Proposed New Method of : Scoring The Horns Of The African Buffalo

Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by BRICKBURN, Dec 15, 2011.

  1. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    It appears there is great concern about the impact of Sport Hunting on Buffalo.
    I have not read all the critical articles referenced but from recollection the SCI scoring system (The measuring air comment) is being held up as somewhat accountable for this pressure on younger bulls.
    For those of you who have or have not hunted a Buffalo what do you think?

    I just happen to like the look of the Buffalo on the 100 Rand note myself.

    Anyway, food for thought.

    AFRICAN INDABA 12
    Scoring The Horns Of The African Buffalo
    Kai-Uwe Denker


    Editor's Note: It appears that the present scoring methods induce hunters to taking bulls which are yet to achieve their prime. The shooting of these buffalo bulls is far from desirable as the goal should be those which are at the threshold of crossing into, or are already in, post-prime status. Consequently, many buffalo bulls are harvested before they have achieved dominant breeding status or, worse still, even before they have participated in the breeding process. Yet nothing definitive came from earlier proposals and criticism (see Kevin Robertson, Winston Taylor, Craig Boddington) and the scoring methods remain by-and-large the same and thus the harvesting of sub-prime bulls has continued. It is therefore encouraging to see a group of highly experienced professional hunters led by Kai-Uwe Denker suggesting an alternative measuring method which takes into account what the previous authors mentioned. African Indaba is proud to have permission to be the first to publish their proposals in English.
    The original German article appeared in Erongo Verzeichnis f? afrikanisches Jagdwild? No. 1/2011, published and edited by Kai-Uwe Denker (for more details see www.erongo-recordbook.com). Peter Flack assisted with the translation.

    In April 2010, the trophy working group, consisting of Kai-Uwe Denker, Gerhard Liedtke, Ronnie Rowland and Ernst-Ludwig Cramer, engaged in a number of lengthy discussions. They finally developed what they consider to be the most objective way of measuring bovine horns, stating that this method focuses on tangible horn growth and not on measuring air as is the case where the length of both horns is measured from tip to tip with the gap between the bosses being included. As such, the most appropriate way was considered to be the sum of the length of the longest horn plus the width of the bosses.

    The conclusions led to the following proposal:

    The length of both horns and the width of both bosses are measured and recorded on the score sheet.

    The width of each boss is measured at the widest point, at right angles to the skull axis, following the natural curvature of the horn material, from the lower edge of horn material at the front to the lower edge of horn material at the back.

    To measure the length of each horn, a carpenter's square is placed in the gap between the horns so that the inner horizontal edge touches the lower edge of horn material. The starting point for the length measurement is the intersection of the 45˚ angle with horn material. The measuring line starts at this point, follows the lower edge of horn material to the outer edge of the horn curve and, from there follows the line of the curvature to the tip.

    Boss width and length of the longer horn are added

    The next step is the determination of the approximate age in order to determine the multiplication factor.

    Multiplication factor 0.0 i. e. buffalo bulls of less than 8 years of age which show an incompletely hardened boss will not be ranked

    Multiplication factor 1.0 for mature bulls in the age group 8 to 10 years, which have a completely hardened boss, but where the boss still shows vigorous live cell growth,

    Multiplication factor 1.1 for prime bulls in the age group of 10 to 13 years old, which show distinct signs of cell aging, like deep corrugations and a rugose surface on the boss as well as the start of horn surface deterioration such as the flaking of smaller horn sections, apart from a completely hardened boss;

    Multiplication factor 1.12 for post-prime bulls estimated to have exceeded 13 years of age where there is an observable shrinkage process of horn material between the bosses with a corresponding wider gap covered by thick, horny and hairless leather skin, as well as conspicuous flaking of horn material over the surface of the bosses
  2. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    And the Tanzanian $500
  3. Bert the Turtle

    Bert the Turtle AH Veteran

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    Sounds like a good idea. It is ridiculous to use a scoring system that encourages killing young bulls.
  4. Mike70560

    Mike70560 AH Fanatic

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    This is the link to SCI's cape buffalo records. Click the camera icon to see the photos. There are some very nice buffalo. There are also some that appear to be young.

    Safari Club International - Record Book
  5. richteb

    richteb AH Enthusiast

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    Agree completely. Still at the end of the day it is up to the hunter when it comes down to shoot or not.
  6. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    I like this idea at least in principle. There are those hunters who hunt with a goal of getting into the record books if not getting their name near the top. Personally I'm not that hung up on that, though I was at one time. Found it became too much of the focus and that it took away from enjoying hunting just for the sake of being out there. But there will always be those who want to chase the records. Changing the standard for making the record books such that it puts more emphasis on age seems to make sense.
  7. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    When a client go on safari to hunt Cape Buffalo he is looking to get one. Heck he may never get another chance and is willing to shoot anything that come by. Now scoring it is another matter.

