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POPE AND YOUNG
Since 1961, the Pope and Young Club has worked to promote wildlife
conservation, fair chase, and quality hunting. This week the club
announced a milestone over half a century in the making: the 100,000th
entry into its records program.
“We have been recording entries of mature North American big game animals
taken with a bow and arrow since 1961. This is a testament to how this
system has withstood time and is the universally recognized standard in
record keeping,” Ed Fanchin, Records Chairman for the Pope and Young Club.
Named for famous bowhunters Dr. Saxton Pope and Arthur Young, the Club
encourages sportsmen and women to honor exceptional animals by submitting
them for recognition in the club’s record books. To be eligible, hunters
must have harvested the animal entirely by bow and arrow in compliance
with the club’s fair chase rules, and exceed minimum score requirements
for that species. Perhaps the most coveted record held by the club—that
for typical whitetail deer—was taken just four years after the club’s
In October 1965, Mel Johnson went out into a soybean field in Peoria
County, Illinois armed with a 72-pound-draw Howett recurve and harvested a
buck that remains the Pope and Young world record today. It was later
scored at an astounding 204 4/8. According to Deer and Deer Hunting,
Johnson had seen the buck a total of three times before his harvest.
Hidden by the soybean rows, the giant buck approached Johnson dead-on,
eventually allowing the hunter to shoot a fiberglass arrow.
The Pope and Young Club’s record books are filled with such stories, and
each entry is a testament to both the hunter’s skill and the efforts of
conservationists in preserving North America’s wildlife. Perhaps more
importantly, information collected by the program provides valuable data
for researchers and wildlife biologists.
“Long after the memory of that animal has faded, long after the photos and
mount have disintegrated to dust, that animal is being honored and
remembered for posterity in the Records Program forever,” the Club states.
Steve McCadams is a professional hunting and fishing guide here in the Paris Landing
area. He has also contributed many outdoor oriented articles to
various national publications.