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Fair Chase Essay contest speaks volumes

03/03/16 -- The Boone and Crockett Club, Blaser USA and Leupold and Stevens are pleased to announce the winner of the Fair Chase Essay Contest conducted online last fall.

"We suspected this would be popular, but had no idea just how popular," said Keith Balfourd, the Club's director of marketing.

Boone and Crockett 29th Big Game Awards logo

Simply put, the contest asked one question, what does fair chase mean to you? The Club received over two hundred responses in a short time. Two winners would be selected. One for the best essay and one, a random draw from all the media partners who promoted this contest.

"Fair Chase is one of those things that is more a matter of the spirit of the hunt than a set of written rules, therefore it is very personal, Balfourd explained. "It is also critically important to hunters themselves and the continued public support of hunting. Because it is personal, picking the best essay was no easy task."

Fair Chase emerged as a sportsmen's code of conduct in the early 1900s during a time of wildlife crisis in North America. Unregulated harvest from both commercial market hunters and recreational hunters had taken its toll on most species of game. To do what was right and distance sportsmen from the for-market slaughter, hunting with restraint and a level of respect for the game became a badge of honor that persists to this day.

"A positive image of hunters and hunting is critical now more than ever," stated Christian Socher, CEO at Blaser USA. "Fair chase is one of those things that helps ensure the continued public support for hunting by demonstrating our commitments to wildlife and wildlife conservation. We're pleased to have been able to do our part."

"Fair chase helped set the tone for the conservation movement. A fair approach to the hunt meant an acceptable and sustainable approach that the public supported," Balfourd explained. "With our wildlife perched on the brink of extinction hunting conducted any other way would have set wildlife recovery back decades and people would not have supported that."

The winner of the Essay Contest is Howell Pugh, a sportsman from Texas and the media winner is Ammoland. Each will receive the new Blaser R8 Professional S rifle topped with a Leupold VX-6 riflescope and VIP tickets to the Boone and Crockett Club 29th Big Game Awards held this July in Springfield, Missouri.

"It was a tough call. There were many very well thought out and written essays that reflected the individual, personal nature of fair chase yet still had a common thread between them," Balfourd commented. "We think Theodore Roosevelt would be proud of the legacy of respect for the hunt and the hunted he established over 100 years ago."

The winning essay, as well as other top contenders is available at here.

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