Am I weird or something about horn size and shape

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by billc, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. INGOZI

    INGOZI AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2010
    Messages:
    343
    Likes Received:
    1
    My Photos:
    35
    Member of:
    ABO, SCI, SABA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Zambia, United States
    It's a matter of preference, when hunting for a species with a typical shape, commonly associated with the species one needs to consider that this will not always equate to length.

    Each hunter has in the back of his or her mind, what type or size of animal they would like to take. You'll know when you see the right one.
     
  2. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,630
    Likes Received:
    50
    My Photos:
    88
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    Not really billc, just keep in mind that the correct shape and length (as you have shown preference) might not be the correct species to harvest...

    Unfortunately very few guides can accurately estimate age on most species, the latter being a subject that hunting schools should focus on instead of endless sessions of horn length judging..... As what we do can only be seen as a conservation tool and sustainable by age appropriate harvesting, regardless of length.

    Good luck and I truly hope all your expectations are met.

    My best always
     
  3. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    115
    My Photos:
    34
    Hunted:
    united states canada mexico south africa

    Is your meaning that to take what alot of us think is the best trophy by using horn size we would be taking a trophy at its prime.I know taking them by age is used for judging also.I myself do not believe in taking young animals.I think myself a better way to judge age sometimes is by body size not horn length.

    I will use springbucks as the example.I see alot of picture with like 10" horns but pointing forward.To me most of the time the animal looks young but then some you can see the horns would never sweep back even with age.To me that is not the classic shape and more then likely comes from bad genes in the herd.I look at that now as a cull animal not a trophy springbuck.

    I was wanting to know what others thought hunters or PH's.I'm I asking for to much to look for animals that meet a certain size and look.I am wrong when we find a animal that 9 out of 10 hunters would shoot but I want to pass.I guess I know I am not really wrong as I am paying but would it start to make any of you PH's mad if the tyipcal trophys most hunter would take would be passed on.I know must hunters are happy with taking almost anything that a Ph would say is good.
     
  4. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,630
    Likes Received:
    50
    My Photos:
    88
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    Billc, an animal in prime is most definitely not the right trophy to harvest from a conservation/sustainable use perspective......

    I have harvested post prime 60" kudu bulls and passed up....prime 57" kudu bulls and harvested in its place a post prime 53" this.... in..... and down to its core is what sustainable use boils down too. :)

    Mature shape is something most prime species have, As a norm......and in it self represents a very small part of it... I get what you are saying though.. As far as shape goes.

    My point resonates throughout Africa but mostly in SA due to our ph schooling system, which I believe, and know does not place enough emphasis on,... Age appropriate "trophy" quality judgement as a whole.

    This being my honest conservation minded opinion.

    Don't get me wrong Bill, I AM NOT referring to the companies you booked with, as I can not make a call on their behalf, and rather, I know that they would probably agree.

    But age judgement is a factor that baffles many PH's and something that should be focused on, and probably the largest consideration when selecting such trophies.

    My best always
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2014
  5. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    115
    My Photos:
    34
    Hunted:
    united states canada mexico south africa
    What have you found to be the best way to judge age then.In the animals here in the states looking at the animals body will give you a good sign of ages.Looking at the rack will also but being able to judge the rack as of a animal at it prime or one past prime.

    You see an elk with the body that looks old and all the points are nice and long.That is more then likely a prime bull.See another bull same body size but shorter points then you would think a bull of that size would have.Maybe the points are thicker but shorter.More then likely a bull going back and had his best days already.

    Now how do you handle a client then when you seen that 57" prime kudu and he wants it.I know why you want to pass him and agree with you.I just wonder how it would be handled as I know many of guys who would want to take the 57 not a 53.The hunter is getting ready to pick one that is going to cost him 2500 to 3500.Do you as a ph when you start talking with a client about a hunt tell me not all animals seen are ok to shoot.Why should the hunter care and not want the best animal to him if he is paying the bill.

    I guess thats why I try and tell the PH all the details of what I am looking for.My perfect trophy is one that is just past prime by 1 or 2 years tops I would say.He is not the head breeding bull or ram but still is fighting for that right at the start of each season till the new younger bull bets his ass.
     
  6. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,630
    Likes Received:
    50
    My Photos:
    88
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    As a final though, every single hunter/patron should receive only the best quality period....but honestly paying has nothing to do with it........
    I do not pay a doctor to tell me what I would like to hear....

