Proposed New Method of : Scoring The Horns Of The African Buffalo
It appears there is great concern about the impact of Sport Hunting on Buffalo.
I have not read all the critical articles referenced but from recollection the SCI scoring system (The measuring air comment) is being held up as somewhat accountable for this pressure on younger bulls.
For those of you who have or have not hunted a Buffalo what do you think?
I just happen to like the look of the Buffalo on the 100 Rand note myself.
Anyway, food for thought.
AFRICAN INDABA 12
Scoring The Horns Of The African Buffalo
Editor's Note: It appears that the present scoring methods induce hunters to taking bulls which are yet to achieve their prime. The shooting of these buffalo bulls is far from desirable as the goal should be those which are at the threshold of crossing into, or are already in, post-prime status. Consequently, many buffalo bulls are harvested before they have achieved dominant breeding status or, worse still, even before they have participated in the breeding process. Yet nothing definitive came from earlier proposals and criticism (see Kevin Robertson, Winston Taylor, Craig Boddington) and the scoring methods remain by-and-large the same and thus the harvesting of sub-prime bulls has continued. It is therefore encouraging to see a group of highly experienced professional hunters led by Kai-Uwe Denker suggesting an alternative measuring method which takes into account what the previous authors mentioned. African Indaba is proud to have permission to be the first to publish their proposals in English.
The original German article appeared in Erongo Verzeichnis f? afrikanisches Jagdwild? No. 1/2011, published and edited by Kai-Uwe Denker (for more details see www.erongo-recordbook.com). Peter Flack assisted with the translation.
In April 2010, the trophy working group, consisting of Kai-Uwe Denker, Gerhard Liedtke, Ronnie Rowland and Ernst-Ludwig Cramer, engaged in a number of lengthy discussions. They finally developed what they consider to be the most objective way of measuring bovine horns, stating that this method focuses on tangible horn growth and not on measuring air as is the case where the length of both horns is measured from tip to tip with the gap between the bosses being included. As such, the most appropriate way was considered to be the sum of the length of the longest horn plus the width of the bosses.
The conclusions led to the following proposal:
The length of both horns and the width of both bosses are measured and recorded on the score sheet.
The width of each boss is measured at the widest point, at right angles to the skull axis, following the natural curvature of the horn material, from the lower edge of horn material at the front to the lower edge of horn material at the back.
To measure the length of each horn, a carpenter's square is placed in the gap between the horns so that the inner horizontal edge touches the lower edge of horn material. The starting point for the length measurement is the intersection of the 45˚ angle with horn material. The measuring line starts at this point, follows the lower edge of horn material to the outer edge of the horn curve and, from there follows the line of the curvature to the tip.
Boss width and length of the longer horn are added
The next step is the determination of the approximate age in order to determine the multiplication factor.
Multiplication factor 0.0 i. e. buffalo bulls of less than 8 years of age which show an incompletely hardened boss will not be ranked
Multiplication factor 1.0 for mature bulls in the age group 8 to 10 years, which have a completely hardened boss, but where the boss still shows vigorous live cell growth,
Multiplication factor 1.1 for prime bulls in the age group of 10 to 13 years old, which show distinct signs of cell aging, like deep corrugations and a rugose surface on the boss as well as the start of horn surface deterioration such as the flaking of smaller horn sections, apart from a completely hardened boss;
Multiplication factor 1.12 for post-prime bulls estimated to have exceeded 13 years of age where there is an observable shrinkage process of horn material between the bosses with a corresponding wider gap covered by thick, horny and hairless leather skin, as well as conspicuous flaking of horn material over the surface of the bosses