The 2022 Mississippi Outdoor Hall of Fame announced the Class of 2022 and celebrated the induction of both the 2021 and 2022 classes with a ceremony and reception at the Mississippi Wildlife Heritage Museum in Leland on June 4, 2022.
The 2022 inductees include outdoors men and women who made positive impacts around the country by working and contributing to the success of popular television shows as well as nationally known outdoors companies. Mississippi is represented well by these members, some of whom have worked behind the scenes to promote their companies and in the process they have painted Mississippi in a very positive light.
These new members played significant roles in the Mississippi Outdoors television show, Primos Game Calls, Mossy Oak Brand Camo and products, and BnM Crappie Poles. All are talented hunters and they all made a difference in the outdoors with their impacts spreading positive messages around the nation.
Gordon Larson, Biloxi
Gordon Larson is an award-winning outdoor photographer and longtime producer of the Mississippi Outdoors television show, a production partnership of the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks and Mississippi Public Broadcasting.
Gus Pieralisi, Leland
Revered as one of the best and most ethical hunters our state ever produced, Gus Peralisi was named one of Mississippi’s top 10 deer hunters in 1996. Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, where he enjoyed all hunting and fishing pursuits, he developed a sense of responsibility to preserve the outdoors and became known as a noted conservationist and game manager.
Eleanor Roessler, Clarksdale
Eleanor Roessler was one of the finest turkey hunters in the Mississippi Delta, made her own calls (notably the triple stack mouth call), and shared her knowledge and skill at turkey hunting with her family and countless friends who will cherish forever their memories of times at Mark Ham Island and Ward Lake Hunting Club.
The triple stack turkey call Roessler made was given to Will Primos after a hunt and he tweaked it a bit and the rest as they say is history as Primos’ version was sold nationally and became a staple for diehard turkey hunters.
Roessler carried many people turkey hunting and called up turkeys for them during a time when most women didn’t hunt. Though the exact number is unknown she carried over 100 kids hunting and taught them how to turkey hunt. Many of those children harvested their fist gobblers on hunts with her.
Troy Ruiz, Madison
Troy Ruiz is a team member of Primos Hunting’s The Truth About Hunting television program. At the early age of 9 the deer hunting bug hit him and with the invention of the Polaroid camera and then the compact camcorder Troy began using pictures and video to share his experiences with friends and family. Troy’s love for the outdoors and sharing it with others through the lens of a camera and into your TV is what keeps him going.
Bill Sugg, West Point
Bill Sugg, President of Mossy Oak, joined the company in 1986 as its first salesman and official company employee along with Mossy Oak CEO and founder Toxey Haas. During his tenure at Mossy Oak, he has channeled his passion for the outdoors into managing the daily operations of the business. Under his leadership, Sugg has directed Mossy Oak to not only grow in scale, but also grow its efforts to support organizations who promote conservation, hunting and fishing.
Jack Wells, Tupelo
Jack Wells joined B & M Pole Company in July 2000 and represents the third generation of family ownership. For the last 22 years, he has worked to expand participation in crappie fishing all over the U.S. by working with local crappie clubs, outdoor communicators, national trails or anyone who would listen to him describe the benefits of the great sport of crappie fishing. He also worked tirelessly to convince retailers of all sizes that crappie was, in fact, a viable market that should be supported with quality equipment on the shelf.
“We are really happy that the pandemic is behind us so we can get together and honor these great outdoorsmen and women,” said Billy Johnson, Executive Director of the Mississippi Wildlife Heritage Foundation. “We also had the opening of the Joe Mac Hudspeth Jr. photo exhibit and along with a book signing for his book titled ‘My Best of the Southern Wild’.
The Mississippi Wildlife Heritage Museum is located at 302 North Broad Street in downtown Leland. Contact Executive Director Billy Johnson at 662-347-4223.
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