When Whitetails Unlimited founder and president, Jeff Schinkten, left Ruston one year ago to fly back home to Wisconsin, he set the stage for what he expected to happen this year when the annual banquet of the Lincoln Parish chapter takes place August 10.
“I hope I can come back next year to present another award. This is a special chapter down here and it’s going to make its name in history, I can assure you,” said Schinkten.
Unfortunately, Schinkten won’t be making the trip down this year but it’s because of scheduling conflicts; not because the local chapter didn’t win yet another national award for the third straight year. The Lincoln Parish chapter ranks number one — in the nation — for membership for the third straight year. Let that sink in for a minute.
Nationwide, there are more than 500 local chapters like the one in Ruston. To be sitting at the top of this group of chapters scattered from coast to coast is a monumental achievement, according to local chapter founder and president Glenn Scriber of Ruston.
“We are gratified beyond words at what this chapter has been able to accomplish,” said Scriber, who quickly added that it takes more than one individual to make this happen.
“Our co-chairman, Marty Edmunds, works alongside me but the real workers are the more than a dozen committee members who work tirelessly to see that things go smoothly,” he added.
Whitetails Unlimited was founded in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin by Jeff Schinkten and a friend.
“We were sitting at a Ducks Unlimited banquet and saw just how effective this organization is in raising funds and promoting duck hunting. The more we talked about it, the more determined we were to try and do the same thing with whitetail deer,” Schinkten said.
As a result, in 1982, Whitetails Unlimited (WTU) got off the ground as a national non-profit conservation organization and over the years has gained the reputation of being the nation’s premier organization dedicating its resources to the betterment of the whitetail deer and its environment.
Nationwide, WTU sports a list of more than 107,000 members distributed among the 500-plus chapters.
One of the unique features of WTU is how the funds raised at each local banquet are distributed. When a banquet is held and after expenses are paid, one-half of the net proceeds stay with the local chapter for distribution to organizations and groups that promote youth conservation programs.
Since the Lincoln Parish Chapter held its first banquet in 2015, more than $35,000 has been used in the local area to help fund shooting clubs for youngsters as well as providing financial assistance to Med-Camps for special needs children.
For each $40 adult ticket purchased — $20 for spouses and children — an annual membership in Whitetails Unlimited comes with the ticket sale. Attendees will be able to rub shoulders with other deer hunters and conservation-minded friends who will enjoy a delicious meal followed by an auction and raffle prizes including firearms, outfitter packages, hunting and outdoor-related equipment, artwork and collectibles.
Opportunities for WTU table and corporate sponsorship are also available for those interested in doing more for the organization.
For ticket information, contact Glenn Scriber at 318.680.4658 or Marty Edmunds at 318.413.1348.