Friday, November 11, 2011

The Mecca.

Mack’s Prairie Wings isn’t just another sporting goods store.  It’s a destination for duck hunters across the country.

When you go to Wings Over The Prairie, you may hit a traffic jam in the vicinity of the intersection of Highways 165 and 63.  People will pull off on the shoulder and leave their cars to walk half a mile or more… because there just isn’t any free parking anywhere near Mack’s Prairie Wings the weekend of Thanksgiving.

This sporting goods store has become a destination, the must-go place for duck hunters across Arkansas and across the country to gear up and get gone before hitting the swamps and fields for duck season.  It’s geared especially for the duck hunter, with everything from waders to duck calls to duck blinds and insulated oversuits to keep you warm.

Mack’s Prairie Wings is the vision of the McCollum family.  Back in the ‘30s, M.T. “Mack” McCollum had a hardware store in Stuttgart.  About that time folks started to come to Stuttgart en masse for the bountiful duck hunting they’d heard about.  McCollum found he had a lot more business for guns and whathaveyou than he did for his hardware, so in 1944 he opened a duck hunting store called “Mack’s Sports Shop” right next door to the hardware store.

In 1970 the McCollums moved out to Highway 79, and in 1993 that’s where “Mack’s Prairie Wings,” the mail order business, was born.  It grew and even more people started to make the pilgrimage to Stuttgart to visit.  In 2000 the operation moved to its current location on Highway 63 into a 50,000sf facility -- and that’s kept growing, too.  Today the whole shebang is more than 104,00sf and packed top to bottom with anything a duck hunter might need.

And I’m not just talking about hunting.  On my recent visit I walked in under the giant elephant head inside the front door and past cougars, bobcats, coyotes and all manners of ducks to explore the place.  The center, of course, is one of the best gun shops you’ll find in the United States, with actual gunsmiths and armory experts on-hand to make sure you get what you need.  To the left is everything you might ever need to gear up for going out to duck hunt -- waders, coveralls, headgear, socks and of course duck call after duck call.

The fun stuff is on the right hand side of the store.  I wouldn’t be surprised to discover that this is where Stuttgart teenagers get decked out for
their Wings Over The Prairie socializing -- with all manners of designer jeans, coats and knee high boots in evidence.  There are several aisles of T-shirts, belts and accessories.  And then there’s that one special department -- you know, the one with home furnishing such as camouflage couches, the best knives for filleting your duck, salsa and sweet jalapenos in jars and camouflage lingerie.

The variety and good humor makes Mack’s Prairie Wings just about the best place you can go to shop for your family and friends who believe duck hunting is more than just a hobby.

Mack’s Prairie Wings
2335 Highway 63 North
Stuttgart, AR 72160
(870) 673-6960

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kat this is awesome place! Me and my friends are book to fly to Nicaragua on Sept for 5 days/4 nights Nicaragua Duck hunt and we are looking for place where to buy apparel and some stuff that we can use in our trip. I’m wondering if they have all the sizes and give discount for bulk purchases.


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