Young hunters age 16 and under have taken 152 Boone and Crockett-qualifying trophies over the past three years.
That total represents a 126 percent increase over the previous three-year period.
Each trophy will be listed in the Boone and Crockett Club 28th Big Game Awards book due out later this year, and each young hunter has been invited to display their trophy at one of North America's longest-running celebrations of big-game conservation and management--the 28th Big Game Awards event, July 17-20 in Reno, Nev.
The triennial event at the Silver Legacy Hotel in Reno features a public exhibition of new World's Records, Top 5 trophies and records-book specimens taken by youths.
Go to the Big Game Awards website for more info about the event.
"Congratulations to the growing number of young hunters whose name now appears in Boone and Crockett records next to a world-class big-game trophy taken in fair chase," said Richard Hale, chairman of the Club's Records Committee. "From deer to bear to sheep, entries by youths appear to be more and more common in the B&C records book."
Hale attributed the growth in entries to more youths afield, more youths hunting selectively, and big-game herds that are increasingly abundant, healthy and well managed in many areas of North America.
Between 2007-2009, young hunters claimed 67 of the total 4,907 entries in Boone and Crockett records, which equaled 1.3 percent.
In the 2010-2012 period, youths claimed 152 of the total 4,825 entries, or 3.2 percent.
Boone and Crockett Club began keeping trophy records in 1906 as a way of detailing species once headed for extinction. Today, trophy data reflect population balance and habitat quality. Biologists compare and contrast records to improve local management strategies as well as state and federal wildlife polices.
"Our club began hosting public exhibitions of big-game trophies in 1947," added Hale, "so that people can see the trophies we honor as symbols of successful conservation. America's conservation system is led and funded primarily by hunters, but it benefits all wildlife as well as all citizens who appreciate wildlife and wild places."
For the upcoming exhibition in Reno, Boone and Crockett invited 191 hunters with top entries between 2010-2012, plus the 152 youths, for a total of 343--a new record.
Leica Sport Optics is sponsoring the youth portion of the 28th Awards ceremonies, titled Generation Next.
To date, the growing list of sponsors for the Boone and Crockett Club 28th Big Game Awards, July 17-20, includes Leica Sport Optics, Aimpoint, ATK-Federal Premium Ammunition, Buck Knives, Boyt Harness Co., Hornady, Realtree, Schnee's, Hunting GPS Maps, Deadeye Outfitters and Leupold.
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, Mont. For details, visit www.boone-crockett.org.