Avery Wood was born in 1934 and was consumed with duck hunting by the age of 13. He spent the next 54 years spending a little of every single day and the majority of lots of days thinking of little else. For the most part, he was self taught. He got tips and tidbits of knowledge here and there, but the majority of the knowledge he accrued over the years was from just “ getting out there and hunting ” . The world of waterfowl is a lot better because of his love for the sport. During his many years of chasing ducks, he learned that many times, the best spots for hunting waterfowl were privately owned, which was greatly limiting the number of waterfowl hunter ’ s that can enjoy the sport. He experienced this frustration as a young man and, whether he knew it or not at the time, he was going to try to change that the best he could.
Early on, he had a love for serving the public. He began by joining the Navy and spending 6 years serving as an officer. Then, after several private industry jobs in management, he got the opportunity to get back into public duty and was appointed Director of the Game and Fish Commission for the State of Mississippi and served from 1972-1976. In those 4 short years, no director has done more for Waterfowl hunting in the State of Mississippi, before or since. He worked closely with the Nature Conservancy and was instrumental in the creation of Mississippi ’ s Wildlife Heritage Fund that resulted in two large conservation areas being procured for the public. One was the Pascagoula project in Southeast Mississippi and the other was a part of Malmaison known as the McIntyre Scatters arguably the best duck hunting the entire State has to offer.
These acts have forever changed, for the better, the State of Mississippi and the world of waterfowl, in general. He served as President of the Mississippi Flyway Council and always fought for our state ’ s best interests. After retiring from public office, he continued going to the Flyway Council meetings working diligently for waterfowl opportunities in our State.
Beyond this and just as, if not more importantly, Avery has had a profound impact on 10 ’ s of thousands of waterfowl hunter ’ s directly and indirectly through his conservation efforts and personal inventions. Yes, he was like most of us, he loved to tinker with ideas to make his duck hunting rig better, each and every single season. It was like a religion.
Hopefully, Avery Wood, and his service to waterfowl, along with this scholarship, will have a profound enough impact to inspire you to make a difference for all waterfowl hunter ’ s today and in the future.
Tate Wood – Drake Waterfowl