Buffalo Bill Center of the West--and area hunters--bid tearful goodbye to Boone and Crockett Collection

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Since 1982, the Cody Firearms Museum at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has housed the Boone and Crockett Club's Heads and Horns Collection, originally dedicated in 1922. In May, this hunters' dream collection moved to America's Wildlife Museum & Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri.

Boone and Crockett Club polar bear

Handlers move this Boone and Crockett Club polar bear into the truck bound for Missouri.

Since 1982, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West has housed the Boone and Crockett Club’s National Collection of Heads and Horns of America

A must see for hunters since 1982, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has served as home for the Boone and Crockett Club’s National Collection of Heads and Horns of America. In May, the collection headed east to Springfield, Missouri, and the Wildlife Museum & Aquarium.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for the Boone and Crockett Club," says Cody Firearms Museum Curator Ashley Hlebinsky. "While we were sad to see the collection leave Cody, we are excited for the collection to be viewed by a new audience."

Located adjacent to Bass Pro Shop’s flagship store in Springfield, the Wildlife Museum & Aquarium is a state-of-the-art showcase of hunter-and-angler-led conservation. It opens in 2016 with the Boone and Crockett Collection as one of its featured exhibits. The museum and aquarium are the vision of Bass Pro Shop’s founder, and Boone and Crockett Club member, Johnny Morris.

The Heads & Horns Collection originated in 1907 under the auspices of three prominent conservation and sport hunters' groups: the Boone and Crockett Club, the Lewis and Clark Club, and the Camp Fire Club. Initially, it served as a study collection for the New York Zoological Society (Bronx Zoo), founded in 1895 by the Boone and Crockett group.

Between 1910 and the 1940s, the Heads and Horns Collection grew to contain more than 800 trophy mounts. After World War II, the Zoological Society shifted its emphasis away from inanimate study collections. Officials culled inferior trophy and study examples from the exhibit during that period, and eventually removed the Heads and Horns Collection from public display.

Largely through the urging of W. Harold Nesbitt (then Director, Hunter Services Division, National Rifle Association [NRA], and an associate member of Boone and Crockett), control of the North American Heads and Horns Collection reverted to the Boone and Crockett Club in 1978. The group displayed the Collection for three years at NRA headquarters in Washington, DC, before shipping it to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in 1982.

'We are happy to continue our positive relationship with the Boone and Crockett Club," Hlebinsky continues. "We currently are working with them to reinterpret the cabin-like exhibit area that used to house Heads and Horns. It now serves as a fresh and new way to captivate today's visitors and conservationists and long into the future. "

For more information, contact Hlebinsky at the e-mail above, or call 307-578-4092. Stay apprised of all the Center’s activities by following its online event calendar or its pages on Facebook or Twitter.
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Since 1917, the award-winning Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming, has devoted itself to sharing the story of the authentic American West. The Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is now in its summer schedule, open daily 8 a.m. – 6 p.m. For additional information, visit the Center's website or its pages on Facebook and Google+.

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Marguerite House

Ashley Hlebinsky
@centerofthewest
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