Most of the time, when the biennial convention of the Pope & Young Club is held, the event is a big deal in the world of archery and bowhunting.
After all, the P&Y Club is a well-known non-profit North American conservation and bowhunting organization long recognized for its dedication to the promotion and protection of the continent's bowhunting heritage, not to mention its maintenance of sport's big game bowhunting records and statistics.
But when the P&Y Club gathered for the 30th time from April 5-8, 2017 at the Union Station hotel in St. Louis, Missouri, it was an even bigger gathering than it normally is according to a Club news release.
In fact, it was a big deal times five, something apparent after the close of the Club's 30th biennium recording period which ran from January 1, 2015 until December 31, 2016.
After that recording period, recent P&Y Club convention panel scoring efforts confirmed a total of five new world record marks taken by bowhunters over the past couple of years. The five new word record animals include the following:
Steve Felix's Word Record Typical American Elk
Montana bowhunter Steve Felix shows off the rack of his new Pope & Young Club typical world record American elk, a massive bull that was arrowed on Sept. 10, 2016. The bull scores 430 0/8 inches. (Photo courtesy of Pope & Young Club)
Taken on September 10, 2016, the 430 0/8-inch bull elk was tagged in Montana by Steve Felix, a bowhunter who resides in the Big Sky State community of Seeley Lake.
Felix spotted the huge bull as it raked some brush with its massive antlers. The P&Y news release on the bull indicates the bowhunter eventually closed the gap to get into shooting range.
Once there, Felix took a deep breath, steadied his peep sight and squeezed his release, putting an arrow into the bull's boiler room.
As one of the largest bull elk ever taken in North America with any type of hunting weapon, the 2016 Felix bull easily overtakes the previous P&Y bowhunting world record mark for a typical American elk. That bull was a 412 1/8-inch wapiti, an Arizona bull taken in 2005 by former NFL football player Shaun Patterson.
Tony Loop's Word Record Desert Bighorn Sheep
Tony Loop poses in some of Arizona's most beautiful terrain after arrowing a new Pope & Young Club world record desert bighorn sheep. The big ram, nicknamed Horseshoe by guides, was taken in November 2015 and features a score of 186 4/8 inches. (Photo courtesy of Pope & Young Club)
Taken by Tony Loop of Appling, Georgia on November 21, 2015, the massive Arizona desert bighorn ram was panel scored recently at 186 4/8 inches.
That mark was good enough to beat the existing desert bighorn sheep bowhunting world record of 179 3/8 inches – a huge ram taken by Brian Benyo back in 2013.
The new world record – nicknamed “Horseshoe” – was arrowed at a distance of 30 yards, culminating a stalk in some beautifully rugged terrain. After putting an arrow into the ram's boiler room, the huge desert sheep traveled 100 yards before expiring and being recovered by Loop and his guides.
"As we knelt beside the big ram and admired this great warrior, I was overcome with boy joy and sadness," said Loop. "He was majestic in every sense of the word."
Frank Cheeney's Word Record Typical Mule Deer
Frank Cheeney shows the new Pope & Young Club world record typical mule deer he tagged last August while bowhunting in southeastern Nevada. The big mulie buck features a special called panel score of 205 6/8 inches. (Photo courtesy of Pope & Young Club)
Arrowed on August 13, 2016 in southeastern Nevada, the Frank Cheeney world record mule deer buck was among a group of big Silver State mulies bedding near some sagebrush cover.
After a discussion with his son Aaron, Cheeney closed ranks, eventually ditched his hunting shoes and got into bow range.
"As fate would have it, the biggest buck stood up from his bed," said Cheeney. "I drew my bow and with the deer in my sights I let the arrow fly.”
The shot was good, anchoring a 205 6/8-inch world record mulie buck. His mulie buck overtakes the George Harms’ buck – a 205 0/8-inch bruiser taken by bow back in 2009 in Hermosillo, Mexico.
What's more, the scoring of the Cheeney buck took place through an unprecedented special called panel scoring session, one that was filmed live on social media during the P&Y Club convention
Editor's Note:See the stand alone OutdoorChannel.com story on this interesting conventiontale.
Bobby Hebert's Word Record Shiras Moose
Taken in 2015, this record Shiras bull moose was arrowed in Colorado by archer Bobby Hebert. (Photo courtesy of Pope & Young Club)
Bobby Hebert, a Golden, Colorado resident, took his giant world record Shiras moose – nicknamed Yukon Jack – during the early afternoon hours of October 8, 2015 at only nine yards.
Panel scored at 192 0/8 inches, the 2015 Hebert bull beats the previous P&Y world record of 185 6/8 inches, a huge Shiras bull taken in Sheridan County, Wyoming back in 1987 by bowhunter Richard E. Jones.
After a lethal first shot with his traditional bow and a subsequent follow up shot to put the huge bull down for good, Hebert was in virtual disbelief about his good hunting fortune.
"I literally shed tears of reverence and joy, giving thanks to the Man upstairs," said Hebert. "I am incredibly grateful to have taken part in this once-in-a-lifetime hunt."
Terry Edwards World Record Typical Coues Whitetail Deer
Panel scored at 139 2/8 inches, this massive Arizona typical Coues whitetail buck is the new Pope & Young Club bowhunting world record for the species. What's more, the Terry Edwards harvested buck beats the previous world record by just more than nine inches. (Photo courtesy of Pope & Young Club)
Panel scored at 139 2/8 inches, San Carlos, Arizona bowhunter Terry Edwards now owns the new P&Y world record mark for a typical Coues whitetail buck.
The massive Edwards buck, taken in December 2015, beats the previous world record mark of 130 1/8 inches, another Arizona Coues whitetail taken by Sergio Orozco in 2001.
After taking his bow shot in prime Coues whitetail habitat, Edwards and his hunting partner Trevor Chapman took up the blood trail. Little did they know that they would soon find the new world record bowkill for the species.
"I knew I had shot one of the biggest deer I had ever laid eyes on, but little did I know he would be a potential P&Y World’s Record," said Edwards. "I was just happy to fill my tag."
After recovering the majestic buck, the Arizona bowhunter was overwhelmed.
"This was why my father took me hunting since I was a kid; this was why he taught me all I know about hunting," said Edwards. "It was through my father’s knowledge and character that I grew up loving the outdoors. I thank God and my father for blessing me with such an amazing animal… an animal of a lifetime.”
In addition to recognizing the newly crowned five world record animals mentioned above, the top scoring bucks and/or bulls in each big game animal species category were also honored by the P&Y Club at the recent St. Louis convention.
The club also inducted Kathleen Gardner and Anna Vorisek into the prestigious Fred Bear Society. The pair of women are the first female bowhunters ever inducted into the society, something established in 2012 to recognize people who have made sizeable donations to the Pope and Young Club’s Trust Fund.
P&Y officials indicate that Bear himself established this fund back in 1985 when he made the first contribution to "...begin the process that would ensure a long-lasting future for the Club from one generation to the next."
The next Pope & Young Club convention will be held in Omaha, Nebraska in 2019.