I'm not sure there is a single answer to the question being raised. The fact the responses to this thread are all over the place proves my point. With all the walks of life, the experiences, and the individual goals/ambitions we have surrounding us, it would be nearly impossible to account for the exact cause. And to be honest, I not sure I'd enjoying living on a planet where everyone was cut from the same cloth-or forced to walk one behind another in conformity. I suffice to say, I am glad good folks ask, "Why not?"Quote:
Looking at some articles of hunters with the animals that they successfully hunted, I started wondering why we hunt certain species. Why do we dream of releasing an arrow at a huge this or monster that?
I am not sure this is a dream-at least not for me. Dreams are successions of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations that occur involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep. When I hunt the big five, I will be extremely focused on the task at hand. I intend to be fully awake and aware. My muscles will perform the task they were trained to do time in and time out. I yearn the moment hunting the remaining three comes to fruition!Quote:
Specifically, why do we all dream to hunt a Buffalo or others members of the Big-5? What is it that makes us talk about it around a camp fire? Is it because we want to test ourselves against a dangerous foe? Is it because of the extra adrenalin in our bodies?
Fritz, let me ask you a question. Why did our ancestors step away from Africa? Why did Charles Lindberg solo across the Atlantic? Why did Neil Armstrong step on the moon? Why did Annie Taylor conquer Niagara Falls in a barrel? Why do we hunts with bows/rifles instead of rocket propelled grenades (I am sure this sort of thing happens)? Obviously, an element of risk was/is involved. Then again, isn't there risk involved with placing your feet on the floor at the start of a new day? I think Mel Gibson said it best in the motion picture Braveheart, "Aｭll men die, but not every man lives!"
You can skydive from an airplane without a parachute, but only once. I think the same applies here.Quote:
This I do not understand. If the reason is because the animal is potentially dangerous and that it can stomp, bite or gore you to a painful death, then why do we have a PH or someone with a big gun at the ready for just such a possibility?
My father once said, "You can judge a man by his path. If a man's path wanders, that man hasn't a clue where he is going. If a man's path circles a tree, then he (the man) should be able to give you good advice about the tree. If a man's path is deep, straight and ongoing, sit down, shut up, and listen. More than likely, this last man has been there done that. He has found success through failure, and he has lived to tell you about it." I think my father's advice sums it up.Quote:
Why is it that we see hunters that have taken a member of the Big-5 or all of them in a different way as the ones that have not?
Are they better hunters?
I would say perhaps but not necessarily. I know a lot of men who are great hunters with zero desire to hunt the big five.Quote:
Have they reached the ultimate in hunting and the rest still have to get there?
Honestly, I have never heard this.Quote:
Why do we always say that you have to work your way up to the Big-5? Who decided on that?
Perhaps you are dealing with a group that has more of the means and the passion to hunt everything. A lion, buffalo, and elephant are part of a natural progression. I only assume...Quote:
I have spoken to many hunters over the years and 99% of them said that they will not rest until they have hunted a Buffalo or Lion or Elephant. Why not a Kudu bull or a big blue Eland?
I think this is obvious. A buff is without doubt more aggressive. In my experience, walking up to a giraffe verses walking up to a buff are apples to oranges-the former being incredibly easier. Naturally, the proper equipment for each is a given.Quote:
To hunt a Giraffe with a bow you need a stronger setup than for a Buffalo. A Giraffe is double the size and his skin, bone and muscle tissue is much harder to penetrate with an arrow. Why do we see a Buffalo then as a better trophy than a Giraffe?
I prepare for disaster with every one of life's steps. To walk about willy-nilly is foolish and contrary to survival of the fittest. Are you saying a man is less than a man if he hunts with a parachute?Quote:
If the reason is because of the potential danger and men do have a testosterone problem then I am confused. If you hunt a Buffalo and a suitable rifle is also nearby, then you are preparing for disaster.
I can only speak for myselfQuote:
Besides it being the law and you cannot hunt outside it, why then do we long for it?
