Conway Influencers Plan Central Arkansas’ First Arkansas Duck Derby

A group of Conway influencers hopes to take advantage of Arkansans’ passion for duck hunting, while also supporting men’s health programs at Conway Regional Health System. Proceeds also benefit the Lodging Assistance and Guest House program for patient families who live out of town and need short-term lodging. 

The inaugural Arkansas Duck Derby is a one-day hunt planned for Jan. of 2019. The event will have teams of four hunters competing for an elaborate grand prize that can be equally divided among the team members, as well as the landowner donating property for the hunt. Organizers of the derby have secured private land in and around the Conway area and continue to pursue participation from area landowners who are interested in hosting a hunt the day of the derby.

Hunters will be awarded points assigned to different species of ducks that are brought in the day of the derby. Point values for different ducks will be kept confidential until all teams have returned from the hunt. The team with the most points wins the grand prize. 

Teams will be assigned their specific hunting locations through a random drawing held the eve of the hunt. 

“Nothing pulls guys together like a great hunt, and this also is an opportunity for us to focus on men taking care of their health, a topic that men rarely discuss,” said Thad Hardin, MD, a family practice physician at Conway Regional Medical Center and one of the organizers of the derby. “We are fortunate to provide comprehensive men’s health services to our community, but they do us no good if men don’t take a proactive role in taking care of themselves.  So, our goals are two-fold with this event.”  Hardin joins physicians Andrew Cole, MD, and Lew McColgan, MD, in planning the derby. Also working with the planning are executive leaders from Nabholz Construction, Conway Corporation, the University of Central Arkansas, First Security Bank, Trinity Development, JSI Partners LTD, American Safeguard Insurance, Crain Automotive, C2 Powersports & DeBoardElectronics, and Simmons Bank.  

Team registration will be announced at a later date and is expected to begin in the fall. Hardin said the initiative is open to non-hunters as well.  The community is invited to attend a banquet the evening prior to the hunt, whether or not those individuals are participating on a team. The banquet will include dinner, a silent auction, and big ticket raffle items. One of the raffle items will be a “Duck Truck,” a mechanically-enhanced, wrapped truck that is popular among duck hunters. A limited number of raffle tickets will be sold at $100 each for a chance to win the duck truck. Other big ticket raffle items and items up for bid as part of the silent auction will be available to anyone who attends the banquet.  

Sponsorships for the Arkansas Duck Derby are still available. Sponsors who wish to register a team receive the benefit of early registration; however, registration fees are not included in the sponsorship. A sponsorship of $20,000 includes two early bird registration opportunities; a sponsorship of $10,000 includes one early bird registration.

Landowners who would like to donate their property for the one-day hunt and prospective sponsors may contact Marla Hambuchen at