In late April, the Judges Panel for the Boone and Crockett Club’s 31st Big Game Awards completed the official scores on 71 of the top trophies in 32 categories from 26 distinct species or subspecies that were taken through fair chase hunting or were picked up and entered into the B&C Record Book over the last three years. The mounts that were panel scored for the 31st Big Game Awards—and those of 25 youth-harvested trophies that were added to the record book—are now on display to the public at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri. Hosted by Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas’, Centennial Sponsor Federal Ammunition, and presenting sponsor the Wild Sheep Foundation, the 31st Big Game Awards final recognition event will be held July 21-23, 2022.
“Since 1947, the triennial Big Game Awards program recognizes the biggest heads, horns, and antlers from North America entered into the Boone and Crockett Club’s record book over the last three years. The Club has been measuring North American big game since 1895 and the book serves as a vital record of biological, harvest, and location data on hunter-taken and found trophies based on the principle that the existence of mature, male specimens is an indicator of overall population and habitat health,” commented Tony Schoonen, Chief Executive Officer of the Club. “The mounts in the 31st Big Game Awards that are now on display at the Wonders of Wildlife Museum are magnificent animals and continue to show the effectiveness of conservation measures for many big game species.”
This year’s Judges Panel, sponsored by Fiocchi, included 16 official measurers from across the United States and Canada. Each of the measurers has decades of experience measuring trophies, and some have been measuring for the Boone and Crockett Club since the 1970s. The judges work in teams of two and each mount is scored by two separate teams who work independently to verify the final score for the animal. Noteworthy trophies validated by the Judges Panel that are on display in Wonders of Wildlife include the new World Record muskox that scored 130 4/8, and the new #2 tule elk scoring 369 1/8 that is the largest hunter-killed tule elk in the book. In addition, the Kyress whitetail found in a garage in Pennsylvania was panel-scored at 204 6/8 which is an increase from its original score of 202 7/8 making it the #4 typical whitetail in the book.
In addition to the mounts included in the Big Game Awards, any youth who harvests an animal that was entered into the record book is invited to the judges panel and to receive recognition during the Jack Steele Parker Generation Next Youth Awards. This year, 25 youth-harvested trophies are on display in Wonders of Wildlife and several more youth will also be in attendance for the Generation Next awards banquet in July. The Jack Steele Parker Generation Next program is sponsored by Buck Knives.
After the official measurers completed their task, Boone and Crockett Club staff worked to build the 4,450 square foot display which is in the Bucks and Bulls exhibit hall adjacent to the Club’s National Collection of Heads and Horns. Within the display, there are educational posters about the individual animals as well as information about conservation and hunting. Species displays are sponsored by industry and conservation partners including: Fiocchi sponsoring the whitetail display, the Mule Deer Foundation sponsoring the mule deer display, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation sponsoring the elk display, the Wild Sheep Foundation sponsoring the sheep display, Dallas Safari Club sponsoring the bears and cats display, and the Anne Brockinton Lee Trustee for the Robert M. Lee Foundation sponsoring the caribou display.
In addition to the Generation Next Awards and the Big Game Awards banquets, the Welcome Reception on July 21 is sponsored by Leupold & Stevens while the Official Measurers Luncheon on July 22 is sponsored by Boyt Harness Company. Travel and ticket information to view the display this summer can be found by visiting www.wondersofwildlife.org. Information about attending the 31st Big Game Awards events in July is posted on the Boone and Crockett Club website and registration for the event will open soon.
About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. For details, visit www.boone-crockett.org.