It is because my ancestors, in their evolutionary process, failed miserably to make me the size of an ant. I could see my self hunting a different big five with a bow (if I were smaller). That group would include: black widows, scorpions, wasps, mosquitoes, and how fun would it be to tickle an ant lion from his lair? I surmise arrowing rollie-pollies would be a challenge, but not nearly as challenging as tree frogs. If I were the size of an ant, I'd steer clear of anything larger than a lizard. The need to compete (against myself) would be out weighed by the need to survive.
You will get no argument from me.Quote:
I have seen many wounded Blue Wildebeest turn on a man when wounded. There are cases on record where a wounded Bushbuck or Gemsbok attacked and sometimes even killed a person. What about a huge male Baboon that is wounded and cannot get away from you? Are they less dangerous? I do not think so.
This goes to show, when the Lord calls and it is your time, regardless of a backup rifle, He will send for you. Live every moment like it were your first and last.Quote:
On a farm near the small town of Mopane close to the Limpopo River a young lady was killed in 2010 by a Giraffe cow. She did not hunt it and neither was the Giraffe wounded or injured in any way prior to the incident. The lady was merely enjoying a walk in nature.
I agree and I disagree with your statement. I do strive to be ethical, but life comes with risks. I am not going to sit idle on the porch and watch the world pass because someone thinks there's danger out there! Can you imagine where humanity would be today if everyone failed to take on challenges? A PH and a hunter partner up because they both feel the task can be accomplished. They both willing accept the risks, and they both fulfill their desires if successful. I do not see a problem with this. Who exactly has a gun held to their head?Quote:
These days we all strive to be as ethical as we can while hunting so as not to be frowned upon. If that is the case, then we must not invite danger because we will make sure that the animal we shoot will die fast with as little pain and stress as possible. Why then do hunters want to put people's lives at risk just to fulfil their desire?
I like a challenge. I strive to adventure-to see and do it all. I have been told many times, "You won't do that with a bow? I have proved many people wrong (the world isn"t flat as many thought). I push myself to kill number one knowing that someday my number one will be replaced. I pray my children are the hunters doing the replacing. I also pray my grandchildren will replace their parent's number one(s). If this happens, then conservation is working-a continuation of species! How cool is that?
Personally, I think it doesQuote:
I think that it might be because of the price tag. I might be wrong. To hunt the Big-5 is expensive but people like to attach some un-explained emotions to the hunting of them. For most of the normal hunters out there the cost of such a hunt is more than they can afford. If that is true, why then does a Sable or a Roan Antelope not command the same feelings or respect then?
And yeah, you are not accounting for everything. You will spin your wheels if you try?
They do in my book.Quote:
Hippo kills more people in Africa every year than all of the Big-5 combined. Why does it not rate in the same category as a Buffalo?
Maybe so, tracking a wounded duiker for two hours at best yields a duiker. Tracking a wounded leopard has the potential of several thousand stitches, a hospital bed, or a coffin. It has been said, "One second with a leopard equals 130 stitches..."Quote:
I personally think that any hunter that has hunted the Tiny-10 has got more (bragging-rights) than someone that bagged the Big-5. That is just my opinion. It is more difficult. The target is a thousand times smaller, they string jump like lightning and it is easier to wound them.
Maybe we are looking for that feeling of adventure of a bygone era. An era where animals roamed free and their numbers were not declining and some were not extinct. Those were also the days where even the dangerous animals did not see us humans as such a big threat as today. The animals can feel the pressure of a declining habitat and human encroachment.
Can we reverse the trend? We as hunters have an obligation to our sport/hobby/career to be as professional and ethical as the times demand. We owe it to ourselves and more so to the animals that we hunt, to put our ego,s away and do the right thing.
Is someone making this decision for me? I am doing my part to reverse the trend. I also feel I am doing the right thing! My methods include the use of a tape and a little money tossed around here and there-where it is most useful in my opinion.
Anti-hunters will question/despise any killing for whatever reason. They are not the people who concern me.Quote:
We must hunt for ourselves and not to impress others. The worst thing we can do is start to compete by killing. I personally think that this is the reason why the anti-hunters cannot/will not understand what we do. The constantly read about trophies. A trophy is something that you win in a competition.
