Pope & Young recognize that crossbows can be a good hunting weapon. However, they do not accept crossbow entries. Moreover, Pope & Young advocate separate records and archery seasons for crossbows.
Crossbows have always been controversial because of their features and specifications, especially during archery seasons and category aspects. Unfortunately, the dilemma doesn’t stop there, and the debate continues for decades.
If you are a crossbow hunter and plan to send your entry to one of the most famous bowhunting organizations in the world, Pope & Young, you may want to stop doing so. Sadly, you may have to consider submitting your entries to other bowhunting organizations.
Although Pope & Young have been going on for decades and have just done a re-branding, their decision of not accepting crossbow entries still stands. However, this doesn’t mean that the organization is totally against crossbows.
If you look at Pope & Young’s definition of bows, they specifically recognize only the hand-held and hand-drawn longbows, recurves, and compound bows.
They even further specified that such bows should have no mechanical device that enables the hunter to lock the bow at a partial or complete draw. Moreover, the club does not permit bows entry with no device to propel the arrows.
Based on the definition given by Pope & Young, it is clear that they are strict even with vertical bows and made it clear that crossbows do not fit the description.
The club has also consistently argued that crossbows give hunters an unfair advantage because pulling their strings does not require human muscles and instead uses mechanical advantage.
As a result, it is no wonder Pope & Young do not accept any crossbow entries to include in their records. They further commented that crossbows are not vertical bows; therefore, crossbow hunting is not bowhunting.
Since they do not consider crossbow hunting as bowhunting, Pope & Young suggest that there should be separate records for crossbow kills.
The club urges various states to exclude crossbows from bowhunting-only seasons because they believe that crossbows should have distinct seasons, licensing, reporting requirements, and specific education.
Nonetheless, Pope & Young clarified that they are not against crossbows in the hunting field and acknowledge them as valid hunting weapons.
Since they will not change their policy anytime soon, the club recommends crossbow hunters submit their entries to Bolt & Quarrel and shows their full support by offering help with resources like record measurers.
If you didn’t know yet, Bolt & Quarrel is a new organization formed explicitly for crossbow hunters that also handles the record-keeping of animals taken using crossbows.
Therefore, it would be best to join Bolt & Quarrel rather than wait for Pope & Young to announce its full recognition of crossbows in the bowhunting field.
What is the Pope and Young Club?
Pope & Young Club has been a notorious nonprofit bowhunting and North American conservation organization for over six decades. The organization’s mission is to promote, protect, and preserve bowhunting.
You may have heard that several clubs and organizations exist to promote and protect well-known hobbies, including bowhunting. One of the most prominent nonprofit organizations is Pope & Young, which has spread the culture and tradition of bowhunting worldwide for more than sixty years.
If it wasn’t for Pope & Young, the chances of modern bowhunting might have ceased because of the many challenges brought by the American Civil War. Due to the emergence of firearms, there is a threat to the existence of bowhunting.
Many people who used bows for hunting shifted to using firearms because of the significant distance advantage. Unlike in the modern era, there are no existing conservations in the past which makes it challenging to keep the tradition alive.
Luckily, four notable men started to keep the tradition alive, which became the key to establishing Pope & Young club.
Soon after, Pope & Young became a club officially on January 27, 1961, and adopted many principles from Boone & Crockett, such as an established system for record keeping of bowhunting trophies. It is a move to legitimize bowhunting and be seen mainly as a sport.
Moreover, NFAA’s Vice President Glenn St. Charles also became the club’s first president and chairman. Since then, bowhunting has always been the club’s main focus, and they have legitimized the sport through advocacy.
Pope & Young also consistently work with Boone & Crockett on similar legislative issues of conservation. Because of the club and its pioneers’ continued effort in the field of bowhunting, many businesses owe their success to the organization’s dedication and work.
The club currently has over 120,000 records of North American big-game trophies and has built a reputation on the field of archery hunting. There are approximately 6,000 general members and about 600 regular members at the higher levels.
During the club’s 60th year, it underwent re-branding and renewed commitment, wherein it highlighted its mission to preserve, protect, and promote bowhunting explained further below:
As per Pope & Young’s Executive Director, Jason Rousanville, the word preserve speaks a lot to their records. Pope & Young currently holds the complete records of North American big-game where wildlife agencies use it extensively to set seasons.
The organization’s records also come in handy for researchers who want to study wildlife management trends. Aside from providing accessible data to authorized personnel and agencies, Pope & Young is also responsible for maintaining the National Bowhunting Museum, the world’s premier wildlife display.
Rousanville announced during the club’s 60th celebration that they would be moving the museum from its current home in Chatfield, Minnesota, to Bass Pro Shop’s Springfield, Missouri headquarters, specifically at the Wonders of Wildlife Museum complex.
Up to this day, bowhunting faces modern challenges, such as threats from anti-hunters and activists who aim to destroy and redefine the way of life of bowhunters and the heritage of bowhunting. Nonetheless, Pope & Young stood its ground and refused to let the privilege of hunters get trampled.
