West Point, Mississippi – -(Ammoland.com)- Five-time World Champion Turkey Caller Preston Pittman is one of six chosen to be the first inductees into the new Mississippi Outdoor Hall of Fame established by The Mississippi Wildlife and Heritage Foundation and the Leland Chamber of Commerce.
“Without a doubt, this is the greatest honor that can be bestowed upon an outdoorsman from his home state,” said Pittman.
“Even though I’ve already been inducted into the National Hall of Fame, this is very special to me because it’s coming from my own home state, the state that I love so much.”
Billy Johnson, outdoor writer and director of the Mississippi Wildlife and Heritage Foundation, explained why he felt Pittman should be one of the first inductees into the Mississippi Outdoor Hall of Fame.
“Preston is the epitome of the good ol’ Mississippi boy who never forgot where he was from. He has been to the top as far as a worldwide outdoor celebrity, but he has never forgotten his home state of Mississippi,” said Johnson.
A 15,750 sq. ft., 100-year-old hardware store in Leland, Mississippi, will house a museum featuring a special exhibit about the Hall of Fame Inductees. The museum will be built around the Leland Chamber of Commerce.
“Leland is the perfect location for this museum,” said Johnson. “Leland has close proximity to the Mississippi River, the most fertile and productive fresh water fishery in the world. It is also the center of the Mississippi Fly Away, a holy grail for duck hunters. The land that joins the Mississippi River on both sides features world-class turkey and duck hunting. Not to mention the location along frequently traveled Blues Hwy 61.”
Johnson explained that one of the main exhibits in the museum will feature Mississippi duck and turkey call makers.
“Preston will be highlighted in the turkey call makers exhibit and the Outdoor Hall of Fame exhibit,” said Johnson. “He feels it is his duty to pass what was taught to him down to the next generation and the exhibit will allow him to do just that.”
Pittman plans to donate several of his calls, trophies and other outdoor memorabilia to the museum, including a few of his Dad’s old Lucky 13 wooden lures. “I want to donate items that will honor my family, since they are the ones that taught me and kept me in the outdoors,” said Pittman.
Pittman will be joined my five other inductees in the Mississippi Outdoor Hall of Fame: Holt Collier, Fannye Cook, Billy Joe Cross, Paul Elias and Eddie Slater.
Collier, best known for guiding President Theodore Roosevelt on a successful black bear hunt, is one of the most famous hunters in the history of our country.
Cook is one of Mississippi’s pioneer conservationists. She is best known for being the founder of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and the first director of the Mississippi Natural Science Museum.
Cross is known for his many roles in the Mississippi Outdoor community and is nationally known as a wild game chef.
Elias is one of the most well known bass fishermen in the country and is a member of the National Fishing Hall of Fame.
Slater is a noted crappie-fishing expert and has been designing fishing lures for over 50 years.
The museum will open in 2016. A banquet to honor the Mississippi Outdoor Hall of Fame inductees is planned for early 2014. If you are interested in donating photos or outdoor and hunting items to the museum, please contact Billy Johnson, 662.347.4223 or by email: [email protected]
About Longleaf Camo & Pittman Game Calls: Pittman Game Calls is located in West Point, Miss., and manufactures custom--made and hand--tuned calls. Each product is developed, manufactured, field--tested and retested so it can be offered with trouble free assurance. Pittman Game Calls is a part of Longleaf Camo brands. Visit: www.pittmangamecalls.com