Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

The Stories Behind the World’s Biggest “Pick ups”


Spend enough time outdoors, and you are bound to find something interesting. For some, those interesting things happen to be world record heads, horns, and antlers. Here are the stories behind the biggest “pick ups” ever found.

Not every animal in the Boone and Crockett records was taken by a hunter. Some animals in the records succumbed to old age, vehicle collisions, predators, disease, poachers. These entries are typically found by hunters and listed as "picked up" in the Boone and Crockett records to distinguish them from hunter-taken entries. Some of those head, horns and antlers happen to be world’s records. These are their stories. 

To read the complete Boone and Crockett policy on found trophies, click here

Want to see the score charts too?

Register Now

The Biggest Whitetail Ever


Category: Non-typical whitetail deer 
Owner: Missouri Department of Conservation 
Location: Missouri   
Score: 333-7/8 points 

Grizzly in the attic


Category: Grizzly bear 
Owner: Gordon Scott
Location: Alaska  
Score: 27 13/16

The Flathead Lake Monster





Category: Bighorn Sheep
Owner: Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks 
Location: Montana  
Score: 216 3/8 

View Score Chart

Big Grey Blobs at Low Tide


Category: Pacific Walrus 
Owner: Ralph Young 
Location: Alaska  
Score: 147 4/8 

Backyard Bull


Category: Tule Elk 
Owner: Jeff & Julie Lopeteguy 
Location: California 
Score: 379

A Case of Mistaken Identity 


Category: Black Bear 
Owner: Cabela’s 
Location: UT  
Score: 23 10/16 

B&C Policy on Found or Picked-Up Trophies

The Boone and Crockett Club sets the rules for entering a trophy into its record books, which are based primarily on principles of wildlife conservation and fair chase. The fact that the Records Program accepts entries that have not been harvested by a hunter but instead are "found" by people (whether on a hunt or not) may be surprising to some, but there are sound reasons for doing so.

Found trophies include animals that die of natural causes, such as advanced age, environmental factors, and predation. Found trophies also include animals that die of unnatural causes, such as vehicle collisions. Found entries, along with the locations where found, are listed as "picked up" in the B&C record books to distinguish them from hunter-taken entries, which are subject to different eligibility requirements, including the principles of fair chase.

The big game records of the Boone and Crockett Club are a set of wildlife and hunting data that the club began to collect over a century ago to initially track the recovery of big game populations from decades of unregulated overharvesting. The focus today is on monitoring the quality and distribution of specimens that natural conditions and sound wildlife management are capable of producing.

Having sportsmen participate in this data collection system by voluntarily submitting their trophies is vital. Having people submit trophies they find is equally important. Mature males that have lived long enough in the wild under favorable conditions to grow large antlers, horns, or skulls to qualify for the B&C record book are indicators of healthy ecosystems, balanced age structures within a given population, acceptable mortality (natural and human-caused), and sustainable recruitment. The Boone and Crockett Club maintains that all trophies, both harvested by hunters and those that are found, add to the data set that helps game managers adopt successful policies to benefit big game populations of North America. The Records Program was never intended to be a numeric ranking of a hunter's skills.

PJ DelHomme is a writer for Crazy Canyon Media in Missoula, Montana. He regularly contributes content to the Boone and Crockett Club as well as national and regional publications.

Support Conservation

Support Hunting

Support Conservation

Support Education

"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt