weber has proven irreplaceable to his local, longtime chapter. Guiding record-breaking fundraising efforts, diligent Hen House deployments, and acting as a prominent voice for Delta within his region, Weber and crew increased net revenues by 40 percent in 2019 and overcame incredible adversity in 2020. Despite the inability to hold an in-person banquet last year, Weber organized an online event that far surpassed expectations: In a single night, more than 200 participants raised $20,000 in support of ducks and duck hunters.
“While every Delta volunteer is worthy of recognition and plays an essential role in the success of The Duck Hunters Organization on the local and national levels, these finalists represent some of the best of the best,” said Dr. Scott Petrie, CEO of Delta Waterfowl. “The passion and commitment displayed at every level radiates throughout the entirety of the organization. Volunteers are without a doubt the driving force behind the continued success of Delta’s vision for ducks and duck hunting.”
Delta’s 2021 Volunteer of the Year program was generously supported by Stoeger, a celebrated manufacturer of “Every Day Tough” inertia-driven shotguns. The 2021 Volunteer of the Year will receive an M3500 Waterfowl shotgun, an M3500 Predator/Turkey model and an M3020 Upland Supreme gun.
Watch for the announcement of this year’s winner in August on Delta Waterfowl’s social media channels and in the Fall Issue of Delta Waterfowl magazine. — Christy Sweigart