History of the Stuttgart Hunting Club
Decades of Tradition in the Heart of
Arkansas' Famed Grand Prairie
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 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 farmers. This wasn’t the case for the McCollum family, especially half-brothers Otis and Roy.
Otis McCollum leased land for duck hunting, once controlling over 7,000 acres. It became obvious to him that if exceptional duck hunting were going to be guaranteed, he would have to give Mother Nature a hand. After World War II, he decided to develop the Bayou Meto Big Ditch bottoms. There are more than 15 miles of Otis McCollum-built levees that are still in use today, all of which 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 bought out the others in 1933 and developed the land for duck hunting.
Roy died in 1947, 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 to a group from Texas for ten years but they only came on 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 to flood his timber before duck season. He was continually making capitol improvements.
When the 10-year lease was up, he began booking hunters from all across the United States. Expansion and additional buildings were necessary because of the club’s tremendous growth. The ducks were plentiful. What a sight to be standing next to 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. Slick and his brothers loved the friendships they developed that kept the hunters coming back year after year.
Slick died on October 18, 1981 and another legacy began. He 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 club since he was a young boy and had guided for Slick for years. Bud was a natural. He and his guides did a wonderful job keeping the business going for 22 years until he retired after the 2003-2004 season. J.W. McCollum also guided at Slick’s for 24 years and retired the same season. At 80 years old, he was the oldest living duck guide on the Grand Prairie.
Slick’s great nephew, Todd Hartley, managed the club from 2004-2007. He and his brother, Michael, guided at Slick’s from the time they were young boys.
The 2008-2009 season brought about another change in leadership as Slick’s grandson, Brad Moss, began managing the club. Brad began guiding for Slick at age 15 and has over 40 years of experience. He oversaw another expansion with the construction of a new, state of the art lodge in 2015. Brad continues to meticulously manage our wildlife habitat. His efforts have made the duck club more successful than ever.
It is an honor and privilege for our family to continue the McCollum legacy that was started on the Grand Prairie so many years ago.