Wonders of Wildlife museum & aquarium Wonders of Wildlife museum & aquarium

Big news for bowhunting and conservation

The Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting to join Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium in Springfield, Missouri

Preeminent collection of bowhunting artifacts relocates to America’s Conservation Capital, home to unprecedented assembly of exhibits from leading conservation organizations

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – Officials from the Pope & Young Club in Chatfield, Minn., together with noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris, today announced plans to relocate the Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting and its permanent collection to the campus of Bass Pro Shops national headquarters in Springfield, Mo., home to Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium.

Wonders of Wildlife is a gift to the sportsmen and women of America from Johnny Morris. Johnny endeavored to create a world-class not-for-profit conservation attraction located in his hometown of Springfield, Missouri, next to Bass Pro Shops’ flagship headquarters store – where half the nation’s population lives within a day’s drive. Unprecedented in scale and scope, Wonders of Wildlife has been acclaimed as the most important natural history museum to open in America in more than a century.

The Pope & Young Club is one of North America’s leading bowhunting and conservation organizations, dedicated to the promotion and protection of bowhunting by increasing awareness and appreciation for bowhunting foundations, principles and values. Currently located in Chatfield, Minn., the Club’s Museum of Bowhunting is the singular, crowning testimony to North America’s rich bowhunting heritage.

The museum boasts the preeminent collection of bowhunting artifacts and history, educating visitors to bowhunting’s place in wildlife conservation and culture. Artifacts and educational displays retrace the steps of pioneer bowhunters and the sport’s rise in popularity during the mid-20th Century, to modern day bowhunting and the continued legacy of the Pope & Young Club.

The potential to reach a significantly wider audience and inspire new generations to discover bowhunting was a key motivation in the Pope & Young Club’s decision to relocate its collection. Located in the heartland of America, Wonders of Wildlife welcomed 1.6 million visitors in its first year alone. It has been voted as “America’s Best New Attraction” and “America’s Best Aquarium” twice by USA TODAY readers, and is currently in the running to receive the honor for a third time.

Spanning 350,000 square feet with more than 1.5 miles of trails, Wonders of Wildlife is home to the largest and most immersive wildlife attraction in the world. Although the artifact collection will be relocated, the Pope & Young Club will continue to operate from its Chatfield, Minn., headquarters.

“As stewards of North America’s bowhunting heritage, the Pope & Young Club is thrilled to partner with Johnny Morris in sharing the Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting with more guests than ever before,” said Kurt Ebers, President of the Pope & Young Club. “The rich history of bowhunters and our impact on conservation is a story we’re proud to tell, and it’s exciting for us to have the premier tribute to bowhunting proudly on display for all visitors to the Bass Pro Shops headquarters and Wonders of Wildlife campus in Springfield, Mo.”


recurve bow collection

Collection of historic recurve bows from Fred Bear Archery from the Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting

The Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting joins an extraordinary collection of exhibits and galleries at Wonders of Wildlife that showcase national conservation organizations within a single “must-see” destination experience. Often referred to as America’s Conservation Capital, Wonders of Wildlife collectively celebrates the role of hunters and anglers in conserving wildlife and the outdoors. Other partner galleries include the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) Fishing Hall of Fame, National Bass Fishing Hall of Fame, Boone and Crockett Club’s National Collection of Heads and Horns, the NRA National Sporting Arms Museum, National Audubon Society, and the National Archery Hall of Fame. Plans are also underway to add galleries from the American Museum of Fly Fishing and the Windland Smith Rice International Awards’ annual Nature’s Best Photography exhibition.

“The Pope & Young Club/St. Charles Museum of Bowhunting is a world-class collection every sportsman will enjoy and appreciate,” said noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder Johnny Morris. “We’re honored the Pope & Young Club has provided an opportunity for us to showcase these priceless artifacts, and we’re very excited to celebrate bowhunting’s incredible heritage, history and conservation impact with our guests.”