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Ducks Unlimited banquets help save duck habitats

Tickets are available for the annual sportsman’s banquet hosted by the Lincoln County chapter of Ducks Unlimited, which is an organization dedicated to conserving waterfowl and their habitats, as well as responsible hunting practices.

The banquet is Oct. 29 at the Brookhaven Building. Doors open at 6 p.m. for registration and dinner will begin at 7 p.m.

Advance individual tickets are $50, and $75 for a couple. Pricing includes annual membership and dinner. Tickets for children 13 and under are $25 and includes a youth membership and dinner. To purchase tickets online, search Lincoln County Ducks Unlimited.

Tickets at the door are an additional $10.

Sponsorships are available, said chapter spokesman Gary Blair. There will also be more than 20 guns to be either won or purchased including the Ducks Unlimited limited edition handgun, rifle and shotgun of the year.

“Additionally, we will have limited edition artwork, decoys, knives and numerous other items for the conservationist, outdoors enthusiast, hunters and fishermen,” he said.

Proceeds from the event help continue Ducks Unlimited mission to save the wetlands. In the late 1800s, the wood duck — the species of duck native to Mississippi — were nearly wiped out by unregulated hunting and destruction of woodland and wetland habitats, Blair said.

The story of unrelated hunting and its dangers is one that was repeated across the nation and in the 1930s, a group of hunters banded together to form Ducks Unlimited. Their vision is one of “wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever,” according to Ducks Unlimited’s website. It’s an international organization that covers birds that migrate from Canada all the way to South America.

For the wood duck, their populations have been greatly improved since their crisis in the early 20th century, but Ducks Unlimited continues the work of promoting responsible hunting and stewardship over natural wetland habitats across the country, Blair said. Over the years, the organization says that it has conserved over 14 million acres of habitat.

“I want to thank Brookhaven and the surrounding area for your continued support of Lincoln County Ducks Unlimited,” Blair said.