The records department of the Boone and Crockett Club recently received a musk ox entry, and if confirmed by a judges panel, it will be crowned the new world’s record.
The recent entry was killed by Aron F. Wark on August 1, 2023, near Contwoyto Lake in the Canadian Territory of Nunavut. With a preliminary score of 131 4/8 points, Wark’s musk ox beats the old record of 130 4/8 points taken by Alex Therrien in 2020.
“I had the best time of my life, even without shooting a musk ox,” Wark says. The 57-year-old is quick to credit his guide, Sam Kapolak, with filling the hunt with good laughs and plenty of exercise. “A lot of people think this is an easy hunt, but it’s not,” notes Warks. “We covered 20 miles in a day, and it’s not flat. The walking sucks. I want to get these hard hunts out of the way before I get old.”
The Boone and Crockett Club has been measuring North American big game since 1895. As a way to measure conservation efforts, the Club began keeping records in the 1920s and released the first record book in 1932.
According to Kyle Lehr, the Club’s director of big game records, “Keeping a record of the largest representations of North American big game isn’t a competition between hunters, it’s a tool for hunters and resource managers to help them understand how wildlife management is or isn’t working in a given area.”
“Every animal is a trophy,” says Tony A. Schoonen, chief executive officer of the Boone and Crockett Club. “Sometimes, there are truly magnificent animals taken that represent the conservation success story of North America. That’s really what we’re celebrating.”
As for Wark, he’s excited to share his passion for hunting with his 15-year-old daughter and 10-year-old twin boys. He hopes to start them out with something a little easier than musk ox, maybe an elk hunt, he says.
Before Wark’s entry is official, Boone and Crockett Club procedures require that the final score of a potential world’s record be verified by either an Awards Program Judges Panel or a Special Judges Panel. Awards Program Judges Panels are assembled once every three years following the close of one of the Club’s triennial Awards Programs. Special Judges Panels are convened during the interim between Awards Program Judges Panels with the sole purpose of verifying and declaring a new world’s record. In either case, two teams of two judges each measure the entry, and if the scores of both teams verify the original measurement, the panel will declare it a new record.
About the Boone and Crockett Club
Founded by Theodore Roosevelt in 1887, the Boone and Crockett Club promotes guardianship and visionary management of big game and associated wildlife in North America. The Club maintains the highest standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone and establishing Glacier and Denali national parks, founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System, fostering the Pittman-Robertson and Lacey Acts, creating the Federal Duck Stamp program, and developing the cornerstones of modern game laws. The Boone and Crockett Club is headquartered in Missoula, Montana. For details, visit www.boone-crockett.org.
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