MISSOULA, Mont.—The Boone and Crockett Club is now receiving four times more trophy entries than 30 years ago, and Theodore Roosevelt’s great, great grandson says hunters who reach this apex are notable beneficiaries of historic conservation successes.
Further, the TR descendant says trophy record holders are perfectly positioned to help keep hunters at the forefront of America’s resurging conservation movement.
Simon Roosevelt, whose great, great grandfather was the 26th President of the United States, legendary sportsman, consummate conservationist and founder of the Boone and Crockett Club, delivered the remarks as part of his keynote address at the Club’s recent 27th Big Game Awards in Reno, Nev.
Roosevelt said all hunters share a legacy with early Club members who developed the hunter-funded, science-based system that helped to recover that era's devastated wildlife and habitat. That system remains the lifeblood of conservation still today. But those who achieve special status within the hunting community have a chance to join TR and his contemporaries in accomplishing "something even more important—more crucial for the long-term success of conservation—that is, fundamentally changing the way Americans think," he said.
Although 80 percent of U.S. citizens now live in cities, they understand the importance of natural resources and sustainable use, says Roosevelt, but, "What they don’t understand is how we as hunters fit, or maybe better said, that we fit, and why we’re important. If we fail to get this message across, we will continue to lose hunters and hunting access, and ‘hunting’ may well come to mean nothing more than high-fence farms and park culling."
Boone and Crockett record holders openly communicating who they are, what they do and their love of doing it—even when they don’t take an animal—will lead to greater public support of hunting, says Roosevelt. And that, in turn, will spur more resources for today's conservation challenges: climate change, habitat loss and fragmentation, and diseases.
Roosevelt’s speech was a highlight of the triennial Boone and Crockett Club event held June 24-26 at Reno's Grand Sierra Resort.
Other highlights included:
• A free public showing of world-class antlers, horns and mounted specimens from across North America, all entered in the past three years.
• A special display and recognition of Boone and Crockett-class trophies taken by hunters age 16 and under in 36 categories of native North American big game.
• A variety of seminars and exhibits.
• Celebrations of the Boone and Crockett Club’s significant support for the science, ethics and habitat that sustain hunting and, therefore, conservation.
"Almost 125 years after TR organized Boone and Crockett Club, and more than 100 years after we launched a records program to capture details on species once considered bound for extinction, our triennial awards event remains relevant to the future of conservation," said Tony Schoonen, chief of staff for the Club. "This is our way of doing exactly what Simon Roosevelt urged all of us to do—share with the public our love of hunting and connections to conservation."
Sponsors of the Boone and Crockett Club 27th Big Game Awards included Boyt Harness Company, Buck Knives, Cabela’s, Dallas Safari Club, Eastman’s Hunting Journal, Federal/ATK, Hornady Manufacturing, Intermedia Outdoors, Leupold & Stevens, Mule Deer Foundation, Nikon Hunting Optics, Pope & Young Club, Remington Arms and Ammunition, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Trijicon and Wild Sheep Foundation.