“From my cold, dead hands,” is a phrase made popular by Charlton Heston and the NRA, but the same could be used to describe hunters’ feelings about their trophies. You prepare months in advance, spend countless hours waiting, and it all comes down to that final moment.
This July, proud hunters from across the country gathered in Reno, Nev. for Boone and Crockett Club‘s 28th Big Game Awards. This year’s awards, sponsored in part by Cabela’s, established several new benchmarks that are a direct reflection of today’s hunters’ commitment to conservation, fair chase and the future of these traditions.
“Boone and Crockett began hosting public exhibitions of big-game trophies in 1947. But I don’t think we’ve ever seen the hunting community more passionate about helping us deliver the message that hunting success follows conservation success—and vice versa,” said Club President Bill Demmer, in a press release.
While the topic of trophies has certainly stirred a lot of controversy over the years—we’ve all heard PETA’s anti-hunting propaganda—when it comes down to it, hunting is the reason we have so many amazing record-breaking animals year after year.
The availability of mature, male trophies today that sportsmen and sportswomen are making the Boone and Crockett record book is a testimony to successful game management. Age, quality habitat, and genetics are the three biological factors that it takes to produce a record book animal, said Keith Balfourd, Boone and Crockett’s Director of Marketing.
“Age and habitat are directly related to proper management. If a particular population is being overhunted, either by man or predators, there will be few if any mature males.” Balfourd goes on to note that, “If a population is left undermanaged relative to the carrying capacity of their range, habitat degradation can occur affecting the health of the wildlife living there and poor antler growth is an indicator of poor habitat quality.”
We love Boone and Crockett here at Game & Fish, and really, what’s not to love? Member accomplishments of Boone and Crockett Club include the founding of the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and establishment of Glacier and Denali national parks.
If you haven’t checked out Boone and Crockett Country on the Sportsman Channel yet, here’s a sneak peek at what you’re missing.
And now, without further ado, here are monster trophies you’ve been waiting to see from Boone and Crockett’s 28th Big Game Awards!
Location: Humbolt Co., California
Location: Colusa Co., California
Location: Lincoln Co., Nevada
Location: Uintah Co., Utah
Location: Powell River, British Columbia
Location: Kadin Island, Alaska
Location: Saunders Co., Nebraska
Location: San Jacinto Co., Texas
Location: Pima Co., Arizona
Location: Grant Co., New Mexico
Location: Brooks Range, Alaska
Location: Summit Co., Utah
Location: Monroe Co., Pennsylvania
Location: Big River, Alaska
Location: Uyak Bay, Alaska
Location: Clinton Beach, British Columbia
Location: Sam's Pond, Newfoundland
Location: Sam's Pond, Newfoundland
Location: Scotty Lake, Alaska
Location: Obstruction Rapids, Northwest Territories
Location: Dease Lake, British Columbia
Location: Schefferville, Quebec
Location: Coconino Co., Arizona
Location: Zama Lake, Alberta
Location: Teton Co., Wyoming
Location: Stikine River, British Columbia
Location: Kugluktuk, Nunavut
Location: Chouteau Co., Montana
Location: Chugach Mts., Alaska
Location: Gable Mt., British Columbia
What’s your favorite trophy from this year’s Big Game Awards? Share your opinion with us in the comments!