Lake Forest, Illinois
Dave Bunning has had the good fortune to spend time on some of America's most important landscapes for waterfowl. Raised in the Chicago suburbs by a family who loved the outdoors, he has fond memories of salmon fishing on Lake Michigan and pheasant hunting in Iowa. Today, he owns a duck hunting property in Illinois and a ranch in South Dakota.
"Hunting has held my family and friendships together," Dave says. "It's rewarding to walk on the prairies, get out on the water, or spend time in the woods."
As those vital habitats have faced growing challenges, Dave has not hesitated to act. He has completed extensive habitat restoration work on both his properties and manages them for waterfowl, pheasants, and deer. He has also worked with Ducks Unlimited biologists to help create short- and long-term plans for nesting habitat in both states.
"I've learned so much through Ducks Unlimited," Dave says. "I've learned that ducks take a different path on their way south than on their way north. Both paths need to have healthy habitat. If we don't work continentally, duck populations will suffer."
Dave is principal of TLP Trading LLC and has spent the past decade of his career searching for a cure for life-threatening food allergies. In addition to serving on the President's Council, he and his wife, Denise, are DU Legacy Sponsors and Diamond Feather Society members. The couple encourages others to support Ducks Unlimited because it is an organization that unites waterfowl stakeholders.
"Cooperation is critically important not only between Mexico, the United States, and Canada, but also between landowners, sportsmen, and volunteers," Dave explains. "It's the leadership from Ducks Unlimited that ties us all together."