Judging Animals as Representative

Discussion in 'Judging Trophies' started by VanderLaan, Mar 14, 2012.

  1. VanderLaan

    VanderLaan AH Senior Member

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    Going to RSA for my first safari this fall. Hunting PG and the wish list is Kudu, Waterbuck, Gemsbok and Zebra. Package also includes a blesbok, black wildebeast, impala, bush pig and steenbok. That said, I am going into this with an open mind (and checkbook). Simply put, if my PH hits me on the arm and says "Holy Chit", I am probaly going to pull the trigger.

    Now I realize that there is more to a trophy than just the inches of its horns/antlers. Indeed, I am far from a trophy hunter (one of my most memorable deer hunts was matching wits with old whitetail doe). I also realize that my PH will be there to advise me. However, I really have no understanding as to what constitutes a "representative" or "exceptional" animal. Is a 60" kudu the same as a 200" whitetail? Would a 50" kudu be a 125" basket rack? What about a 30" waterbuck? Would you shoot a 25" waterbuck on the first day of the hunt?

    I am hoping to get an education on judging animals, so that I can be a bit more informed and realistic with my expectations. Curious what you guys consider to be good, too small, unrealistic, respectable, etc. can anyone point me to a post/web page/article that covers this subject?

    Thanks for the education.
     
  2. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Well simply by the math a 60"Kudu would equate to a 187" Whitetail and a 50"er would be a 156" Whitetail.

    Other than that it is far more personal preference than anything, trust your PH to pick you out a good mature specimin and unless you are a die hard trophy hunter who is willing to happily go home empty handed if he cannot find that once in a lifetime animal you will be quite happy.

    Most often your PH will try to set you up on an old mature animal with the above average horns (for a mature animal).

    As far as a good animal goes, well you will know that when you see it. If you like him shoot him, simple as that.
     
  3. VanderLaan

    VanderLaan AH Senior Member

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    How does one score a Kudu?
     
  4. INGOZI

    INGOZI AH Enthusiast

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    Diamondhitch hit the nail on the head, it comes down to your personal preferance, what is a good size for the area or property and lastly what your PH points out to you.
     
  5. VanderLaan

    VanderLaan AH Senior Member

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    I get the personal preference aspect of it. But how does one develop a "personal preference"? I developed a strong preference for shooting 2.5 year old whitetail does, because they are plentiful in my area and they are good to eat (and I would rather chase my pointer through CRP than sit in a treestand). However, I learned this through years of shooting and eating whitetail deer. I am not going to be going to Africa every year, so I cannot learn by shooting fifty kudus and eventually realizing that a 55" kudu is "average"...
     
  6. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Roland & Ward just scores length and SCI adds length to the base circumference. I actually messed up a bit on my calculations there, I thought R&W minimum was 54 1/2" but it is actually 53 7/8" so just add a couple inches to the whitetail equivalent estimates I quoted earlier. I simply used a ratio of horn size in relation to Minimum entry score to determine them Ex 170" Whitetail=53 7/8" Kudu.
     
  7. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Some are wide, some are heavy, some are twisty, etc, etc. Just look at pictures before you go and get a feel for each species characteristics you like and when your PH points to one that has one or more of those charicteristics and you like it, shoot it. Look at pics with your PH before and during your hunt so he knows what you like and he will try his hardest to find one for you.

    Just so you know 55" Kudu is a R&W record book animal, it is not average. Trust your PH and you will be fine.
     
  8. M. Egan

    M. Egan AH Senior Member

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    Hi Vanderlaan
    If you tell your PH that you want representative animals or better, he will let you know when to shoot. Most reputable PHs wouldn't want you to shoot inferior animals anyway. Look at lots of pictures on this site and in magazines. You will get a good feel for what is good and what isn't. If you make a mistake, it won't be the end of the world. You will find that you will prefer to hunt some animals over others and when you go back (you will go back) you can try to better your trophies on these animals. Ask your outfitter about sizes to expect in the particular area that you are hunting and then learn what that looks like.
    It's great that you are doing your due diligence on this. Have lots of fun and make sure you do a little touring while there. Rsa is an incredible, beautiful and diverse country. Take in as much of her as you can.
    Cheers, Mike

    PS Who are you hunting with? ME
     
  9. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    My experience is the importance of communicating with your PH about what you want. I told mine I didn't want a hartebeest, mountain reedbuck or gemsbok as he pointed out real trophies of each as we hunted and I passed them up. Later in that trip I reconsidered and the hartebeest I did take is nice but it was not nearly as big as the one I declined. I never saw another mountain reedbuck, the gemsbok I did take is very nice.

    If your PH is good, he'll talk with you about what you want and he'll try to make that happen, he wants you to be very happy with your hunt so you'll come back. Then it comes down to looking at live animals, talking with your PH about what you're seeing and having a very steep learning curve. I hope you stay focused on the excitement of the hunt, seeing wonderful animals and having great stalks that will and won't result in getting a shot. I'll be looking forward to your hunting report and photos.

    Good hunting.
     
  10. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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  11. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Your first instinct is right. "If the PH goes holy ****" Shoot it.
    It will take a lot of work to have any idea in the field but here is where you can start.

    Have fun.

