MISSOULA, Mont. (March 16, 2020) – Boone and Crockett Club president Tim Brady and professional member Jimmy Bullock presented Mississippi State University’s Deer Ecology and Management Lab with the Club’s Conservation and Stewardship Award. The prestigious award is given annually to the organization or entity that best exemplifies excellence in natural resource conservation and stewardship – core values of the Boone and Crockett Club and its founder, Theodore Roosevelt. Dr. David Guynn and Dr. Bronson Strickland accepted the award during the Club’s annual dinner on March 11 at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference in Omaha, Nebraska.
“The groundbreaking research conducted by the Mississippi State Deer Ecology and Research lab has had unprecedented impact on both management and hunting of the premier big game species in North America, the white-tailed deer,” commented Bullock. “It is our honor to present them with the Boone and Crockett Club’s Conservation and Stewardship Award to recognize them for their nearly 50 years of advancing science-based knowledge and management of deer and deer hunting.”
Mississippi State University’s deer research program was founded in 1974 by Dr. Guynn, who was joined in 1975 by Dr. Harry Jacobson; currently the program is co-directed by Dr. Strickland and Dr. Steve Demarais. Working across five decades, these four scientists have led collaborative and groundbreaking applied research involving peer scientists, graduate students, cooperating agencies, foundations, and private landowners. Today the Deer Ecology and Management Lab at Mississippi State University is broadly recognized as the premier applied deer management research unit in the United States, addressing deer management issues of regional and national importance by pursuing research questions of interest to biologists, land managers, and hunters. Program accomplishments include development of the first Deer Management Assistance Program now used widely across the eastern United States, quantification that land use and habitat-related factors affect regional variation in deer body and antler size, and prioritization of outreach systems to transfer this science-based information to hunters, managers, and landowners.
“Mississippi has an unbelievable deer hunting tradition and when we looked at deer management in the state, we realized that 90 percent of the deer habitat is on private lands. We knew we had to find a way to collect good, sound data to make recommendations for private lands if we’re truly going to manage the deer resource in Mississippi. Those applied management programs quite often led to some basic scientific work that nobody had ever thought about,” said Dr. Guynn, who moved to Clemson University in 1980. “My message to you tonight is that we have to cooperate with one other if we’re going to make these things work. I am very humble to be here tonight, and I want to thank the Boone and Crockett Club for this recognition but I would also like to thank them for their university program. This program is absolutely critical to maintain the educational excellence that will produce biologists and professionals that can work on the ground, particularly with our public because we have to have the public’s support.”
The Boone and Crockett Club’s Conservation and Stewardship Award is presented to the individual or organization that best exemplifies the core values of the Boone and Crockett Club and its founder, Theodore Roosevelt, through conservation – acts of guarding, protecting, developing, and using natural resources wisely and sustainably – and stewardship – planning for and managing natural resources responsibly. The award is given annually during the Club’s dinner honoring its professional members at the North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference.
About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club is the oldest conservation organization in North America and helped to establish the principles of wildlife and habitat conservation, hunter ethics, as well as many of the institutions, expert agencies, science and funding mechanisms for conservation. 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.