As hunters, we engage in friendly competitions all the time (it is human nature). Who among us hasn't shot the most dove/sand grouse, the biggest buck, etc? The problems arise when we flaunt our craft. The public does not what to see an animal meet its demise. In my opinion, there is nothing glamorous about taking a life, but sometimes it needs to be done. I am very willing to take my turn at the plate-legally and with complete respect for both my prey and those people who grant me the hunting privilege. When I'm finished, I endeavor to put the natural resource to its ultimate use.
A "milestone" is an indicator of distance traveled. What you call a trophy, I call a milestone. I have no problem showing my milestones. I will not compete against another man, but as I've stated, I hope many will go beyond my accomplishments.
I agree-for the most part. I am racing against myself; I am using every second I can in the limited time I have.Quote:
For lack of a better word we must continue to use it but we have to be careful in the way that we portray it. There are too many awards that are being competed for. Hunting is not a race. It is an adventure. It is a way of life. It is something we do that makes us a breed apart.
I thoroughly enjoyed your thread Fritz.
very good, well thought out and interesting replies to the statements you highlighted. i dont hunt with a bow but i prefer hunting dangerous game, because there is risk involved, and as you said if you dont want risk sit on the porch. i equate it to when i drove racing cars many years ago, and when you went to a new circuit people would say that corner is taken flat in top gear if you want to be fast, and for the first few laps you would think no way is this flat. then you would start working at it and when it felt right you didnt lift and took it flat, and that gave you a big buzz. the fact that if you didnt get it right meant you could end up hurt didnt really enter your head , it was the adrenaline factor i suppose and then you would do it lap after lap. that is my attempt at an explanation.:D i do like hunting other stuff as well :p
During my 20 years as a full-time professional hunter I have seen and spent time with a lot of different people, cultures, believes and opinions. I do not think that there is a sport/hobby/ profession that has more choices than hunting.
Just look at the different weapons, ammo, optics, places, animals etc. It is a maze with decisions, choices and opinions. I love hunting. It is the one activity that I will never get tired of. Hunting does NOT mean killing. I had my fair share of that. Hunting is so much more. It is a "never ending adventure" It evolves like anything else.
I have asked these questions in the opening post not because I was stating fact but to get insight into the evolution of hunting. The evolution in the minds of the people that pursue hunting.
When I took up bow-hunting 27 years ago, I thought that it was just another way of hunting that I could follow that would complement my other hunting ways. Never did I realize that it would become my way of life. I still do some rifle hunting - I was born with a rifle in my hands and love it dearly.
After more than 1 000 animals that I hunted with my bow, I came to realize that my opinions based on my experience of bow-hunting is but a small factor in the bigger picture of hunting and the choices that we have to make.
Every year the choices are more. Technology sees to that. And then - the more things change, the more they stay the same. Ancient man started by using a bow. We are back there again. Not-so-ancient-man only had Black powder to propel his bullets. Today we are there again.
Thank you to all that took part in this thread. I love reading the different opinions and perceptions. This is what makes us the same.
I got stuck in the competetive side of this question. I am a SCI member and as so I get safaritimes and the safari journal.
There is a couple of things that annoy me. One is all the commercial from this and that farm, this and that outfitter with pics of unreal monster bucks/stags clearly bred and raised in a pen. I love to see big trophies, but sometimes its just to much.
The other thing that annoy me are this rewards you get from SCI for hunted this and that all over the world, top ten of everything in Africa, Europe, North America...
All of this makes SCI looks like a club only for those with more money than sense. It is not a good thing for us hunters and it makes me consider terminating my membership.
