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Biggest & Baddest: Boone and Crockett's 28th Big Game Awards

Biggest & Baddest: Boone and Crockett's 28th Big Game Awards
Keith Balfourd holds the Petrzilka Typical Whitetail award winner. Photo credit: Gordon Whittington

"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.

The caribou display at the 28th Big Game Awards did not disappoint. Photo courtesy Gordon Whittington

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.

Keith Balfourd holds the Petrzilka Typical Whitetail award winner. Photo credit: Gordon Whittington

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!

Non-Typical Whitetail

Hunter: AJ J. Downs

Location: San Jacinto Co., Texas

Date: 2012

Score: 256-4/8

Non-Typical Coues' Whitetail

Hunter: Augustin F. Ruiz

Location: Grant Co., New Mexico

Date: 2010

Score: 142-5/8


Hunter: Corey L. Skiftun

Location: Zama Lake, Alberta

Date: 2011

Score: 128-4/8

Barren Ground Caribou

Hunter: Devin J. Hubble

Location: Scotty Lake, Alaska

Date: 2010

Score: 434-4/8

Typical Coues' Whitetail

Hunter: Devin U. Beck

Location: Pima Co., Arizona

Date: 2012

Score: 123-5/8

Quebec-Labrador Caribou

Hunter: Edward A. Grzesik, Sr.

Location: Schefferville, Quebec

Date: 1988

Score: 433-4/8

Grizzly Bear

Hunter: Guy J. Turner

Location: Big River, Alaska

Date: 2011

Score: 26-5/16

Stone's Sheep

Hunter: Jim Hens

Location: Gable Mt., British Columbia

Date: 2011

Score: 179-4/8

Shiras Moose

Hunter: John K. Koster

Location: Summit Co., Utah

Date: 2011

Score: 184

Typical Whitetail

Hunter: Kevin S. Petrzilka

Location: Saunders Co., Nebraska

Date: 2010

Score: 198-2/8

Musk Ox

Hunter: Larry A. Meyer

Location: Kugluktuk, Nunavut

Date: 2010

Score: 128-2/8

Mountain Caribou

Hunter: Lyle R. Ferguson

Location: Dease Lake, British Columbia

Date: 2012

Score: 419-1/8

Bighorn Sheep

Hunter: Rip Rippentrop

Location: Chouteau Co., Montana

Date: 2010

Score: 203-6/8

Non-Typical Mule Deer

Hunter: Max Rasmussen

Location: Uintah Co., Utah

Date: 1950

Score: 260-3/8

Woodland Caribou

Hunter: Peter Kraenzlin

Location: Sam's Pond, Newfoundland

Date: 2011

Score: 369

Alaska-Yukon Moose

Hunter: Robert J. Condon

Location: Brooks Range, Alaska

Date: 2012

Score: 250-6/8

Black Bear

Hunter: Robert T. Christian

Location: Monroe Co., Pennsylvania

Date: 2011

Score: 23-9/16

Dall's Sheep

Hunter: Steen C. Henriksen

Location: Chugach Mts., Alaska

Date: 2011

Score: 176-1/8


Hunter: Stephen F. Bennett, Sr.

Location: Teton Co., Wyoming

Date: 2009

Score: 128-4/8


Hunter: Steven K. Bright

Location: Coconino Co., Arizona

Date: 2012

Score: 92-4/8

Alaska Brown Bear

Hunter: Thomas A. Stago

Location: Uyak Bay, Alaska

Date: 2012

Score: 30-4/16

Roosevelt Elk

Hunter: Timothy R. Carpenter

Location: Humbolt Co., California

Date: 2011

Score: 398-1/8

Central Canada Barren Ground Caribou

Hunter: Todd G. Schoepke

Location: Obstruction Rapids, Northwest Territories

Date: 2006

Score: 389-4/8

New World Record Rocky Mountain Goat

Hunter: Troy M. Sheldon

Location: Stikine River, British Columbia

Date: 2011

Score: 57-4/8


Hunter: Rocco Verelli

Location: Clinton Beach, British Columbia

Date: 2010

Score: 15-11/16

Tule Elk

Hunter: David E. Leport

Location: Colusa Co., California

Date: 2004

Score: 353-5/8

Non-Typical Stika Blacktail

Hunter: Felix Villarma

Location: Kadin Island, Alaska

Date: 1965

Score: 125-5/8

Typical Stika Blacktail

Hunter: Joe A. Cisney

Location: Alaska

Date: 1947

Score: 124

Typical Mule Deer

Hunter: Lorin J. Wilkin

Location: Lincoln Co., Nevada

Date: 2011

Score: 202-4/8

Woodland Caribou

Hunter: Shawn R. Andres

Location: Sam's Pond, Newfoundland

Date: 2012

Score: 369

Non-Typical Columbia Blacktail

Hunter: J. Nyle Stierna

Location: Powell River, British Columbia

Date: 1966

Score: 181-4/8

Typical American Elk

Hunter: Dan J. Agnew

Location: Arizona

Date: 2010

Score: 407

If you haven't seen what our friends over at Petersen's Hunting have put together on Boone and Crockett's 20 biggest typical whitetail, non-typical bucks, and elk check them out now!

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