Horrified purists can relax, as the verdict is now in - the club will not be changing its rules on fair chase. Animals shot in any kind of enclosure will still not be considered for the record. We have that directly from B & C Executive Director George Bettas.
The decision comes, however, after discussions among Boone & Crockett officials for the better part of two years, says Bettas. He says a number of club members petitioned the club that long ago to study the issue, which he says they did. They looked at it from several sides, including questions of ethics, habitat, disease (Chronic Wasting Disease), animal husbandry (deer farms), etc. Only then did they put out a call for member comments. After that, it didn't take long for the club to make three basic decisions.
First, the club has reaffirmed its fair chase statement and requirements for trophy entries into its record book program. Boone & Crockett's definition of fair chase calls for the "ethical, sportsmanlike and lawful pursuit of ... any free-ranging, wild, native North American big game animal in a manner that does not give the hunter an improper advantage over such animals." Because "free-ranging" means animals are unrestricted in their movements across their home range, that leads to Boone & Crockett's second decision, which is to leave trophies taken in fenced enclosures out of its awards program. "Hunters who wish to hunt animals behind a fence already have a fine awards program that accepts their trophies," Bettas says, referring to the SCI records program.........(continued)