The Book, the name by which Rowland Ward 's Records of Big Game is known to all hunters around the world, is the one universally accepted and objective source which establishes what a trophy animal 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 100 years ago to set down details of game animals as a matter of interest to the Sportsmen.
It was not and is not there to establish records in the sense of biggest or best, nor to glorify the hunter. It celebrates the animal and 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 (particularly where the standards are high), The Book makes a most valuable contribution to ensure that trophy hunters concentrate on those big, old, lone males which have long since passed on their genes to younger generations.
The Book also serves as an excellent and objective conservation tool. It stands to reason that, where trophy standards have increased over time in a particular region, in all likelihood, sound conservation practices have been applied, while the converse is probably also true. These facts, in turn are also 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 its taxonomic features as well as an historical, geographical and biological record which few other sources can match.