First Blood - Who pays the trophy?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Bushwack, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. Bushwack

    Bushwack AH Fanatic

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    The ‘first blood rule’ – the animal ‘belongs’ to the first man to hit it...

    Is this an ethical hunter’s tradition? What happens if the second shot killed the animal and the bullet wasn’t from the same weapon...?

    Does the PH pay for the trophy if he administered the second shot; delivering the ‘kill shot’ or does the onus falls back on the client who took ‘first blood’?

    Does the ethical hunters rule not say; the moment an animal has been wounded, any effort must be made to end its life as quickly and humanely as possible.

    Did the PH not only react on what he was trained for? Most Plains game hunting clients always say no, I am not going to pay if i don’t kill the animal myself, but on dangerous game safari’s he wants you to do a backup shot – Just in case something goes wrong...

    I know I am generalizing and cannot speak for each and everyone out there but my opinion is that the ‘first blood' rule must apply – the animal belongs to the first man to hit it. :)
  2. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    I did not think this was an issue. I have always assumed if you shoot and draw blood it is your animal.

    Before beginning a hunt I always discuss backup shots with the PH. My opinion is as long as I am shooting and hitting the animal let me shoot. If I shoot and stare at it run away I want the PH to shoot. If it is dangerous and the PH feels it is necessary to shoot I want him to shoot. Have the discussion prior to hunting. After 3 buffalo, one elephant, and five heads of plainsgame no backup shots have been required.

    On some videos I have recently watched on TV it seems to be normal for some PHs to automatically fire a backup shot for DG. I will never hunt with those outfits.

    Also, I have never heard of a PH paying the trophy fee for backing up a client.
  3. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ...I always assumed if you drew blood it was your animal! That probably would be a wise thing to discuss with your outfitter about back up shots before you start the safari. I never hunted Dangerous Game of my 14 plains game animals 12 were 1 shot kills & only 1 went more than 60 yds. My PH seldom even carried a gun unless we were going down in the river bottoms or places he figured there might be a dangerous encounter!
  4. Leeukop Safaris

    Leeukop Safaris AH Veteran

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    I think the answer to this one is simple. It is ultimately the clients choice in the end as to whether he/she takes the shot. From that point the client is responsible for the payment. I have never experienced a problem with this and I doubt if it is an issue that "rears its head" often.

    The real ethical issue is to put the animals down as quickly and humanely as possible. Whether the PH takes the backup shot depends alot on the experience of the client. On plains game species I always like to give the client the chance to complete the job, but if this is not possible I will take the backup shot, which in my case has always been appreciated by the client.

    I must admit on dangerous game I like to put in a backup shot immediately after the client, but once again this depends alot on the experience of your client. This is always discussed with the client before the hunt to prevent any misunderstanding during the hunt. This is always well accepted and I have never had a client who has had a problem with this.

    Happy Hunting!
  5. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I agree once you have draw blood, it is your animal. As to the back up shooting...that is between the client and the PH. I will from now on in Africa only shoot if I'm 90%+ sure I can hit the lungs or heart with the first shot. And will definitely lay off the front quartering to shot and anything truly past 300 yds. I will wait for a more broadside shot and preferrable a close shot. I have learned enough in the last few years to realize the front quartering shot is a suckers bet....the shot would be more ethical if it was frontal or more broadside. The frontal quartering shot can be deadly...but if that bullet skims off the shoulder...all bets are off and you have a wounded animal.

    As far as the PH shooting right after the client...my opinion is it is fine as long as I'm not the client. Some clients probably need all the help they can get....I've hunted over 20 years enough to see plenty of hunters that can hit anything on the range and nothing in the field.
  6. Bushwack

    Bushwack AH Fanatic

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    Neil,

    I will second you to that answer...
  7. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    I’ve heard some crazy stuff since I joined this website. Folks talk about the PH who shoots before the hunter or fire backups when they were told that wasn’t acceptable. There is another thread in the African hunting forum that really spent a lot of time addressing this same topic. I still hold my original position on this topic, granted I guide in Europe not Africa so it isn’t the same. My rules are simple I will only fire a back up if the client fails to deliver a killing shot. The size of our reveres (hunting area) and the law dictate that it is my obligation to insure the game stays on the revere he was shot on. Further my clients have very few hunting days compared to African hunters. Spending a hunting day tracking wounded game is just bad for business when it could be stopped with a quick follow up. The only exception to this policy is driven boar hunts. I always advise my clients that I will follow up their shot on a boar due to the safety factor, we use beaters and dogs on these hunts and it is just better to make sure a wounded boar doesn’t tie up with a hunter or hound.
  8. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    Most hunters believe that an animal belongs to the person who "drew first blood," but America's courts usually have held that the animal belongs to the person who fired the killing shot.

