Members, volunteers, and staff of Ducks Unlimited are remembering the life of Wade Bourne. A native of Clarksville, Tenn., Wade passed away unexpectedly on Dec. 15. He was 69 years old.
Wade has long been familiar to Ducks Unlimited members and sportsmen across the continent. As Editor-at-Large for Ducks Unlimited Magazine, he regularly contributed features and columns to the publication for two decades. In 2004, he began appearing on Ducks Unlimited TV, sharing his waterfowling exploits and expertise with viewers throughout North America. He authored six books, including Ducks Unlimited Guide to Decoys and How to Use Them and Ducks Unlimited Guide to Hunting Dabblers. As a professional outdoor writer and broadcaster, he educated his audience about waterfowl and conservation issues for 35 years and was extremely proud of his association with DU. Wade described himself as being "eaten-up" with duck and goose hunting for half a century.
Wade earned a BA in English from the University of Tennessee. He served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force before beginning his career in outdoors communications. In 2003, Wade was inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame. In 2005 he was inducted into the National Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame. He received the Southeastern Outdoor Press Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award in October 2014. In 2016, he received the prestigious Homer Circle Fishing Communicator Award from the Professional Outdoor Media Association and the American Sportfishing Association.
“The waterfowling community has lost a great friend,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “Wade was a gifted communicator, and he spent his career sharing his love of the outdoors with millions of people. He was an excellent ambassador for DU’s conservation mission as well, representing the organization with passion and professionalism. We will miss his talent, enthusiasm, and unmistakable voice. All of us in the DU community share our condolences with the Bourne family.”