What qualifies as a Trophy

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by CK1, Apr 18, 2010.

  1. CK1

    CK1 AH Member

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    I'm trying to find some reference material for what constitues a "trophy". Specifically, what horn length makes an animal average, good and great. For example from getting ready to go to Africa I know that a Kudu of 50" is very good, 55" is extraordinary and 60" is out of this world. But I'm having a tough time finding this kind of information on other African plains game animals . Any suggestions where to look?

    Thanks.

    CK
     
  2. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    Take a look at the SCI Record Book and the minimum scores for Bronze, Silver and Gold categories. The minimum score for each animal for entry in the record book is the minimum for a bronze medallion. The minimums for silver and gold are, naturally, higher. This will give you some idea but it is only a reference because 'trophy' size can vary from area to area. In truth there are lots of real trophy class animals that are shot each year which will not make any record book because they have broomed their horns to the point they do not score well or their antlers have started to regress because they are well past their prime.

    If you go on the SCI website you can look at the Record Book pages and call up the top ten for the various species and many of the top ten entries have photos for you to look at. This helps you get an idea of what a high end trophy looks like but the very best can sometimes distort a persons perception of things and lead to mistakes.

    It also helps if you narrow your search to what is considered a 'trophy' in the actual area you will be hunting and your PH or operator should be able to tell you what you can expect. You can also scan the books for entries from the area/country you will be hunting and get an idea from that as well. Record books are good reference material as they give scores and when they were killed, which is another thing to keep an eye on as it can indicate which areas are currently producing animals that score well.

    I absolutely understand your wanting to get a handle on 'trophy' criteria so that you have some idea of what you are looking at when you get out there, but don't get too hung up on it. An old male past his prime that won't quite squeak into the 'book' is a far better trophy than a younger male in his prime that will easily make it, but should really be running around in the bush for a few more years spreading his genes around.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  3. CK1

    CK1 AH Member

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    Kelly,

    Thanks. I completely agree. I'm just trying to get a feel for what I'm going to be looking at.

    CK
     
  4. Gerhard

    Gerhard AH Veteran

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    I prefer to look at Rowland Ward book of records.

    The min requirement for qualifications to register a set of horns for me is a trophy.

    But then any animal I have hunted was a trophy for me....
     
  5. Skyline

    Skyline AH Fanatic

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    I look at Rowland Ward as well but much of their scoring system is too simple and is based just on length for the most part, of the longest horn. In many cases this penalizes older animals and encourages the killing of younger males. Little credit is given to mass and, particularly when you step away from Africa it really falls apart. Such as scoring a caribou based just on the length of the main beam. When they are finished the upgrade of their scoring system, which is currently under way, Rowland Ward and the game animals will be so much the better for it.

    I am not singling out Rowland Ward however, as all scoring systems have their faults, including SCI. The big thing is that they work towards improving them and doing the best they can to develop scoring methods that lean towards animals which are past their prime. In the end though it is up to the hunter and his guide/PH to know when to pull the trigger and when not to. Doing what is best for the responsible management of the particular species should always supersede getting your name in the record book.
     
  6. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    CK, Check this out: How To Measure Your Trophies

    Roland Ward's website has been infected badly for some time now with a malicious malware software, see warning below, DO NOT VISIT ROWLANDWARD.COM website at this time. I believe that they are aware of it and trying to fix the problem, but as of yet been unsuccessful.

    [​IMG]
     

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  7. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I'll be honest with you, trophy quality all depends on the area you are hunting and quality of the habitat and game management in the area. There is a awesome section on this website that helps you judge animals. Most of the animals you look for mass and length. Kelly is right look at the SCI Trophy books, bring excellent binoculars....and the big thing that helped my was watching all the shows on the Outdoor channel...a lot of great hunts are on TV.
     

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