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The animal then grabbed Cynthia’s arm and pulled her into the brush, periodically licking blood from her wounds. After “almost a half-hour,” the bear paused. Cynthia got her left hand to the torn pack pocket and keyed the radio. “Ed! Come quick! I’m being eaten by a bear!” Then the beast pounced again.
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By Keith Balfourd, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from the Summer 2018 issue of Fair Chase Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think so. It appears that some product manufacturers these days are concerned about the ethics associated with the use of their products. On the surface this would appear...
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Because basketball stars making millions of dollars still miss free throws Excerpt from Fair Chase Magazine By Wayne Van Zwoll, regular contributor, photos courtesy of author Approach ready to fire again, from behind the animal, rifle up front. Save congratulations for later. Why is there time to...
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Reflections on Wildlife and the 2nd Amendment Excerpt from Fair Chase Magazine, Summer 2013 By Valerius Geist Hunting and the right to bear arms has always been a part of North American heritage. In Hunting Trips of a Ranchman , Theodore Roosevelt (loosely depicted above), recounted his hunting...
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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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Adding packrafting has catapulted MOHAB into the highest category of BSA high adventure programs. Excerpt from Fair Chase Magazine By Luke Coccoli, B&C Conservation Program Manager Photos Courtesy of MOHAB/BSA contributors When I was filling out the application to work for Boone and Crockett,...
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The bison featured in the logo for the 31st Big Game Awards lived more than a century ago in the Peace River Country of northern Alberta. And you will find the story behind how the bison head became part of the National Collection of Heads and Horns is as wild as the country it called home.
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There really isn’t a better way, in my opinion, to learn some new country than on a bear hunt. Load up your backpack as you would for a fall hunt, and head into the mountains. Early spring can reward you with morels, shed antlers, and a freshly emerging bear from hibernation whose coat and meat is second to none. A fall trip can serve as a scouting trip for an upcoming hunt, and without the common spring thunderstorm, it is really a great time to be out in the woods as well.
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Its slim bullets killed all out of proportion to their weight, charming hunters and changing an industry. The Jack O’Connor Center in Lewiston, Idaho, commissioned a limited run of Winchester 70s patterned on the Biesen-stocked Featherweights the famous gun writer used on hunts around the world. “...
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It’s More Faith Than Equipment—It really isn’t about the equipment, you do the best you can with what you have. Rather, it’s knowing where and how to look, and believing that if you look long enough and hard enough you will see the game you seek.
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Uniquely American, it’s otherwise enigmatic, with no brand name. Millions of hunters own one. Winchester’s 94, the archetypal deer rifle, was built from 1894 to 2006 in New Haven. Excerpt from Fair Chase Magazine By Wayne Van Zwoll, regular contributor, photos courtesy of author To some hunters a...
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Sergei Spitsyn exemplifies the spirit that motivates us. With enormous effort and at considerable personal risk, Sergei spends up to nine months each year roaming these landscapes to survey snow leopards and argali. By James P. Gibbs, Professor in the State University of New York’s Department of...
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.
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By Craig Boddington — When hunting alone, the outcome of any approach, opportunity, or shot is altogether between the hunter and his or her reflection in the mirror. When hunting with a guide or buddy, there might be a couple of witnesses, but ours is mostly a solitary pursuit. For many, meat on the table remains a primary and valid motivation to hunt. Today’s hunters are guided more by conscience, sense of ethics, and the drive to perform well.
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Lead, copper, water and time conspire to sabotage accuracy. You can save it. But first….
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It’s a matter of history that one of the first sporting uses of the .30-06 Springfield cartridge was by Boone and Crockett Club founder, Theodore Roosevelt, on his epic 1909-1910 safari. Except Roosevelt’s famous Springfield wasn’t actually a .30-06! Some time back I actually held that rifle at the Springfield Armory Museum, and the truth is it was chambered to the original 1903 version and never modified; thus, was actually a .30-03!
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By Craig Boddington — Despite the current rage for long-range shooting it’s important to remember that close shots can occur almost anywhere. Bowhunters deal with this routinely; despite the challenge, they get close! Primarily a rifle hunter, I’m usually prepared for a longish shot, but I ascribe to the motto, “Get as close as you can, then get ten yards closer!”
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It may not be true that if you haven’t hunted with a .30-30 rifle, or a .30-06 or a .300 Winchester Magnum, you’re still learning to tie your shoes. Some souls so deprived reach adulthood, though mothers have long known .30s are good for you. Hunters born before there were .30s have all died.
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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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Building your house doesn’t have to be a large or fancy house, but what this means is use what you have to get as steady as possible—in the time available.
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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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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...
