Conservation

Where Hunting Happens, Conservation Happens™

Conservation

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B&C has a history of measured and thoughtful commitment to conservation, beginning in 1887. It is a commitment that balances human needs with wildlife needs; a commitment that sees deep value in preserving the hunting tradition, as well as in conserving wildlands and wildlife; a commitment that grows out of a powerful love of wildlife, but that is also shaped by a common-sense, business-like approach to managing natural resources.
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On June 12, Boone and Crockett Club CEO Tony A. Schoonen participated in an event in Missoula, Montana, where Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue directed the U.S. Forest Service to establish vision, priorities and direction to improve management of the nation’s national forests.
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Current efforts to conserve big game migration corridors and seasonal ranges is emblematic of the critical role that Boone and Crockett Club members play in conservation action. Excerpt from Winter 2021 Fair Chase Magazine What does it take to create and successfully implement conservation policy?...
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SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from Fall 2016 issue of Fair Chase My column in the Summer 2016 issue of Fair Chase talked about the importance of the Boone and Crockett Quantitative Wildlife Center directed by Professor Bill Porter at Michigan State University...
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Theodore Roosevelt was a hunter and a naturalist. Knowledge gained from his time afield fueled TR’s zeal for conservation and elevated his appreciation for nature. One of the missions of the Boone and Crockett Club is to disseminate knowledge to ensure that many are passionate about wildlife conservation. Click for more information about current research being conducted by B&C Professional Members.
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The Boone and Crockett Club has completed its work for year ending June 30, 2021, in its conservation policy area. With all the divisiveness that permeates Washington D.C., it’s often difficult for people to recognize, or even believe, that important bipartisan work still gets done resulting in effective legislation. And while the COVID-19 pandemic has presented many obstacles, we have some extremely significant gains with our policy efforts. The 116th Congress has established itself as one of the most productive Congresses that we have worked with in the past 25 years on enacting important bipartisan conservation legislation and significant progress has been made to date during the 117th Congress.
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In 2017, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) released a report titled “State of the Mountain Lion—A Call to End Trophy Hunting of America’s Lion.” In the report, HSUS calls for an end to mountain lion hunting in the United States based on several scientific arguments. These arguments range from citing available literature on demography, ecology, and sociality of mountain lions, to the protection of potential habitat and population sizes across 16 states where breeding populations exist.
A complete collection of articles about conservation, hunting, and wildlife research by John Organ, Director Emeritus of the USGS Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units, and current B&C professional member.
By David Hewitt, B&C Professional Member Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a malady of the deer family. This disease is caused by a natural protein in the deer’s body called a prion. Prion proteins can misfold, giving the protein a different conformation that makes it resistant to being broken...
By Steve Côté In most instances, a confrontation between a white-tailed deer and a black bear would be decided in favor of the bear. Dr. Steve Côté , a scientist with the Université Laval in Quebec, has indentified a situation which defies this conventional wisdom. Dr. Côté and his colleagues have...
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In August of 2000, B&C was instrumental in organizing an historical conservation summit that has already proven to have a profound effect on the future of wildlife. This landmark meeting resulted in the foundation of the American Wildlife Conservation Partners (AWCP)—a coalition of wildlife organizations representing more than 4.5 million hunter-conservationists.
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First Adopted March 12, 2014 - Revised: 8/19/2014 - Reviewed 7/11/2014 Situational Overview Conservation and preservation are two different philosophies. Since the early 20th century, conservation has meant the wise and prudent use of natural resources without waste. Preservation means protection...
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Conceived at a meeting among B&C members in 2003, NCLI has been guided by a single question: “What will it take to prepare our future leaders?” The answer has consistently remained linked with providing a truly unique curriculum with an emphasis on participant diversity, viewing leadership through a multifaceted lens, and a willingness to embrace self-organization as a means of tackling adaptive challenges.
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By John Organ — Polygamous species include those we are quite familiar with: whitetail and mule deer, elk, and moose, where one male may breed several females. Polygamous cervid species display what biologists term sexual dimorphism, meaning the two sexes exhibit differences in some physical features. In the case of cervids, this is represented by males typically having larger body size than females. This is true of many species of mammals that are polygamous.
