The Pope and Young Club’s 28th Biennium Convention and Awards Banquet in Dallas brought North America hunters together sharing their passion for bowhunting.
Hunters everywhere shared hunting stories and strategies about their hunts, and for the lucky few, they had their trophies on display. Four world records were on display; Stone’s sheep, Dall’s sheep, tule elk, and Roosevelt’s elk.
The only Texas trophy on display was A.J. Downs’ non-typical white-tailed deer shot in San Jacinto County. The deer was scored at 245 4/8 (using the Boone and Crockett/ Pope and Young scoring system).
Among the hunters and fans, M.R. James might be considered the most seasoned hunter and contributor at the convention. James, who spent 14 years as a board member with two terms as President, also served as the editor to the first Pope and Young Club Record Book. James said the goals of the convention are the same goals that started the club — to prove to the general public that bows are an effective tool to hunt big game.
James spent the majority of his life learning the craft of bow hunting. While growing up, James wanted to read a cover-to-cover bow-hunting magazine but one wasn’t available. So in 1971, he founded Bowhunter Magazine, where he served as its founder/editor from 1971 thru 2006. When he started the magazine, he sold 15,000 copies. When the business was sold in 1988 it was selling 200,000 copies.
James, an avid bowhunter, successfully hunted in 35 states and seven Canadian provinces, collecting 22 of the 29 North American big game species. He has no issue with hunting with firearms but wanted other ways to hunt.
“Firearms became to easy,” he said. “I wanted a challenge.”
Texas is a personal favorite hunting area for James. He has hunted the King Ranch and near Brackettville, Nacogdoches and San Saba — mostly for white-tailed deer but occasionally for boar and javelina.
“I like Texas — when the seasons wind down in the Midwest, I can always come here and hunt, “ he said.
James currently serves as the President of The Archery Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mo. A hunter with more than 50 years of experience, he still has a passion for hunting with his bow.
“Anytime you can get up in the morning, kiss your wife, and go to work (hunting), it’s a great day,” he said.