BISMARCK, NORTH DAKOTA — Jacob Poole, chairman of the Southwest Mississippi Chapter in Liberty, Mississippi, is Delta Waterfowl’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year. He bested a field of six finalists during a month-long, online vote.
“I’d do anything to have a Jacob Poole in every chapter,” said Cooper Huff, regional events director for Delta Waterfowl. “His passion for the mission of Delta Waterfowl — particularly our efforts to introduce new hunters to waterfowling — is contagious and inspiring.”
Poole, 41, helped found his chapter five years ago, largely out of a desire to make a difference for duck hunters on the local level.
“Friends and I were volunteers for another waterfowl conservation group, but sitting around the campfire one night, someone mentioned that Delta chapters can keep a percentage of their funds to use in their local communities,” Poole said. “The more we talked, the more interested we became in Delta. Four or five months later, 110 people attended our first banquet and we’ve grown every year since. It was that simple to get started.”
Poole has used Delta’s unique chapter model to provide hundreds of local youths with a taste of waterfowling. In April, his committee held its third annual Delta First Hunt event, hosting 170 kids and handing out free duck calls, Delta Waterfowl hats and other gear.
“Our committee’s main focus is raising as much as we can to continue growing our First Hunt event,” Poole said. “Our goal is to help 250 kids per year become duck hunters and active in conservation.”
Additionally, Poole takes area kids duck hunting during every Arkansas youth weekend, and last year, he drove six hours to assist with the Alcorn County Chapter’s veterans hunt.
The owner of an insurance office, Poole has been an avid duck hunter since college, when some Mississippi State classmates “needed someone to help tote gear to their duck blind.” He lives in Liberty with his wife Tiffany, son Luke, and daughters Camryn and Lydia.
“To be recognized among my peers as Volunteer of the Year, it’s very humbling,” Poole said. “To me this is a team award. The Southwest Mississippi Chapter wouldn’t be what it is today without the fine men and women behind it. I never would’ve thought our little small-town chapter would receive this type of recognition.”
Thanks to Remington Arms, sponsoring partner of the 2018 Volunteer of the Year Award, Poole will hunt ducks this season with a topnotch 12-gauge, semi-automatic shotgun.
“Remington is a staunch supporter of Delta Waterfowl’s conservation and pro-hunting efforts,” said Mark Sidelinger, senior vice president of marketing for Remington. “We also recognize that hardworking local volunteers are the backbone of organizations like Delta, and so we are proud to award an ultra-reliable Remington Versa Max shotgun to Delta’s 2018 Volunteer of the Year.”
Poole will also receive a $500 Delta Waterfowl Gear gift card.
In annually naming a Volunteer of the Year, Delta Waterfowl celebrates the nearly 4,000 selfless, devoted individuals across the United States and Canada who make its work possible.
“Our volunteers are perfect examples of hunters who put more into the waterfowl resource than they take,” said Dr. Scott Petrie, Delta’s chief executive officer. “Throughout North America, our volunteers are doing remarkable work for ducks and duck hunters on the local level, while supporting Delta’s mission to boost duck production and secure the future of waterfowl hunting.”
2018 Volunteer of the Year Nominees
*Julio Arriola, Greater Longview Chapter, Longview, Texas
*Curtis Barber, Cupped ’N Committed Chapter, Winterset, Iowa
Cassandra Claydon, Winnipeg Chapter, Winnipeg, Manitoba
*Steve Conrad, Back Bay Chapter, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Chad Dawson, Second Split Chapter, Wichita, Kansas
*Ashton Eschette, Da’ Bayou Chapter, Thibodaux, Louisiana
Nick Gustafson, Mountrail County Fowlers, Stanley, North Dakota
Eric Hanes, Wild Wings Chapter, Jonesboro, Arkansas
Jerod Henson, Mid-South Chapter, Memphis, Tennessee
Lance Krupke, Marsh Madness Chapter, St. Michael, Minnesota
*Mark Lomond, Sou’Wes Newfoundland Chapter, Port aux Basques, Newfoundland
Donn MacMillan, South Nation Chapter, Berwick, Ontario
Ponch Messer, Northwest Indiana Chapter, Valparaiso, Indiana
*Jacob Poole, Southwest Mississippi Chapter, Liberty, Mississippi
Desmond Weaver, Puget Sound Chapter, Enumclaw, Washington
John Witmer, Middle Susquehanna River Chapter, Millersburg, Pennsylvania
For more information, contact Lisa Lawrence at (888) 987-3695 ext. 222, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Delta Waterfowl Foundation is The Duck Hunters Organization, a leading conservation group working to produce ducks and ensure the tradition of duck hunting in North America. Visit deltawaterfowl.org.