Judging Sable

Discussion in 'Judging Trophies' started by tap, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    I received a picture of a sable from my ph and I am now wondering what exactly makes a trophy sable. I've always wanted a sable with long horns and a pitch black coat. I've always heard that as a sable bull gets older that their coats get darker and darker.

    This picture seems to be a picture of a very mature bull with large horns but he doesn't have a black coat. I know this is definitely a large sable and horn wise a lot of people would like to shoot him but I would have to pass on him. If I'm going to spend the money on a sable I want a true trophy. To me a true trophy has to be 41 inches or larger, be a very old bull, and be pitch black. To me a pitch black coat is just as important as horn size.

    My question to you guys is this. What is wrong with this picture. Why does this sable have such large horns yet he doesn't have a black coat? can someone please give me some information that I'm obviously lacking?

    Thanks in advance

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  2. classicsafari

    classicsafari AH Enthusiast

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    Maturity makes a good trophy in my eyes.
    Cant quite see on this one but a good indication of mature age is secondary growth (smooth or wrinkled ) on the bases of the horns.
  3. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    That sable is over 42", but may not be old enough yet...I have heard they get black with old age but then again I've see picture of some that never get black. You can still see the rings on the sable pretty distinctly. But he is smooth on the bottom. I would have to see more views.

    I know the one Patsy from Zambia posted a while back was very long and jet black! Definitely a dream sable!
  4. KMG Hunting Safaris

    KMG Hunting Safaris SPONSOR AH Elite

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    Tap, In my opinion, what is wrong, is the fact that there IS even a picture. What type of Trophy hunting constitutes you receiving a photo of the animal that you are about to hunt?
    Have you asked your PH how big the area is, that you will be hunting(see shooting) this bull?
    Hope that I'm not offending you, but fair chase should be as high on your list as coat colour and horn length.

    Best Regards
    Marius Goosen
  5. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I wonder if time of year as anything to do with coat color.Look how our animals her in the states get darker as winter comes into season.Hair gets thicker and darker from summer till fall or winter.That sable looks like it is in its summer coat now maybe he will get darker.As for hunting an animal in a picture.Well that animal could be on 10,000 acres or more that is just the one they would like to try for.I would bet his PH has just found what his client wants and plans to hunt that animal in know way does that mean they will be getting the animal.Better then the ph taking him to a ranch that only has sable 40" and under and the client never having a chance at what he wants.The picture to me just shows what animal they would like to try for and who knows maybe a bigger one could even walk out in front of them.
  6. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    That's just a sable he's seen in the area. He's seen one he says is much bigger but didn't get a picture. After we hunt sable we are going to south Africa to hunt on a cattle ranch for nyala. That place is not high fenced and the ph i am hunting with there has been seeing 30 inch nyala. He sent me pics of one he saw but we both know we may never see him. The point is that the pictures I am getting are only pictures of what type of genes are typically being taken in that area.

    As for the sable, I have wondered about season affecting hide color as well. Can anyone confirm this?
  7. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Lets see a pic of that nyala please.
  8. Mark H. Young

    Mark H. Young AH Senior Member

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    tap

    I honestly can't tell from that thumbnail how dark that sable really is. My experience though in seeing quite a few sable is that the big herd bull will always appear black. If horn length is very important to you a very old bull is not what you want. The smooth tips of his horns could be worn back several inches making a bull that was over 40" at his prime a 36" specimen now. Also some areas in fact a lot of areas do not have the genetics to produce those over 40" bulls regularly. The Delta area in Mozambique has amazing numbers of sable but you had better not turn down a 38 incher there.

    I'm hopeing that the sable in the picture is just an example and not a sable that your PH has on his property to be shot. I say that not because I have anything against hunting on a fence property but because the sable I have seen on game farms are about as wary as a domestic cow and offer not much of a hunt where kudu, eland impala etc act the same on 5,000 acres as they do on 100,000.

    Finally if you cannot be satisfied with a sable under 41" you need be prepared to go home without one because even the wildest places with the best genetics cannot guarantee you 41" plus.
  9. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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  10. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I remember reading that the Royal or Giant Sable had been cross breeding with Roan in Angola. And they were a brown mix. And I have heard the Roosevelt Sable being brown in color too. And I have heard they are doing a lot of genetic research on the sable in Africa...when they have the funding to see how seperate the species...really are?

    Anyway in the lastest's Peterson Hunting Magazine you will see Boddington's huge Roosevelt Sable! Taken in Tanzania.

    Now that I have a better look at the huge picture of sable...he is black in the front by his head.
  11. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    the picture shows a nice sable...now picture quality is another issue.

    The direction of sun light on the sable is one item to consider.

    The picture shows very little shadows. either we have over head bright sun or we have cloud cover.

    I will opt for the bright over head sun.

    The bright sun will bled color away in your pictures.

    Look close and you will see the the coat is darker on it underside out of direct sun.
  12. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I think James is right about the light. Regardless the color, anyone who would turn down a head like that is a fool.
  13. wswat

    wswat AH Member

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    I leave for my second safari in 8 days to bow hunt Sable. Any tips on judging Sable and field scoring this animal. I know its not all about score and size but I want to take a good animal or I will just hold off.
    Will be hunting in RSA so was thinking 40" plus.
    What's everyone's thoughts?
  14. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    No tips on judging Sable here but some horn visual including measurement...

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    43 inches

    [​IMG]
    42 1/2 inches

    [​IMG]
    42 1/2 inches

    [​IMG]
    44 1/2 inches

    [​IMG]
    43 inches

    [​IMG]
    51 inches

    [​IMG]
    40 inches

    [​IMG]
    41 inches

    [​IMG]
    44 1/2 inches

    [​IMG]
    36 inches

    [​IMG]
    46 inches

    [​IMG]
    40 inches

    [​IMG]
    40 inches

    [​IMG]
    42 1/4 inches

    [​IMG]
    43 inches

    [​IMG]
    45 inches

    [​IMG]
    41 1/2 inches

    [​IMG]
    46 inches

    [​IMG]
    39 inches

    [​IMG]
    44 inches

    [​IMG]
    38 1/2 inches
  15. bcarper

    bcarper AH Veteran

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    Thanks for the beautiful pictures Jerome! Brian
  16. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    You have to look at the mass, the shape of the horns, and also how worn the horns are. A 40 incher is possible but if you get a old warrior with mass that would be nice too.

    It also depends on the outfitter, where you are hunting and how many are on the property.
  17. Wheels

    Wheels GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Great pics Jerome.

    If you look in the judging trophies section here, Ole Bally states that it is 12" between a sables eye and nose. That might help.

    Trust your PH's advise. That's what you are paying him for. Best wishes and shoot a big one.
  18. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    wswat good luck on your bow hunt be sure to come back and tell us about it.

    Jerome thanks for the awesome pictures I'd take any of them.
  19. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    It may not seem like much, but if you look at how high the horns rise above the head of each sable....it's all about the inches, if you are looking for length. Another 3 inches or more for the ones that sweep up and back or make that big C shape.
  20. wswat

    wswat AH Member

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    Thanks for all the info! The pictures help a lot.

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