Ducks Unlimited Magazine Executive Editor Chuck Petrie Loses Cancer Battle
MEMPHIS, Tenn., July 25, 2005 – The duck hunting and conservation fraternities suffered a loss with the recent death of Charles “Chuck” Petrie, executive editor for Ducks Unlimited magazine. The Ducks Unlimited family will miss his talents as a writer, biologist and editor, as well as his sense of humor and companionship in the office and in the duck blind.
“Chuck Petrie was a gifted writer, a skillful editor and a cherished colleague, and I consider it a great privilege to have worked with him,” said Tom Fulgham, editor-in-chief of Ducks Unlimited magazine. “His creativity and editorial vision helped shape the character of Ducks Unlimited magazine. A dedicated conservationist and avid sportsman, Chuck made a real and lasting contribution to the welfare of North America’s waterfowl. He will be missed by everyone at Ducks Unlimited and by the many waterfowlers and conservationists who came to know and respect him through his writing.”
Petrie’s byline had been noticeably absent from recent issues of Ducks Unlimited magazine as he put all his energy into battling the cancer that afflicted him for almost a year. He lost that battle on July 22, at the age of 60, just one day before his 61st birthday.
A passionate duck hunter, fly fisherman and conservationist, Petrie spent his life writing about the joys he found in the outdoors and advocating for wildlife and habitat conservation. His articles, essays and stories appeared in Ducks Unlimited magazine and many other nature/outdoor books and periodicals. He authored several books, including Just Retrievers, North America’s Greatest Waterfowling Lodges and Outfitters and Why Ducks Do That, and edited more than two dozen other titles for Ducks Unlimited.
Like one of his heroes, Aldo Leopold, he was a wildlife biologist who could breathe life and spirit into the world of science when writing about important conservation issues. He could find deeper meaning in duck hunting, while at the same time telling a good story. The connection he felt with people, hunting dogs and the natural world was real, and it came through in his stories.
Among other writing and editing honors, Petrie received the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation's Conservation Communicator of the Year award two times and was a past recipient of the prestigious Gordon MacQuarrie Award, presented by the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters for distinguished contributions and achievement in environmental communications.
Petrie served two years in the U.S. Army Signal Corps (1969-1971) and worked 10 years as a Wisconsin conservation warden (1974-1984) before joining Ducks Unlimited as a senior staff writer in 1994. The family will establish a fund in his honor to provide scholarships for students who plan to pursue writing or journalism studies.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world’s largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands − nature’s most productive ecosystem − and continues to lose more than 100,000 wetland acres each year.