Page 1

$ 3 4 . 95

A Brief History of the Boone and Crockett Club

The Boone and Crockett Club was founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt and a small group of his friends. It is one of our nation’s first conservation organizations. Early members — such as naturalist George Bird Grinnell, artist Albert Bierstadt, author Owen Wister, forester and governor Gifford Pinchot, and ecologist Aldo Leopold — helped shape the course of conservation in America. The Club’s earliest achievements — protection of Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, establishment of federal forest reserves, which became the National Forest System, support of national and state wildlife refuges, and the framing of wildlife protection laws — are monuments to that legacy. The Club now promotes conservation and outdoor ethics; supports wildlife research, education and management; and maintains records of North America’s big game animals taken in fair chase.

THE SECOND CENTURY

To stimulate private sector leadership on wildlife research, education, and management, the Club, in 1986, purchased a working ranch in prime wildlife habitat along Dupuyer Creek on the East Front of the Montana Rockies. The mission of the ranch, known as the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch, is research, teaching and demonstration of wildlife conservation that is integral to the economic viability of private and adjoining public lands. In 1991, the Club endowed the Boone and Crockett Professor’s Chair in Wildlife Conservation at The University of Montana to direct the Club’s conservation program. In 2001, the Boone and Crockett Club established the Rasmuson Wildlife Conservation Center for Education, Research, and Demonstration at the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch. The new facility is the headquarters for the Lee and Penny Anderson Conservation Education Program. The Program’s vision is for citizens to treasure our shared natural and cultural heritage and advocate for diverse wildlife, fair chase hunting, and well-informed natural resource management to sustain their quality of life. Dedicated to the premise that protection, careful management, and shared uses of natural resources can achieve desired social, economic and environmental conditions without unnecessary waste or depletion, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes conservation of all resources, especially in places where wildlife tie the land together and define the character of ecosystems. For more information about the Boone and Crockett Club and our many programs, visit: www.booneandcrockettclub.com

What happens when the unprecedented storytelling ability of hunters and the deep-rooted fascination for the most widely distributed, respected, and sought after big-game animal in North America collides with over 100 years of records keeping and memorabilia? The answer…

After nearly a centur y of Re cords Keeping dug deep into , the Boone an its records arc d Crockett Clu hive and prod whitetail enth b has uced the ultim usiasts! ate histor y bo ok for A Whitetail Ret rospec

tive will take records keeping from the late 1880 you back through the evolution of whitetail hunt s up through 1980 tos, historic scor ing and big-gam , and is packed w e charts, recordse ith hundreds of keeping correspo am ndence, and port azing vintage ph What’s a histo ra oits of award-winning ry book witho whitetail deer. ut historians? Authors of A W hitetail Retrosp ective include th the current Cha e B&C’s long-tim ir man of the Rec e Director of Big ords Committee Official Measure Game Records, , along with othe rs — all with ex r Records Comm tensive first-han itt d ee Members, an kn owledge in the hi d w York 1955 and the whiteta story of the B& Leon Richards – Ne il deer, as well as C scoring system historic B&C whi tetail trophies. What’s a histo ry book witho ut maps? To know where we are going, yo u must see where special chapter in we’ve been. Ano A Whitetail Ret ther rospective is a at one of our gr geographic look eatest conservatio n success stories. once numbered The whitetail de in the millions, bu er t were reduced to animals by the ea a mere 500,000 rly 1900s. It is no w back in numbers greater than whe n European sett believed to be lers first landed The chapter reve in the New Wor als this recovery ld. with detailed map decade, which hi s separated by ghlight the top tr ophy-producing counties across th country from 18 e 30 through 1979 .

PLUS...

78-point non-typical Texas 1885

Members of the 13th Competition Judges Panel

Learn the histor y and reasons be hind why the Boone and Crock ett Club began its program to record data on native North Am erican big game and how th is system has evol ved over the years. Revisit so me of the most publicized and significant white tail trophies ever Breen Buck, Mel recorded: The Johnson’s archer y World’s Recor James Jordan’s le d, gendary typical from Wisconsin many other trul , and y outstanding but lesser-known trop hies. A Whitetail Ret rospective is the essential bo ok for every whitetail deer hu nter.