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By Keith Balfourd, B&C Professional Member Excerpt from the Fall 2018 issue of Fair Chase Good question. For the sake of this column, the word “antis” refers to those who are vocally opposed to hunting. Some may also be animal rights advocates, although not all. If the concept of fair chase is...
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By Craig Boddington — Under certain conditions, I enjoy hunting with iron sights, which parallels using archery tackle, handguns, and muzzleloaders: You’re consciously surrendering range and losing critical first- and last-light capability. If you can’t see, you definitely can’t shoot.
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By John Organ — Recently, there has been a resurgence of legislative action that would ban or greatly restrict fur trapping in certain jurisdictions in the United States. The protagonists of these initiatives claim that trapping is inconsistent with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (NAM) and violates principles of wildlife governance. Are these claims valid? No, and I’ll explain why.
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I was pronghorn hunting, walking through rolling sage, when a coyote came out of a little draw and trotted across my view. I flopped down to shoot prone...
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Imagine a 300-pound male bear at the edge of a hardwood forest that borders a crop field bursting with ripe corn. Does he take a detour to avoid venturing into this exposed area, or does he walk in and enjoy the abundance of food? Would it matter if this was the only crop field in the area or adjacent to five other fields? Or if there were many bears in the area? Or if there were people nearby? What if this bear was a sow with two cubs in tow?
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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.
THE ETHICS OF FAIR CHASE By Daniel A. Pedrotti Jr. B&C Regular Member Chairman, Hunter Ethics Sub-Committee Excerpt from Fair Chase, Winter 2012 I always wanted an Olympic gold medal. As a young person, I learned that this achievement requires an astounding amount of time, effort, and...
THE ETHICS OF FAIR CHASE By Daniel A. Pedrotti Jr. B&C Regular Member Chairman, Hunter Ethics Sub-Committee Excerpt from Fair Chase, Spring 2015 We are a community of multitudes and generations. Our way of life predates recorded history. Our roots go back to a time when there was no thought of...
THE ETHICS OF FAIR CHASE By Daniel A. Pedrotti Jr. B&C Regular Member Chairman, Hunter Ethics Sub-Committee Excerpt from Fair Chase, Fall 2015 When man first hunted, “fair” was probably not on his list of priorities. Likewise, I am pretty sure “chase” was to be avoided at all costs, and was...
THE ETHICS OF FAIR CHASE By Daniel A. Pedrotti Jr. B&C Regular Member Chairman, Hunter Ethics Sub-Committee Excerpt from Fair Chase, Winter 2015 Wild (naturally occurring), free-ranging (unrestricted within its biological home range) big game has always been the central focus of the Boone and...
THE ETHICS OF FAIR CHASE By Daniel A. Pedrotti Jr. B&C Regular Member Chairman, Hunter Ethics Sub-Committee Excerpt from Fair Chase, Spring 2016 We all know that sometimes the words we use mean different things to different people. This happens be-cause we have diverse back-grounds and...
THE ETHICS OF FAIR CHASE By Daniel A. Pedrotti Jr. B&C Regular Member Chairman, Hunter Ethics Sub-Committee Excerpt from Fair Chase, Summer 2016 When you consider the phrase fair chase literally, it is nonsense. There is nothing fair about chasing animals with the advantage of our human...
THE ETHICS OF FAIR CHASE By Daniel A. Pedrotti Jr. B&C Regular Member Chairman, Hunter Ethics Sub-Committee Excerpt from Fair Chase, Fall 2016 I recently attended a meeting of the Texas Parks and Wild-life (TPW) Commission, which sets policy for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD)...
THE ETHICS OF FAIR CHASE By Daniel A. Pedrotti Jr. B&C Regular Member Chairman, Hunter Ethics Sub-Committee Excerpt from Fair Chase, Spring 2017 Here we are at the beginning of a brand new year with several good reasons to reconsider and rededicate ourselves to those things we hold most...
THE ETHICS OF FAIR CHASE By Mark Streissguth B&C Regular Member Excerpt from Fair Chase, Summer 2017 During a coffee break recently, I was thumbing through some outdoor magazines. Between the hunting stories and how-to pieces, I found myself really reading the advertisements and some product...
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Recently my wife and I attended a documentary on the disturbing amount of food waste in our country and the world, titled, “Just Eat It.” I didn’t see a connection with hunting ethics until I was in a discussion at our recent annual meeting of the Boone and Crockett Club in Nashville. Many members were lamenting the bad press that hunters get, i.e., “Cecil the lion,” and the fact that study after study has shown that only about 20 percent of the non-hunting public approves of trophy hunting, whereas 70-80 percent or more approve of legal hunting if its purpose is to produce food and/or to enhance wildlife management.

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

-Theodore Roosevelt