Three Arkansans Selected for Outdoor Hall of Fame

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LITTLE ROCK – Three Arkansans with decades of innovative activities to improve and expand Arkansas’s outdoor resources and the enjoyment of hunting and fishing have been selected as the 2008 inductees for the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame.

Gene Denton of Clarksville, Marion McCollum of Stuttgart and the late Carl Hunter of Alexander will be recognized at the 2008 Outdoor Hall of Fame banquet and ceremony on Friday, Sept. 5, at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. The Outdoor Hall of Fame began in 1992 as a project of the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation and Ducks Unlimited to recognize Arkansans’ achievements in outdoor fields and to protect wildlife habitat.

This year’s inductees:

Gene DentonGene Denton of Clarksville has been an avid turkey hunter for 58 years. He joined the National Wild Turkey Federation in 1975, not long after the organization was founded, and became a member of its board of directors in 1980. He has played a key role in the growth of NWTF into a major and effective conservation organization. Denton and NWTF have been instrumental in a number of Arkansas habitat improvement and expansion projects.

Marion McCollum Marion McCollum of Stuttgart is a member of a multi-generation Grand Prairie family heavily involved in duck hunting and the area’s wetlands habitat. He developed Mack’s Sport Shop into a leading national mail order sales corporation, Mack’s Prairie Wings, and its Stuttgart facility draws visitors from many states and some foreign countries. He was an active and effective commissioner with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission from 1995 to 2002.

Carl HunterCarl Hunter, who died in 2005, 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 into demand as a speaker to garden and other clubs. He was a leader in Arkansas’s 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.

Steve Smith, director of the Game and Fish Foundation, said, “We are extremely proud to be honoring outstanding Arkansans who have done so much to benefit our outdoor resources. We’re pleased to salute Gene Denton, Marion McCollum and Carl Hunter in our 17th year of Outdoor Hall of Fame celebrations. All three of them have demonstrated the importance of leadership, ingenuity and diversity in bettering our state’s conservation and environment. They will make our induction banquet on Friday, Sept. 5, another attractive, successful event for all Arkansas. In our past inductions, we have raised well over a million dollars for critical wildlife habitat and conservation education.”

Past inductees of the Outdoor Hall of Fame are: 1992 — Forrest Wood, Ben Pearson, Henry Gray, Ruth and Rollie Remmel and Neil Compton; 1993 — Win Rockefeller, Harold Alexander, Rex Hancock, Larry Nixon, Jane Gulley and Jerry McKinnis; 1994 — George Purvis, Bobby Murray, Jane Stern and Charlie Craig; 1995 — Dave Whitlock, Jane Ross, Bill Apple and George Fisher; 1996 — Pat Peacock, Joe Nix, George Cochran and Bill Norman; 1997 — Gene Rush, Kay Kelley Arnold and Cotton Cordell; 1998 – Dale Bumpers, Bob Apple, James Flanigan and Rayo Breckenridge; 1999 — Jim Gaston, Carol Griffee and Chick Majors; 2000 – Mike Huckabee, Steve N. Wilson, Mary Klaser and Fred Berry; 2001 — Carl Garner, Richard Davies and Nancy DeLamar; 2002 – Steve Frick, Joe Mosby, Barbara Pardue and John Selig; 2003 – Charlie Hoover, Andrew Hulsey, Zettie Jones and Steve Smith; 2004 — Janet Huckabee, Larry Grisham and Ron Duncan; 2005 — Dr. Mamie Parker, Butch Richenback and Randy Hopper; 2006 — Kirk Dupps, Cathie Matthews and Kaneaster Hodges; and 2007 – Jim Hill, Rick Hampton and Phyllis Speer.

For more information on the Outdoor Hall of Fame and tickets to the induction banquet, contact Smith at (501) 223-6396.