Francis X. Bouchard was born in Illinois on January 16, 1918, to Alexia Grant and Ameddie Lewis Bouchard. His mother’s uncle gave Francis his first rifle at age seven, and he began his hunting career by going after rabbits at age eight. A shotgun was added to Francis’s arsenal at age 13, and he says that one is in his gun case to this day. After high school, Francis went into the Air Corps for two years, then returned home to start his farming career with his dad. Francis farmed full time in Illinois until the early 1960s.
Francis began his big game hunting in 1951, when he and a couple of friends went to Wyoming for deer and elk. That trip would be followed by many more. His first sheep was a Dall taken in Alaska in 1953, and another Dall came from Alaska in 1954. In 1961, Francis returned for a third Dall, and a Stone followed next in 1966. In 1964, Francis moved to South Texas and continued his farming profession with orange and grapefruit groves. He also got involved in commercial real estate in the form of apartment buildings, all the while continuing to hunt. Francis joined FNAWS in 1977, and that is when he says he became a serious sheep hunter. That very year, he completed his first Grand Slam at age 59, with an Alberta bighorn taken with George Kelley. Francis kept after the sheep, and in 1987, at age 69, he completed his Grand Slam #2. Three years later came Grand Slam #3 at age 72, with a Stone sheep taken with Ross Peck in BC.Grand Slam #4 was also completed with a British Columbia Stone sheep, but with Kirby Funnell in 1995, when Francis was 77. (That’s two Slams after age 70.) Far from finished, in 1998, at age 80, Francis became only the second person ever to document an amazing FIVE Grand Slams. Duane Smelser had done so a few years before. However, there was no way Francis was going to give up his passion, so 1999 yielded a BC Stone with Gary Moore and in 2000 came an NWT Dall with Eric Mikkelson. Then, in 2001, at age 83, Francis took an Alberta bighorn with Lorne Hindbo and a Navajo Nation desert sheep to complete an amazing SIX Grand Slams. That made four Grand Slams after age 70, and two of those after age 80. He has continued to hunt sheep, taking another desert in 2003 and coming home empty on a Dall and Stone. His most recent hunt was in September 2006 for an Alberta bighorn, but that ram eluded him too. Is Francis through? We doubt it! Francis Bouchard is a conservationist, along with being one of the greatest sheep hunters ever. It has already been mentioned that he was an early member of FNAWS.He was also on the very first board of directors for the Grand Slam Club after incorporation and tax-exempt status was achieved in 1991.Francis has remained on the GSCO board continuously since that time.He is a life member of both FNAWS and GSCO, and has been an extremely supportive member of both.