In Ducks Unlimited’s film “Charleston, Mississippi,” three current and former Ducks Unlimited employees get together for a few days of outstanding waterfowling while reflecting on their careers in the outdoors and conservation.
“A lot of people ask, when they talk about waterfowlers in general and talk about passion: ‘Where do you get that passion, where does it come from?’” says Chad Manlove, managing director of development in DU’s Southern Region. “It’s hard to explain. In many instances I can’t put it in any other words than to say that sometimes it’s in your DNA.”
Each of the film’s participants has spent decades working for Ducks Unlimited.
“You spend a career trying to make it better for the next generation, to ensure that the next generation is going to be able to enjoy some of the scenes like we were able to enjoy this morning,” says Curtis Hopkins, retired director of operations for DU’s Southern Region.
During an unusual cold spell in the Mississippi Delta, the group spent hours breaking ice to access an area of open water at Bailey Brake, near Charleston, Mississippi, but the results made the effort worth it.
“It’s almost a vocational calling for a lot of us,” says Tom Moorman, DU’s chief scientist. “It’s driven by a passion for natural resources. You think about the flights of birds we were seeing. We shot a few, but how many thousands of birds are sitting out on Bailey that are going to go back to the prairies . . . and produce that next generation of birds. And that’s really what this whole conservation enterprise is all about.”