The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation will induct five great conservationists into its highly acclaimed Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame at a banquet on Saturday, Aug. 27, at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. The five conservationists include Duane Hada, Brad Wimberly, Jeff Lawrence, Bob Butler and JD Simpson, III.
“For more than 100 years, the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission has worked to conserve the state’s wildlife resources, thanks to the selfless contributions of people such as our 2022 slate of inductees and award winners,” Deke Whitbeck, president of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation, said. “We are delighted to be able to celebrate these success stories and the outstanding individuals behind them.”
Duane Hada is a fisherman and painter in Mountain Home, and he credits his lifelong passion for angling and art to being raised in the rural Ozarks’ Buffalo and White River country. He is deeply protective of the Natural State that so inspires his art, and his work at the Rivertown Gallery truly puts that love on display, which has earned him an international following for his guided trout tours and watercolor paintings.
Brad Wimberly is a Louisiana native who came to Arkansas in 1980 and bought the iconic Turner Bend Store, improving and expanding its operations while also becoming a staunch advocate for the preservation of the Mulberry River. To that end, he founded the Mulberry River Society, which still works to keep our outdoors clean and accessible. In 2013, he won the Arkansas Environmental Stewardship Award for his conservation efforts.
Jeff Lawrence and Bob Butler are both leading figures of Arkansas Ducks Unlimited. Lawrence joined to lead their fundraising and volunteer efforts. During his tenure with Ducks Unlimited, the funds raised for conservation equated to more than 300,000 acres impacted across North America. Bob Butler has been with DU for 23 years and currently serves as Arkansas Senior Regional Director. In his career, he has helped organize and produce almost 800 events in Arkansas that have raised millions of dollars for conservation efforts. He has been recognized as a national DU Regional Director of the Year. The two have also been instrumental in the success of the AGFF’s Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet, which will now be honoring their contributions.
JD Simpson, III, is a former AGFF board member and current Trustee of the Arkansas Chapter of The Nature Conservancy. He has given time, talent and treasure to conservation efforts in Arkansas throughout his lifetime.
Tickets for the Outdoor Hall of Fame Banquet are $125 with tables of ten available for $1250 each. The event will feature dinner, raffles, silent auctions and the induction ceremony. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and dinner will begin at 7 p.m. Proceeds will go to support the Foundation’s conservation efforts. To purchase tickets, visit the AGFF website or text FISH to 243-725. For more information, contact the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation office at 1 (501) 223-6468 or email [email protected]