Young Texan spreading knowledge of waterfowl

drakeMy mom always says with knowledge comes responsibility, and that’s my challenge today.  

This past July, I joined 19 other students and attended the Texas Waterfowl Brigade camp as a cadet of the 1st Battalion in Palestine, Texas.  

The Texas Waterfowl Brigade offered a weeklong education on conservation, hands-on training and a lot of fun learning about waterfowl from some of the best wildlife biologists and professionals in Texas.  The Texas Brigades in an independent non-profit organization with brigades that separately focus on deer, quail, bass and, for the first time, waterfowl.

Hundreds of youth between the ages of 13 to 17 apply to become a cadet each year. To be a cadet is an honor and requires a commitment to perform at least three activities in the year. My goal is to do everything possible for educating and sharing what I learned about waterfowl. Things are pretty busy right now with teal season starting September 15.

I want to get to the hunters before they go in areas occupied by waterfowl so they understand how important it is to leave the area in the same, or better, condition than when they got there.

I have already helped with the Texas Hunters Extravaganza, Texas Waterfowl Duck Calling Competition, Next Generation Weekend at Bass Pro Shops Pearland and I spoke at the Katy Chapter Ducks Unlimited meeting recently.  

I wanted some way to connect with the kids I was meeting, so I have been raising four ducklings from birth until about 8 weeks when they can be released. I take them with me to show why we do what we do — it’s for the ducks.  

I was fortunate to partner up with Ducks Unlimited at Bass Pro Shop in Pearland for the Next Generation Weekend this past month as they celebrate their 75th Anniversary. They are the founding fathers of waterfowl conservation and continue to do incredible things. In the spirit of trail blazing, Texas Waterfowl Brigade educates students about waterfowl anatomy, flight patterns, wetland habitats, science and technology available for tracking ducks and the environmental balance needed for their survival.  

I learned things at camp that I never would have learned from family and friends hunting. The protection of waterfowl and their habitat is something everyone can understand, and the earlier you start learning the bigger affects you will make in your lifetime.  

By the end of October I will have completed at least 15 activities, talking to anyone that will listen about waterfowl conservation. If you would like to learn more about how you could apply to be in the 2nd Battalion of the Texas Waterfowl Brigade please look us up on our website at http://www.texasbrigades.org/About-Us/about-us.html.

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