Six prominent Louisiana outdoor personalities with outstanding legacies of contributions to the outdoors will be inducted into the second class of the Louisiana Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame at an induction and awards banquet October 16th, 2021 at Tunks Cypress Inn on Lake Kincaid in Boyce, LA.
The banquet is open to the pubic and area sportsmen and women are urged to attend to honor the accomplishments of these individuals. Tickets are $50 and may be purchased by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling Peyton McKinnie, at 318-557-7173. The group is also looking for sponsors, which will cost $300 including two tickets to the banquet. McKinnie is director of the Louisiana Hall and also a national Legends of the Oudoors Hall of Fame board member.
The 2021 class of inductees includes Warren Coco of Baton Rouge, founder and owner of Go Devil Boats; former BASS Masters Classic champion and marine dealership owner Bo Dowden of Natchitoches; noted deer hunter and woodsman Warren Womack of Bluff Creek; Joe Macaluso of Baton Rouge, veteran outdoors editor of the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate and one of the founders for “Hunters For the Hungry” in the state; Dale Bordelon of Effie, Bayou Beast Duck Call owner, duck carver and outdoor history preservationist; and freelance outdoor writer and broadcaster Glynn Harris of Ruston.
Three very special recognition awards will also be given at the banquet.
Veteran turkey hunter and caller and tireless relief volunteer worker Leon Stilley of Albany will receive the Louisiana Sportsman of the Year Award. despite being without power for over 20 days after Hurricane Ida still managed evert day to help prepare & feed over 24,000 meals in his home parish with friends at Southern Boyz Outdoors. A retired Fireman, he is a 13 time Louisiana State gobbling champion by natural voice and 40 year plus member of the NWTF and NRA.
The Louisiana Sportsman Magazine in Boutte will be honored with the Legends Legacy Award presented to Publisher Jonathan Menard and owner Lisa Cuccia in recognition of the business as well as the many contributors to the magazine over the years. The magazine began in 1985 has maintained a commitment to covering the great resources and people in the Louisiana outdoors. Their audience includes 45,000 monthly readers, 360,000 monthly web visits and 180,000 social media followers.
Hogg Boss Gates LLC of Bastrop will receive the Manufacturer Of Excellence Award. They manufacture cellular controlled hog gates and corrals. Hogg Boss Gates began as a necessity to trap feral hogs by owners Kory Gilbert & Scott Hall on the land they hunt. The equipment is now used statewide as landowners and sportsmen battle out-of-control numbers of feral hogs that have been allowed to grow unchecked in the state’s outdoors.
The first class of the Louisiana Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame was chosen in 2019, however, the 2020 process was postponed due to Covid.
That first class of honorees chosen to begin the Legends Louisiana Hall of Fame, seen below, included Cedar Hills Game Calls founder Jerry Antley of Downsville; Honey Hole founder Bobby Phillips of Woodlawn; Paul Meeks of Tallulah, API Outdoors founder and developer of the climbing deer stand; Outdoor writer, promoter and conservationist Kinny Haddox of West Monroe; Noted hunter and outdoor educator Dan DeWitt of Dry Prong; Outdoor volunteer Ronda Johnson of Haughton; MegaDucks waterfow guide Johnny Wink of Jones; and fisherman Steve Danna of Farmerville.
The national Legends of the Outdoors was established in 2002 by Tennessee outdoorsman Garry Mason to provide national recognition to outdoor sportsmen and sportswomen who, through countless hours of hard work and devotion to the outdoors, in both hunting and fishing, have played an integral part in setting the standards and guidelines for the rest of the outdoor world to follow. The Louisiana Chapter is the first to initiate a state program using the same guidelines.
Additional biographical information and photos can be found on the Louisiana State Chapter Legends of the Outdoors Hall of Fame Facebook page.
This year’s inductees at-a-glance:
Warren Coco: An avid duck hunter, at 22 he founded a company destined to become one of the most important and influential members of the waterfowl industry. The first version of the Go-Devil motor weighed nearly 200 pounds, but worked like nothing Coco had ever seen. For the next three years he put in 16-to-18-hour days without a paycheck, founding Go-Devil with about $1,000 capital and a handful of garage equipment. Today, the company maintains more than 30 full-time employees with more than 52,000 square feet of high-tech buildings turning out at least 1,000 engines per year. The company is a generous supporter of DU.
Bo Dowden: Villis P “Bo” Dowden is one of two Louisiana residents to win the prestigious BASSMasters Classic in its 50 year run of naming the world champion of professional bass fishing. He won on the St. Lawrence River in New York in 1980. Dowden is a former marine dealer and now real estate agent from Natchitoches. Dowden would compete in a total of 14 BASSMaster Classics, including finishing in third in 1982. When he retired from competitive fishing in 2001, he had collected career winnings of $235,261 in sanctioned BASS events. ESPN Outdoors and BASS named him among the 35 greatest anglers of all-time in 2004. He is also a member of the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Warren Womack: Warren Womack has had countless endeavors in the outdoors, but is notable for his harvesting and journaling the details of 387 total Whitetails., 208 with a bow and 107 with a rifle. While the total number of harvests itself is impressive, the logging of each successful hunt is what has made his name one that many hunters have come to recognize. The written descriptions of successful hunts are littered with facts and methods that have helped his hone his craft into something quiet special. Today, his attention to detail has helped many hunters searching for ways to improve their hunting and his tactics and strategies have been featured in magazines and podcasts.
Joe Macaluso: Most widely known as the veteran outdoors editor of the Baton Rouge Morning Advocate, he has won numerous awards including the Louisiana Governor’s Conservationist of the Year in the Communicator category and the Arthur Van Pelt Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association. In 2014, Joe was also presented the Distinguished Service Award in Sports Journalism by the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame. He has been awarded/recognized more than 90 times (as a top three finisher) for stories in state, regional and national organizations. He also wrote the Louisiana section of the World Encyclopedia of Fishing and conceived the idea, then was director/co-host for the award-winning “Paradise Louisiana,” a groundbreaking one-hour outdoors magazine TV show (airing on Louisiana cable systems). In 1994, Joe was one of a group of local hunters who helped establish “Hunters For The Hungry”.
Dale Bordelon: Dale is the owner of Bayou Beast Duck Calls, a tradition dating back to the 1870s when previous family members made duck calls from river cane. In addition to hand making duck calls, he still hand carves all of his many different types of decoys from cypress. He also still hunts with his Winchester model 1897 in his hand carved dugout pirogue. His dugout was hand carved from a 5,000 pound cypress log. Bordelon incorporates tradition into every hunting or fishing trip. His ancestors arrived in Louisiana from France in 1720. He makes pillows from Duck Feathers has his ancestors did. A True Louisiana Cajun Legend preserving the traditions of his ancestors.
Glynn Harris: A noted freelance outdoor writer and radio show host, he has spent most of his life enjoying the outdoors. He was in on the groundbreaking coverage of tournament fishing in north Louisiana and big bucks statewide. He writes a weekly outdoor column for several north Louisiana newspapers, has magazine credits in a number of magazines and has a weekly outdoor radio show. He has won more than 50 writing and broadcasting awards during his almost 50 year career.