Who says you can't have a DU event with a town of only 1,100 people? The Blackfoot River Chapter of Ducks Unlimited in Lincoln, Mont., never fails to have a full hall for every event. In the heart of big-game-hunting country and some of the finest elk hunting in Montana sits the town of Lincoln, which boasts no more than five waterfowl hunters, even on a "ducky day."
So strong leadership is the key to keeping waterfowl hunting alive and well in Lincoln. Layne Krumwiede, Montana regional director, says, "This group of committed volunteers led by Ernie Lundberg are dedicated and understand how to throw a successful event and a fun party."
The largest venue in town to hold the event is the Lincoln Civic Center, which is an octagonal Montana-mountain-style log cabin. Even though there are not many waterfowl hunters in the area, Ducks Unlimited has managed to complete 18 on-the-ground projects in Lewis and Clark, along the edge of Powell County. These projects restored 1,685 acres and cost nearly $600,000.
Krumwiede explains that Lincoln is a very conservation-minded community, filled with people who like to have fun—one of the main reasons the Blackfoot River event is so successful.
Lincoln is also home to DU Area Chair and Co-Chair of the Year, Ernie and Renee Lundberg. The Lundbergs have held their titles for the past two years and have been in the running for three. They're backed up by a hard-working committee of 21, which was named Committee of the Year in 2007 and 2008.
The Blackfoot River Chapter may bring in many more awards for 2009, as they once again exceeded all expectation. Some of the year's event highlights included 27 new sponsors, 74-percent net to net/gross and bringing in nearly $38,000 at an event with about 180 attendees. And the Blackfoot River Chapter doesn't stop at just one event a year—they also run a special Sponsor sporting clays shoot, Greenwing event and pre-event raffle (for a rifle, of course). This chapter does all it can for the ducks, and, as a result, they see their dollars put to work on the prairies and in their backyards.
"This next year the Blackfoot River Chapter is going to try and add a Sportsmen's Night Out event that would be a grand slam in this community of hardcore fishing and hunting enthusiast," Krumwiede says. "They never fail in going above and beyond my goals for them in raising money for the ducks."