Dont get me wrong, its nothing wrong in having money and spending them on hunting, but is it nesceserry to flash about it and make this wonderful hobby into a competition?
wolverine i know where you are coming from it doesnt really do anything for me, but this is one of the ways sci raises money. there are pros and cons with sci, but they by themselves or combining with other organisations do a lot to protect and promote hunting ,shooting sports, and conservation in various ways. so as with most things you take the good bits with the bits you maybe dont agree with to benefit the end subject. :)
I agree with both of you guys. The ranch whitetail/elk ads are a turn off. I think Spike hit the nail on the head though, the type of poeple that hunt these things as well as those interested in diamond level slams and such are the type that donate great sums of money through both private donations and paying for their names to be in the book at each level of acheivement. This revenue benefits us all and I am thankfull for it as am I thankful we have an organization like SCI that has our backs when the big bad wolf starts huffing and puffing.
Fritz, another great write up/thread, Thanks.
It's funny how desires change with the years. When I first started reading about African hunting when I was much much younger, I'd read Jack O'Connor in Outdoor Life, Sports Afield and all the newsstand rags. My thing then was "mbogo", "the black death" as it was called. Cape Buffalo, thoughts of it filled my brain. Then reality struck-THE PRICE! Even 50 years ago it was expensive in my mind. I then gravitated to Sable. Majestic, colorful, stately, BIG, all the attractive qualities. OK I had to have one when I finally put everything together for my first African hunt. The first hour of the first morning in Africa (Zimbabwe) I got my Sable. All 44 1/2 inches of him. I was elated but now the rest of the hunt was ahead and my desire to hunt African species was not lessened by now having my Sable. I could now go after Impala, Waterbuck, Bushbuck, wildebeest, and on and on. I wound up with instead of the 8 I planned on, 13 that I took home on that trip.
Now with 4 more trips under my belt I still enjoy the hunt, the tracking, the stalking, even the blown stalks that happen all the time. "It's the hunt, stupid" and not the trophy for me. I get just as excited about a springbuck as I do a kudu. I've taken over 30 animals in Africa, many of them make "THE BOOK" but I've never entered any of them. It just isn't me. I don't deplore anyone that wants to be in the book, but when it comes to going from "Copper Level" to 'Diamond Level" just to get another award, I put that in the ego category rather than the hunting/hunter category.
Trip 6 is in the works. What I'll hunt I din't know except for another bushbuck. But, what ever it will be, it will be fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I feel much the same way as you, and by no means am I a rich man. I craftfully stow money (working side jobs often) to hunt-even if it means picking up pennies as I walk across parking lot. In 2000 something, I read an piece which completely changed the way I look at SCI. It was drafted by Ken Moody. In the writing, Ken addressed two kudu bulls he had hanging on the wall. He claimed they were world records. However, he never entered them into any record book. I thought about this for awhile. I came to the conclusion, Ken's kudu were not world records-far from it. Why? For this simple reason and this reason alone. He failed to take his idea of conservation to the next level. I would have cost him $35. That money would have not only recognized the fine animal, but would have benefitted many more to come! None of this has anything to do with ego! It is rather a complete and total dedication to wildlife (both game and non-game) a love for hunting, and the continuation of hunting.
One can say he participates in conservation, but action speaks louder than words.
Did anyone catch the recent article about $25,000 being donated to the State of Wisconsin by SCI for Wolf depredation studies? It makes me feel good I am a part of that. I have the awards and the levels to prove it. No way in heck will I ever stop giving...not as long as I am alive!
I am unsure why you feel that ranch whitetail hunts are a turn-off
In Texas 96 percent of the land is privately owned, 99 percent of the hunt-able land is privately owned
I do not think you will go anywhere and find better stewards of the land and wildlife
Yes we hunt from tower blinds and yes we bait and each year the Texas Parks and Wildlife sets an anticipated management kill figure for whitetail deer and as long as I have been literate we have yet to meet it
We have management practices and protocols in place here that are second to none
As much as you might like to believe, killing a big whitetail or trans-Pecos Mule deer in Texas is hard work and very rewarding
Might I suggest you try it sometime
Isn't bow hunting illegal in Great Britain and most of Europe?
If the journey is the reward, than why do you feel the need to demean it?
