The new Ducks Unlimited Waterfowling Heritage Center, inside Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid in Memphis, opened on April 29, 2015. The Waterfowling Heritage Center offers visitors an opportunity to learn about Ducks Unlimited, wetlands conservation, waterfowl, the history of waterfowl hunting in North America, and the important role sportsmen and women have played in conserving our continent's wildlife and habitat. The following is a photographic tour of the new facility.
The Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid is an impressive spectacle of modern architecture and retail ingenuity. Once in the front doors you'll be greeted by towering cypress trees and an indoor river stocked with fish, ducks, and alligators. Veering right and following the river's edge, a staircase directs you upstairs to the hunting department and the Ducks Unlimited Waterfowling Heritage Center.
Crossing the main threshold of the Waterfowling Heritage Center, visitors step into the Duck Lodge. With a DU-themed fireplace; marvelous taxidermy; and one of the finest collections of antique calls, decoys, and waterfowl guns in the world, visitors gain a sense of belonging.
This view is from near the fireplace, looking out the main entrance of the Waterfowling Heritage Center. It offers a glimpse of the first few guns, decoys, and other carvings on display.
This particular shadow box replicates an old duck or goose lodge, complete with multiple light and dark goose species and a drake canvasback mount. The display also includes attire, licenses, and a log book one would see in an early 1920s or 1930s waterfowl hunting camp.
Visitors stare in amazement at the taxidermy above the Duck Lodge exit and throughout the entire Waterfowling Heritage Center, where there are more than 70 waterfowl mounts on display.
This aluminum duck hunting boat scene is reminiscent of a hunting scenario featuring Nash Buckingham's boat on the marshes of Wapanocca Outing Club, now Wapanocca National Wildlife Refuge. Buckingham, one of the world's most well-known outdoor writers, used to hunt Wapanocca, which is just across the Mississippi River and a few miles north of where the Bass Pro Shops at the Pyramid sits today. The far wall details the Ducks Unlimited story, offering a timeline of events from the organization's beginnings in 1937 to the present day. The display cases in this area provide a glimpse into the organization's conservation fundraising efforts. The next set of display cases features multiple gun manufacturers and helps tell the story of how waterfowling firearms and other equipment have changed over the years. The back wall shares the story of waterfowling days of old, complete with videos and photographs.
The are two waterfowl Identification kiosks in the Waterfowling Heritage Center where visitors can see, hear, and learn more about different North American waterfowl species.
Follow the history of waterfowling dogs with a complete timeline explaining the various hunting breeds and their ancestries. Also see the trophy case of King Buck, one of the most famous waterfowling dogs thanks to the inclusion of his image on the federal duck stamp in 1959.
The final stop on this tour brings visitors into modern conservation work and how Ducks Unlimited's efforts impact waterfowl populations, other wildlife, and people. A scale model demonstrates the flood protection that wetlands offer communities, and multiple monitors detail DU's multi-region approach to continental conservation. The glass case shows the tools that turn-of-the-century and modern waterfowl scientists use in the field.