MISSOULA, Mont. – The name Boone and Crockett is most often associated with Theodore Roosevelt, conservation, big game scoring and record books. Big game trophies have long been honored with awards, books, exhibitions and events. The Club's Fair Chase Award brings equal weight to the other half of the Boone and Crockett Club brand – ethical Fair Chase® hunting.
The Club’s Fair Chase Award, presented every three years at its Big Game Awards banquet, recognizes one of the foundations of wildlife conservation and game management in North America; an ethical approach to sustainable hunting.
Nevada resident Gregory E. Smith was honored on August 3 for his extraordinary determination and ethics in a do-it-yourself hunt that ultimately produced an impressive Rocky Mountain goat scoring 52-6/8 points B&C.
Well-known hunting writer and television personality Craig Boddington presented the award to an emotional Smith before a banquet crowd in Springfield, Missouri. Boddington told the audience:
“Fair chase is just two words, but their meaning has deep significance to everyone who hunts and represents hunters and hunting. This was not an easy call to make, but of all the accounts of hunts from these 30th Big Game Awards, Greg’s story read ‘Fair Chase’ from beginning to end.”
The Boone and Crockett Club first promoted the concept of Fair Chase in the late 1800s when it became clear wildlife, especially game species, were in dire straights.
Boddington said, “There is no question something had to be done to establish a new relationship with the country’s wildlife. This is how conservation originated. Fair Chase is about self-restraint, which is a discipline conservation demands. It is also the social license that justified trusting sportsmen with the restoration of America’s wildlife. An ethical approach to hunting is just as important and relevant today as it was back then.”
The Fair Chase Award plaque reads, “In recognition of a hunt that best represents the determination, self-reliance, and respect for the game that embodies the tenets of Fair Chase set forth by Boone and Crockett Club founder Theodore Roosevelt.”
The Award was sponsored by the Robert M. Lee Foundation. The stories of all the hunts that resulted in top ranking trophies entered to record between 2016-2018 will be published in the Club’s 30th Big Game Awards records book, due to be released this November.
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, which 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. Its contributions 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, the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the framework for modern game laws. The Club continues to be the leader in the hunter-conservationist community through its work in conservation policy, research and education programs at major universities, hunter ethics, and collaboration with similarly focused organizations. The Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. For details, visit www.boone-crockett.org.
Above: Gregory E. Smith receiving the Boone and Crockett Club's Fair Chase Award at the Club's 30th Big Game Awards in Springfield, Missouri. (L to R) B&C Member and emcee, Craig Boddington, Gregory Smith, Justin Spring and Mike Opitz, B&C Records of North American Big Game committee.