Weatherby Foundation when it announced the winner recently.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm 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 ‚Äòlifetime achievement award‚Äô in the hunting world,‚Äù Boddington said.
‚ÄúIt is not true that this has been a lifelong goal‚Ä¶for many years all ‚Äòprofessional‚Äô categories were barred from competing‚Äîbooking agents, outdoor journalists, outfitters, taxidermists, etc.‚Äîso someday winning it wasn‚Äôt in the cards for most of my career,‚Äù he added. ‚ÄúThis changed over time, so it‚Äôs true that I‚Äôve actively pursued it for the last dozen years. I have, however, followed the ‚ÄòWeatherby‚Äô for most of my life.
‚ÄúI 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,‚Äù Boddington explained. ‚ÄúOf course, in those days the award banquet was Roy Weatherby‚Äôs 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‚Ä¶I was never certain I would ever actually get there, and was genuinely surprised when I was notified.
‚ÄúWinning the ‚ÄòWeatherby‚Äô requires a great deal of hunting on all continents,‚Äù Boddington noted. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm a gunwriter; the only reason I‚Äôve been competitive is that, as a habit, I‚Äôve always tried to take the widest selection of game possible in an area I‚Äôve hunted. But, over time, the ability to take ‚Äúnew‚Äù species in any given area diminishes‚Ä¶the ‚Äòlow-hanging fruit‚Äô is all gone and it becomes a matter of adding species one at a time, often with tough, difficult hunts‚Ä¶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‚Ä¶I am extremely humbled to be joining their company.‚Äù
‚ÄúWe also want to congratulate our other¬†finalists for the 2017 Weatherby Hunting and Conservation Award (in alphabetical order),‚Äù The Weatherby Foundation stated. They are:
- Larry Higgins
- Malcolm King
- Pepe Madrazo
- Eduardo Negrete
- Dr. Doug Yajko
The award will be presented in Dallas, Texas, on Jan. 3, 2018 at the 61st Annual Weatherby Awards Banquet.