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Boone and Crockett Club

Boone and Crockett Club  

Lowell E. Baier, President


It is the policy of the Boone and Crockett Club to promote the guardianship and provident management of big game and associated wildlife in North America and maintain the highest standards of fair chase and sportsmanship in all aspects of big game hunting, in order that this resource of all the people may survive and prosper in its natural habitats. Consistent with this objective, the Club supports the use and enjoyment of our wildlife heritage to the fullest extent by this and future generations.

The Club promotes outdoor ethics for all people, emphasizing shared use of natural resources to protect options for future generations. Protecting wildlife population habitat on public and private lands, and associated outdoor recreational experiences is a major focus.

Fair Chase is the ethical, sportsmanlike, and lawful pursuit and taking of free-ranging wild game animals in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the animal. Fair Chase extends beyond the hunt. It is the very core of outdoor ethics, extending to all who enjoy wildlife and wildlands, or who make use of their resources. Fair Chase has been the Boone and Crockett philosophy since the Club's beginning.

The Club is the oldest organization to champion Fair Chase in North America. The hunting and game laws recognized today are a direct result of the statement, philosophies, and efforts of the Club.

Over a century ago, a group of concerned individuals banded together to save wildlife and a place known as Yellowstone. The story that follows from the efforts of those visionaries is cherished as one of our nation's greatest accomplishments.

The history of the Boone and Crockett Club is a tale of over 100 years of measured and thoughtful commitment to conservation. It is a commitment that balances human needs with wildlife needs; a commitment that sees deep value in preserving the hunting tradition, as well as in conserving wildlands and wildlife; a commitment that grows out of a powerful love of wildlife, but that is also shaped by a common-sense, business-like approach to managing natural resources.

By the turn of the century, unrestricted killing of wildlife for markets, pioneer settlement of the West, and Native American/government conflict had taken their toll on most North American big game populations, and on many species of bird and fish. At that time, a national conscience that opposed the destruction of America's wildlife and natural resources was in its infancy.

Theodore Roosevelt was a firsthand witness to the near decimation of one of our nation's most valuable resources -- its wildlife. When he committed himself to restoring America's wildlands he did so with characteristic zeal. Founding the Boone and Crockett Club was one of his first steps. Working with Club Members George Bird Grinnell, General William Tecumseh Sherman, Gifford Pinchot, and twenty other visionaries comprised of outdoor sport enthusiasts, scientists, military and political leaders, explorers, artists, writers and industrialists, the foundation for the world's greatest conservation system was laid.

Jay N. "Ding" Darling was a Club Member from 1935 until his death in 1962.

Over the next several decades, Theodore Roosevelt, along with members such as Aldo Leopold and J.N. "Ding" Darling (see Key Deer cartoon at left), championed the passage of laws, the establishment of institutions, and the designation of wildlands which today make up our nation's conservation system. The National Forest, the National Park, and the National Wildlife Refuge Systems exist today in large part because of the extensive efforts of the Club and its dedicated membership.

As a vital element of the foundation supporting our nation's conservation system, the Club began publishing and championing a "fair chase" hunting ethic in the late 1800s. The original constitution of the Club addresses hunting ethics. The Club's Fair Chase statement and philosophies later became the foundation for hunting and game laws in this country.

In addition to sponsoring numerous research programs and countless symposia, the Club has supported continuing growth of America's conservation system. One of the more enduring examples of Club-supported research is the Timber Wolf/Moose study on Isle Royale National Park conducted by Drs. Durward L. Allen and Rolf Peterson. Sponsored from the beginning by the Club, this on-going study is recognized as the definitive work on predator-prey relationships for these two species. Exemplifying the Club's long-term investment in the future of America's natural resources, this research helped to remove the Eastern Timberwolf from endangered status and helped to change public perception of the wolf. Knowledge gained from research of this caliber helps Boone and Crockett to develop outstanding, ongoing programs for sustaining wildlife populations.