NRA Family Reading: Boone & Crockett's 15th Edition Records of North American Big Game

It's not just beautiful pictures of world-record animals ... although that's definitely a draw!

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posted on May 22, 2024
Boone Crockett 15Th Edition Lede

If you've never heard of the Boone and Crockett Club, it's one of the few American institutions with a memory almost as long as the NRA's. Founded in 1887 and devoted to conservation and the concept of fair chase, "B&C" has been keeping records for whitetail deer for 194 years, with literally tens of thousands of trophies dating back to 1830. Every six years, B&C releases a Records of North American Big Game, and the 15th edition just dropped. 

Are there pictures of the trophy animals? Oh my, yes. But there's much more to learn. Did you know that over 20% of the biggest bucks ever recorded were entered in just the past seven years? Since 2017, nine whitetails ranking top 20 All-time in typical or non-typical categories have been added.

Origins of this significant recent trend can be traced in the new book. The 15th Edition adds trophies accepted 2017 through 2021, including more than 4,500 new entries across 38 categories of North American big game. New entries include a World’s Record bighorn sheep. Most of the new entries are whitetails.

In total, the 15th Edition contains over 36,000 records for deer, sheep, elk, bear and other species. First published in 1932, the book has grown to two volumes with over a thousand pages. Along with detailed, tabular trophy listings including harvest locations (down to county level), it features hundreds of field photos, score sheets and insightful chapters. It’s available in paperback, a hardback collector’s set with slipcase, and a deluxe limited edition.

“When you hear hunters talk about a huge buck, chances are you’ll find it here.” said Kyle Lehr, the Club’s director of big game records.

Lehr said infinite trophy trends can be discovered and tracked in the Boone and Crockett Club’s historical records. Conservationists can use the data to help gauge the success of management programs over time. Hunters can use the data to help plan their next hunt for the trophy of a lifetime.

Boone and Crockett Club documents all whitetails that are entered and reach the 160 typical or 185 non-typical point threshold, however, to be published in this book one must meet or exceed 170 typical or 195 non-typical points.

Current Top 20 All-time whitetails debuting in the 15th Edition include the No. 3 non-typical scoring 327-7/8 from Illinois, No. 4 non-typical scoring 321-3/8 from Kansas, No. 5 non-typical scoring 315-1/8 from Tennessee, No. 4 typical scoring 204-6/8 from Pennsylvania, No. 10 typical scoring 202-3/8 from Arkansas, and the No. 17 non-typical scoring 282-2/8 from Iowa.

Since 2022 the Club has recognized the new No. 2 typical scoring 211-4/8 from Indiana, No. 3 typical scoring 207-7/8 from Illinois, and the No. 18 typical scoring 200-3/8 from Kentucky.

To purchase or learn more about the Boone and Crockett Club’s Records of North American Big Game, 15th Edition (as well as limited supplies of previous editions), visit www.boone-crockett.org.

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