The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation announced Monday (April 22) the 2019 Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame inductees, to be recognized at ceremonies in August in Little Rock.
Inductees include: MaryAnn King of London, Catherine and Tommy Murchison III of Cabot, Woody Futrell of Nashville and the McCollum Family of Stuttgart.
The McCollum Family is credited with the current business model of the modern duck club and thus occupies a place in the history of Arkansas duck hunting, a media release from Arkansas Game and Fish states.
“Generations of McCollums have helped advance the business and habitat science of ducks, including perfecting many of the conservation and natural resources management practices so common today. Their vision, ingenuity and skill helped lay the foundation upon which Arkansas duck hunting has grown into a multi-million dollar industry,” the release said.
King, founder and owner of Pine Ridge Gardens in London, is often considered the most knowledgeable in Arkansas when it comes to using native plants in the landscape, the release said. She is credited with educating generations of amateurs and professionals on native plants and their role in bird, wildlife and butterfly habitats.
“Many of the State Parks Visitor Centers and AGFC Nature Centers across the state — as well as public gardens and arboretums nationwide — utilize her plant stock, among countless private gardeners and landowners,” the release said.
The husband and wife Murchison team “founded the Arkansas Big Buck Classic, an event that recognizes the quality of whitetail hunting available in Arkansas, as well as promoting good sportsmanship, conservation, education and ethical hunting,” the release noted.
The Arkansas Big Buck Classic is held at the Arkansas State Fairgrounds and averages nearly 38,000 visitors annually. Since it started in 1990, the event has raised over $200,000 for causes including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, Shriners Hospital for Children and C.H. Vines 4-H Center. It has also raised about 50,000 cans of food for Hunters Feeding the Hungry among other charities.
“For Woody Futrell, boats were both vocation and avocation,” the release said.
Futrell was an avid boat racer in the 1950s and took over the family business, Futrell Marine, which his father Dan Futrell established in 1948. He has since become of the most well-known and respected businessmen in retail boating, the release said.
“Every year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation recognizes individuals whose contributions to the great outdoors transcends mere hobby,” said Deke Whitbeck, president of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation. “The individuals we honor have devoted their time, energy and passion for the outdoors in such a way that preserves and enhances our wild spaces for generations to come. We are proud to once again recognize such outstanding Arkansans.”
Honorees will be recognized during the 28th Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet Aug. 24 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. Tickets for the event are $125; tables of ten are available for $1,250 each. The night will include dinner, live and silent auctions and induction ceremony. The event is set to begin at 6pm.
Proceeds from the event support the year-round work of the Foundation, which helps introduce hundreds to the outdoors every year. AGFF’s mission supports Arkansas Game and Fish Commission (AGFC) initiatives, particularly those aimed at getting young people unplugged and engaged in Arkansas’s outdoors.
For tickets or information, (501) 223-6468 or email [email protected]