Four prominent waterfowl hunting industries are making some important moves in 2015, and the watefowling world will never be the same. Two are building on an existing relationship to further their goals, and the other two are combining their efforts after a recent buyout.

Ducks Unlimited and Drake Waterfowl Systems have announced a new partnership, with Drake becoming the official hunting apparel provider for DU. In addition, Drake has been named a DU Proud Partner by the non-profit.

“We are very pleased to welcome Drake into our Corporate Partner Program,” Amy Batson, DU’s Chief Fundraising Officer, said in a July 6 press release. “They’ve provided a tremendous amount of support at local fundraising events over the years, and becoming a Proud Partner really shows their commitment to wetlands conservation.”

Drake has contributed to DU’s conservation mission for years, working its way up from a preferred vendor in 2009, supplying shirts for volunteers at DU’s fundraising events, to a DU life sponsor, contributing cash support and product donations at local DU events. DU said the new partnership will see Drake contribute more than $350,000 over the next three years.

Drake will also feature tags on its technical products with information about DU and conservation.

“We’re excited to become a Ducks Unlimited Proud Partner,” said Drake co-founder Bobby Windham.

The other major shift in waterfowling came from the recent acquisition of Avery Outdoors by Banded Holdings, Inc. The new organization structure puts one of the most trusted names in waterfowling gear together with an innovative new product developer.

Avery has long been a player in the decoy market with its Greenhead Gear (GHG) line. The company started in 1994 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee.

Banded is the outdoor and hunting gear division of the larger Banded Holdings group. The company also includes a lifestyle apparel division and Banded Nation, the production arm responsible for the hunting shows ”Benelli’s The Fowl Life with Chad Belding,” and the predator hunting show, “Dead Dog Walkin’.”

Chuck Browning, Banded’s CEO, said the new venture “represents the coming together of two of the most talented and experienced staffs in the industry to offer the best in innovative waterfowl hunting and outdoor gear.” 

The new company’s primary base of operations will be in Arkansas, although Avery will maintain an office in Tennessee.




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