HUNTER vs COLLECTOR?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Leeukop Safaris, Sep 3, 2009.

  1. Leeukop Safaris

    Leeukop Safaris AH Veteran

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    I always place hunters in one of two categories, Hunter or Collector.

    Unfortunately there seems to be an ever growing number of Collectors out there today who are always competing with friends and colleagues as to who has the most "inches". As a PH I do not enjoy guiding a Collector, as the whole essence of the hunting experience is lost in the chase for "inches".

    The most satisfying client is the Hunter who wants to experience the total hunt; enjoying the bush, stalking and generally pitting his/her skills against that of the animal. The Hunter is happy with a good representative of the species, and takes great satisfaction in the memories of the total hunting experience. Invariably you build a long lasting friendship with the Hunter, but you never seem to hear from the Collector again who has moved on to the next big trophy.

    Hunter vs Collector? The Hunter wins hands down in my book!
  2. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    NIEL, you are right in what you say. Much of the pure enjoyment of the hunt itself seems to have become secondary, or even lost in recent times. With many people hunting has primarily become a competitive numbers game. But I truly believe much of this can be attributed to the general hunting community itself.

    In reality there are age-old scoring systems and record books such as Rowland Ward, B&C and the more recent and less stringent SCI record book. And, although each of those organizations is ethically based and preaches fair chase and free range hunting, they each maintain and promote a competitive scoring system of comparison based upon ‘inches’ and 'collecting'.

    Let’s also not forget the way some hunt farms on both sides of the pond (plenty of blame to go around here) have been promoting hunting in recent times. In some instances they’re pen raising giants to be selectively released, in many instances they’re charging by-the-inch trophy fees and in nearly all instances they’re encouraging or even pushing clients to whack-and-stack game rather than to slow down and enjoy their surroundings and the entire hunt itself.

    If not solely for the super high cost of hunting today I see many other factors which would tend to encourage some field sportsmen to become collectors rather than just hunters. BTW. . . it should be obvious by my post that I am a proponent of 'hunting'. Yet I can understand why some have become number crunchers and competetive collectors. Too bad they lost something in the process.
    .
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2009
  3. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Very good posts. Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I do not like the way big game hunting has gone over the last couple of decades and the mindset of hunters these days. Sadly, there appears to be little that can be done about it.

    The hunters themselves view things differently these days and have different expectations. Many operators simply offer them what they want and play the game..............business survival often dictates this. Those who do not offer what the majority seem to want are going to be scratching for clients.


    There is also the constant push by fellow hunters to just go with the flow, no fighting amongst ourselves, even if you don't like it you should support 'hunting' in all its shapes and forms. While I agree with this in general...............where does it end and just how far do you have to see things wander away from your beliefs before you say enough is enough, I don't like it and I will not support that? On the one hand you are being true to yourself but being called a traitor by others because you are not supporting their view of 'hunting'. :confused:

    Well I am going to have another coffee and then get back to the clients and the bear hunting. One is a hunter ....the other a collector, not really interested in the bear hunting...........just needs one towards a slam of one kind or another, and as Leeukop Safaris said, on to the next species and never to be seen again.

    I long for the old days when people would stop to smell the coffee and thought any day in the bush was a good day.
  4. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I hear what you guys are saying! The world of hunting is never easy to please and understand now a days. I see this at SCI all the time....there are hunters that don't have much money and just love to spend every penny on the sport because it's hard to breath the air everyday if they don't continue hunting and then there are the people that have the money to spend but on want to have something very special otherwise they won't shoot and the hunt is called a failure. And yes, there are mixed in variations of all sorts of hunters. People obsessed with hunting the "The Tiny Ten", collecting the Big 5 and etc.

    I guess I get caught up in the game too. And hunt for a very mature animal when I'm paying a lot of money to hunt. And I will spend days looking for animal and enjoying the experience...glassing, seeing new areas and just observing game.

    But on the flip side outfitters like hunters to get animals so they have trophy fees to collect, pictures to publish and success rates to update in the brochures. And they can get annoyed with a person just glassing and not shooting.

    Personally I like when the outfitter and client are on the same page. The client has no pressure to shoot and can just sit back and suck the whole hunting experience up....like a good alcohol beverage.
  5. browningbbr

    browningbbr AH Enthusiast

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    I must admit, I don't get it. I don't understand competitive hunting for the most inches of horn. I don't understand competitive fishing for the most pounds in the livewell either. For me, hunting and fishing have always been activities to be enjoyed for the experiences they provide.

