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Delta Waterfowl Duck Hunters EXPO a ‘Rousing Success’

Delta Waterfowl Duck Hunters EXPO a ‘Rousing Success’

Wave after wave of duck and goose hunters swooped into the 2023 Delta Waterfowl Duck Hunters EXPO, presented by Federal Premium Ammunition, on July 28 to 30 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock, Arkansas.

More than 25,000 people flocked into a jam-packed 80,000 square-foot exhibit hall to enjoy continuous live stage presentations, world championship duck calling, custom duck call makers championship, conservation banquets and awards, decoy carving demonstrations, a parade of duck dogs, and the universal camaraderie shared by waterfowl hunters throughout the EXPO weekend. More than 150 exhibitors were there to make sure every possible gear need of a waterfowl hunter was met.

“We were so thrilled to have so many people come to Little Rock to attend Delta Waterfowl’s second-annual Duck Hunters EXPO,” said Brad Heidel, Delta’s senior director of marketing. “It’s amazing that the event has grown so quickly to become the largest event in North America dedicated to the duck hunter.”

Highlights from the three-day EXPO included:

• Ansley Watson, host of “Good Morning Arkansas” on KATV Channel 7 proudly served as grand marshal of the Eukanuba Duck Dog Parade, which featured several popular breeds of waterfowl hunting dogs.

• Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, an avid duck hunter and the first woman to be elected governor of The Natural State, gave an inspiring address at the ribbon-cutting ceremony to open the EXPO on Friday. She spoke about the importance of outdoor recreation to the economy and quality of life in Arkansas.

• Mayor Frank Scott Jr. proclaimed July 28 to 30 as “Delta Waterfowl Duck Hunters Weekend” in the city of Little Rock, Arkansas, and encouraged all residents to join in celebrating Delta’s conservation work on behalf of the ducks and duck hunters of Arkansas and throughout North America.

• The sold-out Duck Hunters Grand Banquet on Friday drew 750 people for a celebration of ducks and duck hunters—Arkansas style. Through raffles and auctions alone at the banquet, more than $150,000 was generated to support for Delta’s conservation programs.

• The Federal Ammunition Champions of Delta Luncheon on Saturday recognized outstanding scientists, chapter volunteers, and conservation leaders who have worked tirelessly to further the mission of The Duck Hunters Organization to produce ducks and ensure the future of waterfowl hunting.

• Dr. Scott Petrie, Delta’s CEO, announced Saturday that the Delta Waterfowl Million Duck Campaign has reached the $200 million mark as the initiative celebrates its one-year anniversary. A year ago at the 2022 EXPO, Delta Waterfowl launched MDC, a bold $250 million fundraising campaign to add 1 million ducks to the fall flight every year, forever.

• Forrest Carvajal of Greenbrier, Arkansas, won the title of “King of the Cutdown.” He emerged as the winner Saturday from a field of 58 duck callers during the World Cutdown Duck Calling Championship. The contest was sponsored by Mack’s Prairie Wings and Drake Waterfowl.

• The Delta Waterfowl Callmakers Championship paid homage to the late Alvin E. Taylor of Clarendon, Arkansas. Dozens of artisans entered the tribute-style custom call-making competition presented by Chene Gear and Treadstone Logistics. Logan Revolt of Junction City, Kansas, was crowned the 2023 overall champion and won the Butch Richenback Cup.

• The Federal Ammunition Delta Waterfowl Duck Hunters EXPO Exhibit Hall hosted more than 150 vendors for the three-day event in the Little Rock Statehouse Convention Center. The Benelli Duck Hunters stage, Eukanuba/Lucky Duck Duck Dog stage, and the BOSS Shotshells and First Lite Delta Waterfowl stage provided continuous entertainment, education, and excitement throughout the EXPO.

• Renowned decoy carvers Richard Pierce of Alexander, Arkansas, and Pat Gregory of Bloomington, Illinois, offered decoy carving and painting demonstrations all weekend long at a special Delta Waterfowl booth set up to celebrate the tradition of hand-carved decoys.

“The 2023 Duck Hunters EXPO was a rousing success,” Heidel said. “The attendees and vendors all had a great time. It was awesome to see so many families and duck hunters who came ready to gear up for the upcoming waterfowl seasons. Vendors sold a lot of products and met thousands of their customers face to face. In addition, everyone who came to the EXPO gained a deeper appreciation of what Delta Waterfowl does to put more ducks over their decoys.”

Delta Waterfowl is already planning the 2024 Duck Hunters EXPO, which is slated for July 26 to 28 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Delta Waterfowl is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and secure the future of waterfowl hunting in North America. Visit deltawaterfowl.org.

For more information, contact Brad Heidel at (651) 403-1772 or bheidel@deltawaterfowl.org.

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