A Whitetail retrospective As sportsmen, the only thing better than this hunting season is last season, and the season before that. For reasons hard to quantify, hunters have a propensity for history and reflection. Maybe it is the fond memories of youth, early experiences when everything was new and for the first time. Maybe its because, as we age in our hunting careers, we evolve. What was important years ago may not be as important today, replaced with different approaches or priorities. Maybe it’s the recurring vision that captures us all at one time or another. That feeling of “Boy, I would have liked to have lived and hunted here back then.” Maybe it’s the saddening feeling – that realization that creeps in and reminds us that we can’t go back. We can’t unpave what has been paved or undevelop land that has been developed. The lost places of our youth where we used to hunt that are now void of game… void of nature. Regardless, we marvel at history. A Whitetail Retrospective is the book whitetail enthusiasts have been waiting for. It is the ultimate collection of days gone by. The “super bucks” as they were, honorably taken by the crew cuts, plaid jackets, iron-sighted .30-30s, and stick bows. Trophies that remain just as important to our hunting culture now as they did back then, perhaps even more so. History teaches us. Along with hundreds of vintage B&C whitetail deer records and memorabilia, chapters within A Whitetail Retrospective offer a unique glimpse at the origins and significance of records keeping. It is not known that when Theodore Roosevelt, Caspar Whitney, and Archibald Rogers were appointed to the Boone and Crockett Club’s first subcommittee on recording measurements of big-game animals in 1902 if these men envisioned that someday there would be such a book. Thankfully, through the conservation efforts of these men and many others, we have the material. We have the history. Published by the Boone and Crockett Club 250 Station Drive, Missoula, MT 59801 406/542-1888 t 888/840-4868 www.booneandcrockettclub.com ISBN: 978-0-940864-56-6 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2006933015 Du st j ac ket d esigned by J u lie T. Ho u k


A WHITETAIL RETROSPECTIVE:

Vintage Photos and Memorabilia from the Boone and Crockett Club Archives First Edition 2006 Second Printing Copyright Š 2006 by the Boone and Crockett Club. All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Boone and Crockett Club. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2006933015 ISBN Number: 978-0-940864-56-6 Published November 2006 Published in the United States of America by the Boone and Crockett Club 250 Station Drive Missoula, MT 59801 406/542-1888 406/542-0784 (fax) www.booneandcrockettclub.com Manufactured in Canada


A Whitetail

retrospective: ---–—--------––---–—--------––---–—----

Vintage Photos and Memorabilia from the Boone and Crockett Club Archives

Published by the Boone and Crockett Club Missoula, Montana 2006


iv


Preface

hallowed ground By ryan hatfield

T

ake a moment and imagine the following vision. You walk into a room, and there before you are all the hunters who have ever taken the most outstanding big-game trophies in our century-or-so-old recorded history of such things. All you have to do is approach any one of them, and they are more than happy to put their arm around you and paint the picture of the events surrounding one of hunting’s most outstanding days. How would you like to visit with Mel Johnson, Del Austin, or John Breen about the day they bagged one of the most exceptional whitetails in history? The analogy of a kid in a candy store merely brushes the surface of what such an opportunity would offer.

Such was the case when I came to work for the Boone and Crockett Club and first visited “the archives.” Being a person who takes great interest in hunting’s heritage, history, and traditions, working for B&C represented the pinnacle of each of these. Visiting the archives can be overwhelming. It is hunting’s Hallowed Ground. All of the documented history surrounding North America’s most outstanding big-game animals are there. Let your imagination run and you can nearly hear the whispers emanating from the files themselves. Priceless history, important events, and simple documentation all help to complete the story contained in every file. I’ll never forget the first time I went into the archives. I went in to perform a simple record update, and proceeded to lose myself in those files for hours. File after file, I flipped through them, admiring accompanying field photos, reading correspondence, seeing authentic signatures, all the while being thoroughly riveted. I wanted to turn to someone and say, “Wow! Would you look at that!” At the same time, however, it was just as exciting because I could enjoy it alone and at my own pace. It didn’t take a big leap to realize that the history that lay dormant in these files was far too valuable to simply leave stuffed in a file cabinet to do nothing more than collect dust and slowly deteriorate. These stories,

