ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA- Ducks Unlimited announced the winners of the 2009 Wetland Conservation Achievement Awards at the 74th annual North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Arlington, Virginia.
DU's Wetland Achievement Awards recognize individuals who have made Will and Mary Primos at their Rivers Run Tract outstanding contributions to the restoration and conservation of North America's wetlands and waterfowl. The awards are presented in six categories. This year's recipient for the Conservation/Private Citizen award is Will Primos of Madison, Mississippi.
"These individuals have each had a tremendous impact on North America's waterfowl habitat," said DU Executive Vice President Don Young as he presented the awards. "DU is proud to recognize their contributions and hopes their personal achievements inspire others to engage in conservation."
Primos is the founder and president of Primos Hunting Calls. A philanthropist, hunter, conservationist and waterfowl enthusiast, Primos demonstrated a passion for wildlife from an early age. Childhood hunting trips with his father Kenneth and uncles Gus, Billy and Aleck only intensified his innate interest in wildlife.
"The sights and sounds of wetlands when they are full of ducks is enough of an award for me, but to be recognized by DU for my small contribution to the places that waterfowl call home in summer and winter only inspires me to do more," Primos said. Today Primos Hunting Calls is a major brand in the outdoor industry, providing skillfully crafted calls for waterfowl, deer, elk, predator and turkeys as well as manufacturing some 300 hunting accessories that make our days in the field more successful. Primos has also developed a successful video series called "The Truth" and two popular television shows titled "Primos' Truth About Hunting" and "Primos Truth about Whitetails." In addition to his contributions to the outdoor industry, Primos is an energetic supporter of DU.
"Primos Hunting Calls is a DU Corporate Sponsor, and Will has helped DU in numerous other ways, especially in the pursuit of major sponsors and foundation support for the cause of wetlands conservation. Will has been unwavering in his support for DU and conservation in general, serving many times as a spokesman, presenter and master of ceremonies at DU events," said DU Director of Land Protection Jimmy Emfinger who nominated him for the award.
Further demonstrating his commitment to conservation, Primos holds a property under a conservation easement and actively encourages others to consider perpetual protection of their recreational lands. The Rivers Run property in Leflore and Humphreys counties in Mississippi was a good wildlife property when Primos acquired it, and through his efforts, it has become an outstanding wildlife property. Primos worked with DU to help restore hundreds of acres of agriculture to bottomland hardwood forests and wetlands.
"Will spares no expense in seeing that wildlife needs, especially those of waterfowl, are met at Rivers Run," Emfinger said.
Primos was educated in the public schools in Jackson, Mississippi and graduated from Belhaven College in 1974. He worked in the family business until 1989 when he decided to pursue his passion for making game calls. He and his wife Mary spend their time working, traveling, hunting and enjoying the outdoors, especially at Rivers Run.
With more than a million supporters, Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest and most effective wetland and waterfowl conservation organization with more than 12 million acres conserved. The United States alone has lost more than half of its original wetlands - nature's most productive ecosystem - and continues to lose more than 80,000 wetland acres each year.