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Fair Chase Magazine - Free Articles

Free articles from Boone and Crockett Club's Fair Chase Magazine


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.
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.
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...
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.
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!”
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 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-...
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...
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.
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