MISSOULA, Mont. – The Boone and Crockett Club’s 31st Big Game Awards celebration begins tonight with three days of activities at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium and the White River Conference Center in Springfield, Missouri. Since 1947, the triennial Big Game Awards program recognizes the biggest heads, horns, and antlers from North America entered into the Boone and Crockett Club’s record book over the last three years. This year’s celebration also coincides with the 100th anniversary of the National Collection of Heads and Horns, an exhibit that opened in New York City in 1922 dedicated “In memory of the vanishing big game of the world” that is now housed in the Wonders of Wildlife Museum. The 31st Big Game Awards celebrates the conservation successes over the last century that have successfully restored populations of big game animals to allow for sustainable hunting, and that there continues to be many impressive mature males of these species on the landscape. Hosted by Bass Pro Shops and Cabelas’ and Centennial Sponsor Federal Ammunition, the 31st Big Game Awards recognition events will be held July 21-23.
“We are so excited to finally kick off the feature events for the 31st Big Game Awards! These celebrations only happen every three years and we are honored to host the sportsmen and women who have found such success in the field,” commented Boone and Crockett Club president James F. Arnold.
The events kick off on Thursday July 21 with a Welcome Reception in the museum at the 31st Big Game Awards exhibit. The 4,450 square foot display hall features all 71 of the top trophies in 32 categories from 26 distinct species or subspecies that were taken through fair chase hunting or were picked up and entered into the B&C Record Book over the last three years. In addition, the exhibit features the 25 youth-harvested trophies that were added to the record book this scoring period. On Friday, after Club sponsored events at the Springfield Doubletree hotel, the youth hunters will be honored at the White River Conference Center during the Jack Steele Parker Generation Next banquet, sponsored by Buck Knives. On Saturday during the day, the Big Game Awards Benefit Auction will take place at the Springfield Doubletree, with online bidding available. On Saturday evening the main 31st Big Game Awards banquet, presented by the Wild Sheep Foundation, will take place at the White River Conference Center.
The Boone and Crockett Club has been measuring North American big game since 1895 and the big game record book serves as a vital record of biological, harvest, and location data on hunter-taken and found trophies based on the principle that the existence of mature, male specimens is an indicator of overall population and habitat health. The 31st Big Game Awards display at the Wonders of Wildlife Museum has been open since May 1 and thousands of people have gone through the exhibit to see the amazing trophies in this year’s Big Game Awards program, the National Collection of Heads and Horns, and learn about how the conservation efforts of the Boone and Crockett Club and our partners have resulted in sustainable fish and wildlife populations across North America.
“The 31st Big Game Awards is a celebration of these hunters’ success—but it is really a celebration of our conservation accomplishments to have huntable populations of wildlife that continue to produce record book quality animals,” Arnold concluded.
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.