photos, and memorabilia needed to be shared. As hunting changes and time marches on, the chance to hop on a time machine and transport oneself back to simpler, grander days becomes all the more tantalizing. For whitetail fanatics, A Whitetail Retrospective is that chance. Most of what you will see in the following pages has never been seen before – some of it was never intended to be seen. Opening Boone and Crockett Club’s private vaults for the world to see was not a simple process, but it was more than worth the effort. I had the honor to select many of the following photos, using the “you know it when you see it” approach. Of course, all of the 33,000 files are worth seeing, but in the interests of time and space, we have selected some of the most intriguing for publication here. Some of the photos will be questionable by today’s standards, but to sanitize the true history would be a mistake. As such, we have chosen to leave it in its raw, unadulterated state. This serves not only to show were done in the past, but also as a reminder of our expectations of today. Just because our photo standards have changed doesn’t mean we should shy away from embracing these great historic photos. I hope you will be as enamored with the following items as we here at B&C are, and that they will leave you yearning for more. Enjoy! t

v


table of contents A WHITETAIL RETROSPECTIVE Preface................ V Chapter Two . . . . 14 Chapter Three......24 By Ryan Hatfield

Introduction ...... IX By Eldon L. “Buck” Buckner

Chapter One...........1 Score Charts Boone and Crockett Club’s long-time Director of Big Game Records discusses the development of records keeping and the metamorphosis of the whitetail score charts from the turn of the century through today. By Jack Reneau

Distribution

The Early Years

Past efforts and resources of hunters, conservation organizations and government agencies were realized with the overall population of whitetail deer growing from 500,000 in the early 1900s to nearly 12 million by the 1970s. That expansion is evident with the number of entries in the Club’s Big Game Records Program. You can see this with the inclusion of detailed maps, separated by decade, that highlight the top trophy-producing counties.

Members of the Boone and Crockett Club have history in records-keeping dating back to 1891 when Theodore Roosevelt, George Bird Grinnell, and Archibald Rogers judged a trophy competition in New York City. In the late 1800s, it was believed that many species of big game were going the way of the bison. Therefore, B&C members helped establish the New York Zoological Society to preserve a collection of species for future generations to enjoy. This action ultimately led to the creation of the first scoring methods used by the Club, which were in place through the 1949 Competition.

By Joel W. Helmer

whitetail entry distribution: 1830-1979

By John P. Poston Vintage Photos............................ 28 Award-Winning Whitetails......... 32 Publicity....................................... 38 Correspondence........................... 42 Score Charts. .............................. 48 Special Trophies........................... 50

vi


Chapter Four...... 54 Chapter Five...... 144 Chapter Six........ 274 A New System

Carnegie Museum

NABGAP Begins

At the end of World War II there was renewed interest for the Boone and Crockett Club to direct attention to designing a new system for measuring North American big-game trophies. Samuel B. Webb chaired the committee, which included Grancel Fitz, James L. Clark, Harold E. Anthony, Milford Baker, and Frederick K. Barbour. The system was officially adopted in 1950 and quickly became the universally accepted standard for measuring native North American big game. The new system was in effect beginning with the 4th Competition held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City in 1950.

After 16 years at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City, the Club’s records-keeping activities and competitions moved to the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The success of six decades of big-game conservation became evident resulting in two major increases in minimum entry scores within five years. Several noteworthy whitetail deer were entered during this time period (1964-1971) including Melvin J. Johnson’s Illinois buck that received the coveted Sagamore Hill Award – the only whitetail to ever do so.