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An Essay by Dr. Valerius Geist From Fall 2008 Fair Chase (Part 1 of a 3 part series) We pay close attention to large predators. We do so because we evolved as prey. It was our ancient fate to be killed and eaten, and our primary goal to escape such. Our instincts are still shaped that way. There is...
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SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from Summer 2017 issue of Fair Chase Those of us in the hunting community take great pride in the fact the dollars we spend on hunting licenses, firearms, ammunition, and archery equipment are the financial backbone of state-...
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SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Graduate student Elizabeth Orning collared cougars in 2013 in northeast Oregon as part of the ODFW wolf monitoring program. Excerpt from Spring 2018 issue of Fair Chase Wildlife managers and hunter-conservationists have long been...
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Much debate has occurred through the years over the value and purpose of maintaining records of “trophy” big game animals killed by hunters. This has become magnified in recent years with a focus on trophy hunting in general, spawned in part by the Cecil the Lion episode, and in conflicting reports on the genetic impacts of trophy hunting to big game populations in particular.
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from Summer 2020 issue of Fair Chase Wildlife conservation in the United States has progressed through many phases while adhering to some core principles. Most significant is the common law doctrine that wildlife is held in trust...
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SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Drs. Dave Wattles and Steve DeStefano of the Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit attach a GPS collar to a bull moose in west-central Massachusetts. Excerpt from Spring 2016 issue of Fair Chase The distribution of the...
Washington D.C. —On June 8th, the Senate took a monumental step toward passing the historic Great American Outdoors Act (S. 3422), which represents the single greatest commitment to increasing public access and advancing conservation in a lifetime, by voting to proceed to final consideration of the...
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By John Organ — Nearly 100 years ago Aldo Leopold, the father of game management, coined the term “harvestable surplus.” The intended meaning of the term is that some wildlife species and populations may produce more young in a given year than can survive to the following year. Those individuals doomed to die over the winter, for example, represent the “surplus” in the population. Leopold observed that those surplus animals could be killed by hunters during the fall, instead of succumbing to winter mortality, and there would be little impact on the population. So, in theory, hunting would be sustainable because the population would not change.
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SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member A Sunday picnic on the shore of the Baltic Sea in Sweden, cooking reindeer. Excerpt from Summer 2019 issue of Fair Chase It was the next-to-last day of black powder rifle season this past December, and I was supposed to hunt whitetails...
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By John Organ — The issue of lead versus non-lead ammunition has been a divisive factor within the hunting and wildlife conservation community for decades. Consider this statement: “The accounts of the destruction of ducks, geese, and swans by lead-poisoning which are printed on another page bring to public attention a new element of danger to our wildfowl, and one for which a remedy will be hard to find.” This was written by George Bird Grinnell, co-founder of the Boone and Crockett Club in 1894.
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On November 8th, 2005, a 22-year-old honors and scholarship student in Geological Engineering, Kenton Joel Carnegie, from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, was killed in northern Saskatchewan by a pack of wolves.
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By David Hewitt, B&C Professional Member The distribution of elk in North America is primarily in mountains, northern parklands, prairies, and high deserts where winter can be severe. Deep snows, poor quality forage, and cold temperatures can be a hardship for elk, especially when elk are...
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By Kevin L. Monteith (B&C Official Measurer), Jonathan A. Jenks (Distinguished Professor, South Dakota State University), R. Terry Bowyer (B&C Professional Member) Although only one subspecies of white-tailed deer ( O. v. dacotensis ) inhabits South Dakota, deer occupying the Black Hills of...
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By Valerius Geist, Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science, The University of Calgary; Boone and Crockett Club Professional Member "Managing with the rifle", a conception which arose in Europe at the turn of the 20th century, contained the notion that the culling of the "unfit" was a genetic...
By David G. Hewitt, B&C Club Professional Member The rut can be a particularly exciting time to be afield. Bucks and bulls have one thing on their mind. The intense focus on breeding dramatically changes their behavior. Bachelor groups break up, feeding becomes a distraction, and being...
By Vernon C. Bleich Steep, rocky terrain is widely recognized as an important component of bighorn sheep habitat. Visual openness, however, also is important because it enhances the probability that bighorn sheep can detect and evade predators. In southern California, some populations of bighorn...
