Living A Life of Adventure
Lifetime Sportsmen Award
The award was created by Park Cities Quail in 2006 to recognize sportsmen who have distinguished themselves by living a life of adventure, love of the outdoors, respect for natural resources and most of all those who have demonstrated a spirit of giving back and making it possible for others to enjoy the sporting life.
The bronze award was created specifically for this purpose by world renowned wildlife artist – Walter Matia. Each award is cast with the recipient’s name.
Delmar Smith grew up on a ranch in Big Cabin, Oklahoma where he spent his childhood riding horseback to and from school and working for local dog trainers. By the time Delmar was 13 he had saved enough money from cleaning dog pens to take a horse training course. He applied the techniques learned in that course to create “The Delmar Smith Method”. It was this revolutionary way for training bird dogs that led him to become one of America’s most respected trainers producing two books and three videos.
Delmar has devoted a lifetime to the sport of gun dogs and bird dogs as a breeder, trainer and judge. As a conservationist he was at the forefront of ecological and biological studies to create superior environments for the propagation of game-birds. Those areas have since been developed into excellent field trial grounds throughout the mid- and southwestern United States.
Delmar has bred, trained, and handled bird dogs to numerous championships including five Brittany National Championships, five US Open Brittany Championships and two Brittany National Futurity. In fact, between Delmar, his sons Rick and Tom and his nephew Ronnie, they have won numerous International, National and US Open championships. Delmar also helped initiate the first AKC Shooting Dog Stakes, the Fleetwood Classic and the International Endurance Championship.
At 89 Delmar has not slowed down and still keeps a kennel of 75 dogs. He continues to be in demand as both a field trial judge and consultant which allows him to “give back” to the sport that has been so good to him. Delmar is a generous supporter of the Bird Dog Foundation and the Field Trial Hall of Fame where he was an inductee in 1998.
In 2001, Katharine became the first woman chair of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. She oversaw the development of the Land and Water Resources Conservation and Recreation Plan and created the Texas Quail Council. She is founding president of Taking Care of Texas, former First Lady Laura Bush’s statewide conservation initiative. Her love of all things wild evolved from a practical ranching background. She worked cattle on weekends and summers from an early age. Armstrong’s parents helped her develop a love for hunting and fishing. Though she enjoys all outdoor endeavors, quail hunting is her favorite.
Strait made his name as a legendary country music entertainer for 30 years. Growing up in Pearsall, and on his family ranch outside of Big Wells, Texas, Strait gained an appreciation of the outdoors and wildlife conservation. As a third generation rancher, team roper, and a lifelong sportsman, George has always maintained a special bond with his heritage, despite his busy touring schedule. As George winds down his time on the road, he anticipates spending more time with his friends and family on his South Texas ranch near Laredo.
A.V. Jones Jr.
Jones, 80, is an energy entrepreneur, rancher and lifelong resident of Albany, in Shackelford County, east of Abilene. His father settled the family in Shackelford County because it offered the best quail hunting he could find, and A.V. Jr. has committed himself and his resources to continuing that tradition. Following World War II, the Jones family began acquiring ranch land for gas and oil prospects with an eye toward quail hunting potential. Jones Family Ranches includes about 30,000 acres. As chairman, A.V. Jones has been a steward of the land and wildlife in general but particularly of bobwhite quail, even before the Texas quail decline was widely acknowledged.
Ted Turner is chairman of the Turner Foundation, an independent family foundation which supports efforts for improving air and water quality, developing a sustainable energy future to protect the earth’s climate, safeguarding environmental health, protecting and maintaining wildlife habitat, and developing practices and policies to curb population growth rates; and co-founder of Ted’s Montana Grill restaurant chain, which operates 44 locations nationwide. Turner is also chairman of Turner Enterprises, Inc. a private company which manages his business interests, land holdings and investments, including the oversight of 2 million acres in 12 states and in Argentina, and more than 55,000 bison head. In addition, he is chairman of the United Nations Foundation and co-chairman of the Nuclear Threat Initiative.
Ray Murski was a worldwide hunter, a tireless supporter of the hunting and fishing industries and a passionate quail hunter from the time he owned his first bird dog at the age of ten. An avid supporter of quail conservation, Murski was a critical patron in the formative years of the highly acclaimed Bobwhite Brigade youth camps. Murski was a Texas Wildlife Association director and served on the board of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation.
Bob Carter has not only been recognized for his business endeavors, but also for his stewardship of the land. Bob is a passionate hunter, conservationist, and a strident supporter of quail research. In 1982, Bob and his wife Janice, named their new company “Panda Energy,” after an icon of the environmental movement.
Ray, an accomplished author of 11 books, and writer of feature stories and/or columns for nearly every outdoor publication in Texas, began his career in the newspaper business at The Lufkin News in 1970 while still in college. Sasser has also been featured in many national publications.
Boone has been a quail enthusiast, environmental steward and conservationist before many in Texas even knew what it meant. His 68,000-acre Mesa Vista Ranch is a model for wildlife resource management. His business ventures, which speak for themselves, include an alternative energy provider, and the largest supplier of vehicular natural gas in North America.
Walter was known by many in the region as the consummate gentleman sportsman. A lover of bird dogs and the traditions of the sport, Walter introduced many youth to their first hunt. Unfortunately, Walter passed away just a few weeks before the ceremony, but he left a legacy of the sporting life to his family and many others throughout the country.