Timeline of Records of Big Game

Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game

Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game, the first through the seventeenth editions

The Book, the name by which Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game is known to all hunters around the world, is the universally accepted standard in the measurement of trophy animals. It is the objective source that establishes what a trophy really is, whether you are hunting in Australia or Austria, Brazil or Botswana, China or Czechoslovakia. Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game was established over 130 years ago to record the measurements of game animals taken in fair-chase hunting and to share them as a matter of interest to international sportsmen.

The first edition, 1892

It purpose was not and is not to establish records in the sense of “what is the biggest or best,” nor is it to glorify the hunter. The Book celebrates the animal. It does not matter whether the animal’s horns, tusks, or teeth were picked up in the veld from one that had died of natural causes, was killed by a predator, or was shot by a hunter. By establishing the benchmark for what constitutes a trophy, The Book makes a most valuable contribution to conservation. By setting the standards high, The Book ensures that trophy hunters will concentrate on those big, old, lone males that have long since passed on their genes to younger generations.

As an excellent and objective conservation tool, The Book tracks trends in game management. It stands to reason that, where trophy standards have increased over time in a particular region, in all likelihood, sound conservation practices have been followed. The converse is probably also true. This information, in turn, also provides valuable research tools for the hunter in deciding where, when, and with whom he wants to hunt a particular species.

In addition, The Book is a valuable source of knowledge on the distribution of game,  and it gives taxonomic features as well as a historical, geographical, and biological record of all game.  Few other sources can match Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game.

Rowland Ward’s Records of Big Game Editions and Publication Dates