Preeminent collection of bowhunting artifacts relocates to America’s Conservation Capital, home to unprecedented assembly of exhibits from leading conservation organizations
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Officials from the Pope & Young Club in Chatfield, Minn., together with noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, today announced plans to relocate the Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting and its permanent collection to the campus of Bass Pro Shops national headquarters in Springfield, Mo., home to Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.
Wonders of Wildlife is a gift to the sportsmen and women of America from Johnny Morris. Johnny endeavored to create a world-class not-for-profit conservation attraction located in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri, next to Bass Pro Shops’ flagship headquarters store – where half the nation’s population lives within a day’s drive. Unprecedented in scale and scope, Wonders of Wildlife has been acclaimed as the most important natural history museum to open in America in more than a century.
The Pope & Young Club is one of North America’s leading bowhunting and conservation organizations, dedicated to the promotion and protection of bowhunting by increasing awareness and appreciation for bowhunting foundations, principles and values. Currently located in Chatfield, Minn., the Club’s Museum of Bowhunting is the singular, crowning testimony to North America’s rich bowhunting heritage.
The museum boasts the preeminent collection of bowhunting artifacts and history, educating visitors to bowhunting’s place in wildlife conservation and culture. Artifacts and educational displays retrace the steps of pioneer bowhunters and the sport’s rise in popularity during the mid-20th Century, to modern day bowhunting and the continued legacy of the Pope & Young Club.
The potential to reach a significantly wider audience and inspire new generations to discover bowhunting was a key motivation in the Pope & Young Club’s decision to relocate its collection. Located in the heartland of America, Wonders of Wildlife welcomed 1.6 million visitors in its first year alone. It has been voted as “America’s Best New Attraction” and “America’s Best Aquarium” twice by USA TODAY readers, and is currently in the running to receive the honor for a third time.
Spanning 350,000 square feet with more than 1.5 miles of trails, Wonders of Wildlife is home to the largest and most immersive wildlife attraction in the world. Although the artifact collection will be relocated, the Pope & Young Club will continue to operate from its Chatfield, Minn., headquarters.
“As stewards of North America’s bowhunting heritage, the Pope & Young Club is thrilled to partner with Johnny Morris in sharing the Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting with more guests than ever before,” said Kurt Ebers, President of the Pope & Young Club. “The rich history of bowhunters and our impact on conservation is a story we’re proud to tell, and it’s exciting for us to have the premier tribute to bowhunting proudly on display for all visitors to the Bass Pro Shops headquarters and Wonders of Wildlife campus in Springfield, Mo.”
America’s Conservation Capital
The Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting joins an extraordinary collection of exhibits and galleries at Wonders of Wildlife that showcase national conservation organizations within a single “must-see” destination experience. Often referred to as America’s Conservation Capital, Wonders of Wildlife collectively celebrates the role of hunters and anglers in conserving wildlife and the outdoors. Other partner galleries include the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Fishing Hall of Fame, National Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, Boone and Crockett Club’s National Collection of Heads and Horns, the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum, National Audubon Society, and the National Archery Hall of Fame. Plans are also underway to add galleries from the American Museum of Fly Fishing and the Windland Smith Rice International Awards’ annual Nature’s Best Photography exhibition.
“The Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting is a world-class collection every sportsman will enjoy and appreciate,” said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. “We’re honored the Pope & Young Club has provided an opportunity for us to showcase these priceless artifacts, and we’re very excited to celebrate bowhunting’s incredible heritage, history and conservation impact with our guests.”
About the Pope & Young Club
Pope and Young is the leading non-profit North American Bowhunting organization, dedicated to preserving, promoting, and protecting bowhunting, bowhunters, and our bowhunting heritage. The organization strives to increase awareness and appreciation of bowhunting foundations, principles and values and participation in the sport. With a focus on Fair Chase Hunting, Pope and Young supports the ethical pursuit of free-ranging, wild game animals, and maintains the universally recognized repository of records and statistics on North American Big Game Animals harvested with a bow and arrow.
About Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium
Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium consists of an all-new 1.5-million-gallon Aquarium Adventure showcasing 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds, and immersive Wildlife Galleries that bring visitors eye-to-eye with the greatest collection of record-setting game animals ever assembled. Created by noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, the 350,000-square-foot experience celebrates those who hunt, fish, and act as stewards of the land and water. Located next to Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri the campus is a centerpiece of America’s Conservation Capital in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. Wonders of Wildlife has been voted “Best New Attraction in America” and “America’s Best Aquarium” by the readers of USA TODAY. For more information, visit www.wondersofwildlife.org.
About Bass Pro Shops
Bass Pro Shops is North America’s premier outdoor and conservation company. Founded in 1972 when avid young angler Johnny Morris began selling tackle out of his father’s liquor store in Springfield, Missouri, today the company provides customers with unmatched offerings spanning premier destination retail, outdoor equipment manufacturing, world-class resort destinations and more. In 2017 Bass Pro Shops acquired Cabela’s to create a “best-of-the-best” experience with superior products, dynamic locations and outstanding customer service. Bass Pro Shops also operates White River Marine Group, offering an unsurpassed collection of industry-leading boat brands, and Big Cedar Lodge, America’s Premier Wilderness Resort. Under the visionary conservation leadership of Johnny Morris, Bass Pro Shops is a national leader in protecting habitat and introducing families to the outdoors and has been named by Forbes as “one of America’s Best Employers.”