D. M. (Chick) Major was born November 5, 1896 in Springfield, Arkansas. He always loved hunting, fishing, baseball, and anything to do with the outdoors. In 1939 Chick made his first duck call. In 1945 He bested over 100 competitors to win the 1945 World Champion Duck Calling Contest. He was also a Gulf Coast Champion, and an International Champion.
He had the baseball diamond quickness of his youth; the alertness born in thousands of hours behind a succession of working bird dogs, and more thousands in the duck blind---the squint of eye of the outdoorsman, the keen hearing, in later years not quite so acute. Add to that the mischievous clown in his talent for ventriloquism. Often called “A Master Craftsman”, he had the creative ability and stamina to stand behind the lathe hours on end; liking people and having the patience to deal with them, particularly the youngsters. His generosity of spirit made sure few left his work shop without a duck call. He always had a “cull box” that had calls with slight imperfections, that he let those with limited resources search and choose just the right one.
He was a member of First Methodist Church, DU, American Duck Hunters Association, the Stuttgart Youth Center “100 Club,” Woodmen of the World, Arkansas Wildlife Federation, and the American Legion. He coached American Legion baseball in Stuttgart for years.
He was married to Sophie Pearl Hollanger Major, who worked beside him with a settling firmness, an eye for business, and the patience to teach duck calling while he made duck calls. They had a special place in their lives and hearts for the Grand Prairie and its youngsters. Their dedication to Stuttgart was demonstrated time and again as ambassadors of the art of duck calling, duck call manufacturing, and duck hunting.
Chick was the true, living definition of the word “Sportsman”. He was a conservationist and environmentalist before it was popular to be one.
The Chick & Sophie Major Memorial Duck Calling Contest is a scholarship contest for high school seniors, held annually in Stuttgart. Each year scholarships totaling $4250 are given to 4 high school seniors. There is no entry fee; contestants provide a high school transcript. Over $88,000 in scholarships have been paid out in 13 states, to 35 schools, since this scholarship foundation started in 1974.
If Chick were here today, he would be humbled by this recognition. His family was dubbed “The World Champion Duck Calling Family”, back in the 1950s and 1960s. They were the original “Duck Dynasty”. Chick and family traveled thousands of miles to DU rallies, sport shows, duck calling, goose calling, and turkey calling contests, to promote the city of Stuttgart.
Family meant everything to Chick. He was happiest when hunting or fishing with family. Picture him smiling down on us tonight with his favorite Irish Water Spaniel, Stinker, at his feet with Rusty, Shamus, Robin, and Rex close by. Chick left behind to carry on his legacy: Dixie Major Holt, and husband Eddie of Crossett, Brenda Peacock Cahill, and husband Don of Morrilton, and Pat Peacock of Stuttgart. There are 5 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, and 1 great-great grandchild. The Dixie Mallard Call is still being made by Brenda and Don Cahill of Morrilton.
To the people privileged to have known Chick, and shared a part in his life, there will be many cherished memories. To coming generations, and generations yet unborn, he will stand as a legend---a man with a generosity of spirit---a promoter of duck calling in its highest degree. When future generations call ducks down from the sky, they will be re-echoing the fine notes handed down to them from the man who did so much to get the art of duck calling on its way. He is gone, but he leaves a legacy of manifold blessings that will live forever.
As long as ducks fill the sky, there will be a duck caller calling them in---a lasting tribute to a “Master Craftsman.”
Join us for the second annual Arkansas Waterfowler Hall of Fame. The second class will be inducted on November 30, 2017. This evening event will share the stories of the impact of their contributions as waterfowl enthusiasts gather to celebrate this time honored tradition.
The creation of this new program is a long overdue effort to preserve the contributions of those individuals who have gone above and beyond through dedicated time, resources and other work to enhance the waterfowl industry in Arkansas.Nominate Today!
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