Prior to the late 1950’s, bowhunting was frowned upon by most people and agencies who believed it was an unethical sport. In fact, there was not even a season for bowhunting at that time. In 1957, the National Field Archery Association's Hunting Activities Committee decided that something had to be done to improve the image of bowhunting. So they started the Pope and Young Club; named in honor of pioneer bowhunters Dr. Saxton Pope and Arthur Young whose exploits during the early part of the 20th century drew national attention to this "forgotten" and challenging form of hunting.
The Pope and Young Club is patterned after the Boone and Crockett Club. It encourages responsible bowhunting by promoting many of the same ideals that the Boone and Crockett Club pushed: quality fair chase hunting, and sound conservation practices. Today the Pope and Young Club is one of the most well known bowhunting and conservation organizations. It fosters and nourishes bowhunting excellence and acts in the best interest of the bowhunting heritage everywhere. The Club promotes and participates in improving sound wildlife conservation and wise use of our natural resources.
The Pope and Young Records Program encourages bowhunting by promoting interest in trophy big game animals that were taken with a bow and arrow. The Club records data from North America’s trophy big game, using the universally accepted measuring system that was developed by the Boone and Crockett club. It conducts ongoing recording periods and every two years presents appropriate recognition to the finest specimens submitted. These presentations honor the quality of individual examples of big game species and promote the ideals of fair chase. To be considered for the Pope and Young records, a typical whitetail deer has to meet a minimum of 125 and a non-typical must meet 155.