The club acts as a protector to the ever-evolving issues that bowhunting and bowhunters face and will be facing in the future. As a result, Pope & Young actively defends and opposes any movement that threats bowhunting privileges anywhere.
For instance, several municipalities have recently considered removing managed bowhunting as a wildlife-management tool. Hence, the club opposed such policy proposals and pledged to counter any anti-hunting campaigns conducted locally, regionally, actively, or nationally.
Pope & Young never fails to consecutively promote bowhunting as a sport and a part of the American tradition. They also ensure that bowhunting will continue to be a part of the outdoor lifestyle by encouraging and inviting bowhunters to join the club.
Such a move is apparent in their re-branding efforts during their 60th anniversary and aims to promote bowhunting always. The club also participates in several selected local events and develops new partner programs.
Pope & Young further expressed their continued commitment to keeping the bowhunting records and attributes and expanding their reach in representing bowhunters.
As long as Pope & Young exists, they assure bowhunters that the heritage, tradition, and art of bowhunting will continue to live amidst the challenges.
What are Pope and Young requirements?
Animals taken with a bow and arrow (as defined by Pope & Young) are the primary requirement for eligible entry to the Pope & Young’s Records Program. Any member or non-member may submit an entry at any time.
Getting a trophy certificate for the animal you successfully hunted is another milestone most bowhunters dream of achieving. Aside from the trophy, you get to have your entry included among the 120,000 extensive game records on file.
If you are a bowhunter and wish to submit an entry to Pope & Young, you may wonder what requirements you need to fulfill. Before anything else, you will be happy to know that you don’t have to sign up as a member before submitting an entry.
Whether you are a Pope & Young club member or not, everyone is welcome to submit their entries as long as they use a bow and arrow to take the animal and can fulfill the rest of the requirements for eligibility:
- Compliant with the hunting regulations of the state or province
- In complete compliance with Pope & Young’s Rules of Fair Chase
- After official measurement, the score for each species category must meet or exceed the minimum score entry requirement.
- The skull plate of the animal hunted must be completely unaltered and intact, whether intentional or not, on any antlered big game species. Be aware that the inside spread measurement is part of the final score.
- Alterations or repairs to the animal’s antlers or horns are acceptable case-by-case only. Read the Pope & Young policies for better understanding.
If you could fulfill the eligibility requirements above, an appointed measurer from Pope & Young would do the official measurement procedures.
However, please note that the measurement process starts only after the animal’s mandatory drying period, which is at least 60 days, has elapsed. Here are the following things to take note of before and during the drying period:
- Before the drying period starts, it would be best to clean their skull plate thoroughly for antlered and horned animals. On the other hand, you have to clean all flesh and membrane in the bear or cougars skull via bug box or boiling.
- During the drying period, ensure that the animal’s skull, horns, or antlers remain unaltered at room temperature and average atmospheric humidity.
After the drying period, you can now get in contact with a Pope & Young measurer. You can refer to Pope & Young’s official website to see the corresponding minimum score for every animal type.
They also permit hunters to print a blank scoresheet by clicking on the print icon in the browser’s top-right corner.
If you meet the measurement requirements, the appointed measurer will ask for an entry fee and submit the paperwork on your behalf.
Below are the following paperwork and materials you have to submit to Pope & Young’s headquarters for each animal’s entry into the Records Program:
- Completed and signed Fair Chase Affidavit by the bowhunter and signed by a witness.
- Original score sheet completed by the authorized club measurer
- Three photographs of the animal’s horns, skull, or antlers include the following angles one of each: a view from the front, right, and left.
- If available, a field photo of the bowhunter and the animal.
- Pay a $40 recording fee to ‘Pope and Young Club.’
- The payment of all FOREIGN entries must be in US dollars via US money order or debit/credit card. Don’t forget to download the club’s credit card form at their website.
If all is well, expect to receive your trophy certificate within 30 days, starting from the receipt of your entry.
Randomly picking a trophy skull, horns, or antlers without taking the animal by yourself using a bow and arrow does not give you an eligible entry to the Pope & Young’s Records Program. However, you may want to submit it to Boone & Crockett since they accept those.
For those who want to join Pope & Young, you are always free to sign up on their website or call their office, whichever works for you. Just a heads up, the club has the following membership costs depending on the membership level you want to apply to:
- Annual youth membership for those under 18 years old: $10
- Regular one-year membership: $45
- Discounted two-year membership: $80
- Discounted four-year membership: $150
- Lifetime membership for ages 65 and up is $600
- Lifetime membership for ages 64 and younger: $1,000
Nonetheless, joining the Pope & Young is an excellent decision as it means you also support the organization’s advocacy and dedicated mission to protecting, preserving, and promoting bowhunting.
Pope & Young’s effort throughout the years reaped a fruitful outcome prevalent in bowhunting’s popularity that continues to skyrocket even among youngsters in the modern era.
Although Pope & Young doesn’t accept entry from crossbows, Bolt & Quarrel is an alternative emerging organization solely for crossbow hunters who also want to protect and present historical records using crossbows in the hunting field.
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