Gary Smith - Chairman
Gary is the founding publisher of Handgun Hunter Magazine and serves as the editor, photographer, programmer, and workaholic devoted to the magazine and website. He has been hunting with handguns for more than 25 years and has hunted in North America and Africa. He created the publication to promote the sport of hunting with handguns, to serve as a repository of information for the benefit of handgun hunters worldwide, and to demonstrate the safe and responsible use of handguns for sporting purposes. He is also a Life Sponsor of the Dallas Safari Club.
Melissa is a small town girl from Paynesville Minnesota who has been hunting and fishing for nearly 18 years. She's only 24, but Melissa started at an early age thanks to her parents who brought her along in the duck blind and whitetail woods. Last fall Melissa spent over 90 days in the field, most of which were spent producing North American Hunter television. This fall Melissa doesn't plan on cutting back on her days in the field and her new adventures include handgun hunts in Arizona's unit 10 for elk, mule deer in South Dakota and elk in Colorado.
J. Wayne Fears
Trapper, Eagle Scout, Hunter, Shooter, Explorer, Army Veteran and Author are just a few of the words that can be used to describe J. Wayne Fears. He has had over 4500 magazine articles and 20 books published. Voted into the Explorers Club in 1982 for his expeditions from the Arctic to the Amazon, Fears has walked across most of the lands between and hunted or trapped on the rest. "A child of nature" from Tater Knob, Alabama, J. Wayne Fears brings a lifetime of experiences that most of us only dream about. He has hunted on 5 continents and in all 50 states.
Mark Hampton is one of those rare individuals who has hunted on six continents, encompassing over twenty three countries, with a handgun. Hampton has taken over 140 different species of big game, with a handgun of course. In seventeen trips to Africa he has taken the big five; four cape buffalo, three elephants, two leopards, plus lion and rhino. Hampton has also accounted for other hard-earned trophies from the dark continent including Lord Derby eland, bongo, yellow-backed duiker, forest and Zambezi sitatunga, among others.
One of the world's most respected wildlife biologists, outdoor writers and television personalities, Larry has served on staff with some of the finest hunting and shooting publications in the world including among others: Guns & Hunting, Deer & Deer Hunting, Handgunning, Shooting Times, Sports Afield, Whitetail Journal, Realtree Outdoors, Sporting Classics, GunHunter, Petersen's Hunting, Hunting Camp Journal, Handgun Hunter Magazine, North American Hunter and numerous others. Several of these he still serves on staff with or freelances to. His byline has also appeared in such publications as American Hunter, Outdoor Life and many, many others.
Dick's handgun hunting world includes the US, Africa and Australia where he has taken a number of indigenous big-game animals with big-bore handguns, both revolvers and single-shots. In addition to the "standard" US big-game animals, his handguns have accounted for many of the large antelope in Africa, brown bear and caribou in Alaska, and buffalo in Australia. Missing from his handgun dream list are the Alaskan moose and Cape buffalo, something he hopes to correct in the next couple of years. Dick has been a free-lance writer for several of the outdoor magazines and is currently Handgun Editor of the NRA's commercial magazine, Shooting Illustrated.
DSC At-Large Member - more info coming soon!
This award is meant to be achievable by an individual of any means thus the points awarded in this category shall have certain restrictions on the way they are awarded. Only game taken with a handgun during the 2009 award period, May 1, 2008-December 1, 2009 is eligible for consideration.
Whitetail & Mule Deer
One of the most popular game animals is the whitetail deer and his western counterpart, the mule deer. Any mule deer or whitetail taken with a handgun in a low-fence area will receive a score based on the Boone and Crocket scoring system. A copy of the score sheet along with supporting photographs must be submitted with the application; there shall be a 175-point cap on the number of points awarded for either species. Only one entry, selected by the applicant, will receive the full score up to the 175-point maximum. The other entry, if provided, shall fall into the category of "Other North American Game" and will be limited to an award of 25 points. Any whitetail or mule deer taken behind a high-fence shall be limited to 130 points.
Other North American Big Game
Species of North American big game taken with a handgun, other than those classified above shall be awarded 25 points per species. There shall be no cap on the number of points awarded with one exception. Any big game animals, other than deer species mentioned above, taken behind high-fence will be subjected to the rules governing points awarded for exotics.
Any species of exotic animal, such as aoudad, blackbuck, various sheep and goats, etc. shall be awarded 10 points per species with a 50-point cap. In the case of "exotics" taken in a free-range environment, the judging committee as described below, may award additional discretionary points for the difficulty of the hunt.
International GameGame taken outside of the United States shall be awarded 20 points per species with a 180-point cap. In the case of a hunter collecting one or more of the big-5, an additional 50 points shall be awarded bringing the total to a maximum of 230 points.
Selection Committee Discretionary Points
Each member of the committee shall be given 100 points maximum that they may award to each applicant. These 100 points shall be at their complete discretion but the consideration shall be based on the difficulty and sportsmanship of hunts listed for consideration and for the quality of animals collected. This will allow each committee member to distinguish between differing hunt qualities for animals that are subjected to point limits. For example, a judge might award an additional 10 points for a spike or cow elk while an additional 100 points might be awarded for a 7x7 bull. The discretionary points awarded shall be the average calculated by the total points awarded to each applicant divided by the number of selection committee members.
Category 2: Commitment to Wildlife Management
If the applicant is engaged in wildlife management activities they may be awarded a maximum of 50 additional points as determined by the selection committee. Such activities might be memberships in wildlife management organizations including volunteer work for organizations such as the Dallas Safari Club, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, the National Wild Turkey Federation, etc. It shall be up to the applicant to signify the relevance and extent of their participation in this category. The number of points awarded to each individual shall be the average calculated by the total points awarded to each applicant divided by the number of selection committee members.
Category 3: Demonstrated Support For Hunting And Shooting Sports
The applicant may be awarded a maximum of 50 additional points for support and participation in activities, which promote the sport of hunting and shooting. These types of activities might include being an NRA firearms instructor, a hunter education instructor, active involvement in programs such as Friends of the NRA, or a competitor in formal shooting disciplines such as IHMSA or USPSA matches. It shall be up to the applicant to signify the relevance and extent of their participation in this category. The number of points awarded to each individual shall be the average calculated by the total points awarded to each applicant divided by the number of selection committee members.
Note: In addition to the recognition by the selection committee, categories 4 and 5 are designed to reward individuals who actively participate in the Handgun Hunter Magazine website (www.handgunhunt.com) and who are recognized by their peers in that community. A web page will be created for each applicant to illustrate the applicant's accomplishments as those accomplishments relate to the application process and categories 1 through 4.
Category 4: Contribution To The Sport Of Handgun Hunting Through Handgun Hunter Magazine
The applicant may be awarded a maximum of 50 additional points for contributing to Handgun Hunter Magazine in the form of member articles. (These are not the paid articles appearing in the interactive edition.) A maximum of 10 points for each article submitted shall be awarded. The articles shall be reviewed by the committee and points awarded based on the overall quality of the article including supporting photographs. The number of points awarded to each individual shall be the average calculated by the total points awarded to each applicant divided by the number of selection committee members.
Category 5: Member Votes
The applicant may be awarded a maximum of 50 additional points by receiving votes from the members at Handgun Hunter Magazine. The actual number of points shall be based on the percentage of total votes cast that the applicant receives during the voting period. For example, if 1000 votes are cast and Joe Sixguns receives 800 of those votes then he receives 80% of the 50 possible award points. The voting period shall run for 15 days after the list of applicants has been officially posted and the application period has closed.