In this fourth session of the season hunt program, I am excited to host our first Open House. I have been affiliated with the program all four years, and this will be my third year as director. If you have taken advantage of the materials offered on our web site, you realize that we endeavor to arm you with the information required to make your expectations meet the program. The offering descriptions along with the FAQs are detailed and thorough. Additionally, we set up booths at the main wildlife trade shows in Mississippi and Alabama where we have met many of you. Tours are conducted throughout the year, and hours spent on phone calls and emails disseminating information about the hunting opportunities. This is an affordable chance to hunt the strongest waterfowl areas in the MS Delta over a variety of venues. Of the $3,600.00 cost for a four man season hunt group, 60% goes directly to the landowners, 12% to the hunt staff, 8% to program operations (blind construction materials and food plot supplies), and 16% to the company for administrative costs and profit. Of the groups currently enrolled to participate in our hunt programs for the upcoming season, 55% have hunted with us in prior seasons while 45% are joining us for the first time. As we enter the fourth season, we have the advantage of the previous years' experience. The staff continues to make changes to the blind prototype and refine the method of assigning staff members to groups and groups to holes. The program benefits from the relationships built with many of the current groups. This Open House gives those of you who are interested in the program an opportunity to get a first hand look at what is offered. Tours of the hunting areas will be conducted, a retrieving demonstration conducted by one of our hunters, and a meal served offering the groups the opportunity to network with staff and other hunters. I am excited at the prospect of renewing friendships and embarking on new ones. I encourage you to take advantage of this showcase on Saturday, October 20, 2012, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Give me a call at 601-479-4873 to reserve a spot at the Open House.
The first MS Delta Ducks Open House this past Saturday, October 20, was a success. We had a combination of repeat groups (hunted with us in previous seasons and will again this year), new groups (hunting with us for the first time this season), and potential groups (looking over the hunting areas and meeting members of the staff and other groups). An Avery marsh stool and a dozen decoys were given away as door prizes. Barton Ramsey, who will be hunting with us for the third season, gave two retriever demonstrations. Barton is affiliated with Southaven Kennels of Eupora. He offered some excellent tips on tuning up our retrievers for the upcoming season as well as advice on how to hunt them from the blinds that will be available to the season hunters.
We have added some additional sled blinds this season and shored up our traditional field blinds. Last season we added burlap to our blinds and experimented with raffia which is equivalent to Avery Killer Weed. This season we moved away from the raffia and have added more substantial materials to the infrastructure. Five completed blinds were already in the fields for the tours. Senior field staffer, Garrett Holland, along with returning staffer, Britt Goodman, and new staffer, Dylan Peden, were available to meet the hunters and conduct tours of the hunting areas. The habitat complex areas were beginning to accumulate ducks which, at this point, consist primarily of gadwall, northern shovelers and teal joined by a number of local mallards. The hunt groups this season will have either Garrett or Britt as their primary staff member with Dylan floating among the groups. I will also take an active role in the field operations.
In this age of social media, it is our purpose and goal to be transparent and informative to potential hunters. We make ourselves available at trade shows, publish a wealth of information on the web site including FAQs, maintain a Facebook profile and Twitter following, and give tours frequently. It is always our intention that the expectations of the hunt groups meet our program. Whether you read something positive or negative about the program in a forum or chat room, I encourage you to talk directly to me and come take a look. Be direct with any and all questions and arm yourself with current, accurate information.
I was very pleased with the Open House and plan to schedule one early in 2013 following the season and then again in September 2013 after the trade shows. In the meantime, call me with your questions or to schedule a tour. I welcome the opportunity to meet you and talk ducks. Nathan Peden
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