By Frederick J. King

Vintage Photos.......................... 146

In June of 1973, the Boone and Crockett Club and the National Rifle Association signed an agreement to cosponsor what would then be called the North American Big Game Awards Program (NABGAP). This era in big-game records keeping lasted for seven years and included three Big Game Awards Programs. Other strides in improving the scoring system were also seen at this time. They included the creation of a uniform scoring manual for training measurers and a standard of entry requirements. Such changes provided the program a much greater ability to detect unscrupulous or erroneous entries, as well as enforce the accurate and consistent measurement of trophies.

By Gilbert T. Adams

Award-Winning Whitetails....... 194

By Tommy Caruthers

Vintage Photos............................ 58

Publicity..................................... 226

Award-Winning Whitetails......... 82

Correspondence......................... 232

Vintage Field Photos. ............... 278

Publicity....................................... 94

Special Trophies......................... 256

Award Winning Whitetails. ...... 304

Correspondence......................... 102

Correspondence......................... 326

Special Trophies......................... 124

Special Trophies......................... 336

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viii


INTRODUCTION

By eldon l. “buck” buckner

M

any of my most memorable hunts have been for North America’s most numerous and widespread big game—the whitetail deer. A wily and adaptable animal, he has not only managed to hold his own, but has increased both his numbers and range despite man’s invasion and destruction of much of his habitats. For example, the first dozen years of my life were spent on a central Missouri farm. Back then, during the 1940s, there were no deer in the area. A couple years ago, I saw many in the same area while driving the highway. Similarly, when we moved from Arizona to northeast Oregon in 1972, we found only mule deer on our ranch. Now, whitetails are common and have been for the past ten years.

It is not surprising that this most popular of all big-game animals, whether the Southwest’s version known as Coues’ deer or the more northern variety, has developed a near fanatical following in many cases. From personal experience, first with the Coues’ deer of Arizona and Sonora, and later with their cousins in Oregon, Montana, Texas, Kansas, and Pennsylvania, I think the whitetail addiction stems from a challenging combination of admiration, frustration, and exasperation. After all, what hunter can resist the thrown gauntlet of a deer who brazenly devours his wife’s roses on the front porch one day, then becomes an invisible ghost the next day when the season opens! An example of a far-gone Coues’ deer addict was the late John Doyle, a Tucson taxidermist and B&C Official Measurer. He was

LEFT: The back of the score chart shown here is from the 1947 Competition. Back then, there was only one chart for all types of deer (whitetail, mule deer, blacktail, and Arizona whitetail). The buck shown here was taken in 1938 in Oneida County, Wisconsin.

responsible for introducing me to the Club’s records program when I was barely a teenager. When I finally bagged a record-book buck at age 20, he measured it for me. Shortly after, the increased minimum score negated my trophy’s record-book status. I’ve been trying to repeat my initial success ever since, in vain! This book will evoke fond memories for many, like me, who can remember when hunting was a less crowded sport, permission to hunt private land was available for the asking, and major newspapers lauded the accomplishments of hunters without fear of reprisals from readers. Equipment was simpler, too; 4-wheel-drive vehicles and camouflage clothing were rarities, variable-power scopes didn’t exist, and ATVs and trail cameras were not dreamed of. Younger sportsmen with even the slightest interest in trophy whitetails and hunting history will find a real treasure in Joel Helmer’s periodic whitetail distribution maps that show locations of record entries by county over the years. The maps show the spread of whitetails alluded to earlier. The history and development of the Boone and Crockett scoring system, from a measure of

