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!

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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