As continuation of my appreciation for those who have helped preserve our country’s amazing outdoors, I bring you the second installment of Game Changers. This is where I bring attention to those that deserve it due to the lasting impact they have made on our natural heritage. I started off with Theodore Roosevelt and his achievements, and will continue with that with the Boone & Crockett Club.
The club was founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt and George Grinnell. This organization has been operating for over 125 years. They are the oldest conservationist group in North America. How have they been able to keep going for so long? Their mission statement answers that question:
“It is the mission of the Boone and Crockett Club to promote the conservation and management of wildlife, especially big game, and its habitat, to preserve and encourage hunting and to maintain the highest ethical standards of fair chase and sportsmanship in North America.”
So not only do they care about the fact that we should be able to enjoy our resources but they also care about how we do so. They conduct their operation in a business-like and common sense way.
They are huge advocates of fair chase. What is fair chase? It is “the ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit and taking of any free-ranging wild game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper or unfair advantage over the game animals.”
Along with establishing fair chase they were also:
Initiator and champion of the first National Parks, including Yellowstone, Glacier, Denali, and Grand Canyon.
Initiator and champion of the first legislation for wildlife, including the Timberland Reserve Bill, Yellowstone Protection Act, Lacey Act, Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and Alaskan Game Laws.
Champion of the earliest science-based wildlife management efforts and legislation, including the National Wildlife Refuge System Act, and the creation of the Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units
Champion of the first legislations funding wildlife conservation, including the Wildlife Restoration Act (Pittman-Robertson), and the Federal Duck Stamp Act.
Created the first big game scoring and data collection system to objectively measure and evaluate species and population health and habitat quality to improve state and federal wildlife polices and management
Initiator and champion of all of the principle federal land management agencies, including the US Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
Many now only think of the scoring process they pioneered and forget about the conservation efforts. It is extremely important to remember that these two things go hand in hand. They also know that educating the public is the best way to protect the land and animals. They put a lot of effort into reaching out to youth groups and more to bring matters to people’s attention. They have even started an essay contest for the youth to get them more engaged. This is what we strive for here at Bass Pro Shops as well.
So next time you see someone wearing a Boone & Crockett Club piece of apparel, thank them. When it comes to conserving our outdoors, every little bit helps. Maybe even reach out to the club to see what you can do to help. Thanks Boone & Crockett Club! Keep doing what you do best!