ix


x


just one antler feature to the current system adopted in 1950, is thoroughly covered by Records Committee members John Poston and Fred King, and augmented by a special section on the evolution of score charts put together by Jack Reneau. Concurrent with changes in scoring systems were changes in periodic trophy displays. Originally labeled “competitions,” these were later named “Awards Programs,” as described by Tommy Caruthers, former B&C Director of Hunting and Big Game Records. During its century-plus history, Boone and Crockett Club has headquartered at several locations. The move to the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh for the 1964-1971 period came right after the minimum score for whitetails was in­ creased in 1965 and is ably documented by Records Committee member Gilbert T. Adams. I have special memories of this period because I was appointed an Official Measurer in 1968 under sponsorship of John Doyle. Then–Records Chairman Elmer Rusten and I were frequent correspondents. The unique feature of this book is the inclusion of so many informal trophy photos, news articles and fascinating correspondence related to special trophies. An example is the documentation concerning the bagging of a 29-year-old buck shot in Nova Scotia in 1917 that was reportedly one of three tagged deer released there in the 1880s. Other items that caught my interest in­cluded a lion-killed Coues’ deer picked up in Sonora in 1937 by my friend, the late Jack O’Connor; the extended correspondence over a wrongly-classified Arizona mule deer that was once pictured as the World’s Record Coues’ deer, re­ported burned in a fire but resurrected in Montana 20 years later; the controversial corre-

spondence between long-time records secretary Betty Fitz, former Measurer and Grand Slam Club founder Bob Householder, and Arizona Game Ranger Bob Hernbrode, over a possible mule deer/Coues’ deer cross. I knew all three people well, now all departed, and found it interesting that B&C Club is now initiating research efforts through DNA studies to help pre­vent such problems in the future. I’ll have to admit that seeing so many photos of old friends and acquaintances no longer with us and reading the words of others who have passed on has caused me to shed a nostalgic tear or two. But that’s not all bad; books like this help remind us of our rich hunting heritage and encourage us to carry on those traditions we so greatly cherish. t

LEFT: In the early years, Coues’ whitetail deer were identified as Arizona whitetails. The chart shown here describes a picked-up trophy submitted by Jack O’Connor. Unfortunately, no photograph was attached.

xi


$ 3 4 . 95

A Brief History of the Boone and Crockett Club

The Boone and Crockett Club was founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt and a small group of his friends. It is one of our nation’s first conservation organizations. Early members — such as naturalist George Bird Grinnell, artist Albert Bierstadt, author Owen Wister, forester and governor Gifford Pinchot, and ecologist Aldo Leopold — helped shape the course of conservation in America. The Club’s earliest achievements — protection of Yellowstone and Glacier National Parks, establishment of federal forest reserves, which became the National Forest System, support of national and state wildlife refuges, and the framing of wildlife protection laws — are monuments to that legacy. The Club now promotes conservation and outdoor ethics; supports wildlife research, education and management; and maintains records of North America’s big game animals taken in fair chase.

THE SECOND CENTURY

To stimulate private sector leadership on wildlife research, education, and management, the Club, in 1986, purchased a working ranch in prime wildlife habitat along Dupuyer Creek on the East Front of the Montana Rockies. The mission of the ranch, known as the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch, is research, teaching and demonstration of wildlife conservation that is integral to the economic viability of private and adjoining public lands. In 1991, the Club endowed the Boone and Crockett Professor’s Chair in Wildlife Conservation at The University of Montana to direct the Club’s conservation program. In 2001, the Boone and Crockett Club established the Rasmuson Wildlife Conservation Center for Education, Research, and Demonstration at the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Ranch. The new facility is the headquarters for the Lee and Penny Anderson Conservation Education Program. The Program’s vision is for citizens to treasure our shared natural and cultural heritage and advocate for diverse wildlife, fair chase hunting, and well-informed natural resource management to sustain their quality of life. Dedicated to the premise that protection, careful management, and shared uses of natural resources can achieve desired social, economic and environmental conditions without unnecessary waste or depletion, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes conservation of all resources, especially in places where wildlife tie the land together and define the character of ecosystems. For more information about the Boone and Crockett Club and our many programs, visit: www.booneandcrockettclub.com

What happens when the unprecedented storytelling ability of hunters and the deep-rooted fascination for the most widely distributed, respected, and sought after big-game animal in North America collides with over 100 years of records keeping and memorabilia? The answer…

