The Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie has announced the inductees into this year’s Arkansas Waterfowler Hall of Fame. An induction ceremony will honor these individuals as well as the 2020 class of inductees on September 23 at Chenal Country Club in Little Rock.
Event proceeds will benefit the Museum of the Arkansas Grand Prairie in Stuttgart, which houses the Arkansas Waterfowler Hall of Fame.
“The waterfowl industry in Arkansas is among the best in the nation largely due to the time and talents these individuals have invested,” said WaterFowler Hall of Fame committee Chairman Jim Ronquest. “The Waterfowler Hall of Fame is simply a small opportunity to highlight significant efforts and impact of inductees while honoring their legacies.”
The following will be inducted:
W.R. “Witt” Stephens, Jr. of Little Rock is a land manager involved in conservation-related efforts that benefit Arkansas wildlife and sportsmen. Stephens was recently named President Emeritus of the Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation for which he has served various terms over 25 years. Stephens served a seven-year term on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission from 1993 to 2000. While on the commission, he was instrumental in the 1996 campaign to pass a conservation sales tax as well as major changes in deer management, trout and implementing the first elk season in Arkansas. Stephens also served on The Nature Conservancy board and is a lifetime member of Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl.
Dr. Harold V. Glenn, Thad McCollum, and Verne Tindall will be recognized for the creating what is now known as the World’s Championship Duck Calling Contest. The first National Duck Calling Contest was held in 1936 in conjunction with the annual Arkansas Rice Festival. The Festival was the precursor to the popular Wings Over the Prairie Festival held each Thanksgiving weekend in Stuttgart. McCollum is credited with originating the contest, while Dr. Glenn sold the American Legion on sponsoring the event and Tindall was a chief organizer.
Carl Hunter may have achieved as much renown in his retirement career than as a long-time leader in wildlife biology and conservation. Hunter turned his hobbies of photography and wildflowers into a popular book and became in demand as a speaker to garden and other clubs. He was a leader in Arkansas’ deer restoration, joining the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in 1945, leaving to help industrialist Edgar Monsanto Queeny develop Wingmead in eastern Arkansas then returning to AGFC and becoming assistant director until retirement in 1986.
Last year’s honorees include Wallace Claypool, John Olin, Pat Peacock, Dr. Scott Yaich and the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation “Dedicated to Ducks” winner George Purvis.