By Emily Latch – Purdue University and now at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Gene Rhodes – Purdue University Jim Heffelfinger – Arizona Game and Fish Department and Boone and Crockett Professional Member Rocky Mountain mule deer by David Hewitt Throughout the geographic range of mule deer and...
By David Hewitt - Boone and Crockett Club Professional Member Trophy animals represent many things. For hunters who harvest an exceptional animal, trophies are the culmination of planning, dedication, and hard work. A trophy is a reminder of all the experiences enjoyed, and sometimes tolerated,...
By David Hewitt, Boone and Crockett Club Professional Member It is an axiom that management for trophy deer, sheep, and goats requires management for older males because antler and horn size increase with age. For example, antlers continue to increase in size each year until white-tailed deer bucks...
Kelley M. Stewart, Assistant Professor, University of Nevada Reno R. Terry Bowyer,Professional Member Boone and Crockett Club Big game animals have more complex interactions with their environments than many of us realize and large mammals, such as elk, have far reaching effects on ecosystems. Both...
By Stephen Webb (Biostatistics Specialist, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation) and Ken Gee (Wildlife Research Specialist, The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation) White-tailed deer bucks seek receptive does during the rut but their strategies are only now becoming clear as a result of new technology...
Aaron Foley - Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville Randy DeYoung - Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute, Texas A&M University-Kingsville From a tree-stand, a hunter observes a 10-point, 130-inch Boone and Crockett score white-tailed deer walking...
Implications for Reintroduction and Conservation By Jericho C. Whiting (Senior Wildlife Biologist, Gonzales-Stoller Surveillance) and R. Terry Bowyer (Professional Member, Boone and Crockett Club) Populations of bighorn sheep, which once numbered in the thousands, have declined markedly since the...
By Carl D. Mitchell (Wildlife Biologist, retired) and R. Terry Bowyer (Professional Member, Boone and Crockett Club) Managing game populations subject to predation has long been a topic of research, discussion, and dissension. Predation and predator-prey relationships are complex ecological...
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from Spring 2017 issue of Fair Chase Whitetail deer management in eastern North America has had its share of controversy since restoration programs began more than a century ago. Protected deer populations quickly responded to the...
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from Fall 2017 issue of Fair Chase It’s pretty common knowledge these days that black and grizzly bears are very efficient predators of ungulate fawns and calves. Some of the earliest published accounts of black bear predation on...
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from Winter 2017 issue of Fair Chase Wildlife managers, hunters, and other conservationists have long been concerned about the decline in mule deer populations through-out the West. Is it predation? Is it hunting? Is it habitat?...
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member © Mark Mesenko Excerpt from Fall 2018 issue of Fair Chase In the Spring 2015 issue of Fair Chase ( “A Little Help From Our Friends” ), I wrote about the Western Elk Research Collaborative and the promise it held for a greater...
David Hewitt, Boone and Crockett Club Professional Member Eric Rominger, Boone and Crockett Club Professional Member Big game species in North America have fascinating survival strategies and few are more interesting than the mountain caribou of the Pacific Northwest. Mountain caribou live in a...
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Wildlife for the 21st Century: Volume V is the fifth in a series of recommendations from the American Wildlife Conservation Partners ( AWCP ) beginning in 2001. AWCP is a consortium of 45 organizations that represent the interests of America’s millions of dedicated hunter conservationists,...
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Politicians, Industrialists, Businessmen, Writers, Artists, Explorers, Scientists, Doctors, and Others Band Together to Support Hunting and Wildlife The Boone and Crockett Club is a non-profit organization founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt. His vision was to establish a coalition of dedicated...
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from Summer 2018 issue of Fair Chase A pillar of wildlife management in North America is the notion that it is science-based or science-driven. Indeed, Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife management, laid the groundwork for this...
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from Spring 2015 issue of Fair Chase My good friend Curtis Taylor, West Virginia’s State Fish and Wildlife Director, tells it this way: his cousin Ditto, so named by his parents becausehewasthespitting image of his older brother...
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from Summer 2015 issue of Fair Chase In the Spring Issue of Fair Chase I wrote about how several state fish and wildlife agencies working together, along with their Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Units, can yield powerful...
SCIENCE BLASTS By John F. Organ, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from Fall 2015 issue of Fair Chase Aldo Leopold wrote “One of the anomalies of modern ecology is the creation of two groups, each of which seems barely aware of the existence of the other. The one studies the human community,...

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

-Theodore Roosevelt