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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.
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...
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.
This year, 2023, marks the 50th Anniversary of the Endangered Species Act (ESA). Having spent the last seven years studying the ESA, I’ve come up with two observations—but first, let me set some context.
No bolt-action rifle can match the Model 70’s long history with American deer hunters!
Accuracy always trumps energy. But with 6mms you needn’t give up hard hits. Just stiff recoil!
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?...
Excerpt from Fair Chase Magazine By Wayne Van Zwoll, regular contributor, photos courtesy of author Born Phoebe Ann Moses in 1860, Annie Oakley used .22s in jaw-dropping shooting exhibitions. Ad Topperwein met his wife Elizabeth at Winchester. Both shot for the company, she as “Plinky.” Before the...
Zero recoil. One-hole accuracy. A cheap, quiet path to sure hits on big game. What’s not to like?
A bull elk is one of North America’s most majestic creatures, and a really big bull elk is the best of the best, one of the most regal, most dramatic, and most impressive creatures in the entire world. There is a big difference between a nice, normal, respectable, good bull and a monster that will make the records book. It isn’t hard to tell the difference, but the first decision you need to make is whether or not you care.
Funding public access to private lands in a voluntary manner helps give landowners an extra source of income (or at least offset their costs), while hunters gain access to some prime wildlife habitat.
The Ethics of Fair Chase – I always wanted an Olympic gold medal. As a young person, I learned that this achievement requires an astounding amount of time, effort, and phenomenal natural talent. This is why an Olympic gold medal is so highly coveted. National pride aside, owning the effort and experiencing the competition is what it is all about.
Lead Ammunition Top of Mind in D.C. — For most hunters, the metallurgical composition of ammunition only comes to mind when buying a box of cartridges or two at the sporting goods store. Most folks find their preferred caliber, peruse the specs, and buy the most cost-effective round for their budget.
By Mike McTee, Researcher, MPG Ranch - Aldo Leopold wrote that “a conservationist is one who is humbly aware that with each stroke [of the axe] he is writing his signature on the face of the land.” As hunters today, we are signing our names with bullets.
Deer rifles once killed tougher game. Hunters now pack more muscle. What do you really need? By Wayne van Zwoll Excerpt from Fall 2018 issue of Fair Chase Three elk galloped through the lodgepoles crowding the field of my 3x Leupold. I triggered the Model 70 as the reticle passed a shoulder. The...
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,...
By Craig Boddington — With practice, you can significantly reduce that wobble, but it’s always going to be there. In field shooting, where “almost” isn’t good enough, this is what limits the range and utility of the kneeling position. Understanding this, and understanding there are no range rules in the field, the kneeling position is ripe for modification, and when modified, may be even more useful than sitting.
The .30-06 is not only the .308’s parent case; it is also the cartridge that the .308 is best compared against. Despite its much shorter case, the .308 offers about 96 percent the performance of the ‘06. Shown at left—the .308 Winchester, and right—the .30-06 Springfield. In the background, the...
Long ignored, 6.5mm cartridges now rock! Why? The 7mm clan, dear for decades, holds its breath! Autumn used a Howa rifle in 6.5 Creedmoor to take her first Dakota mule deer. A tide of new bullets is fueling popularity of the 6.5mm bore stateside, where it’s been long ignored. Excerpt from Fair...
Those who cherish hunting—for themselves and for future generations—understand that hunting is a privilege to be recognized, cherished, and maintained by today’s hunters through deeds to benefit wildlife and through establishment and adherence to standards of fair chase. Excerpt from Fair Chase...
Modern fish and wildlife conservation is based on the public trust doctrine (PTD), which establishes a trustee relationship whereby the government holds and manages wildlife for the benefit of the public. Fundamentally, it posits that natural resources are universally important, and that the public should have an opportunity to enjoy these resources, including activities such as fishing, hunting, and trapping. Prior to the adoption of this philosophy, wildlife was often treated as an inexhaustible commodity, with little thought or concern for long term sustainability. As a result, many species suffered under this “limitless supply” philosophy, with some becoming extirpated or even driven to extinction.
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...
This new Legendary Arms Works .300 Winchester Magnum provided very consistent “minute of angle” accuracy with a variety of loads. INSET: The .300 Winchester Magnum is probably on the light side for the brown/grizzly bear, but plenty of gun for any black bear that walks. This bear was taken in...
Best of the Fast .30s? This lineup is just a small selection of the fast .30s. Although the .300 Weatherby Magnum is not the fastest, it’s a very fast cartridge that has been a solid performer for more than 60 years. Excerpt from Fair Chase Magazine By Craig Boddington, regular contributor, photos...
Getting really close to game is difficult. It is also a unique and rewarding experience. By Chuck Adams B&C Professional Member, Photos courtesy of Author Excerpt from Fair Chase Magazine I have always been a close-range kind of guy. When my dad gave me a choice of loaner varmint rifles at the...
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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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.
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.
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. “...
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.
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...
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.
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.
Lead, copper, water and time conspire to sabotage accuracy. You can save it. But first….
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!
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!”
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.
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.
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.
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-...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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?
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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"The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak. So we must and we will."

-Theodore Roosevelt