BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA —Ensuring the future of waterfowl hunting is a priority of The Duck Hunters Organization, and Delta is proud to recognize the exemplary contributions of individuals striving for the same goal.
Delta Waterfowl’s first-ever Waterfowling Legacy Awards were presented to Aaron Mize, Kate Harrigan and Julie Henning of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Travis Thompson of Winter Haven, Florida, during the Champions of Delta Luncheon on July 30 at the Delta Waterfowl Duck Hunters Expo in Little Rock, Arkansas.
The award recognizes the important contributions of Mize, Harrigan and Henning to advance station-specific hunting and sport fishing regulations. Known commonly as the “Hunt-Fish Rule,” this policy has opened or expanded hunting access on millions of acres at National Wildlife Refuges across the United States. Since its inception in 2019, the rule has offered increased opportunity to waterfowl hunters nationwide.
In an effort to reduce regulation complexity, the rule also continually revises, updates and augments National Wildlife Refuge hunting regulations to align with state and local regulations more closely.
“Providing large-scale, high quality, incremental public access for sportsmen and women has been one of Delta’s highest organizational focuses over the years” said John Devney, Delta’s chief policy officer. “Through the hard work of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and more directly, Aaron, Kate and Julie, these rules provide generational opportunities for duck hunters across the United States.”
Thompson is a Delta Waterfowl member, full-time waterfowl guide, and host of the successful podcast, “Cast and Blast Florida.” The fifth-generation Floridian has advocated for ducks and duck hunters in the Sunshine State and across the country.
Thompson has been instrumental to Delta’s growing grassroots support in Florida. He has spearheaded efforts to stop further restricted hunting areas on public waters, opposed misguided legislation to dismantle sportsmen-led conservation funding, and provided written and verbal testimony at key Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meetings.
“Travis is a wealth of knowledge and has truly been a major asset for not only Delta Waterfowl in Florida, but all ducks and duck hunters in the southeast,” Devney said. “His commitment to engaging with lawmakers, commissioners and other decision makers on behalf of ducks and duck hunters speaks volumes to his passion for our community.”
Delta Waterfowl is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and ensure the future of duck hunting in North America. Visit deltawaterfowl.org.