Winchester Honors Marion McCollum

The company honored the outdoor marketing luminary of Mack’s Prairie Wings with this year’s Winchester Legend Award.

Marion McCollum (center) of Mack’s Prairie Wings in Stuttgart, Arkansas, is the second recipient of the Winchester Legend Award.
Marion McCollum (center) of Mack’s Prairie Wings in Stuttgart, Arkansas, is the second recipient of the Winchester Legend Award.Staff Photo

Last year, Winchester Ammunition presented the first Winchester Legend Award to six-time Olympic shooting medalist Kim Rhode. This year, Winchester honored outdoor marketing luminary Marion McCollum of Mack’s Prairie Wings, located in Stuttgart, Arkansas.

The vast grassland of Grand Prairie in the Mississippi Delta in eastern Arkansas has long been a waterfowl paradise. Stuttgart has been its epicenter, each year drawing diehard waterfowlers from across the country.

Winchester’s John Olin was a frequent visitor. Every season, he rented a floor of the city’s Riceland Hotel for a month to house himself and his hunting friends. Marion’s father, M. T. McCollum, owner of McCollum’s Hardware, saw the annual migration of hunters and realized that catering to their unique needs and wants most likely would be a smart move.

In 1945, he essentially pioneered the waterfowling sales business by cutting an archway into the side of the hardware store and adding a department just for duck and goose hunters. By 1967, the McCollums had outgrown the original hardware store and moved to a new, larger facility. They moved again in 2000 to the 42,000-square-foot retail space that Mack’s Prairie Wings now occupies.

Growing up in Stuttgart, Marion was introduced to waterfowling at a young age. He also spent many years guiding waterfowlers, so it should come as no surprise that he took his place alongside his father at Mack’s at the start of the 1960s.

In 1992, on a flight with his long-time vice president Chuck Lock, Marion decided it was time to look at expanding in a new, but related, direction. He pulled an airline-mall catalog out of the seat pocket and started mapping out the strategy for what would be Mack’s mail-order business, which began operations in 1993. Today, Mack’s fulfills thousands of orders from its 95,000-square-foot shipping warehouse.

At 78, Marion has been “Mack’s” for 50 years, and has been a major donor to Ducks Unlimited and Delta Waterfowl. He also served seven years on the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission and on the Board of the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation. He has been inducted into the Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame and the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame. And, now, he is a Winchester Legend.

When presented with a Winchester original print as part of the honor, McCollum said, “I’ve shot Winchester shells my whole life. To me, red is far more than just the color of my blood.” Booth #13129. (