The pandemic that has gripped the world has yet to deter Ducks Unlimiteds proud volunteer base from ensuring that the DU mission lives on. Since this past spring, there has been a substantial shift in the way DU fundraising events are held. After restrictions were placed on holding in-person events, many DU chapters across the country transitioned to virtual settings.

In August, the Aroostook County DU Chapter was ready to raise money for the ducks, but they wanted to do something that was unique to the state of Maine. This was the first-ever gun bash in this state, which is a huge deal for Maine DU, said Senior Regional Director Ray Ilg. This event started off as a virtual gun bash, and the goal was to sell 1,000 tickets and have all the participants attend online to watch the drawings.

As the event drew closer, Chapter Chairman Jake Chouinard decided to offer an outdoor venue for people who wanted to attend in person. We wound up selling 1,500 tickets, which is more than we imagined, so we thought it would be a fun idea to open it up for people who wanted to attend in person, Jake said.

Thanks to the hard work of dedicated volunteers and event attendees who believe in DUs mission, the event raised more than $30,000 for conservation. I would be remiss if I did not thank Jake and our state chairman, Eric Page, for the idea to host it as an in-person event, and to the volunteers for working hard to make it happen, Ray said.

For more information about DU events across the country, visit