Most Misjudged Plains Game Species?

bo4elk

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To clarify, I am a pedestrian when it comes to field judging plains game. I will rely on my PH. I completely trust his judgement, I am not worried about making a mistake, but I am curious.

Is there a particular plains game animal that gets misjudged more than others? Perhaps a trait that can lead a less experienced eye to over-estimate either the age or size? I’ve read the tiny ones can be difficult, what about the larger ones?

Here in Oregon we hunt black bears and hunters often refer to their colorization as an indicator of age or size. In my experience colorization is not a good indicator of either age or size.
 
I’m not sure misjudged is correct word, but there seem to be a lot of kudu measuring tapes that start at 4 inches. Then there is a special 60” tape too.
 
Oryx I think. Their horns are often quite proportional to their bodies. A loan animal is a challenge to judge. JMO....................FWB
 
Honestly most are for one reason or another, unless you spend a lot of time in the field.
 
@bo4elk
As a retired OSP Game officer and prior to that, wildlife biologist, the pronghorn is the most often misjudged Oregon critter! I don't know how many told me they were after a 16 inches to come in with a 14 with weak prongs! This was very common.

With the African stuff??? Kudu?

With all that said, put the tape away and enjoy the hunt! The rest will fall into place
 
@bo4elk
As a retired OSP Game officer and prior to that, wildlife biologist, the pronghorn is the most often misjudged Oregon critter! I don't know how many told me they were after a 16 inches to come in with a 14 with weak prongs! This was very common.

With the African stuff??? Kudu?

With all that said, put the tape away and enjoy the hunt! The rest will fall into place
You beat me to it with the pronghorn. Difficult to gauge at distance. Six inch ears and go up from there doesn't seem to work well.
 
@HuntingGold Ya, I would agree with that one. Been there. But was thinking of African game. The pronghorn has fooled all of us from the Western US..........nice to see 6 or 8 bucks together to judge them better. Not a lone one.........FWB
 
I cannot judge or misjudge any African PG. When I get over there I am so dam awed by it all even the small ones look like shooters and I mean small ones of every species not just tiny ten's. Takes me a couple day to a week to even notice size differences, but I am no inch hunter. Mature and old is what I notice.

I have never had a PH tell me tight ballpark inch number and be wrong or off though. Herd animals are easier I think as you have comparable to look at. Any individual is more difficult, each species has its idiosyncrasies, sweep back, hooks, curls, and of course length and width. Seeing a big tusked pig is easy.

When in Africa I trust fully what my PH states. Like shoot/don't shoot.

Even at home here black bears are so common and still difficult to judge. Not a 5 ft, 6 ft or 7 ft but a 6.6 or 7 ft bear, I still need to look for a long time to decide, luckily we get 2 tags.

Sorry I am no help with your question.

MB
 
I cannot judge or misjudge any African PG. When I get over there I am so dam awed by it all even the small ones look like shooters and I mean small ones of every species not just tiny ten's. Takes me a couple day to a week to even notice size differences, but I am no inch hunter. Mature and old is what I notice.

I have never had a PH tell me tight ballpark inch number and be wrong or off though. Herd animals are easier I think as you have comparable to look at. Any individual is more difficult, each species has its idiosyncrasies, sweep back, hooks, curls, and of course length and width. Seeing a big tusked pig is easy.

When in Africa I trust fully what my PH states. Like shoot/don't shoot.

Even at home here black bears are so common and still difficult to judge. Not a 5 ft, 6 ft or 7 ft but a 6.6 or 7 ft bear, I still need to look for a long time to decide, luckily we get 2 tags.

Sorry I am no help with your question.

MB
+1. On my ONE African PG hunt, I had no idea what size horns of ANYTHING were good. I had no idea what a trophy animal was among the various species. Like you, I told my PH I wanted to shoot an older animal regardless of the horn size. He agreed and that's what I shot and wasn't at all disappointed. To each their own but that's just me.
 
I remember shooting some firsts. Meaning shooting the first time I had ever seen that animal. Ant bear and eland come to mind.

MB
 
You beat me to it with the pronghorn. Difficult to gauge at distance. Six inch ears and go up from there doesn't seem to work well.

This is why I hunt with FFP scopes. I can use the reticle to measure the width of the spread and the hight of the horns. I can tell 18" spread vs a 22" on a WT with ease. (As long as they give me the opportunity and angle).
 
After spending 10 days trophy judging during PH school I found that the hardest, for me, has been the Kudu. Judging inches, not "Holy crap, that is a monster". Most that have looked at enough Kudu can do that. It's the one that takes all the time for me.
 
After spending 10 days trophy judging during PH school I found that the hardest, for me, has been the Kudu. Judging inches, not "Holy crap, that is a monster". Most that have looked at enough Kudu can do that. It's the one that takes all the time for me.
DEFINITELY experience speaking here ...
 
Kudu for sure and then the ever present impala.
Try and find an impala specific to make Roland Ward minimum you will see its not easy.
 
Last August my PH had me lined up for a +50" kudu on his property that he had seen two weeks earlier when they were packing out one a client had shot. Took several days before we could get him. Turned out to be only 44" and PH felt very badly about misjudging the length. I was okay with it. The bull had very pretty horns, not beat up, nice spread (but not too much), symmetrical, and lots of twist. I don't live in a castle and not sure what I'd do with a 60" kudu anyway. My last kudu was quite a bit longer but not as pretty, especially after African taxidermist overcooked it. I got a fine cape from that one but this last one's cape was no good with several bald spots, so it worked out well. Between the two of them I'll wind up with a nice looking pedestal mount. Anyway, the point is my very experienced PH was fooled entirely, even after we had spotted that bull several times. I didn't have a clue. Nor did it matter. The country was spectacular and the animals were challenging to hunt.
 
I suggest you simply talk with your PH at the beginning and tell him you’d like to hunt and take older, fully mature animals. If you do that, the inches will take care of themselves. Some animals will likely be in their prime with great length while others may be worn or broomed down but still excellent trophies in their own right.

I think you’ll have more fun if you savor each day, take the ups with the downs and don’t stress over how big something is.

You’re about to enjoy the time of your life!
 

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