    I DO understand operating a business: You have to provide what the customer wants. You have to market your product so the customer knows about it. You have to compete for a share of the finite number of customer dollars. Business is tough these days for everyone. Therefore, I can't fault an outfitter for providing opportunities that the "collector" will pay for.

    I suspect though that there will always be enough "hunters" and outfitters who enjoy serving them to keep the true spirit of hunting alive.

    - browningbbr
  6. DUGABOY1

    DUGABOY1 CONTRIBUTOR AH Enthusiast

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    Gentlemen I agree with what you are saying about the hunting attitudes today! They want to fly in, pop half dozen animals from a list; with a list of numbers they want. Then back to the airport, and home. Then they don’t want to wait for the trophies to be processed, and shipped to them.

    IMO they are missing the whole hunt, and only shooting, in Rack-m, and stack-m style from any range they can see them. No stalking, or simply glassing an animal simply because it is there, not because he wants to shoot it.

    I think like most posting on this thread, I like the flight over, I like the meet & greet by the PH at the airport, or charter dirt strip, and the ride to camp, the introduction of the camp staff. I like the checking of the rifles on arrival to see if they are damaged in any way. The meal around the table, and the banter around a fire at the lappa under the Southern Cross, and hearing the lion’s roar, the hippos grunt, and the Hyenas laugh in the night! The smell of the smoke in the air, or the smell of the Cape buffalo, or elephant on the air that is hitting me in the face while I glass them. The rides in the Bakki, and the walks on spoor, and the adrenalin fostered brassy taste in my mouth when the lion is TOOOoooooooooo close! The farewells when I leave, and the greeting when I see my PH in the USA at one of the hunting conventions!

    I’ve hunted on my own since the age of six years, on my grandfather’s ranch, till today at age 73, and I have enjoyed every minute I’ve spent in the wild. In the 67 years I’ve hunted all over the globe, I have only 12 trophies on my walls, and not one has ever been measured by me! However I can remember almost every hunt I’ve been on in that same 67 years!

    I guess the last lineI wrote in my journal from my first safari that is tagged onto my signature line here says it all in my opinion. That line reads:

    “If I die today, I have had a life well spent, for I have been to see the elephant, and smelled the smoke of Africa!”
  7. BryceM

    BryceM AH Veteran

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    For me the difference boils down to hunting vs. shooting. Shooting is OK, but hunting is getting up three hours before dawn to get to the favorite ridgeline at the perfect moment. Hunting is slogging through freezing rain and 120 degree temperatures all day long to maybe not even see an animal. Hunting is working hard to get a nice buck in the sights of a 12 year-old kid on opening day. Collecting must be something that bored, lonely, rich, spoiled people end up doing when the thrill is gone. I sure hope I never get there.

    Mostly, so far I haven't had to worry about shooting anything too monsterous. I've been a public-lands do-it-yourself hunter all my life. I entered the world of guided hunts a couple of years ago. Sadly, management of public wildlife is getting pretty sorry in many places in the States. The opportunities that were there for the earlier generations are just getting too hard to find. To have a great hunting experience now is going to require some serious $$. That means business. That's OK, but it makes it just a little harder to preserve the environment and feel of the chase. If you get something every single time the suspense of eeking out the last few minutes of daylight on the last day of the hunt is gone.
  8. Macs B

    Macs B AH Veteran

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    The difference between hunting and collecting has never been more obvious to me than when I recall a single hunt in 1997.

    I sat in a pit blind on our family farm along the Ohio River with my father, grand father, and my first child Maddy. Four generations of the family in the blind, working the flooded corn field bottom land. Three of the family dogs waiting for something to drop out of the sky. My two favorite hunters in the world coo'ed and cussed and finally after two hours persuaded a mallard hen to cup in front of the blind at 30 feet. All so my daughter could take her first duck with the same 20 guage break open single shot that my father and I started out on.

    No one shot a thing that morning for those first two hours until Maddy got her first bird. Somehow no one managed to take a nicer bird the rest of the day either. They all failed to measure up to Maddy's bird, at least to hear Dad and Pappa tell it. We took those birds home to mom and grandma for dinner that afternoon, its amazing how good bourbon duck breast can taste.

    That bird went to college with her, she is the only kid in the dorm with a mallard hen mount in her room. She has since upgraded from that 20 guage to a nice little Berreta I gave her for Christmas when she was 15. She still gets out to the blind or deer stand as often as she can with her dad or her sisters.

