Illinois Adds to Upswing in North American Trophies

Illinois Adds to Upswing in North American Trophies

90 Prairie State Hunters will be awarded Boone & Crockett distinction at the 27th Big Game Awards

MISSOULA, Mont.--Across North America, Boone and Crockett trophy entries have risen 400 percent over the past 30 years, including almost 3,000 entries in the past three years alone. This striking upward trend shows wild, free ranging, trophy animals are more plentiful today than ever before--a tribute to modern conservation and management programs.

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Illinois is a contributor to this continental upswing in trophy production.


In fact, when the Boone and Crockett Club publishes its upcoming 27th Big Game Awards Book, which will list trophy-class big game specimens taken from Jan. 1, 2007, through Dec. 31, 2009, Illinois will be represented by 90 of those nearly 3,000 total entries.


From that giant collection of trophies, the Top 5 specimens from each recognized species and category are being invited to appear in a free public exhibition of world-class antlers, horns, and mounted specimens. This triennial event, the Boone and Crockett Club 27th Big Game Awards, is slated for the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nev., June 22-26, 2010.

InterMedia Outdoors, publisher of Illinois Game & Fish, is a sponsor of the event.


"Our exhibition is a tradition that dates back to 1947. That's when we began inviting the public to see the trophies that B&C honors as symbols of conservation success, as well as the hunters that we acknowledge for achievement under the highest tenets of fair chase and hunting ethics," said Eldon Buckner of the Boone and Crockett Club.


This year's ceremony, for the first time, will also honor hunters 16-years-old and under who've entered a trophy into Boone and Crockett's records during the past three years--and there were an amazing 74 of these successful youths in the awards period.

Boone and Crockett Club recognizes 30 hunted big-game categories, including bear (four categories: Alaska brown, black, grizzly, and polar), bison, caribou (five categories: barren ground, central Canada barren ground, mountain, Quebec-Labrador, and woodland), cougar, deer (five categories: Columbia blacktail, Coues' whitetail, mule, Sitka blacktail and whitetail), elk (three categories: American, Roosevelt's and tule), moose (three categories: Alaska-Yukon, Canada, Shiras'), musk ox, pronghorn, Rocky Mountain goat, sheep (four categories: bighorn, desert, Dall's, and Stone's), and Pacific walrus.

Six categories of antlered game are classified as either typical or non-typical.

Here are Illinois' top trophy entries for each species and type taken from Jan. 1, 2007, through Dec. 31, 2009. Listings marked with an asterisk (if any) indicate an overall Top 5 specimen invited to appear at the Boone and Crockett Club awards event in Reno:

WHITETAIL (TYPICAL)
190 6/8 Randolph, IL Joel D. Eggers 2007
188 7/8 Clark, IL Mark Wakefield 2007
185 Jackson, IL Craig D. Ahlers 2008
184 2/8 Williamson, IL John R. Graber 2007
183 3/8 Pike, IL Jack E. Medsker 2008

WHITETAIL (NON-TYPICAL)
250 5/8 Macoupin, IL Jess M. Gilpin 2008
238 2/8 Jasper, IL Kevin L. Radke 2007
224 1/8 Jackson, IL Carl D. Brooks 2007
222 5/8 Montgomery, IL Gregory D. Wilson 2007
222 1/8 Fayette, IL Jeremy E. Cauble 2008

"The states and provinces on this list are producing the best of the best right now. Boone and Crockett records are an indicator of habitat quality and on-the-ground performance of conservation and management programs, so we congratulate these respective wildlife agencies and hold up their work as a model for the 21st Century," said Buckner.

About the Boone and Crockett 27th Big Game Awards
As a testament to the success of our systems of conservation and game management, the Boone and Crockett Club recognizes outstanding examples of native North American big game and those fair chase sportsmen and sportswomen who have participated in these systems at the Club's Triennial Big Game Awards programs.

The event starts with a free public exhibition featuring the top 5 records book trophies in 36 categories from across North America that were entered and accepted between 2007 and 2009 plus a variety of seminars, other exhibits, and awards presentation banquet. The 27th Big Game Awards, hosted by the Boone and Crockett and InterMedia Outdoors, is set for June 24-26, 2010, in Reno, Nev.

This tradition of celebrating excellence in public wildlife managed by state, provincial, and federal agencies on behalf of its citizens dates back to 1947 and is cause for celebration. The Boone and Crockett Club is annually receives four times the number of records book qualifying trophies today than it did 30 years ago. This means wild, free ranging, trophy-class animals are more plentiful today than ever before.

The Boone and Crockett system of scoring big game trophies originated in 1906 as means of recording details on species thought to be disappearing because of rampant habitat loss and unregulated market and subsistence hunting. Science-based conservation efforts led and funded by license-buying hunters brought those species from vanishing to flourishing. Boone and Crockett records remain a classic gauge of the success of habitat and management programs. In addition to its prestigious history and tradition, the Boone and Crockett Club's scoring system is strongly associated with the highest tenets of fair chase and hunting ethics.

Registered attendees can also enjoy raffles; an auction featuring top quality hunts in top trophy regions across the continent, and an awards banquet and ceremony on June 26.To learn more visit www.biggameawards.com

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