Anyone reading this far into the latest issue of Greenhead has probably figured out there is no greater joy for a waterfowler than to get out in the fields and blinds with friends and family, enjoy the beauty of the Arkansas outdoors and maybe, hopefully, bag some birds.
Nonetheless, Arkansas’ outdoorsmen have another treat headed their way this year.
On Dec. 1, the Arkansas Waterfowler Hall of Fame, presented by Arkansas Business Publishing Group in partnership with Ducks Unlimited, will induct its inaugural class during ceremonies at the Statehouse Convention Center.
The creation of this new program is an effort to preserve and honor the contributions of those individuals who have gone above and beyond through dedicated time, resources and other work to enhance the waterfowl industry in Arkansas.
“Arkansas is known for a few things in this world and duck hunting is one of them,” Greenhead editor and avid hunter Brent Birch said. “There are only so many places in the world you can stand in flooded timber as the sun starts peeking through the trees to watch mallards maple leaf through the limbs.
“That uniqueness is what drives the duck hunting tourism industry and provides a great economic boost during the ‘off’ agricultural season. Arkansas needs duck hunting for a lot of reasons and creating an award to recognize contributors to the sport keeps past efforts top of the mind for future generations. Those efforts will have to continue for waterfowling to remain a viable industry.”
Conservationists, sportsmen, wildlife officers and others who have given their utmost to care for wetlands and preserve and protect the sport of hunting will have an event set aside just for them, and a permanent place in the state’s vital hunting history.
“It’s important to honor those who have meant so much to the state,” Arkansas Business President Mitch Bettis said. “I think it’s essential for future generations to be able to recognize those who have paved the way before them, and establishing such a hall of fame is an important step in preserving our history.”
The inaugural class of this landmark program will be inducted at the Statehouse Convention Center, Little Rock. The special evening event will share the stories of the impact of the inductees’ contributions as waterfowl enthusiasts gather to celebrate this time honored tradition. “The inaugural event is always special,” Bettis said. “We are planning for hundreds of people to gather at the Statehouse Convention Center to celebrate the induction of a special group of Arkansans. … Prepare for a fun evening that will pay tribute to some of the great leaders our state has.”
While designed to look back on and honor the accomplishments of those who have gone before, the Waterfowler Hall of Fame also seeks to inspire a new generation of outdoor enthusiasts who, perhaps someday, will take their own place alongside this year’s first class of inductees.
“For a state that is known far and wide for its rich duck hunting tradition, we felt there needed to be a formal recognition of those who played a significant role on putting Arkansas waterfowling on the map,” Birch said. “So many names and efforts have contributed to the state’s ability to maintain the title of the Duck Hunting Capital of the World and I hope their stories inspire modern day waterfowlers to continue to value our resources and get involved in conservation efforts to sustain the sport.”
|WHAT||Waterfowler Hall of Fame|
|WHERE||Statehouse Convention Center, Little Rock|
|TICKETS||Purchase Hall of Fame tickets here|
|INFORMATION||Leslie Gordy, (501) 372-1443 ext. 336 or LGordy@abpg.com|