    Since then that 20 guage has been passed thru three sisters and sits in my gun safe for the grandkids. Unfortunately we've never been able to put four generations together again. I imagine that we might get three generations in the blind one day, god willing.

    I contribute all of this to that one day in the blind in 1997, and another day in the blind back in 1964, and how many other days like it before for my family. We were hunting and making hunters out of our kids. That little hen might have been stomped into the mud by another hunter just to be able to take another green head. Instead it is the favorite bird that young woman ever shot. She wasn't collecting anything that day but family traditions and memories that I hope she will pass on.
  9. husb0023

    husb0023 AH Senior Member

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    You end up appreciating the true hunters you know that much more because of (or in spite of) the collectors.

    My father-in-law has a trophy book whitetail skull hanging on the wall by the door to his garage. He never had it measured but I can tell you with no uncertainty that it would easily make B&C and P&Y.
    When I asked him to tell me the story about it he just said "it walked out, I shot it and the antlers kept looking bigger and bigger the closer I got." Haha.

    By the way he hangs his mittens on the antler tines to dry them out in the winter, I bet that would drive the collectors, who pay a fortune to shoot a similar deer on a ranch, absolutely nuts.
  10. Leeukop Safaris

    Leeukop Safaris AH Veteran

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    I am very glad to see that we still have many Hunters out there! Bagging the animal is really only the "cherry on the cake". It's all that takes place before sqeezing the trigger that creates the excitement, the challange and the memories that we cherrish.

    Happy Hunting!
  11. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    ...The collectors really will never know what it feels like to remember all the good & the bad on the hunt & savor those moments to remember the animal & the hardships & fun of the whole experience. If I was just in it for the killing I guess I'd get a job in a slaughter house or with the Mafia.
    Some of my most memorable animals are not necessarily the biggest, but the ones you worked the hardest for, or made the difficult shot, or climbed the steepest mountain. That's what keeps me going & why I hunt!! I'll never have enough money to become a collector, but then again I wouldn't want to be either!!
  12. billrquimby

    billrquimby AH Veteran

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    Having just two categories -- "hunter" and "collector" -- is not enough.

    A guy who is obsessed with record book scores is not necessarily the same guy as the serious collector whose goal is to enter a specimen in every SCI or RW record book category for every continent. (There are more people who aspire to this than you might imagine.)

    The record book nut often will pass up "representative" heads and go home without firing a shot if the game he encounters during a hunt doesn't make the top ten in its category.

    A collector of worldwide big game animals who does not encounter a top ten animal often will be happy with any "mature" specimen, just so he can add it to his list and not have to return to that region.

    I've helped both of the above types write their memoirs, and can tell you that both "know what it feels like to remember all the good and the bad on the hunt and savor those moments to remember the animal and the hardships and fun of the whole experience."

    Please be aware that there are numerous categories of "hunter," too, and not all of them should be emulated.

    Bill Quimby
  13. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I have know many of both and I won't judge either..I know some hunters that don't even really like to hunt, they are just there, I prefer being around a collector than these guys, at least a collector is avid about what he is doing, he is a trophy hunter of the highest degree as a rule...I feel sorry for some that carry a tape in their pocket, and thats ALL, that counts but if that's their thing and it blows their skirt up, then so be it, its just not for me. I see many of both every year and have for the last 40 years and I like some of both and didn't care for some of both...

    Why open up such a can of worms, let each of us do what we enjoy most, it comes across as arragant to judge someone because they don't suit your style...

    I judge a man by his actions, his word and his ability to be the same person every time you see him..not because he is a "collector or hunter".

    I'm a hunter of sorts and a collector of sorts. I will hunt for the biggest bull or buck for most of the season and as the hunt starts winding down I will take a lesser animal..I love the hunting game in all its aspects.
  14. M'bogo hunter

    M'bogo hunter AH Senior Member

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    HUNTER vs COLLECTER??the difference is big...The hunter,ready to wake up at 5am in the morning and leave camp on foot in search of lifelong hunting memories...The collecter,pays money to shoot from a car,not ready to follow game he has wounded and in search of 60+ inch kudu spirals or a record book buffalo trophy to hang on the walls of his trophy room!!This (hunter & collecter thing) was there since the times of the true professional hunters like Eric Rundgren and Harry Selby.I remember reading a story in Rundgren's book (INSIDE SAFARI HUNTING) where two clients who were cousins quarreled over the the difference of an inch in the impala trophies they had shot!They hadn't come to Africa in search of a lifetime hunting memory...they had come to africa for that extra inch of horn in their trophies!And so the genes of such COLLECTERS have lived on just like those of the true hunters have.This is it,to every positive there is a negative!
  15. Thunder head

    Thunder head AH Enthusiast

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    I might be a little jekyl and hide on this issue. I wouldn't say i'm obsessed with inches. If i go on a far off hunt that i am paying good money for, i want a mature animal though. For the most part a good representative will do.

