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The Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation on Wednesday announced its 2020 inductees into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame.

This years honorees include Hank Browne of DeValls Bluff, Jerrell Dodson and Penny Dodson of Little Rock, Mark Davis of Mount Ida, and the Mahony family of El Dorado. The honorees will be inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame on Aug. 29 at the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock.

"Every year, the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation recognizes individuals whose contributions to the great outdoors transcends mere hobby," said Tyler Lawrence, events director for the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation. "The individuals we honor have devoted their time, energy and passion for the outdoors in such a way that preserves and enhances our wild spaces for generations to come."

Prominent in law and politics since 1896, the Mahony family is distinguished in conservation circles, as well. Noteworthy members were the late Joseph "Jodie" Mahony, the late Michael Mahony and Emon Mahony, the latter having served on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission from 2009-15, as well as on the Arkansas Nature Conservancy board of directors and the Arkansas Soil and Water Commission.

Emon's wife Kay Mahony remains a guiding influence. During Emon's term on the AGFC, Kay attended every committee meeting and every public meeting. That's 154 official meetings, and that does not include all of the dedications, ribbon-cutting ceremonies and other functions that members of the commission attend.

Jodie Mahony served 36 years in the Arkansas Legislature and supported laws that protected the state's natural resources. Michael Mahony was president of Union County Wildlife and chairman of the AGFC.

Among its conservation accomplishments, the Mahony family leveraged its influence at the state, regional and national levels to help establish the 65,000-acre Felsenthal National Wildlife Refuge. Emon Mahony was also instrumental in developing the state water management plan.

"The selection of the extended family is particularly pleasing because my brothers, father and I worked together as a family administratively, legislatively and philanthropically to enhance Arkansas outdoors," Emon Mahony said in a statement. "We, of course, recreated together, hunting and fishing across the state our entire lives. It was a way of life. Kay's and my children and grandchildren and friends were participants as well.

"Joining old friends and acquaintances and coworkers in the Hall is a profound honor and pleasure."

Mark Davis is one of the most successful professional bass anglers. After years of paying his dues as a fishing guide, Davis competed in his first Bassmaster tournament at age 23. Early in his career, Davis was a foil for Bassmaster emcee Ray Scott, who teased him at every tournament about his weight. Determined to be known for fishing, Davis established himself as one of the elites by winning Bassmaster Angler of the Year titles in 1995, 1998 and 2001. In 1995, he became the first pro to win the Bassmaster Classic and Angler of the Year in the same calendar year. He earned the nickname "E-5-0" for his long run of stellar performances in Bassmaster's defunct Elite 150 tournaments.

Davis is also heavily involved in youth fishing activities, most recently coaching the Mount Ida High School Fishing Club to numerous titles and contributing to the birth of the Arkansas Bassmaster High School Series.

In 2019, Davis was inducted into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

In 1991, Jerrell Dodson and Penny Dodson established Archer's Advantage, a small archery shop off Markham Street in Little Rock. It grew to become the largest archery outfitter in a five-state area. Archer's Advantage consistently ranks in the top 50 in sales for national brands such as Hoyt and Mathews.

A famous furniture entrepreneur, Hank Browne is a lifelong hunter and dedicated patron of the Game and Fish Foundation. As a member of The Nature Conservancy Arkansas' Last Great Places Society, Browne has championed conservation via financial support, land donations, and gifts of time and talents to advance the conservancy's work across the state.

Coronavirus social distancing protocols might still be in effect at the end of August for the banquet. Deke Whitbeck, president of the Game and Fish Foundation, said, "Contingency plans are fluid at this point and will be implemented accordingly as Foundation's top priority is the safety and comfort of our guests."

For more information about the induction banquet, call the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation at (501) 470-6874 or email Tyler Lawrence at [email protected]

Sports on 05/17/2020

Print Headline: New class entering state's Outdoor Hall of Fame

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