    As for backup shots by a PH, I welcome them. If I screw up, I don't want an animal to endanger anyone or to get away wounded.

    Bill Quimby
  9. DLS

    DLS AH Member

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    I'm a bit surprised to see this thread on here, as the same one is running on another forum, also started by Bushwack. It is very simple, if you draw blood, you're going to pay for the animal. If your PH, in his judgement alone, decides a back up shot is warranted, you should have nothing critical to say to him.

    I think it was Saeed who said that anyone who has a problem with this should never venture into the bush. He's right.
  10. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Nothing here is written in stone..It has been a "custom" and nothing more in the US for decades that whoever draws first blood is the owner of the animal, you can accept that or not, but it's a good custom IMO..

    Deer are often shot and run a hundred yards to be shot by another hunter..The first shot usually gets the deer unless your dealing with an idiot and their seem to be more these days than in the past in that in my early days folks would argue over whos deer it was and both wanted the other guy to have it.

    In Africa and on some ranches today if you wound an animal and blood is found or you know it was hit then the rule is you pay the fee. It's a good rule, but in many cases your not charged the fee and are allowed to continue your hunt, in fact in most cases I have seen this has been the case. Circumstance should always determine this scenario..

    Like I said, nothing is set in stone, and intelligent people should be able to make intelligent decisions on a case to case basis, and that is mostly what I have seen over many years...The rest is gobbly goop! :)
  11. DLS

    DLS AH Member

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    On the other hand, Ray, it doesn't always work so well. I was once on a Coues Deer hunt in Sonora, and ran into one of these situations that was a bit awkward. One of the other hunters was an SCI collector type (had to have 1 of everything life size mounted in his room, but didn't hunt many things again once he'd taken a specimen of that species). On the 2nd day of our 5 day hunt, I was on a ridge adjacent to where this fellow was hunting, we were more than 1/2 mile apart, seperated by a deep canyon. Late in the afternoon, we heard him shoot, and he confirmed over radio that he'd hit a deer (his 3rd wounded deer in 2 days!) and they were tracking it. I worked my way down the ridge I was on, and eventually it got dark enough that I needed to switch from my dark glasses to clear. While I was changing glasses, a nice 4x4 coues buck came trotting past me, and I quickly grabbed my rifle and dumped him in his tracks.

    A couple minutes later, we get a call from the "SCI guy" and he asks if I've shot "HIS" deer. I didn't see any other bullet wounds, so responded that this deer just came trotting by me and I shot "my" buck. About 15 minutes later, here comes SCI and his guide. He immediately says that it looks like HIS deer and he begins looking for wounds other than my very obvious shot that had instantly killed the deer. Lo and behold, he manages to find a cut in the skin about 1 1/2" long that showed his bullet had just grazed the very back edge of a hind leg. It wasn't even giving off any blood! He'd shot at the buck as it was running, and if his shot has been 1/2 farther back, he'd have cleanly missed the buck. Now, we had a dilemna.....

    SCI guy wants "HIS" buck. I told him that I shot the buck and I intended to keep 'MY' buck. This guy gets all wound up, saying he drew 1st blood and it should be his buck. Thinking he's a total freaking moron who can't hit his arse, I pointed out that if I hadn't shot the buck, that it would have only died of old age or a lion, because his shot sure as hell wasn't going to give it any difficulty. After more discussion than I cared to get into, I finally relented, mostly because I figured this idiot would only wound more deer if he was allowed to keep hunting, and I reasoned that I'd get another deer. I agreed that he could have MY deer for his collection, and he proceeded to have his guide skin it for a life sized mount. It was a very nice buck that scored 95" B&C.

    As it turned out, we got a huge rain storm the next day and a half, and we barely had any remaining time to hunt. I've always 2nd guessed myself for going along with that dipstick and letting him have my deer due to a very minor grazing wound, but at least it got him out of the mountains where he couldn't do any more harm.

    Next time, it'll be my buck, thank you.
  12. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I feel your pain DLS, I think most of us have shot deer that someone else claims. Even though your's sounds like a extreme case. It tends to leave a sick feeling in your stomach. I have finished off four lightly hit deer in Wisconsin already....and that was mostly the first 15 years of my hunting experience...now I mostly hunt alone and don't have to deal with other human elements.

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