SCI Life member and Safari Times and SAFARI Magazine columnist Craig Boddington has been named winner of the prestigious Weatherby Award.
“Congratulations to Craig Boddington, who has been named the 2017 Weatherby Hunting and Conservation Award winner,” stated the Weatherby Foundation when it announced the winner recently.
“I’m deeply honored to be the recipient of this award! Presented annually since 1956, it is one of the oldest in our sport, and I think of it as the ultimate ‘lifetime achievement award’ in the hunting world,” Boddington said.
“It is not true that this has been a lifelong goal…for many years all ‘professional’ categories were barred from competing—booking agents, outdoor journalists, outfitters, taxidermists, etc.—so someday winning it wasn’t in the cards for most of my career,” he added. “This changed over time, so it’s true that I’ve actively pursued it for the last dozen years. I have, however, followed the ‘Weatherby’ for most of my life.
“I remember reading the old Weatherby Guide when I was a kid, and I was always anxious to see who the new winner would be. I attended my first Weatherby banquet back in 1979, when Dr. Bob Speegle, a truly legendary hunter, was the winner,” Boddington explained. “Of course, in those days the award banquet was Roy Weatherby’s party! After he passed on Weatherby Foundation International was created to perpetuate his award. I joined the Board shortly thereafter and have been active ever since, including a stint as president of WFI. But involvement in the foundation and winning the Weatherby Hunting and Conservation Award are two altogether separate things…I was never certain I would ever actually get there, and was genuinely surprised when I was notified.
“Winning the ‘Weatherby’ requires a great deal of hunting on all continents,” Boddington noted. “I’m a gunwriter; the only reason I’ve been competitive is that, as a habit, I’ve always tried to take the widest selection of game possible in an area I’ve hunted. But, over time, the ability to take “new” species in any given area diminishes…the ‘low-hanging fruit’ is all gone and it becomes a matter of adding species one at a time, often with tough, difficult hunts…and of course, not all hunts all successful. Over the years I met most of the former winners. Some I consider good friends, but all are my heroes…I am extremely humbled to be joining their company.”
“We also want to congratulate our other finalists for the 2017 Weatherby Hunting and Conservation Award (in alphabetical order),” The Weatherby Foundation stated. They are:
Dr. Doug Yajko
The award will be presented in Dallas, Texas, on Jan. 3, 2018 at the 61st Annual Weatherby Awards Banquet.