MISSOULA, Mont. – The Boone and Crockett Club’s 31st Big Game Awards will be held next summer, July 21-23, in Springfield, Missouri, at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium. The event recognizes the biggest heads, horns, and antlers from North America entered into the Boone and Crockett Club’s record book during the last three years. In early 2022, select hunters will be invited to submit their top scoring trophies in each category for panel judging and display. The judges panel will convene in late April to verify scores of invited trophies, which will then be placed on display in Wonders of Wildlife’s “Bucks and Bulls Hall” from May 1 through the Awards ceremony. Hosted by Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, and Wonders of Wildlife, the 31st Big Game Awards will include three days of recognition events and opportunities to tour the awards program display, all culminating in the gala awards banquet on Saturday, July 23.
“We are very excited to partner with Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s and the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium to host the 31st Big Game Awards next July,” commented Tony A. Schoonen, chief executive officer of the Boone and Crockett Club. “This event only happens every three years and it is a true tribute to the fair chase hunters who found such success in the field. With this year’s event coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the National Collection of Heads and Horns, we will be honoring the history of wildlife conservation that continues to support the healthy wildlife populations that make these successes possible.”
The Boone and Crockett Club began recording measurements of mature male specimens of a species, taken in fair chase pursuit, in the early 1900s as a way to evaluate the health of big game species. At the time wildlife was in decline, and the National Collection of Heads and Horns was established by Club members in 1922 “In memory of the vanishing big game of the world.” As big game species recovered in the mid-1900s, thanks to conservation efforts initiated by sportsmen, records keeping showed the success of these efforts. In 1947, the awards program was developed, and shortly after, in 1950 the Club adopted an equitable, objective, and consistent measurement system for the big game of North America. The records program provided an avenue to collect biological, harvest, and location data on hunter-taken trophies based on the principle that the existence of mature, male specimens was an indicator of overall population and habitat health. The Big Game Awards is now hosted every three years to recognize the top animals within 38 categories that were entered into the Boone and Crockett Club records program. The top entries taken between January 1, 2019, and December 31, 2021, will be invited to have their mount remeasured by a panel of judges to validate the specific score that the trophy receives. In addition, the top trophies taken by youth are all invited to the judges panel for the Jack Steele Parker Generation Next Youth Awards.
“Wonders of Wildlife is proud to welcome Boone and Crockett Club’s 31st Big Game Awards to America’s Conservation Capital in Springfield, Missouri,” said Bob Ziehmer, Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s Senior Director of Conservation. “Inspired by the visionary leadership of our founder Johnny Morris, Wonders of Wildlife’s mission is to celebrate those who hunt, fish, and act as stewards of the land and water. By hosting this historic exhibit, we hope to inspire new audiences to get outdoors and involved in big game conservation.”
The public display of the 31st Big Game Awards mounts will open on May 1 and will be part of the Bucks and Bulls exhibit within the wildlife galleries of Wonders of Wildlife. Travel and ticket information to view the display this summer can be found by visiting www.wondersofwildlife.org. Information about attending the 31st Big Game Awards events in July will be posted on the Boone and Crockett Club website as event details are finalized.
About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. 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.
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/CEO 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.