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Wednesday May 24th, 2017 12:11AM

Drake Waterfowl hopes to make its mark on local conservation

By Matt Dubnik, for Access North Georgia
It's not every day that a company sets out to change the world. But that is the direction that Drake Waterfowl has decided to go with their recent push to support duck hunters, localized conservation measures and non-profit fundraising. Drake, a leading manufacturer of duck hunting clothing products and accessories, has increased its market share by leaps and bounds over the last year.

One thing that all hunters, especially waterfowl hunters, have in common is the need to stay warm and dry during excursions afield. When Drake set out to create the best waterfowl hunting clothes on the market nearly six years ago, it knew immediately that a standard warm coat wouldn't be enough to impress the hard-core hunters that spend day after day in the field. The hunters demanded something to meet every condition they face; they expressed the need for a "system" of clothing that could be utilized effectively to solve the hunter's woes. This was the beginning of Drake Waterfowl.

With hunting season ranging anywhere from 60 degrees to minus-10 degrees -- and taking place in all 50 states -- it is too easy to over-dress or under-dress. Over-dressing not only leads to over-heating, it also hinders mobility, which can aggravate when trying to simply walk to the blind. Under-dressing can be even more punishing. If any hunter has ever made an early morning boat ride in freezing temperatures without a windproof coat, they understand the definition of misery. With all the different changes in the weather, there is another factor that other companies seem to overlook: the fact that each human body is different. Some hunters are inactive, while others are active or even hyperactive. Drake Waterfowl has effectively addressed all the issues outlined here, and then some, in its endeavor to make "perfect" solutions to the waterfowl hunter's problems.

Now that Drake has a firm hold on the market, and a true grasp of what hunters need, it has turned its attention to other causes that waterfowlers are passionate about. The company has gone to extensive measures to make sure that they give back to support the resource, which in this case refers to the birds that are being hunted. Helping to fund research and conservation endeavors, on behalf of waterfowl and hunters, further increases the likelihood that future generations can enjoy the same outdoor experience as current hunters. Conservation is a major undertaking, often stalled and interrupted by natural disasters (like Hurricane Katrina and the recent Gulf oil spill). When there is a need, Drake has continued to prove that it will go the extra mile to support conservation.

Fundraising during the recent economic downturn is no easy task, regardless of organizational mission. Drake Waterfowl, in September, found it necessary to throw its support behind a Hall County non-profit organization, the Gainesville Chapter of Ducks Unlimited, and the organization's fundraising banquet. Gainesville DU Sponsor Chairman and Drake Waterfowl Field Expert, Matt Dubnik, commented on Drake's support: "With a proven system of support for waterfowlers, conservationists, philanthropic individuals, retriever owners and the like, Drake Waterfowl has shown that they are not just about manufacturing clothing. They always go the extra mile when called upon for support." Dubnik, who serves as a volunteer in both his role as DU Sponsor Chairman and Drake Field Expert, continued to emphasize and stress the need for more responsible companies to look beyond the bottom line, calling it "a necessary undertaking".

It appears that Drake Waterfowl has found a way to make its mark on the resource by furthering their support of the cause.
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