How the Northeast Big Buck Club Works

By: Chris Marlowe
Buck standing on grassy hillside.
Jason Hosking/Photographers Choice/Getty Images

Whether you ­live in the northeast United States or elsewhere, if you're passionate about hunting whitetail deer, you might want to check into this club. The Northeast Big Buck Club (NBBC) appeals to a wide variety of hunters. Members range from hunters experimenting with traditional methods like bow hunting to those content with their trusted rifles or shotguns.

Although it's a fairly recent addition to the big buck clubs around the United States and Canada, this club follows a long heritage. Many states and provinces have their own big buck clubs, which celebrate the principles of fair chase, good sportsmanship and conservation. This club likewise cleaves to these principles and unites hunters in a relatively small geographic area. The club works with state groups to support these aims.


The group adheres to the rigorous measurement standards of Crockett and Boone in scoring the biggest buck. In addition to keeping and publishing records, the NBBC maintains a presence at regional hunting shows and expos.

­The NBBC is an all-volunteer group, which translates to savings for members. Local deer hunters are trained in measuring and scoring. The NBBC also reviews and recommends high quality hunting and fishing outfitters. In this way, it seeks to spare sportsmen the disappointment and expense of discovering too late that the "trip of a lifetime" can turn into a nightmare. The NBBC Outfitter Review and Certification program examines and rates outfitters according to several criteria: Trophy potential, guides, food and lodging, stands and price value are among them.

Membership includes several benefits, including partner organization discounts. Before signing on the dotted line, however, perhaps you'd like to know a bit more about this group. Where did it begin and why?


History of the Northeast Big Buck Club

Compared to many hunting clubs, the Northeast Big Buck Club (NBBC) is a relatively young group -- it hasn't yet developed a deep history. The club was start­ed in 1996 by Bob Fontaine and Jeff Brown. Brown now serves as president while Fontaine has taken the role of supporting membership director.

­The not-for-profit organization is operated by a group of nine officers and directors and a deep network of volunteers -- more than 150 members assist with measuring in seven Northeast states. The states that make up the club's Northeast are Connecticut, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. Outside of these states, the group has supporting members spanning throughout Canada and the United States [source: Northeast Big Buck Club].


The year after the NBBC was launched, Brown and Tim Lajoie created CamoKidz, a program to encourage young people to participate in outdoor sports and activities. The group remained under the auspices of the NBBC until the year 2000 when it branched out on its own [source: Zoominfo].

Not a bad record for a comparatively young group. What about its mission and goals?


Mission of the Northeast Big Buck Club

The Northeast Big Buck Club (NBBC) has three major purposes. First, it celebrates the outdoor and hunting traditions of the region. Secondly, it represents and organizes outdoorsmen and hunters in the Northeast with a view toward conservation, safety in the field, local community service and educati­on. Finally, the club exists to preserve for coming generations the traditions and memories of hunting and to offer them the chance to enjoy everything the outdoors offers.

To carry out this mission, the club has official recordkeeping services for those who harvest whitetail bucks legally. The group offers training for those who want to assist in measuring, using the Boone and Crockett system.


Trained measurers assess the deer in the harvest categories of sheds, pickup/acquire, muzzleloader, gun and bow. Deer can be typical or non-typical, from any state. Deer with official scoresheets from other accepted organizations are also fine. The club maintains a record book, and an entry fee is required. The fee, however, also includes a one-year supporting membership and subscription to the group's official magazine, Northeast Big Buck News [source: Northeast Big Buck Club].

The NBBC also holds the Classic -- the region's largest organized deer rack/mount display. Drawings are held, and prizes and awards for submitted racks are presented.

The mission of the club includes education, which is accomplished in part through a magazine, Big Bucks. The publication features news, photos, records and statistics, and prints six issues every year. Articles by Jeff Brown, the group's co-founder and president, appear regularly. The magazine makes recommendations as to the best places in each state to hunt, depending on the hunter's individual goals. For example, you may be looking for locations with the largest bucks or those counties that are best for gun trophy deer. Another article discusses the best places in each state for bow hunting.


Joining the Northeast Big Buck Club

As no­ted, a supporting Northeast Big Buck Club (NBBC) membership is extended to anyone who asks for an official scoring of his or her trophy. In addition to the news magazine subscription, members also receive discounts and benefits from business partners. Becoming a member also results in the opportunity to attend an annual hunt, club shows and events.

From its members, the club actively solicits video footage in any format to include at the annual awards ceremony. All types of home movies -- VHS, miniDV, Hi8, Digital 8 or 8 millimeter -- are welcomed for the multimedia presentation.


­The club also publishes an official record book, Northeast Trophy Whitetails. A new edition, each with thousands of prizewinning entries and photos, appears every few years. Members can purchase the book for a reduced price.

The group's Web site also offers links to purchase state hunting licenses online. Should you want to expand your hunting expertise, the NBBC partners with groups dedicated to bear, caribou, elk or moose hunting, too. If you have a real taste for travel and adventure, the club recommends lodges and outfitters not only in North America, but as far away as New Zealand.

If you're a whitetail deer hunting enthusiast, you might find this club a good fit. Take a look at its Web site for specific links for membership. Even if you don't live in the northeastern region of the United States, you can take advantage of information and partnerships. You might enjoy reading the magazine and gain insight into the best outfitters. Who knows -- you might even wind up taking a hunting trip to the area soon!


Lots More Information

Relate­d HowStuffWorks Articles

  • Boone and Crockett Club. "History of the Boone and Crockett Club" (accessed 12/3/08)
  • Missouri Show-Me Big Bucks Club. "Welcome." (accessed 12/3/08)
  • "Northeast Big Buck Club" (accessed 12/3/08)
  • Northeast Big Buck Club. "About Our Club" (accessed 12/3/08)
  • Northeast Big Buck Club. "Become a Supporting Member" (accessed 12/3/08)
  • Northeast Big Buck Club. "Calendar of Events" (accessed 12/4/08)
  • Northeast Big Buck Club. "Get Your Buck Scored by a Local NBBC Measurer!" (accessed 12/3/08)
  • Northeast Big Buck Club. "NBBC Outfitter Review Program." (accessed 12/4/08)
  • Northeast Big Buck Club. "NBBC Partner Links." (accessed 12/3/08)
  • Northeast Big Buck Club. "NBBC Video Clips." (accessed 12/3/08)
  • Northeast Big Buck Club. "Northeast Big Bucks" (accessed 12/3/08)
  • Northeast Big Buck Club. "Welcome to our On-Line Store." (accessed 12/3/08)
  • OSEG Sportsmen's Shows. "The Northeast Big Buck Club." (accessed 12/3/08)
  • Rhode Island "Northeast Big Buck Club Rhode Island" (accessed 12/4/08)
  • Zoominfo. Tim Lajoie. (accessed 12/3/08)