Home / General / Boone & Crockett says NO to Electronic Hunting Gear

Boone & Crockett says NO to Electronic Hunting Gear

 

Outdoor Life recently posted an article that said, “According to an update on the Boone & Crockett Club’s Eligibility Statement, which took effect Dec. 1, 2021, the use of “sights with built-in electronic range-finding capabilities” and “technology that delivers real-time location data (including photos) to target or guide a hunter to any animal” are now considered violations of the club’s revered code of ethical conduct. Hunters who enter animals for consideration in the Boone and Crockett Records of North American Big Game must sign an affidavit swearing that they have not relied on these technologies, just as they testify that they have not violated other tenants of fair chase, including chasing game with motorized equipment, hunting inside high fences, drugging animals, or violating local game laws.”

It’s hard to govern ethics and I don’t envy the job that the Boone & Crockett Club has when trying to determine what is fair chase and what isn’t. It may seem easy to us today on where to draw the line, but I often wonder how far we would draw the line if we lived 100 years ago. The technology and cool hunting gear we get to use now, and even were able to use 30 years ago, would’ve seemed less than sporting to many that have come before us.

I’m not sure I understand the logic of not allowing rifle scopes with rangefinders. If rangefinders are legal, who cares where they are encased (in the riflescope, in the binocular, in a small handheld unit, etc.)? I do understand the reasoning behind not allowing transmitting trail cameras to be used during the season.  I have no problem with them when scouting, but during the season it is a bit too much in my opinion.

Therein lies the problem, though – in my opinion. We all have differences in opinion on many topics related to hunting ethics, yet there does need to be someone or some group regulating what is and what isn’t fair chase so that we all have a consistent standard. Otherwise, as it says in the book of Judges, “all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes”.

Any thoughts on this recently updated position of the Boone & Crockett Club? Leave your comments below.

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15 comments

  1. Randolph Holford

    I support the Boone and Crockett decision 100%. Technology is replacing real outdoor/hunting skills. If you are truly a trophy hunter then earn the trophy. Put in the miles. Get within an ethical range that allows for a clean kill and rapid recovery.

    Incidentally, there is a difference between using a range finder and having a scope that ranges and adjusts for you.

    B&C is not, nor am I, saying you cannot use technology. We are simply saying you cannot use this equipment and be a Fair Chase Hunter and get your animal in the record book.

    • “replacing real outdoor/hunting skills”
      Who are you to judge?? You suggest we are all trophy hunters? What about meat hunters? “put in the miles” Sitting in one spot is a very ethical way to hunt. What is ethical range ? Different for everyone. A range finder may help with that. If it’s not your way it’s not “real outdoor/hunting skills” ?
      Stop being so arrogant.

      • So if you’re a meat hunter you should be able to find a cow elk or a doe deer at ranges that you don’t even have to use a rangefinder. Especially sitting in one spot and waiting for one to walk by at close range. Technology is making hunters lazy. I’d even go for outlawing rangefinders over 500 yards for hunting. IMO nobody has any need nor business shooting over that far with all the uncertainties like wind, animal movement, etc. Of course some people think we need wind speed devices and computers to calculate how to set our scopes. Before long we’ll have artificial intelligence in scopes that won’t allow a shot unless the crosshairs that are adjusted for range and wind and are perfectly placed on the animal. Is that acceptable? I think not.

  2. Thankfully they banned trail cameras here in Arizona. Tired of seeing a bunch of cameras at every waterhole and saddle. Get off your ass and go out and find your animal.

  3. Michael Shepard

    Make hunting for hunters again..never have agreed to using all this crap..

  4. I personally have never used any electrical equipment for hunting other than my truck to get to the mountain. Maybe that will be the next exclusion.

    • So you don’t use a GPS? I think it’s a must for safety, not for finding animals. How long have you been driving an electric truck? 😉

      • I feel sorry for those that need a GPS to stay safe. Hope their batteries never wear our. My compass has worked fine for 40+ years. Never lost reception or ever gotten lost once. Plus I’m not filling up the dump with batteries.

  5. Interesting article sir, in reading publications from the early and late 1900’s one will find some of the same discussions. In those times it was geared towards items we regularly use such as scoped rifles. I have been whitetail deer hunting for 40 years, not a western guy, and have seen the onslaught of everything that could be packaged up to guarantee a bruiser buck running in on a chain. I’ve even tried some of these items with limited success I might add. When you get through all of it I think you still find out that boots on the ground and time in the field far outweigh gizmos. If you can’t find them, you can’t harvest them.

  6. Harrie Dennison

    What’s the difference between using a range finder to acquire the range to your target, and then setting the coordinates on the turret settings on of your rifle scope. The technology of Scopes today has been improving by leaps and bounds as a result of use by our military. Yet Boone and Crockett has no problem with that. I personally have both types of Scopes and use a Sig Sauer bdx system on some of my rifles. I totally respect and appreciate the game I hunt and want to do everything I can to make a clean ethical one shot kill when possible. For people that have not used the technology they don’t realize it takes the same skill to stabilize on your target, trigger pull finesse, and shot follow through with a bdx system as with any other rifle, open sites or high-end optics. If Boone and Crockett insist on going down this road then they should require that we all use Bushnell Banner 4 power fixed magnification Scopes when pursuing animals for the for their record book, and call it a day.
    For myself personally I’m not a trophy Hunter and if I do happen to get an animal that would be able to be in the record books with a bdx system I simply won’t claim it. I hunt for my enjoyment, respect for the animal,and to keep organic game meat on the table for my family.

  7. I believe B & C was talking about scopes that range and then automatically reset the reticle (Burris) for a dead on hold and/or Sig’s system of a connection between a range finder and scope that does the same thing.

    There are always some people who like to “game” the system for an advantage. I’m sure we have the technology now to mount a rifle on a motorized tripod, link it with an electronic range finder, linked to a wind and atmosphere reader and a sensor in the scope would pull the trigger (Remington had a rifle with an electronic trigger at least 2 decades ago)…for pinpoint accuracy at most any range.

    Hunting is “hunting”, not just killing. Instead of an electronics degree to go hunting, how about we bring back a little bushcraft knowledge.

  8. You mean like wet your finger to see which way the wind is blowing and start hunting?

  9. In my opinion….it would be acceptable to outlaw the use of rangefinders capable of ranging over something like 500 yards in the rifle season, and over 50 yards in the archery season. “shooting” is not the same as “hunting”. I don’t care of you want to waste lead on the shooting range at 800 or 900 yards, but it’s unethical, imo, to shoot at an animal that far no matter how good you think you are. Hunting is about getting close to an animal, imo, and if you can’t get closer than 500 yards you’re a pizz poor hunter. And with wind gusts and animal movement at long ranges, I believe far more animals are getting wounded than we know about. Bowhunters have no business shooting over 50 yards because most can’t reliably hit a target over 40 except in ideal conditions. Again, my opinion.

  10. For the record the B&C position is only for the entry of trophies into their record books and a statement to their membership of what the B&C leadership deems Fair Chase hunting. This has no bearing on if the scope is legal to use in any particular state.

    I enjoyed reading the comments in this blog/article and I can assume that over time as technology becomes more and more prevalent in outdoor gear, particularly rifles and scopes, this conversation will be had many more times to come.

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