    Same with hunting... As a conservation minded professional guide we are the responsible parties, we are the ones that answer at the end of the day, and the ones responsible for providing consummate hunting experiences, thereby not only providing a value for money.... but ultimately ensuring a sustainable environment and method to harvest and manage our natural resources. :)


    My best always
     
  7. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,630
    Likes Received:
    50
    My Photos:
    88
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    Billc, for us to create a sustainable environment we do have to take the good with the bad... A call on a 44" soft boss buff and the Kudu comparison is exactly the same thing/concept.

    I passed 3 lion males on one safari last season just because they where around around 4 years of age one had pretty decent mane for Moz, but my call was that it would just not be sustainable..

    99% of all hunters I have guided understand it, the 1% that don't ..... Well we still talk about it on they're 3rd and 4th safari... :)

    My best always
     
  8. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    115
    My Photos:
    34
    Hunted:
    united states canada mexico south africa
    Whats your go to way of judging age on a kudu.On a buff I would guess you could see if he was soft yet I have not looked at many so not sure.
    Is there a trick to use to help with african animals.They are so different then ours here in the states.Our animals grow new bone on there head each year which can help judging them from year to year.With the africa animals keeping there horns do you have a size range that you use for judging.Like a 50" young bull maybe 5 years old.maybe the 56 to 57 range is 7 or 8 and in his prime.the 60" is 10 or more and just passed prime.But then the 53" and you can tell he is old by the body past his prime.Hope that all made sense as example.How do you judge one
     
  9. Buff-Buster

    Buff-Buster GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2011
    Messages:
    1,008
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Hempstead, Texas
    My Photos:
    78
    Member of:
    Houston Safari Club, Gulf Coast SCI, SCI International. Rowland Ward, NRA, RMEF, Nort American Hunting Club - Life Member, Texas Trophy Hunters
    Hunted:
    Mozambique, South Africa, (Kwa-Zulu Natal & East Cape), Zimbabwe (Charisa & West Nicholson), U.S.(Texas, New Mexico, LA, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Wyoming & Montana), Canada (Alberta) & Argentina (Cordoba)
    Great response Jaco......I really need to hunt with you some day. I would look forward to the discussions around the fire with a sundowner in hand as much or more than the actual hunting!

    Cheers
     
  10. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    115
    My Photos:
    34
    Hunted:
    united states canada mexico south africa
    I am not so sure money has nothing to do with it or I would be hunting for free with Jaco.LOL Money should not be the only factor but lets face it some clients think they should get this for that amount of dollars.You cant one time say this is why you pay me this much and the others charge less.Lets face it money in the end for some of us decides were we hunt and with who.

    I dont want to turn this in to a thread about money as that was not my goal.I just wanted to see if I was asking for to much If I was the only one who looks at more then total length and more about what the game looks like when he is in my house as a piece of art..
     
  11. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,630
    Likes Received:
    50
    My Photos:
    88
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    Good questions Billc, kudu unlike ringed or straight horned antipope are one of the tougher ones to judge, generally, one would look at the following, mind you these are in no particular order as prospective animals present themselves in different ways and situations, this is exactly why I usually spend much time in discussion with my clients, on trophies...

    I study horn base it is (with good optics) not that difficult to detect soft horn pulp at the very base of the horn, this can be picked up, as an almost white powdery substance in the base, which will sometimes in itself almost look pink... (Once again you need good optics, and need to be relatively close)

    Horn tip... The old long ivory tip myth is exactly that, bulls post prime would have worked down some ivory giving the tip an almost dull, rounded look, often with no "ivory" present.

    Body full volume, and often even a considerable loss in volume could possibly indicate age. Keeping in mind that during rut actively rutting bulls will have extremely full (swollen ) necks.

    Hair, older bulls will show noticeable amounts of hair loss on they're necks

    Hair, older bulls... Not so much different from Eland but not close to as much.... Will have a Tuft of hair on the fore heads this is extremely difficult to detect but under ideal conditions more than possible.

    General body and demeanour

    We should keep in mind that an ENTIRE picture often provides a judgement and looking at an animal as a whole is required to judge age, this is no easy task hence my comments in my earlier posts.

    In many ways the more you see and closely study the more accurate you will get with it... One truly needs to dedicate time to this..

    Other species, such as wildebeest, impala, oryx, waterbuck, buff and Sable are easier to detect as they will all show a degree of good boss growth for one or secondary base growth/ring compression.

    Noted that there are many other signs, but I am not about to write a zoology thesis.. :)

    IMO the most difficult are the cats, but here we often have the advantage of trail cams, and the opportunity to closely study a multitude of pictures...

