Talkin' Outdoors

Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, the Lincoln Parish Chapter of Whitetails Unlimited has outdone themselves. They knocked it out of the park when the final results were tallied after the banquet last week, an event that had so many folks in attendance some were almost spilling out into the parking lot.

Glenn Scriber and his committee did a fantastic job once again putting on one of the best attended such banquets I ever witnessed.

Scriber informed me the middle of last week with news that had me excited to the point I elected to miss the first day of my annual conference of the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association taking place Friday and Saturday down in Gonzales.

“Just wanted to let you know,” Scriber said, “that we’re sold out of tables this year and have only a few individual tickets left to sell.” With so many other activities and events that compete for time and money today, this news was staggering.

When I stepped into the Ruston Civic Center, I was witness to a scene like I had never seen. Hundreds of people were purchasing tickets to vie for some of the prizes Scriber and his group offered. More than a dozen guns along with hundreds of valuable prizes eventually went home with winners.

After the banquet was in the books for another year, Scriber reflected on this year’s event and why he thinks it was so successful.

“We continue to surprise ourselves but in another way, we weren’t too surprised because we had everything in place to have a possible record setting year. I can’t begin to say just how hard our committee worked to be sure when folks got there they were pleased with what they found.

“Another thing that impressed me was the number of first-time attendees at the banquet, people who came out of curiosity because they’d heard about the big crowds we attract and they just wanted to know what in the world was going on with our chapter. I had feedback from a number of these first timers and most of them were in awe,” Scriber said.

Last year, the local chapter set a personal record of collecting some $80,000 from the event and the Lincoln Parish chapter received a national award for having the highest membership in the entire country. This year, the record for raising funds was broken.

“We had at least 600 folks here and we raised almost $90,000 for this organization,” Scriber added.

What is unique to Whitetails Unlimited and the way the money is handled is that once all expenses are taken care of at a local banquet, half the net proceeds remain with the local chapter to contribute to local events and organizations, particularly those involving children.

Med-Camps has been recipient of some of these funds along with shooting clubs under the auspices of 4-H clubs in the area.

“We get inspired when we can help young people plus other individuals, such as wildlife agents who have been injured in the line of duty. This year we want to help Trail Blazers, an organization that is doing a great job in spreading the word and conducting workshops about such things as the feral hog problem. Another group we want to help is Wheeling in the Hills, a group working to assist handicapped kids and young adults with special equipment to help them better utilize outdoor activities, such as special deer stands,” Scriber noted.

With this year’s banquet in the record books, next year promises to be even better, according to the chapter president.

“We’re already talking about things we can do for next year,” said Scriber, “to make it even better.”

Get ready to have your socks knocked off again one year from now.