The Latest News in Conservation

Boone and Crockett Club Welcomes Wild Sheep Foundation as Presenting Sponsor of the 31st Big Game Awards



MISSOULA, Mont. – The Boone and Crockett Club announced that the Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF) will be the Presenting Sponsor of the 31st Big Game Awards dinner that will be held on July 23, 2022, at the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri. 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. The Wild Sheep Foundation’s sponsorship of the 31st Big Game Awards gala dinner will help to spotlight the conservation successes that have made it possible to have sustainable populations of wildlife available to hunters across North America.

“WSF was a proud supporter of the Boone and Crockett Club’s 29th and 30th Big Game Awards and is pleased to be back sponsoring this latest celebration of big game hunting and conservation,” commented Gray N. Thornton, president and CEO of the Wild Sheep Foundation. “The selective harvest of mature male animals is a conservation action that has benefited these iconic species for over a century and continues to this day. We cannot overlook the significance of this fact. The Club’s records program is a living reminder of what excellence in nature looks like when aided by conservation-minded sportsmen and women. These fine specimens, and the Fair Chase hunters who were fortunate enough to have taken them, should be celebrated.”

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 populations. As wildlife recovered in the mid-1900s, thanks to conservation programs 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. While many big game species dramatically increased through the new emphasis on conservation programs, wild sheep continued to face challenges. The Wild Sheep Foundation’s efforts to raise funds and support scientific research and management programs has helped to make significant increases in wild sheep populations. The organization recently released a video, Putting & Keeping, that explains how passionate hunters are making a difference on the ground for wild sheep around the world to achieve the WSF purpose to “put and keep sheep on the mountain®.”

Today, the Boone and Crockett Club records program continues to provide an avenue to collect biological, harvest, and location data on hunter-taken trophies based on the principle that these animals indicate the health of the overall population and their habitat. Entry into the Awards program now occurs on a three-year cycle—the top trophies that qualify in each of 38 categories during that scoring period are invited to send their trophy to have its score certified by official measurers. Only invited trophies remeasured by the Judges Panel are eligible to be recognized during each Awards cycle. Confirmed trophies that will be sent to be measured by the Judges Panel for the 31st Big Game Awards include Alex Therrien’s new world’s record muskox and Brian Butcher’s new #4 all time non-typical white-tailed deer, as well as Louis Breland’s #6 all time Dall’s sheep. 

After the Judges Panel in April, the 31st Big Game Awards display will open on May 1 and will be part of the Bucks and Bulls exhibit within the wildlife galleries at Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium until the 31st Big Game Awards celebration on July 23. The full schedule for the 31st Big Game Awards is available on the Boone and Crockett Club website; registration for the events will open soon. 

More 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. Click here to learn more about the Boone and Crockett Club.

About Wild Sheep Foundation

The Wild Sheep Foundation (WSF), based in Bozeman, Mont., was founded in 1977 by wild sheep conservationists and enthusiasts. With a membership of more than 8,500 worldwide, WSF is the premier advocate for wild sheep and other mountain wildlife and their habitats. WSF has raised and expended more than $135 million on wild sheep habitat and population enhancements, education, and conservation advocacy programs in North America, Europe, and Asia to “Put and Keep Wild Sheep On the Mountain”®. These and other efforts have increased bighorn sheep populations in North America from historic lows in the 1950-60s of 25,000 to more than 85,000 today.