    Please know that it's an overall impression that is generated by a multitude of factors all contributing to a final decision..

    It takes much time and a concerted effort to get to know and fully understand it all...
    The above being something I am constantly striving and devoting time to with the hope if mastering it.

    My very best always
     
  12. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    28
    My Photos:
    29
    Hunted:
    Norway, Sweden, England, South Africa
    I totally agree.
    Animals with broken horns or abnormal horn shapes are cull animals to me and not something I would pay full price for.
    The same goes for broken tusks on a Warthog.
    I in general prefer typical antler/horn shapes.
    Size I couldn't care less about. I have never hunted with a tape measurer and never will.
    Scoring an animal I have shot is so far it can come from what I interested in when it comes to hunting.

    If I was to be very picky about what to shoot, then it is no broken horns or horns tips first( I just totally hate broken horns and antler tines) , then the animal needs to be mature, then it is the shape of the horns.

    But first of all do I hunt for the experience and challenge of hunting. And that can't be measured in inches or shape of the horns :)
     
  13. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,630
    Likes Received:
    50
    My Photos:
    88
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    Let me rephrase money has nothing to do with size... I for one do not market a trophy only but rather, a trophy hunting experience, if I were to get a reply of I want that because I'm paying my reply would be pretty short....... Pg 18 ;)

    I might as well be shooting them on 5 acre lots then if it was a I'm paying, I want that one kind of deal...

    Norwegianwoods I could not agree more. No one is talking about broken horned or deformed species, I agree in shapes and classic shapes..... WITH AGE. Putting the smack down on an animal purely from a length perspective though is irresponsible to say the least.
    My best always
     
  14. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    115
    My Photos:
    34
    Hunted:
    united states canada mexico south africa
    great info jaco.So horn length is not a factor really age wise.Have you not found a kudu gets a certain size by age.Like normally it takes 5 years for a kudu to reach say 50" or so.
     
  15. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    115
    My Photos:
    34
    Hunted:
    united states canada mexico south africa
    Dam I thought I could trick you into a free hunt .lol I even think I can hear you saying your answer and looking like this as you give it :mad:
     
  16. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,630
    Likes Received:
    50
    My Photos:
    88
    Member of:
    SCI, PHASA, IPHA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania
    :) ;) :) C'mon I thought I was polite... :) :) :) on kudu and number if years equaling a certain length... No there is no correlation, it's all about genetics, initial horn shape yes.. ie curl shape.

    :) my best always
     
  17. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    115
    My Photos:
    34
    Hunted:
    united states canada mexico south africa
    Let me say something on the size and tape.I have never put a tape to any animal I have.Length can be a goal and think it is right to give the PH some idea of what you are looking for.If he tells me it is 60" and it ends up 58" I am not complaining and acting stupid.I just want to hunt for certain ones which could really make the hunt harder and better.

    i could be looking for 60" and come across a 55" that would make for his unlucky day just because I like the way he looks.maybe the hunt was one to remember so The goal has changed and he will be taken just to remeber the hunt.
     
  18. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,087
    Likes Received:
    28
    My Photos:
    29
    Hunted:
    Norway, Sweden, England, South Africa
    It would be fun to make some polls related to this thread and post pics of different sized and shaped horns and see what people like the most :)
    I leave that to someone else as I don't have access to lots of trophy pics ;)
     
  19. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    779
    Likes Received:
    115
    My Photos:
    34
    Hunted:
    united states canada mexico south africa
    I was thinking the same thing.post two pic's of each animal and see which one gets picked more.I think we need to call on brickburn as he like that kind of stuff and he has nothing else to do.lol
     
  20. Safari Afrika

    Safari Afrika AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    Messages:
    274
    Likes Received:
    6
    My Photos:
    44
    Member of:
    PHASA - RMEF
    Hunted:
    South Africa - Botswana - Zimbabwe - USA - Namibia
    Jaco could not have put it any better ... He has time to sit in front of the computer .... :)Some of us have to work .... You can get a Kudu with 45" horns that will not never go any bigger irrespective of its age ... You can also shoot a 60 inch which might have gone to 65 " . It is primarily about genetics and secondly about habitat. You can relate that to Elk as well . Why do certain areas bring the 400 plus class bulls ... The genetics is there . Some other areas would never produce any .

    Yes we should hunt the animal not the tape ....

    You can have a successful hunt without firing a shot . It is a total experience . If Jaco is right about past prime I might have to start lying low .... :)

    Happy hunting !!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014

Share This Page