NRA and Boone and Crockett Club Partner to Promote Fair Chase and Hunter Ethics

NRA and Boone and Crockett Club Partner to Promote Fair Chase and Hunter Ethics

Fair chase has long been a key component of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation (NAMWC) and an important element of our hunting ethic. Now, the National Rifle Association’s Hunters’ Leadership Forum (HLF) and the Boone and Crockett Club are working together to develop an online education platform to educate hunters and others on fair chase and hunter ethics.

The NRA HLF and the Boone and Crockett Club recently announced that they were partnering to produce “Fair Chase Hunter Ethics,” an online hunter ethics learning curriculum. Expected to launch in early 2024, it will complement existing NRA hunter education modules to carry a positive message to new and existing hunters, as well as to the public.

“The research that HLF conducted several years ago to understand American attitudes toward hunting reinforced to me that the future of hunting in America is not only rooted in recruitment of new hunters, but also in the acceptance by nonhunters,” said HLF Director Peter Churchbourne. “Nonhunters hold our future rights in their hands, so we need to do a better job of communicating the benefits of hunting in America.”

With the Boone and Crockett Club’s history in the hunter ethics arena, it was the ideal group to partner with the NRA in helping to teach new hunters while providing a refresher for seasoned hunters regarding the ethics of fair chase and the principles of wildlife conservation.

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. Based in Missoula, Mont., it maintains the highest standards of fair chase sportsmanship and habitat stewardship. Member accomplishments include enlarging and protecting Yellowstone National Park; establishing Glacier and Denali national parks; founding the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service and National Wildlife Refuge System; fostering the Pittman-Robertson Act and creating the Federal Duck Stamp program.

However, while the organization has always been a very strong proponent of fair chase and hunter ethics, the Boone and Crockett Club has never had an encapsulated curriculum for individuals who are interested in learning more about these topics. The Fair Chase Hunter Ethics module will change all that. The module will mirror the existing free NRA Online Hunter Education course but will dive more deeply into the roots of conservation, the value of hunting within the NAMWC and the importance of fair chase ethics to ensure the current generation of hunters recognizes and operates under this code.

The ability of hunters to carry the fair chase ethic into the field, while also being able to communicate this information to the non-hunting community, will help educate the public on hunters’ contributions to conservation, food sovereignty and national economics—and will ultimately help grow and protect the cultural acceptance of hunting.

“We are very pleased to team up with the NRA and HLF to offer a world-class digital education experience on the topic of fair chase hunter ethics,” said Luke Coccoli, director of conservation programs for the Boone and Crockett Club. “This code of ethics is essential to showing respect for the game we hunt and forms the foundation for our responsibility to wildlife and wild places.”

Coccoli added, “When I recently found the NRA online hunter education courses, I couldn’t wait to take one and see what was offered through their web-based learning platform. I was totally blown away with the design and way information was presented. Even after being a hunter for 20-plus years, I still learned something new in every chapter.”

The Fair Chase Hunter Ethics course will be hosted on both the NRA and Boone and Crockett Club websites and will be free for all ages and experience levels to enjoy.

About the Author contributor Brian McCombie is a field editor for the NRA’s American Hunter and writes about firearms and gear for the NRA’s Shooting Illustrated. He is a member of the National Rifle Association and the National Shooting Sports Foundation. Brian enjoys hunting hogs, shooting 1911s, watching the Chicago Bears and relaxing with his two cats, Peanut Morgan and MikaBear.