    When my PH asked me what kind of animals i was looking for i watched him out of the corner of my eye. I said lets not worry about the tape measure i just want mature animals. A big smile came across his face. I new i had made the right choice.
  16. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    I have never heard such BS...I get the impression because a person wants the best trophy he can get that he should be condemed for it, when it fact he will, in many cases, hunt for weeks and end up going home empty handed, yet because he is a trophy hunter or collector he is described as a clown, a ride around and shoot out of the truck guy with a tape in each hand etc, when in fact some of the hardest hunters I have ever seen will work the PH to death looking for that old bull that will adorn his wall...and he is a conservationist as he is taking out a bull that will soon be lion food or die a lingering death of old age in the African bush, and that ain't a pretty death, he is by his effort keeping the heard gene pool clean, yet its OK for the "hunter", again whatever that is to shoot a soft bossed bull of 3 years old with hair growing between his horns?? Please explain this to me, it goes against my grain..

    I have seen too many 40 to 43 plus inch bulls shot by "hunters" who enjoyed the "African experience" and that bull was only about 3 years old with soft bosses..That bull was wasted on an idiot IMO, but he paid for it and its his and this "hunter" goes home bragging about his huge bull that was only a baby. Give me a break. A collector would have passed on that bull knowing that the bull in a few more years would have hard bosses, Lion scars, tattered ears, and the look of a warrior and be an awesome trophy.

    I think we as hunters have enough enemys without turning on each other..It seems to me that perhaps some Safari Companies like to use this as an excuse for getting their client poor quality animals and getting them out of the way and going to the next guy, because no doubt the "collector" whatever that means is harder to hunt and certainly more picky about what he shoots.

    I, personally, don't like this thread, it reeks of the internet and the judge and jury type thread, without regard to anything in particular except pre concieved ideas by some that perhaps have less experience than they would like for others to believe and those that have no clue, and those that are just joining in because it sounds politically correct.

    There are collectors out there and there are hunters out there, and there are the bad guys and good guys in both catagories.
  17. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I think that this is exactly why I do not like forums. There is no doubt that I am arrogant because sadly, I do judge some hunters and find the ways of some distasteful.................and I refuse to look the other way beyond a certain point and pretend that everything everyone does is OK.

    Even the guys who claim to be OK with what anyone else does as long as it is legal usually are judging at some point and their posts show it to be the case.
    Ray you are correct in that there are individuals, in whatever classification of hunter that you want to use, who are nice guys and some who are not.........as with all pursuits and walks of life. I think with much of this it is not really what the persons interest is but more the way they go about it and how they interact with the other hunters around them when they are doing it.

    In any event you boys have a good day, I have lots to do and better get to it. I have had enough of forums for a while I think, at least until the snow flies and the seasons close.
  18. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    Ray. . . that is an excellent post all the way around. This topic snow-balled and became a full blown arrogant condemnation of anyone in our hunting community that does not think, act and hold the very same belief or ideals as we do. Your summation really went to the core of the matter.

    Thanks for putting things back in perspective!
    .
  19. Big5

    Big5 AH Enthusiast

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    Skyline. . . Your above quote is very true as well. There are extremes which cannot by any measure be justifed by a rational and ethical human. But for some of us here to condemn a so-called 'collector' because he chose to work and sweat just as hard, but with a different motivation as any so-called 'hunter' to take an animal?

    I think Ray makes a point when he seems to ask; what makes that different motivation in itself unethical? Perhaps the next condemnation will be toward 'sport hunters'. Certainly there are some who now say that those whose motive for hunting is other than subsistence is unethical.
  20. Ray Atkinson

    Ray Atkinson AH Enthusiast

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    Well I think this is a good forum to belong as long as we can all be honest in what we believe and understand that each of us has a point of view. To tell the truth I expected all hell to bust loose with my post, and I am glad it didn't, it shows that we have the ability to see both sides of the coin..

    I understand that there are some folks that have a tape in their pocket and they are anal to the point of intolerance, I also know some "hunters" that are intorlerable..I also know some bankers, lawyers, cowboys, indians, and terroists that are intolerable. :)

    The human animal is an animal that has to be taken on a case by case basis.:)

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