Missoula, Montana – Dale Hislop of Calgary, Alberta was recently honored by the Boone and Crockett Club, the nation’s most prestigious conservation and big game hunting organization. Dale received a 2nd award for his pronghorn at the Boone and Crockett Club’s 29th Big Game Awards Banquet in Springfield, Missouri, on July 16.
Every three years, the finest North American big game trophies taken, entered and accepted into Boone and Crockett Club’s big game records-keeping program are assembled for public display followed by a banquet and award presentation. A judges panel comprised of senior Boone and Crockett Official Measurers verified each trophy’s final score, which is the sum total of a comprehensive series of measurements taken of antlers, horns, skulls, and tusks, depending on the species.
The Boone and Crocket system of scoring big game trophies originated in 1906 as means of recording details on species thought to be disappearing because of rampant habitat loss, market hunting, and unregulated harvest. Science-based conservation efforts let and funded by license-buying hunters helped bring those species from vanishing to flourishing. The existences of mature, male specimens remain a classic gauge of sustainable hunting and successful habitat and wildlife management programs.
In addition its prestigious history and tradition , the Boone and Crockett Club is strongly associated with the highest standards of hunting ethics referred to as, fair chase.
Hislop’s trophy scored 95-4/8 Boone and Crockett points and was taken in 2014 from Mohave Co., Arizona. It will be listed along with over 4,000 other outstanding trophies in the Boone and Crockett Club’s 29th Big Game Awards book available this fall.
(Antilocapra americana) are a culturally, aesthetically and economically important big game species on the Hualapai Indian Reservation. Resident antelope populations are located in relatively isolated, small tracts of prairie grasslands throughout Hualapai Tribal Lands. With multiple use management activities on their home range, and big game hunting to generate revenue for the Hualapai Tribe, it is important to conduct annual surveys to determine distribution, overall population size, and sex ratios to maintain and properly manage the resident herd of antelope. Survey information for pronghorn antelope dates back to 1992.
Pronghorn Antelope generally prefer habitat consisting of wide open grassland prairies with abundant feed in the form of annual grasses. The pronghorn lives in herds that change in size depending on the season. Habitat areas range into forests of small pinon and juniper trees varying from 10 to 15 meters which dominate the Hualapai high desert. These bushy evergreen woodlands are generally the common periphery of the Northern Arizona grassland prairies. Its trees and surrounding shrubs are often used by pronghorn antelope for cover in the heat of the day.
The Pronghorn Antelope seen on annual surveys are classified as fawns, does, yearlings or bucks. The bucks are broken in to two categories: Regulation and Non-regulation. Regulation bucks are characterized as bucks with horns extending past the ear. These individuals are considered trophy animals and are hunted on a yearly basis. Non-regulation bucks are characterized as bucks with the horn not extending past the ear. These individuals are not harvested.
A total of 126 Pronghorn Antelope were seen and classified during the 2002 surveys. The population survey consisted of 30 regulation bucks, 8 non-regulation bucks, 83 does and 5 fawns. The buck: 100 doe: fawn ratio was 46:100:6. The fawn data may be biased due to the time that the antelope were surveyed. Many of the fawns have grown large enough to be indistinguishable from adults when trying to classify from an aircraft. Only antelope that were obviously fawns were counted as such.
Looking at the survey data that has been gathered by the Hualapai Department of Natural Resources in the past ten years we find that the antelope population as a whole has been declining. This trend is also similar when you look at the different classifications of pronghorn antelope. Pronghorn Antelope populations fluctuate according to a few different factors, most importantly available food, available water and amount of predation. These factors are greatly influenced by annual precipitation. Winter rains stimulate native grass growth which is great forage as well as cover for fawn survival. Of course more rain makes water more available for antelope to drink. In 1992 and 1993 there was record rainfall in most of the Western United States. Consequently the population of antelope was fairly high as seen in our data. In the years following 1993 we had some very dry weather which adversely affected Pronghorn Antelope populations. A record shortage of rainfal in these yearsl resulted in extremely dry range conditions which may be the reason that our recent survey shows low numbers. In 2000, Arizona experienced some good winter rains which have brought a good crop of native grasses to the prairies. This may have resulted in an increase in the fawn survival and overall antelope health. Subsequent years of good precipitation are needed for continued increases in the Pronghorn Antelope population.
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