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Adventures from the Archives

The Boone and Crockett Club’s records contain more than 70,000 big game entries, from musk ox to mule deer. Among those entries are more than a few stories of adventures afield. To celebrate those trophies, their habitat, and the hunter, we’re bringing those stories back to life with each installment of Boone and Crockett’s Adventures from the Archives.


Illinois 1965 By PJ DelHomme Armed with a crewcut, a plaid coat, and a recurve, Mel Johnson hunkered down in a homemade ground blind on the edge of a soybean field hoping to get a shot at a big buck he’d seen cruising the area. When he released the string, that shot vaulted him straight into the...
Before we dive into the details of how this enormous grizzly bear met its demise, we should point out that many facts in this story are blurry. What follows is a compilation of newspaper and magazine articles, blog posts, and personal narratives that all end with one live caretaker and one dead bear. We’ve done our best to highlight the facts and note conjecture.
Colorado 1901 Theodore Roosevelt is the only U.S. president with his name in the Boone and Crockett records. And as far as we know, he’s the only hunter to kill a World’s Record with a hunting knife. On November 6, 1900, William McKinley was elected the 25th president of the United States. Theodore...
Yukon Territory 1950 Outdoor writer and legend Jack O’Connor loved the .270 and hunting North American game. His books and magazine articles singlehandedly launched a thousand hunting trips. This is the tale of his quest for a giant Dall’s ram, which doesn’t go as planned. For those of a certain...
The moose would not go down. In one last final act of desperation (or perhaps revenge), it lowered its antlers and charged at 30 yards. Dall DeWeese stood there, alone, armed with his Mannlicher, watching as the old bull closed the gap. It wasn’t leaving Cook’s Inlet without one last fight. And DeWeese was in the crosshairs.
In the 1930s, Roosevelt Luckey owned a Ford dealership and garage in western New York’s Allegany County. Every year, he’d drive a Ford across the state to the Adirondacks in the northeast corner to hunt deer at a cabin owned by him and a few friends. He killed his first deer there in 1926. He would make the long drive because there were relatively few places open to hunting in New York until the late 1930s. That’s when state game managers opened a short season in Allegany County.
Alberta 1906 Bert Riggall was Alberta’s first Renaissance Man. He was a mountain guide, outfitter, hunter, trapper, rancher, naturalist, photographer, and writer—all wrapped up in one hell of a mustache. Frederick Herbert (Bert) Riggall was a legendary Alberta outfitter. He guided his clients to...
Alaska 1955 — Armed with a .30-06 that he took on every hunt, Grancel Fitz was on a quest to find the biggest Alaska brown bear that Kodiak, Alaska, had to offer. Even though Fitz was never a regular member of the Club, his contributions to refining the Club’s scoring system produced serious hunting karma because this bear was an absolute monster.
Colorado 1899 Few hunting stories last a generation. Even fewer last 120 years. Rest assured, when those stories involve cowboys, Colorado’s backcountry, and a World’s Record elk, the legend sticks around. So it is with John Plute’s giant elk. The few pictures of John Plute that still exist show a...
Maine 1910 No, that’s not a moose. But at first glance, that’s likely what Maine Guide Hill Gould thought when this buck came crashing out of the alders one fall evening in 1910. When he killed it, Gould had no way of knowing that it would become the state’s biggest whitetail buck for more than a...
Alaska 1959 Bowhunting legend and industry pioneer Fred Bear hunted all over the world with stick and string. In the late-1950s, his good friend and fellow Boone and Crockett Club member Glenn St. Charles found a hunting honeyhole in the wilds of Alaska. He shared that spot with Fred and a few...
Louisiana 1904 — For over a century, Ben Lilly’s Louisiana black bear has remained the state record, but it hardly compares to the stories behind the Lilly legend.
Montana 1958 — With a .270 Winchester Model 70, this dairy farm worker cut a big set of elk tracks in October. He followed that bull for at least a dozen miles using his wits and old-school hunting wisdom. At the end of the trail was the second-largest elk in the world.
Alaska 1956 One man’s quest for a trophy Dall’s sheep takes him on a classic adventure in Alaska’s Chugach Mountains. His determination ends with a wild story and a World’s Record. During World War II, Frank Cook served in the Navy. He was a radio and radar operator on seaplanes and spent about a...

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

-Theodore Roosevelt