I hope to heck I am never so prejudice that I join ranks with the long nosed "majority" and look down on any legal means to an end. Moreover, I would truly hate to see the day when the majority starts the process of deciding what is "thrilling" for the minority. If this were the case, I could see telescopes be outlawed... then compound bows...then rocks...right down to the point where hunting itself would be a thing of the past-much like it is in England. I say no thank you and may the Lord save us from this slippery slope! I am happy organizations like SCI safeguard the rights and privileges of all hunters...right done to the individual. A fish in a barrel to you may be an opportunity loaded with challenges for another. Let him have that journey!
Bow hunting is not illegal in most of Europe and the fact is that the trend in Europe is going our way :)
More countries are making it legal to hunt with a bow.
It looks like we are going to get a trial period of 3 years of bow hunting in Norway and I feel confident that if they first let us have that trial period, it will become permanently legal for us to bow hunt in Norway :)
I think I agree with Diamondhitch when it comes to pen hunting.
I think it is totally fine to hunt behind high fence when the fenced area has a decent size and you hunt animals that behaves totally wild and with normal wild animal reactions when they notice people in the area.
And I will hunt there without hesitation.
But when people "hunt" tame/half tame animals in small pens and even sometimes the animal is drugged to make it as easy as possible for the "hunter" to collect his/her trophy, then I don't care about how legal it is.
I find it totally disgusting and it doesn't promote hunting at all. It does the total opposite, and put all of us hunters in a bad light.
It disturbs me when hunters defend it because it is legal and as long as it is legal, then anything goes.
I live between 2 elk ranches and work beside another. these ranchers raise their Elk for the velvet antler trade. When they have a big bull nearing the peak of his antler growth and he has done enough breeding they sell them to put and take outfits such as Northsask and such. These bulls have been kept as cattle and handled 2x per year for vaccinations and harvesting velvet and while they always retain more wild instinct than cattle they are nothing like wild elk. They get sold and hunted on very small tracts of land. If this is what someone wants great but lets not call it what it is not. there is only 1 way you can have a gauranteed 2-3 day hunt for an animal of your choice (you choose the size when you book), animals advertised up to "in excess of 500" sci". Especially whjen the current world record wild elk is something like 464 typical and 503 Non-typical. I asked to purchase some elk sheds from a massine 9x11 typical bull for use as a pedistal base but the rancher said "they sell with the bull" I am not sure if that is as proof of score or what but they went to the outfitter buying him.
We have strayed far from the original comment at this point. The original comment pertained to the fact that despite this type of hunting comprising only a small percentage of hunting as a whole, it occupies a very large percentage of advertising space in SCI publications. This certainly could create a false sense of what the majority of hunters and hunts are all about and a false sense of what SCI is all about. The devils advocate and common sense dictate that whoever pays the money get the advertising space though and considering the large number of these operations advertising there it must pay off.
If you enjoy this type of hunting do not be offended, do your thing. If you are offended then you may need to ask yourself why?
Whatever someone in here mean, I think its a important discussion for SCI as well. I dont think SCI can control under what circumstances a particular animal has been hunted.
For me a worldrecord elk from a pen are certenly not a worldrecord at all. Actually the mensioned kudu horn that never was entered in the book, are more of a record.
This doesnt apply to an animal borned and raised in am enclosure big enough for the animal to behave normally. Also animals who has been "free" long enough to behave normally are exceptions from this.
But we all know when you can order a worldrecord animal and expect to take it in a few days, its not normal.
Lets face it, there are sables, roans, buffalo, lions, elephants advertized with excact measurements in Africa as well. But as far as I know at least South Africa has tried to regulate canned hunting trough the law. Do other countrys has similar regulations?
As far as African animals that have exact measurements there is a bit of a gray area. They may be hand raised but more likely they were live captured from either wild stock or from an existing ranchers enclosure that could be thousands of acres. Last month the rancher whos place I hunted on rounded up a breeding group of Copper springbok by darting them from a helicopter. These animals were free on a large ranch, 7000 Ha rings a bell, and the Ram was measured, aged and catalogued for the auction. He would have been just as wild the day after he was released as he was the day before he was captured. However the price tag he got at auction far exceeded what anyone could get in the way of trophy fees.
