New nonprofit provides lifetime hunting, fishing licenses

Christel Deskins

One of Brent Hutchins’ favorite sayings was “one more.” Whether he was out fishing, hunting or just spending time with his family or friends, he would say, “Just one more buck,” or “just one more fish,” or “just one more minute.” “Brent would always say it, and of course, it […]

One of Brent Hutchins’ favorite sayings was “one more.” Whether he was out fishing, hunting or just spending time with his family or friends, he would say, “Just one more buck,” or “just one more fish,” or “just one more minute.”

“Brent would always say it, and of course, it would always lead to more than just one,” said Brent’s wife, Christy, who recently started a new nonprofit in his honor called One More for Brent.

Brent died in 2016 as the result of a work accident at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock. According to a story in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Hutchins was in the Central Building performing routine maintenance under an elevator when it “came down in the normal cycle and struck him.”

Following the accident, the Jacksonville chapter of the Delta Waterfowl organization purchased lifetime hunting and fishing licenses for Brent’s two children, Maeley Hutchins and Jackie Hutchins.

“Brent just loved the outdoors and teaching kids about it, as well as hunting and fishing,” said Christy, who lives in Jacksonville. “It meant a lot to me and his friends to keep his memory alive so that others can experience his love for the outdoors.”

An annual golf tournament at the Greystone Country Club in Cabot has been held in Brent’s honor, and the money raised from the tournament is used to purchase lifetime licenses for deserving youth. In the past, the tournament was put on through a partnership with the Delta Waterfowl organization, but this year, the tournament will be run by the new nonprofit. She said the goal of the nonprofit is “to give back to the community.”

“I started a new nonprofit because I wanted to expand our outreach,” Christy said. “I want to continue to do the licenses, but I also want to use the funds for college scholarships, hunter education and boater education — that kind of stuff.

“We were wanting to expand what we do.”

Christy said that with the nonprofit, she hopes to grant “one more” kid with a lifetime license and make memories.

This year’s golf tournament is scheduled for Saturday.

Todd Underwood, who lives just outside Cabot, was friends with Brent for more than 15 years. The two of them enjoyed hunting and fishing together.

“He was just an outgoing gentleman, and he was always there to lend a hand,” Underwood said of Brent. “He was passionate about the outdoors, which he learned from his father.”

Underwood said the majority of those involved with the nonprofit served on the committee for the Jacksonville chapter of the Delta Waterfowl organization.

“We wanted to do more lifetime licenses and give them to either exceptional youth or youth who have some adversity in their lives,” Underwood said. “We also wanted to provide more scholarship opportunities in the local community.

“I wanted to be involved with One More for Brent because I want to see the impact it will have on our youth and community.”

Lifetime licenses, which cover both hunting and fishing, cost about $1,000. Christy said she expects this year’s tournament to raise more than $5,000 after the expenses are paid. In four years, Christy said, the event’s proceeds have been used to award nine lifetime hunting and fishing licenses.

“A lifetime license is not only going to affect [the recipients’ lives], but as they become adults, it is also going to affect those around them and their own kids,” Underwood said. “I don’t know anybody involved who doesn’t see the joy we get by seeing Brent’s love for the outdoors passed on.

“We are absolutely continuing that tradition.”

“They can use these licenses until they are 100 years old,” Christy said. “It is something that won’t expire for them. They can hunt or fish without having to worry about getting a license.

“And these kids can make memories, doing something Brent loved the most, which was spending time with his kids outdoors.”

Brent and Christy met at North Pulaski High School. Christy said her sister and his sister were best friends, and after the two of them were introduced, she said, “the rest was history.” The couple were married for nine years and have two children: Maeley, 17, and Jackie, 11.

“Brent was very outgoing and energetic,” Christy said. “He loved teaching kids about hunting, fishing, boater safety, and we love to teach kids how to water ski.

“He was full of life, and he always had a smile on his face.”

Christy said her son, Jackie, loves to hunt, but Maeley doesn’t like to get up early. She enjoys fishing, especially trout fishing.

“They are spitting images of their dad when it comes to the love of fishing and hunting,” Christy said.

Josh Ringgold, who lives across the street from the Hutchinses, said his and Brent’s parents have been friends for more than 40 years. And once Ringgold and Brent had kids, they coached their sons’ Little League baseball teams and took hunting and fishing trips together.

“[After Brent died], it was important to me, not to necessarily fill the void but to be there if they needed somebody like that,” Ringgold said. “Brent was a storyteller and was full of life and always having a good time.”

Ringgold has four children: Bella, J.T., Jackson and Kennedi. Bella and Maeley played softball together.

“Our families are still pretty close,” Ringgold said.

He does not play in the golf tournament, but he said his wife, Jennifer, and Christy have played in it, while he does the cooking and makes sure “people are in line, because everyone wants to act like little kids when you put them in a golf cart.”

“I think [Brent] would be really impressed and amazed at the tournament, and the people who continue to show up,” Ringgold said.

“It surprises me every year. We have only been pushing this one for maybe a month, and we already have 32 hole sponsors, and registration filled up in a little over a week,” he said.

“We always have a full tournament,” Christy said. “If you met Brent, you loved him. The majority of people who play in the tournament knew him through his work.”

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Staff writer Sam Pierce can be reached at (501) 244-4314 or [email protected]

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