After nearly a centur y of Re cords Keeping dug deep into , the Boone an its records arc d Crockett Clu hive and prod whitetail enth b has uced the ultim usiasts! ate histor y bo ok for A Whitetail Ret rospec

tive will take records keeping from the late 1880 you back through the evolution of whitetail hunt s up through 1980 tos, historic scor ing and big-gam , and is packed w e charts, recordse ith hundreds of keeping correspo am ndence, and port azing vintage ph What’s a histo ra oits of award-winning ry book witho whitetail deer. ut historians? Authors of A W hitetail Retrosp ective include th the current Cha e B&C’s long-tim ir man of the Rec e Director of Big ords Committee Official Measure Game Records, , along with othe rs — all with ex r Records Comm tensive first-han itt d ee Members, an kn owledge in the hi d w York 1955 and the whiteta story of the B& Leon Richards – Ne il deer, as well as C scoring system historic B&C whi tetail trophies. What’s a histo ry book witho ut maps? To know where we are going, yo u must see where special chapter in we’ve been. Ano A Whitetail Ret ther rospective is a at one of our gr geographic look eatest conservatio n success stories. once numbered The whitetail de in the millions, bu er t were reduced to animals by the ea a mere 500,000 rly 1900s. It is no w back in numbers greater than whe n European sett believed to be lers first landed The chapter reve in the New Wor als this recovery ld. with detailed map decade, which hi s separated by ghlight the top tr ophy-producing counties across th country from 18 e 30 through 1979 .

PLUS...

78-point non-typical Texas 1885

Members of the 13th Competition Judges Panel

Learn the histor y and reasons be hind why the Boone and Crock ett Club began its program to record data on native North Am erican big game and how th is system has evol ved over the years. Revisit so me of the most publicized and significant white tail trophies ever Breen Buck, Mel recorded: The Johnson’s archer y World’s Recor James Jordan’s le d, gendary typical from Wisconsin many other trul , and y outstanding but lesser-known trop hies. A Whitetail Ret rospective is the essential bo ok for every whitetail deer hu nter.

A Whitetail retrospective As sportsmen, the only thing better than this hunting season is last season, and the season before that. For reasons hard to quantify, hunters have a propensity for history and reflection. Maybe it is the fond memories of youth, early experiences when everything was new and for the first time. Maybe its because, as we age in our hunting careers, we evolve. What was important years ago may not be as important today, replaced with different approaches or priorities. Maybe it’s the recurring vision that captures us all at one time or another. That feeling of “Boy, I would have liked to have lived and hunted here back then.” Maybe it’s the saddening feeling – that realization that creeps in and reminds us that we can’t go back. We can’t unpave what has been paved or undevelop land that has been developed. The lost places of our youth where we used to hunt that are now void of game… void of nature. Regardless, we marvel at history. A Whitetail Retrospective is the book whitetail enthusiasts have been waiting for. It is the ultimate collection of days gone by. The “super bucks” as they were, honorably taken by the crew cuts, plaid jackets, iron-sighted .30-30s, and stick bows. Trophies that remain just as important to our hunting culture now as they did back then, perhaps even more so. History teaches us. Along with hundreds of vintage B&C whitetail deer records and memorabilia, chapters within A Whitetail Retrospective offer a unique glimpse at the origins and significance of records keeping. It is not known that when Theodore Roosevelt, Caspar Whitney, and Archibald Rogers were appointed to the Boone and Crockett Club’s first subcommittee on recording measurements of big-game animals in 1902 if these men envisioned that someday there would be such a book. Thankfully, through the conservation efforts of these men and many others, we have the material. We have the history. Published by the Boone and Crockett Club 250 Station Drive, Missoula, MT 59801 406/542-1888 t 888/840-4868 www.booneandcrockettclub.com ISBN: 978-0-940864-56-6 Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2006933015 Du st j ac ket d esigned by J u lie T. Ho u k

A Whitetail Retrospective  

A Whitetail Retrospective takes you back through the evolution of whitetail hunting and big-game records keeping from the late 1880s up thro...