Young guns racking up trophies
By Tom Wiest | (email@example.com)
There is an interesting phenomenon occurring in big game hunting. Young hunters are taking more trophy animals than ever — more than double the previous rate. The Boone and Crockett Club keeps the official records for trophy big game worldwide and encourages sportsmanship and conservation of game species.
B&C reports that in the last three years hunters age 16 and under have taken 152 qualifying trophies to the record book, a surge of 126 percent over the previous three-year period.
One reason for this increase is that more young people are hunting than ever before, thanks in particular to the Families Afield program sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. In recent years many states have passed laws encouraging youth participation.
B&C also noted that all record book entries are increasing, an indication that a major goal of the Club is succeeding. Big game herds are increasingly abundant, healthy and well managed in many areas of North America.
Boone and Crockett Club was formed by Theodore Roosevelt and other conservationists in 1906. It began keeping trophy records as a way of detailing species once headed for extinction. There are currently 4,825 total entries.
Trophy data reflects population balance and habitat quality. Biologists compare and contrast records to improve local management strategies as well as state and federal wildlife polices.
The B&C 28th annual Big Game Awards event will be July 17-20 in Reno, Nevada. Go to http://www.biggameawards.com or www.boone-crockett.org for more information.
• If you want to play with boats on the great lakes of Tennessee, get your boating safety certificate ahead of time. The certificate is required to operate a boat for anyone born after 1988 and is at least 12 years old. This includes personal watercraft. The certificate is issued by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and there is a procedure to follow.
First, go online or go to a license agency and buy a Type 600 permit for $10; this is your ticket to the exam. Be sure it is purchased in the student’s name.
Second, take a study course (usually no charge) from the TWRA Boat Tennessee Home Study Course, the U.S. Power Squadron, or the U.S. Coast Guard. Some classes are held locally that combine a study course with testing.
Third, take the TWRA’s monitored exam at the appointed time, which can be found at http://www.tnwildlife.org , (select For Boating) or by calling 800-837-6012. The exam can be challenged without taking the study course but it is not easy.
Several boating safety classes for Blount and Knox counties are upcoming. Bring your $10 Type 600 exam permit:
Maryville High School, Room 360, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. on July 10, Aug. 14, Sept. 11. Contact Michael Scher at 865-405-5512.
Gander Mountain in Knoxville, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., two nights per class (test on second night), July 9-10, July 31 – Aug. 1, Sept. 10-11, Sept. 24-25.
John Sevier Hunter Education Center, 2327 Rifle Range Road, Knoxville, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m., fourth Tuesday of each month.
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