    Deer hunter go into the field every year and very few shoot mature animals. Most doe's and small bucks. same could be said here.

    The difference is that young cape buffalo will sometimes score higher that a old mature bulls
  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Here is what I posted when this topic first came up. Score them like NA sheep and the more they break or wear the bigger all the circumferences get equaling or exceeding the score of an unbroomed or worn horn. No need to try to estimate age (a guess at best unless tooth rings are counted under a microscope) and no complicated calculations to roll around in your head whie in the feild.

  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I agree with the sentiment however the process listed above seems overly complicated. Why not simply eliminate the "air" from any measurment and leave the rest as is and maybe stipulate that an obvious soft, immature boss cannot be scored. This would leave room for those who dont care if they score their bull or not and for those who will, the PH will have to take the boss into consideration before letting the client bang away.
  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Interesting idea Ses, That would make it easy.

    I guess the folks are attempting to shift ideas about "what is a trophy".
    May just lead to less pressure on some herds breeding bulls.

    During my Buffalo hunt we spent a good amount of time trying ensure I was not enamoured with taking the breeding bull. I understood why from a smaller herd perspective and the impact I might have but never contemplated it on the large screen.

    Diamond, "The first time around" was several years ago and no action has taken place, hence CIC, et al are revisiting the subject.

    There was supposed to be action on this from ALL the scoring systems and a meeting was called and apparently SCI was invited and could not show up because of "lack of available funding"!
    More likely felt like they were going to be subject to a "witch hunt." Their scoring system was at issue underneath it all.

    The jist is, people are still concerned about the impact of hunting on various populations of species, including Buffalo, and the conservation minded folks would like the hunters ( a major tool in conservation) to help with the rethink of the subject.
    Since your dollars will drive the direction of conservation in Africa.
  11. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I don't know about all that scoring I just wish we could bring the meat home, love the taste of Kudu.
    ;)
  12. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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  13. PaulT

    PaulT AH Fanatic

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    I was asked a couple of years back to provide some input into this debate by some of those responsible for debating the issue.

    I too reccomended a system similar to that which Diamondhitch has outlined in his reply above.

    Im my view any scoring system for horned game such as Cape buff, as well as our own Asiatic buff, should place precedence and reward on maturity of animal.

    At least in our own buff (Asiatics) this maturity is displayed in girth, both at the bases of the horns as well as along the horn length. Often mature age buff horns will be chipped, splintered and broomed off in the ends.
    Younger aged bulls will carry long, thin, pointy tips with less mass over-all.

    Amongst Asiatic buffalo a 100 point (s.c.i) bull is considered the quitessential Trophy, but I can assure you that there is a HUGE difference between a 100 point 7 year old bull (who will accumulate most of the score in horn length) and a 100 point 12 year old bull who's horns may be shorter but MUCH thicker, with bases 18" or more.

    As bulls age and enter the various different stages of life they will grow (long and thin) begin to increase in horn weight, then begin to use their horns for the intent (at least one of) that they were meant for.. and that is fighting. During fights they will break, chip and splinter. In between fights our buffalo will take out their frustrations on termite mounds, trees, other buffalo (sometimes my vehicle !) and other obsticles in an attempt to feel better about their strength and dominance.
    Decades of this level of use (abuse) will show tellingly on a buffs horns and in my opinion cannot be replaced by any particular score or record book placing.

    Where it is possible we try and steer, advise and educate our clients towards the more mature Trophies, thick bases, scared and chipped-thick horns on a well aged post dominant bull, but at the end of the day we cannot dictate what the client wants, or is prepared to take as HIS Trophy.

    To suggest that it is the responsibility of P.H's to create a new focus on a long held traditional way of veiwing/rating Trophies is a bit of a long bow to draw.

    The general hunting public needs a drastic change in perception/value of Trophies, (generalisation ofcourse) more towards the Eureopean way of valueing age above any score before we see a radical change in this aspect of our sport.


    Regardless of any of the above, the generally used and accepted current means for scoring these animals does not promote and reward the taking of the correct age class of animal that is conducive to proper long term Trophy management/propogation.


    Things do need to change.
  14. Calhoun

    Calhoun AH Enthusiast

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    Regardless what we use for a scoring system - you will never stop shooting of immature animals. Try as you like some hunters & or outfitters just won't follow the unwritten rules on taking trophy animals. Education is the only way & it won't happen 100% of the time. Money will always have a big part in it. Unless the system really subtracts points or penalizes the hunter for immature animals the process will never end.

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