    I get your frustration.
    I spent ages looking at pictures. Lots of pictures.
    Rowland Ward Minimums in inches
    Kudu, 53 7/8
    Most of the Kudu in this thread are monsters
    http://www.africahunting.com/hunting-africa/1113-kudu-bull-over-60-inches-2.html


    This thread has a photo of the NUMBER 1 RW Kudu in it.
    http://www.africahunting.com/hunting-africa/7377-has-anyone-shot-gotten-pictures-70inch-kudu.html


    Waterbuck, 28
    Here is a link to the number one. Also some pictures of excellent Waterbucks.
    http://www.africahunting.com/hunting-africa/7386-waterbuck-new-world-record.html
    Gemsbok 40

    Zebra If it has stripes take it. Even the odd coloured white striped ones are nice.
    Mares will have nicer hides but you'll be pointed to a Stallion most likely. All depends.

    Blesbok, 16.5
    This is a link to a nice Blesbok. Not the biggest in the world but nice.
    http://www.africahunting.com/bowhunting-africa/7490-15-blesbuck-dark-continent-bow-hunting-sa.html

    Another picture of a good one.
    http://www.africahunting.com/hunting-pictures-videos/watermark.php?file=19926

    Black Wildebeest 28
    A good one.
    http://www.africahunting.com/hunting-pictures-videos/watermark.php?file=19925
    Black Wildebeest - Africa | Big Game Hunting Records - Safari Club International Online Record Book

    Impala 23 5/8
    Decent Impala Picture
    Record Book Impala; Big game; Africa ォ The Great White Hunter

    RW Record Book Impala
    [​IMG]

    Bush pig 5 1/2
    What ever male walks out in front of you.

    Steenbok 4.5
    Average guy. Longer than his ears take him, in my opinion.
    Gallo Images - male steenbok

    An excellent place to start is the record book.
    Shows you what a monster is and then gear down accordingly.



    The medal System is another place to start;
    PHASA and NAPHA for instance. Percentage of SCI Minimum.
    SCI, if you don't already know, has it's own Bronze Silver and Gold category. Min scores. A plce to start for good better best ideas. (IN TROPHY MEASURING)

    http://www.africahunting.com/huntin...-south-africa-phasa-trophy-medal-program.html


    This is Rowland Wards electronic record book.
    :: Rowland Ward ::


    If you are interested in paying SCI money to look at their records here is the link.
    Big Game Hunting Records - Safari Club International Online Record Book
     
  12. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    I understand your dilemma. Like others have said trust your ph. Tell him what you want and he will deliver. We where after representative animals when I went last year. If you look at my photos I can tell you what some of my/my dads animals scored. My impala was 22". My dads white blesbok was exceptional @22 in the sci book. I dont have the length on hand now, but I can find out. Mine was #45. My dad shot his Kudu on the second to last day after the land owner gave him a deal. It measured 47 inches. Not a monster at all, but a good representative. Old bull with no teeth and his hair was falling out. I will try and get the size on the blesbok and let you know. Just to give you an estimate.
     
  13. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Good idea Rick.
    Go to everyone's "gallery's" and look at pictures and compare them.
    You will see everything.
     
  14. bcarper

    bcarper AH Veteran

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    Tell your PH what kind of animal you want, representative or huge. Trust him to know what is in his area. I shot 7 animals in 10 days, but didn't shoot until my PH said "Holy shit, that ones huge! LOL I was ecstatic with my trophy's, 15" warthog, 26" impala,16" limpopo bushbuck, average 37" oryx, 54" kudu, 16" blesbuck. My friend turned down a 28" waterbuck, and killed one 32". Most of all I enjoyed the PH, trackers, skinners, and the huge amount of game in Limpopo. Brian
     
  15. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    Ok I dug out my list:

    White blesbok L 16 3/8" R 16 1/8"
    Common blesbok L 16 1/8". R 16"
    Kudu. L 49" R 47 1/2"
    Impala L 22" R 21 1/2"
    Limp bushbuck L 14" R 14 1/8"
    Gemsbok L 30" R 31 1/8"
    This one my ph apologized to me. I wanted a 40". The one animal on my trip I wanted a big one. So.....now I have to go back!

    Hope this helps, just a starring point.
     
  16. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

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    And if the trackers eyes get big, you had better be quick about it! Kidding, but the trackers and PH have their act together, they will know.
     
  17. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Jeromes guide is PURE GOLD!

    What is a trophy? No one can tell you. I have a oryx that is 30 inches long...but the horns are super thick and he's super old. Still a great trophy! But I would have shot a 40" in a millasecond. That being said don't shot a kudu unless it have two full curls...and is either going straight up (horn wise) or starting a third curl. I have seen too many kudu shot, where the curl has even developed through the second curl...a big "no no" in my book. I have 40 inch kudu that looks super. Why did I shot him? It was my first trip to Africa and most of kudu where dead from rabies in Namibia in that area. I call him my greater lesser kudu....because he still has 2 curls! And the big kudu just look HUGE.

    As far as waterbuck...there are not to many 30 inchers out there. Anything in the 28 inch range is a monster. Especially if he is thick!!!

    Warthogs look for long thick tusks. Impala are can be shot very old or very long....just don't shoot a young one, there are usually plenty of them. Take a look around.

    And the greatest quote I heard...."IF THE TRACKER GETS EXCITED...PREPARE TO SHOOT".
     

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