9-30-13 Auction to benefit WVU Natural History MuseumLatest Headlines Monday, September 30th, 2013 Would you like to receive e-mail alerts when we have breaking news? Click here!
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – An auction of an avid outdoorsman’s taxidermy collection will benefit a museum dedicated to many of the things that make West Virginia wild and wonderful.
Cordie O. Hudkins Jr., passed away in October 2012 at the age of 74. He dedicated his life not only to pursuing his love of hunting and fishing, but in promoting preservation and conservation of the natural world. He left his considerable collection of taxidermy figures to the West Virginia University Natural History Museum to help achieve that preservation.
WVU’s Natural History Museum was created in 2008 and is currently housed in Percival Hall on the Evansdale Campus.
“This museum was created because we believe that natural history museums are critical for educating future resource managers and the general public and that they are an essential component of a comprehensive land-grant institution, particularly in a rural state like West Virginia, where people embrace a strong connection with the land,” said Jim Anderson, professor of wildlife and fisheries resources at WVU and an advocate of the museum.
“We are extremely grateful to the Cordie Hudkins family for donating the specimens to the WVU Natural History Museum,” Anderson added.
This donation will serve the dual purpose of educating wildlife and fisheries students and the public as well as allowing the museum to build and expand its displays.
“The quality of many of the taxidermied animals is exquisite and the specimens will make fine additions to the museum as well as to the collection of others,” Anderson said. “We plan to keep many of the specimens donated by the Hudkins family for display in the museum for the public to enjoy and for the education of our students. Some of the extra mounts, that we do not have room for, such as duplicate head mounts of white-tailed deer and mule deer will be sold at auction.”
Proceeds from the auction will be used to develop additional displays and dioramas depicting North American wildlife.
“We hope that this benefit auction will allow us to expand on the current museum and build the next phases of the exhibits which include wetland, woodland, and raptors dioramas,” said Ann Anderson, WVU wildlife biologist and curator of the museum. “We are excited to finally be able to protect and display more of our taxidermy wildlife specimens in their naturally portrayed environments.”
The auction will be held Tuesday, Oct. 8, at the Hazel and J.W. Ruby Community Center at Mylan Park. Registration and inspection will begin at 3 p.m. with the auction commencing at 5 p.m. The auction will be conducted by Joe R. Pyle Complete Auction.
Hundreds of specimens, ranging from the everyday to the exotic, will be available for auction. For a complete listing, please visit the auctioneer’s site at www.joerpyleauctions.com.
Hudkins began his career with the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources as an assistant superintendent of the 6,000-acre Babcock State Park. From there, he worked as superintendent of Cedar Creek State Park, North Bend State Park and Pipestem State Park, often referred to as the “crown jewel” of the State Park System.
In 1977 he was transferred from Pipestem to the central office in Charleston as a district administrator for the southern part of the state. In the same year, he was promoted to assistant chief in charge of the planning section. When several projects were completed under his direction, he was appointed chief in charge of the operations section. In 1989 he returned to the planning section, which at that time had expanded to embrace planning, engineering and maintenance to again deal with a backlog of projects.
Finally, in 1990, he was appointed chief of the West Virginia State Park System, and remained in this position until his retirement in 2000.
In 1994, Hudkins received the Cornelius Amory Pugsley State Medal, which has been awarded annually since 1928, and is perhaps the most prestigious award given to recognize outstanding contributors to the field of parks and conservation.
He also received the Oshel Craigo Lifetime Achievement Award, which honors individuals whose support of the tourism industry has helped the industry to grow and establish itself as an important economic development tool for West Virginia, and the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of State Park Directors.
The Hudkins’ taxidermy collection was donated to the University in conjunction with A State of Minds: The Campaign for West Virginia’s University. Proceeds from the Oct. 8 auction also will benefit WVU through the $750 million fundraising effort that runs through December 2015.