History of Slick McCollum's Stuttgart Hunting Club

The McCollum Family has played an active role in the history of duck hunting on the Grand Prairie. Thad McCollum originated the first National Duck Calling contest that was held on Main Street in Stuttgart, Arkansas on November 24, 1936.

Kenneth "Slick" McCollum won the World’s Championship Duck Calling contest in 1939 and J.T. McCollum finished second. M.T. McCollum won in 1941. Lloyd McCollum served on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. Marion McCollum served a seven-year term on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission in the early 1990’s.

 

When rice arrived on the Grand Prairie in the early 1900’s, so did the ducks. The ducks that flew down the Mississippi Flyway and wintered in the White and Arkansas River bottoms soon became a nuisance to rice farmers. This wasn’t the case for the McCollum family.

Otis McCollum leased land for duck hunting. At one time he had 7,000 acres leased. It became obvious to him that if exceptional duck hunting was going to be guaranteed, he would have to give Mother Nature a hand. After World War II, he decided he would develop the Bayou Meto-Big Ditch bottoms. There are more than 15 miles of Otis McCollum built levees in the Bayou Meto-Big Ditch bottoms and are still in use today. All were laid out with a hand-held sight level.

 

Roy O. McCollum, Wallace Claypool, and Roger Crowe bought 1500 acres 10 miles west of Stuttgart along Bayou Meto. This land was originally the "Stuttgart Hunting Club". Roy O. bought out the others in 1933 and developed the land for duck hunting.

In 1947, Roy O McCollum died leaving the hunting club to his son, Kenneth McCollum. This was the beginning of Kenneth "Slick" McCollum’s Stuttgart Hunting Club which is still in existence today.

Slick leased the clubhouse for 10 years to a group from Texas but they only came during the weekends. Seeing the opportunity to commercial hunt during the week, he began developing additional duck hunting holes. He built a levy to regulate the water level on the "leased" end from the new "commercial" end. He built a reservoir to house the water he got from Bayou Meto in order to have enough water to flood his timber before duck season. He was continually making capitol improvements.

 

After the 10-year lease was up, he began booking "day hunters" and "clubhouse hunters" from all across the United States. Expansion and additional buildings were necessary because of the club’s tremendous growth. Ducks were plentiful. What a sight to be standing by a pin oak tree and see several hundred ducks circling before they set their wings and land right in front of you. Slick’s guides were his brothers, Maurice, Roy O. Jr. (Red), and Lloyd, along with several good friends who guided until their death or were no longer physically able to hunt. None are living today. Slick and his brothers loved life and the friendships they developed kept the hunters coming back year after year. Slick died October 18, 1981 and another legacy began.

 

Slick left his hunting club to his three daughters, Kay, Shorty, and Diane. With less than a month before the 1981-1982 duck season was to begin, the most logical person to manage the club was Slick’s nephew, Bud McCollum. He had been hunting at the clubhouse since he was a young boy and had guided for Slick for years. Bud was a natural. He and his guides did a great job in keeping the business going for 22 years until he retired after the 2003-2004 season. J.W. McCollum guided at Slick’s for 24 years and also retired after the 2003-2004 season. At 80 years old, he was the oldest living duck guide on the Grand Prairie.

 

Another legacy began when Slick’s great nephew, Todd Hartley, became the manager beginning with the 2004-2005 season. He and his brother, Michael, have guided at Slick’s since they were young boys.

What a privilege and honor it is for this family to continue the McCollum legacy that was started so many years ago.

Slick’s would like to thank Todd Hartley for all his hard work and dedication over the past four seasons. We could not be happier with the outstanding service Todd provided to this operation and our many valued hunters. We look forward to Todd’s continued presence and service at the club as a duck guide.

The 2008-2009 season will begin yet another legacy as Slick’s grandson, Brad Moss, will begin managing the club. Brad has looked forward to this for many years and we are thrilled to give him his dream job. He feels privileged to be serving in this capacity and hopes to honor the legacy of his grandfather and the rest of the McCollum family at the Kenneth “Slick” McCollum Stuttgart Hunting Club.

 

 

 

For more information on the role played by the McCollum family in the development of duck hunting in Arkansas, pick up a copy of The Arkansas Duck Hunter's Almanac by Steve Bowman and Steve Wright.



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