The Boone and Crockett Club & Sportsmanship

By | January 7, 2020

[January 7, 2020]  Never heard of them?  Me either.  The reason that I’m highlighting them today is due to their philosophy of good sportsmanship.  Specifically, they advocate for fair chase hunting in support of habitat conservation.1  The club was founded in 1887 by Theodore Roosevelt; before his Rough Rider days or before becoming President of the U.S.2

The fair chase idea is an honor code, usually identified with North American hunters and for over a century.  The concept of a code of conduct is one that predates human written history.  We find it well documented in the earliest known writings and often see its development throughout the Egyptian empire and Greek city-states.  On my leadership blog’s pages, I’ve written about such codes on several occasions (for example, see links here, here, and here).

“Good sportsmanship goes beyond the game; it starts with respect.” – Tommy Hilfiger, American fashion designer

Sportsmanship, we are told today, is an antiquated, useless concept.  Often, we’re asked why anyone should not take any advantage when competing against the other team or commercial company.  Winning is everything.  The end justifies the means and sportsmanship gets in the way.  Too many times, this is what we hear from professional sports players, pundits, and also from senior company executives.

Sportsmanship is more than adhering to the rules.  It’s more than proper etiquette and more than respecting others.  Good sportsmanship is taught to children and those engaging in hunting, fishing, and other gaming sports.  The application of sportsmanship is about ethical behavior that carries over into other aspects of life.

Those who gloat when his team wins, cheat, sabotage the other team, or loses one’s temper are upsetting general social rules of behavior.  Those rules are essential for many reasons, mainly for the smooth operation of day to day life.  It also represents mature behavior that closely parallels reliability, fairness, honor, and integrity.  Players who show good sportsmanship are rightly given the trust and confidence of everyone.

Leaders, like Theodore Roosevelt, believe that those who believe in and show good sportsmanship – regardless of the venue – are valued members of their community.  They are given more responsibility, respect, rewards, and also more significant opportunities.  Good leadership means good sportsmanship.


  1. In other words, the game being hunted has not been artificially disadvantaged in some way. The large game is required to be “wild and free-ranging.”  Wild refers to an animal that is naturally bred and lives in nature.  Free-ranging means artificial barriers do not confine an animal.
Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article everyday on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

17 thoughts on “The Boone and Crockett Club & Sportsmanship

  1. Gil Johnson

    Interesting and educational article today, so thanks to Gen. Satterfield, we are a bit smarter about our history and those ideas that influence us.

  2. Max Foster

    When is read about “fair chase hunting” I had no idea what it meant but after reading your article, Gen. Satterfield, I can see it in place as a hunting philosophy as I grew up. Us boys would go hunting and would only shoot animals we would eventually eat or give to someone who would. We would not shoot birds on the ground or animals that were lame or in a trap. We tried to be fair and honest that killing an animal had to be for a good reason and not just to kill.

    1. old warrior

      True and I think that is so because we were influenced by so many good sportsmen while we were growing up.

      1. Eric Coda

        I certainly was influenced by them and most of those young men were Vietnam War vets who brought back an appreciation for life.

  3. Valkerie

    General Satterfield, great article on an unknown club that made a huge difference in our history and influenced our way of thinking about the wilderness and wild animals.

    1. Karl J.

      The idea of the conservation of land and animals began here in the US.

  4. Tom Bushmaster

    Theodore Roosevelt believed in the wild unknown and was willing to go to the edge to bring it into a modern civilized world BUT also to protect it. He saw the future and how it might be tamed too much and thus destroyed.

  5. Willie Shrumburger

    Good sportsmanship is something we’ve gotten away from in our society. The “competition” is too tough and don’t play by the rules any more so why should we respect the other team (sports, commercial, etc)? That is the stuff like sportsmanship that puts us all at a disadvantage. Well, that is what folks say anyway. Personally, I still believe in the Golden Rule and that goodness begets goodness and, likewise, evil begets evil.

    1. Joe the Aussie

      Willie, Good point. This is why, in our foreign affairs and personal affairs, that we need to take great care in HOW we approach others. Many cultures teach disrespect of other cultures. Iran’s mullahs are an example of this. Why pick on the United States when they can whip you butt? Cheers! Pray for us with all the wild fires. Thank you!

      1. Len Jakosky

        Let us know what we can do to help. Money is only part of the solution.

    1. Nick Lighthouse

      Wow, I remember listening to her when I was a kid. My whole family loved her voice and personality. She was a classy woman and we all appreciated her music. More importantly, she sang about ideas that were important to us.

  6. Dead Pool Guy

    “Hope and change” was the slogan by past US PRes Obama. He however took the desires of people and burned their trust and confidence with very poor decisions that “feel good” but were in fact evil in outcome.

  7. Lynn Pitts

    Interesting historical article. I had no idea this club existed or even what they have accomplished.

    1. Wesley Brown

      To build a nation takes a bunch of people headed in the same direction because the BELIEVE what they are doing is right. They cooperate and that is the key to action that is often overlooked.

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