Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

Record-book Royalty

By PJ DelHomme 

Over the years, North America has hosted more than a few hunters with sovereign titles and royal lineage. A few have entered their game into the Boone and Crockett records. 

Photo Courtesy of Park County Archives Collection

While some consider horse racing or polo the sport of kings, many of us in North America recognize hunting as an important pastime of royalty and commoners alike. This wasn’t always the case.

Take medieval Europe, a time of knights on horseback, kings, and famines. The animals in the forest belonged to the nobility, be it a king, duke, earl, or baron. If a peasant killed a deer to roast over his family’s spit, the offense could be punishable by death. Fast forward 500 years and sail across the Atlantic. The laws governing what can be hunted by whom are different in the United States. As part of the North American Model of Conservation, wildlife is held in the public trust and managed by the states—not a king. In addition, those of us possessing the proper tags and licenses are allowed to hunt that wildlife, from peasants to politicians.

The democracy of the hunt allows citizens from other states and foreign countries, including royalty, to hunt North American species, assuming they possess the required permits. Granted, the field experiences of those who rule nations tend to differ substantially from those who simply buy a tag and take to the hills. Over the years, numerous nobles have hunted and continue to hunt our bountiful wildlife. A few royal hunters have entered their game into the Boone and Crockett records, and a handful of others have not.

H.I.H Abdorreza Pahlavi

His Imperial Highness (H.I.H) Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi of Iran was the half-brother of the last Iranian monarch, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. Before his exile from Iran because of the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the prince used his position and contacts to conserve big game resources in both Iran and around the world. A Harvard graduate who studied government and economics, Prince Abdorezza was the founder and president of the International Foundation for the Conservation of Game (IGF). He also worked to create Iran’s first game laws and more than 20 million acres of reserves and parks in Iran. For his conservation efforts, he was presented with the Weatherby Award in 1962, whose winners include Jack O’Connor, Jim Shockey, and Craig Boddington.

The prince hunted (at least) Alaska and Wyoming, with his first record-book entry being a barren ground caribou from Alaska’s Talkeetna Mountains in 1960. He killed an Alaska brown bear on Kodiak Island in 1967 and a Wyoming bison the same year. His last official entry was in 1988 with an Alaska-Yukon moose from the Kugururok River region of Alaska. The records show that he spent a week in Alaska and shot his moose at 80 yards with a 7mm mag. It scored a respectable 225-6/8 points.

His Imperial Highness Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi of Iran seen here with his record-book Alaska-Yukon moose from 1988.

Tucked into his file in the Boone and Crockett records is evidence of the lengths to which the prince went to conceal his identity for his Alaska hunt after the revolution in 1979. A letter from the State of Alaska to the records committee of the Club states that the prince received prior authorization to hunt as a non-resident with an alias. “The purpose of this procedure was to offer a degree of safety and security for His Highness while traveling and hunting in Alaska,” the letter states. “All of the licenses and tags for the hunt were in order, with the exception of the alien name.” The name used was Dores Dolats.

Boone and Crockett Club Professional Member Craig Boddington recalls, “His Highness was polite and kind, extremely knowledgeable on hunting and animals. I thought of him as ‘one of the good guys,’” Boddington says. “That said, he was very formal. He was, after all, the Crown Prince of an important country. This distinction was not to be forgotten!” The prince died in 2004 in Florida.

Prince Albert of Monaco

Prince Albert of Monaco and his adventures with William F. “Buffalo Bill” Cody are worth a mention. It was September 1913, and Prince Albert of Monaco and his entourage were hunting just east of Yellowstone National Park by Cody, Wyoming. Here, the prince met Col. William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, who accompanied the prince up the North Fork of the Shoshone River. Prince Albert killed a bull elk and a black bear, though neither made the Book. has a great account of that hunt.

The publicity surrounding the hunt and “Camp Monaco” boosted business for local hunting and guiding outfits. Albert’s great-grandson, Prince Albert II of Monaco, has visited Camp Monaco numerous times and endowed a Camp Monaco Prize of $100,000, which the Buffalo Bill Center of the West awards every three years. The prize is awarded to scientific research and public education initiatives that inform, inspire, and enhance biodiversity conservation regionally and around the world.

The Boone and Crockett Records do not separate royalty into a distinct category, which means it’s likely that I may have missed a nobleman or two. I did stumble across the Duke of Penaranda, a title of Spanish nobility. This particular Duke killed an Alaska-Yukon moose around Farewell Lake, Alaska, in 1969. It scored 227 points and ranks in the top 500 all-time. The 1st Duke of Peñaranda dates back to 1608 and was established by Spain’s King Philip III.

There are likely plenty of other "book animals" that were never entered by royals, just as plenty of average hunters choose not to enter their trophies in the book. And yet, submitting a trophy to the Boone and Crockett records not only helps keep tabs on the health of our big game populations but also makes for some pretty fun stories.

The Importance of Records in Big Game Management

When you enter your trophy into the Boone and Crockett system, you aren’t just honoring the animal and its habitat. You are participating in a data collection system that started in the 1920s and was refined by Club members in 1950. Today, there are nearly 60,000 trophy records. By establishing a records database more than 70 years ago, the Boone and Crockett Club established a scientific baseline from which researchers can use to study wildlife management. If you’re still on the fence about entering your trophy, we encourage you to read Why Should I Bother to Enter My Trophy .… Read More


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