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Average horn shrinkage

This is a discussion on Average horn shrinkage within the Before & After the Hunt forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Good day all, would just like to hear from some of the AH members that have taken Impala trophies in ...

  1. #1
    Bos en Dal Safaris's Avatar
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    Default Average horn shrinkage

    Good day all, would just like to hear from some of the AH members that have taken Impala trophies in SA. How much shrinkage did your trophies have? A client of mine handed in a 25 2/8 inch impala and now the trophy measure just over 23.

    Is that the norm?

    Looking forward to your input
    Gerrit Jansen van Vuuren
    BOS EN DAL HUNTING SAFARIS - South Africa
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    l wouldn't think so gerrit
    I didn't think permanent horn or hard antler actually shrunk

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    It wouldn't surprise me, I actually went through some of my collection before putting them in storage and they had shrunk between 1-2 inches in some instances.

    I know my caribou antlers have strung a lot!!!

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    Great question.

    Horn should not be shrinking that much.
    It is already dead.

    Antler on the other hand, depending when it was measured (green), can shrink a fair bit.


    Sometimes I think the shrinkage is due to "generous" measuring on the ground in the field.
    Going through all the ridges vs over top.

    Less than exacting methods play a major part.
    Watching some fellow students at PH school struggle with measuring proved this one to me.
    No intent just not practiced.
    It is also why many organizations require panels of measurers. Just to make certain.

    Another one is simple error on the second or subsequent measurement.
    Differing methods, etc. Not that Impala should be that different.
    Bases are the worst for many horned species. (You only note a Rowland score here so it is not an issue)

    Having measured thousands of North American trophies of all sorts and I have seen some very minor shrinkage in any horned animals during a subsequent measurement. Never inches, Never.
    The base might shrink a little.


    If it was for a world record it might matter, but usually it is only a few 1/8 ths of inches on large trophies.
    Caribou usually move a fair bit.

    I may take the dreaded tape measure along on this trip for interests sake and measure a herd or two of trophies and follow up with a measurement when they are dry at home. I'll let you know.
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    Jaco Strauss's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos en Dal Safari's View Post
    Good day all, would just like to hear from some of the AH members that have taken Impala trophies in SA. How much shrinkage did your trophies have? A client of mine handed in a 25 2/8 inch impala and now the trophy measure just over 23.

    Is that the norm?
    Gerrit there are a couple of things that determine shrinkage, was the the outer sheath what we would call horn completely finished as far as growth is concerned?

    Horns that are not completely solid with secondary growth will often show allot of shrink, the softish base will dry out a nd cost you inches
    Solid mature horn does not shrink as it is dried out....

    There is no set inches that can be expected in los on soft horn... :-)

    You'll just have to shaia another one brother...... :-)

    My best always
    Jaco Strauss
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    Bos en Dal Safaris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRICKBURN View Post
    Great question.Sometimes I think the shrinkage is due to "generous" measuring on the ground in the field.
    Going through all the ridges vs over top.
    Thanks Brick, the thing is the 25 is what the taxidermist measured it when we booked it in.



    I may take the dreaded tape measure along on this trip for interests sake and measure a herd or two of trophies and follow up with a measurement when they are dry at home. I'll let you know.
    Will be intresting, let us know as soon as it happens
    Best regards
    Gerrit Jansen van Vuuren
    BOS EN DAL HUNTING SAFARIS - South Africa
    Website -www.bosendal.com
    Email- gerrit@ehw.co.za

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    Bos en Dal Safaris's Avatar
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    Hi Jaco

    Thanks for the insight, i think that have been the case as it wasn't such an old ram. Was not sure how much shrinkage one could expect. I knew there would be shrinkage but when i was told about the amount i thought maybe the taxidermist, made a mistake in giving him the wrong trophy.

    But it make sence what was told on here! So i will give this info through to him.

    Thanks again

    P.S as they say never to old to learn, thats why i love this forum
    Gerrit Jansen van Vuuren
    BOS EN DAL HUNTING SAFARIS - South Africa
    Website -www.bosendal.com
    Email- gerrit@ehw.co.za

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    Ole Bally is offline AH Enthusiast
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    I thought you may be referring to 'ground shrinkage'....that amount by which the trophy shrinks when the PH has called it a 58" kudu before the shot and when you get to it, it has shrunk to a 52"!!!! Can be quite common that!

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    Bos en Dal Safaris's Avatar
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    That one puts you in a pickleLOL
    No as you have seen this reffers to actual shrinkage. This would have been a nasty one if the ground shrinkage was over two inches on an Impala going from a very good trophy to not even making RW.
    Best Regards
    Gerrit Jansen van Vuuren
    BOS EN DAL HUNTING SAFARIS - South Africa
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    Did you check the horns on the mount to pictures of the ram when he was shot.I would think the horn shape would look the same.Would not be the first time I heard of someone getting horns mixed up and then mounted on wrong animal..Hope it works out that seems to be alot of shrinage to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bos en Dal Safari's View Post
    ........ I knew there would be shrinkage but when i was told about the amount i thought maybe the taxidermist, made a mistake in giving him the wrong trophy.

    ............
    I did get the wrong Gemsbok sent to me. That is always a possibility. It certainly led to some shrinkage in every dimension of the trophy that was sent. You can read about the positive resolution to that debacle here on AH.
    Did not think of that one.
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    jeff is online now AH Senior Member
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    I killed a 57.75 inch kudu and after 5 years the horns are same length still. We also got sent the wrong blue wildabeest it was much larger than the one we killed and had a totaly different shape.

  13. #13
    Ole Bally is offline AH Enthusiast
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    I did figure, but thought I'd drop the ground shrinkage in there too!

    I've heard of trophies being swopped out at the taxidermists too! One guy in the US fired the front office staff there and then for allowing us - his supplier and client - to go into the back of his shop without an escort...tough on her..she was just trying to be helpful!

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