SCI's Fair Chase Standards:
Recreational hunting and the concept of Fair chase has been linked for as long as recreational hunting has existed. However, the terms and conditions of what constitutes Fair chase when hunting is conducted within a high fenced area has never been fully or clearly defined.
SCI believes that the following conditions must be met, or exceeded, in order for the concept of Fair chase to apply for hunting mammals within high fenced areas in North America:
The animals hunted must have freely resided on the property on which they are being hunted for at least six months, or longer.
The hunting property shall provide escape cover that allows the animals to elude hunters for extended periods of time and multiple occurrences. Escape cover, in the form of rugged terrain or topography, and/or dense thickets or stands of woods, shall collectively comprise at least 50% of the property.
The animals hunted must be part of a breeding herd that is a resident on the hunted property.
The operators of the preserve must provide freely available and ample amounts of cover, food and water at all times.
Animals that are to be hunted must exhibit their natural flight/survival instincts.
No zoo animals, exhibited animals or tame animals are to be hunted.
No hunting or selling of hunting rights to a specified animal.
Hunting methods employed cannot include driving, herding or chasing animals to awaiting hunters.
Every effort must be made to utilize all meat commonly consumed from a taken animal.
The minimum amount of land necessary to meet these requirements varies by region, terrain and habitat type. Setting a standard minimum area is unlikely to be realistic. However, SCI recommends that state/provincial wildlife management agencies work with the operators and the hunting community within their area to establish specific regulations to guide the operation of hunting preserves.
I have not and will not ever hunt anything indigenous to North America behind a high fence. That's just me. I have, however, hunted non-native species (such as axis deer and aoudad) on high fence operations. These operations met the guidelines established by SCI. On several of the non-native hunts, I've had my arse handed to me! Much of that had to do with my peferred method of hunting-via spot and stalk with a bow. On the other hand, I have hunted free range indigenous game where success (a sure thing) was a tad more than child's play-Quebec/Labrador Caribou and mule deer in my backyard comes to mind. I personally have deeper feeling for my axis deer milestone (took me nine solid/hard attempts to accomplish) than I do for several of my other markers. Elk for me represent the epitome of hunting! I live smack dab in the middle of North America's best elk hunting. I'd put my axis deer hunts on par with any elk hunt I have ever solved. And get this, the axis deer hunts were all attempted on the same 1000 acre ranch.
I've walked around New Zealand kicking heaps of free ranging feral goats and sheep in the process. I have also encountered them behind fence. These species were neither harder nor easier to hunt in one location over the other. In both locations, the journey was fabulous! Inches, mine or another man's, had nothing to do with the gift I was given. I was happy to be away from the rat race...Fair Chase was exactly where it was supposed to be-in MY heart.
A trial for three years in Norway is not the same as perpetual in Norway. I think I'd rather have more friends than foes at the polling booth. Just saying.
Here's a link to countries which "allow" and do not allow bowhunting in Europe:
I will stay with my previous statement regarding Europe.
I stand corrected iamyourhuckleberry :)
I was sure it was legal to bow hunt in more of the countries in eastern Europe.
I have seen bow hunts sold in some of the countries that is flagged red in your link. But that might be illegal hunts sold and that would not be a big surprise if they are.
Hopefully will both Norway and Sweden get a green flag in a few years and then the green flags will be in majority :)
When it comes to your comments about high fence Will, I am not sure if you are referring to Diamond only or me too.
As stated in an earlier post in this thread. I have nothing against high fence hunting in general at all. I think it is totally fine no matter if it is in America, Africa or Europe.
If they follow the standards SCI have, then it is good and they are very much in line with my own way of thinking.
I hunted behind high fence in SA last year and the hunt was much more difficult than much of the hunting I have done for totally wild unfenced animals.
These animals was used to being hunted and knew that it was best to stay far away from people.
I will hunt behind high fences again next year in SA and I know I will need to hunt well and hard to manage to get my animals by spot and stalk with my bow :)
I also must say that I dislike the term "Fair Chase", but that might be better to discuss in another thread.
I think we have hijacked this thread more than enough already :)