Dr. James E. Conklin (1926-2001), Big Game Hunter

Discussion in 'Hunting North America' started by monish, Oct 6, 2010.

  1. monish

    monish AH Elite

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    Dr. James E. Conklin (1926-2001), Big Game Hunter

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    Dr. James E. Conklin (1926-2001) with Ram, Big Game Hunter

    The essence of Dr. Jim Conklin was one of toughness, determination, resilience, and caring. He demonstrated these traits throughout his life in every endeavor he undertook. Doc was always considered among the best at whatever he did, be it: wrestling, scholastic achievements, healing, family life, and especially hunting. Toughness, determination, resilience, and caring, these are the traits that are the embodiment of The Conklin Award.

    An adventurer at heart, Dr. Conklin took great pride in being the first American or Westerner to visit a foreign land or hunt a particular species. No one was better suited for travel in strange lands, with no map to depend upon, than Dr. Jim. With an explorer’s spirit he would readily accept the challenges that would make his forays difficult .As a farm boy growing up in rural Greene County, Pennsylvania in the small town of Waynesburg, who would have guessed that the skinny Conklin kid would grow to excel in everything he tried. One of five children born to farming parents, young Dr. Conklin learned the meaning of hard work at an early age. Doc worked hard and earned everything he ever achieved.

    By the time he was 18 years old, he had already done something that no one else had ever done. He had won four state wrestling titles in his four years of high school and compiled a record of 70 wins, zero losses, and one draw. His winning percentage still ranks in the top ten in state history.

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    Dr. James E. Conklin (1926-2001) with Ibex, Big Game Hunter

    Doc continued his wrestling career for two years at Indiana University in Bloomington, excelling both in athletics and academically. Dr. Conklin also wrestled his first two years of medical school for the University of Pittsburgh, and coached the team his junior and senior year.

    After completing medical school and serving his residency, Doc began his career as a plastic surgeon. His talents were known throughout the East Coast and his practice was one of the best and largest in the area. The hands that had once been used to load hay bales and combat other wrestlers, were now being used for healing. With the delicate touch of an artist, Dr. Conklin improved the lives of countless people.

    Along the way, and while still in college at Bloomington, Doc married his first love and high school sweetheart, Jane. A few years down the road, this duo became a trio, then a quartet, and finally settled as a family of five. His family brought him his greatest joys.

    Having hunted the world over, and having left few dreams unrealized, Doc never did slow down. When he had conquered the highest mountains and farthest corners of the earth, he found pleasure in outsmarting the turkeys of his surrounding neighborhood and the trout of the local streams. He had a true love for fly fishing and some of his greatest triumphs were held in the rivers of Alaska battling salmon with a cigar tightly clenched in his teeth. He also became one of hunting’s greatest defenders, and a true steward for the wildlife of the world.

    Dr. Jim had the respect, and often the admiration of his peers. His peers included some of the finest surgeons in the world, university deans and presidents, attorneys, princes, kings, prime ministers, and various other world leaders. His peers also included farmers, bush pilots, fishing guides, taxidermists, native trackers, general contractors, and his next door neighbor. Doc treated everyone as an equal.

    In memory of Dr. Conklin, his family and friends have created The Conklin Foundation, which will fund conservation projects. Additionally, The Conklin Award was established, which recognizes the toughest, most ethical, and conservation-minded active hunter in the world. It is the true embodiment of all that was, and forever will be, James E. Conklin, MD.


    Monish
     

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