Fair Chase and Teddy Bears
The Boone and Crockett Club defines the term fair chase as involving lawful and ethical hunting in a sportsmanlike way. Free-ranging, native, wild North American big game is the quarry, to be pursued in a way that doesn't improperly advantage the hunter. (That is, without unfair aid of technology or of so-called "canned hunts.") Most definitions of fair chase include a focus on responsible harvesting of animals so as to protect and conserve the animals being hunted. In contrast, early settlers of the West hunted buffalo nearly to extinction. Theodore Roosevelt practiced fair chase during a 1902 bear-hunting trip to Mississippi. His refusal to shoot a small black cub that the hunting dogs had caught led to a Washington Post cartoon. Only two days later, a toymaker in Brooklyn, N.Y., linked the cartoon to a stuffed brown bear for sale, calling it "Teddy's Bear." Thus, the teddy bear was born. [source: Boone and Crockett Club, Rubel].
The club's stated purpose is the keeping of records of trophy big game animals that have been taken by members using a classic firearm and cartridge. In addition, the animal must have been pursued under the principles of fair chase (more on that later in this article).
The club's Web site also offers a section in which those who have hunted with a classic firearm can tell their stories. A "Trophy Room" on the site provides another such opportunity, with separate sections for exotic, African, North American game, bear and deer.
Club members are concerned that we live in a time during which the human element of hunting is overshadowed by the advances of technology. By choosing to use classic firearms, the club believes the hunter is by default both a safer hunter and a conservationist.
To score members' trophies, the club uses the classic Boone and Crockett scoring method. (The Boone and Crockett Club was started by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887.) Prentiss Gray developed the format, designed for animals from North America, during the 1920s. All animals from other geographic areas are scored using the Safari Club International's methodology [source: RooseveltBrowning Classic Firearms Hunting Club, Boone and Crockett Club].
Perhaps you've read enough to convince you that this is the hunting club for you. Maybe you're looking for other hunters who understand the joys and challenges of working with classic firearms and ammunition. Aim your sights on the next section for important information on membership.