Standards For Trophies

Discussion in 'Judging Trophies' started by Guster, Feb 12, 2015.

  1. JacoS

    JacoS AH Legend

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    I believe the question was answered by BRICKBURN.
    Yes a 55 can be young or old true, as protectors and conservationists in charge of self sustaining ranches and or hunting areas it is the PH's responsibility and his duty to manage an area for the better of its entire wildlife population, this is sustainable Utelization in practice and in short CONSERVATION.

    Any other approach just does not cut it. I personally will pas a 5 year old 60" kudu and harvest a 11 year old 54" that's conservation not a though but rather a fact.

    I have no problem with size in conjunction with age.

    My best
     
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  2. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Just to show things from a different angle and because there are many models of conservation:

    Harvesting females is a valuable part of conservation. How do you select only the old females past their breeding prime?

    If conservation is only effective when you harvest just animals past their breeding prime, then why do ranchers "harvest" primarily young animals as the backbone of their breeding programs? there is no chance that we will be running out of cattle because of it.

    Lions are a very different situation, most game animals do not kill the young of others when the dominant animal is removed. this is why Lion conservation is so much more complex than other game.

    And just a little more food for thought re: the doctor analogy. The people you are taking out are not the uneducated masses, rather they are doctors in their own field of expertise. To say that a general practitioner has no business having a say in a patients care simply because a cardiologist or pediatrician etc has more expertise in a single field is ludicrous. they all have an excellent understanding of medicine (or hunting in our case) and are just as qualified to form their own opinion on the subject. To indicate that because you are a PH, the rest of us are not qualified to have our own opinion is more than a little insulting.
     

  3. JacoS

    JacoS AH Legend

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    That is how you get to reach maximum potential of your genetic material... Genetics 101 also states that you should tap all you can out of every breeding female available.

    Young animals are predominantly taken of ranchers to bring numbers down (that is culling) not sustainable utelization by means of trophy hunting.

    Of course what I have stated above does not apply to ranches that put and take for obvious reasons.
    the doctor analogy: if an operator runs an area the area is operated and run by 1.) conforming to quota, and Laws.
    2.) sound management principles employed on such areas as stipulated by wild life authorities and good old common sense as mentioned above.
    3.) no one has better knowledge of this than the operator and the guy who dedicates his life to it.

    I reckon that is a fair and u insulting way to put it.

    My best always
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

  4. JacoS

    JacoS AH Legend

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    Diamond it should be added that, no one hinted at education levels.

    But when it comes to conservation it takes more than a little common sense... As the latter will only get you so far.

    As operators we operate areas for 15 years sustainably (not put and take) due to these management priciples.

    We also take and invest time blood and money into "African waste" land and by employing these very management principles such areas are turned into thriving rehabilitated sustainable hunting land.

    It is not a thumb suck it a science we do EIA's (environmental impact assessments for every possible specie) every one of these species receives a very particular management plan and when it all said and done it is based on the same principle. Post prime harvesting (whether it be lion, leopard, or Kudu) it does not matter.

    Sustainably uttelizing an area by means of trophy hunting can only be achieved by the principles I have mentioned throughout.

    Point in case once again, Matesi safari area's overall decline in Sable trophy quality as large males were harvested prematurely, a management plan was put in place and the problem is in the process of being solved, results are already visible.

    Leopard in limpopo another example.

    As operators we are the responsible party, and to be quite frank on my area I am the guy with the knowledge and know on how to manage populations correctly.

    Once again I kindly refer to the Doctor analogy, or lawyer or accountant... All knowledgable in their respective fields and requires more than just a little common sense but rather an in depth understanding build up through education and experience.

    My best always
     
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  5. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    All I am saying is there are differing conservation goals and strategies.

    Simple math says that if you harvest animals of random age but only harvest excess animals, those being females greater than the population goals (taking into account the reproductive rate of those left behind) plus leaving enough males (of random age) to breed each and every female, then a sustainable balance will be achieved and conservation will be a success. Any more involvement in the process is selective breeding.

    Game ranching has taught us that the genetics the female carries are more important than the male anyway so any selective breeding program will have limited success when random females are bred to exceptional males. Not to mention the fact that if a yearling bull with 60" genetics breeds a cow the odds of a large horned offspring are better than if it is bred by an old inferior specimen.

    Taking female genetics out of the equation, allowing all males to breed is detrimental to promoting large horns so harvesting them young is best. Im not sure if that is what you are referring to as conservation?

    Conservation is simply put - ensuring the survival and genetic diversity of a population. No more, no less.

    The knowledge levels referred to above were inferred by the analogy of yourself as the doctor and the rest of us as mere patients in need of advice and guidance.

    Not looking for a fight Jaco, but there is more than one way to skin this cat. We need diversity of ideals as much as game needs diversity of genetics. Any method or ideal that fully utilizes excess game while leaving a self sustaining population behind for future generations is fine with me.

    Peace bro :)
     

  6. JacoS

    JacoS AH Legend

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    Once again Diamond one you are referring to controlled environments with virtually no predation, white tail are different from African game.

    Mature breeding bucks should be left to complete the breeding cycle, they will have their Harems and young buck Do get the opportunity to do their share as well, females and young animals are culled to control population growth.

    Once again that is a different management tool on ranches. On large self sustainable active Eco systems utelized for trophy hunting, the principles as decribed above are the ones to follow and accepted on all areas in Africa.

    Your sheep are managed the same way.

    I see no value apart from shallow bragging rights in harvesting prime animals purely for horn size and I firmly believe our industry should be about more than that, especially if we want to pawn of our philosophy of trophy hunting as conservation tool.

    Suggesting that prime species should be harvested will bring about major repercussions as we have witnessed on many areas over the last 15 years. The results are there the management plans were put in place and they are effective.
    If we can just get them to be followed by PH's not clients... A ph's point out the specie and to be quite honest he should be qualified to do so, especially considering that he has done so in 100's of cases.

    Ensuring all species to reach their maximum potential breeding and trophy quality wise is the only way forward. We have the same management plan on certain APNR areas on elephant.

    Otherwise we could shoot 46" soft bossed buff ........but...., we don't we pass that bull, and hunt groups of or solitary Dugga boys to stay away from satellite bulls in herds, and harvest post prime.

    That is a simple as the math gets.

    The Trophy hunting ideal would be to harvest the appropriate post breeding male to ensure minimum disturbance within an active and functional ecosystem.

    some ranches cull (young males and females) trophy hunting does not fall in this category.

    Once again for us to justify TROPHY HUNTING as a conservation tool these are the only steps we can follow.
    If that means passing up a 6 year old 58" kudu and taking a 11 year old 53, 55, or 56 then so be it.
    Same with lion, leopard, elle, or any other species out there.

    On genetics it is an equal 50/50 split this has been proven. The differences comes in that most females get bred. Not all males get the opportunity to breed (not all males are that lucky due to competition and not all large prime males get the opportunity either) this we have also learned.

    But genetic trait wise between a superior quality bull breeding a superior genetic female it is an all square 50/50 split.

    On the analogy take it as you wish ;)

    My best
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

  7. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Birthrate > = death rate and population below carrying capacity = effective conservation regardless of whether there are any members of the population >1year of age (assuming sexual maturity at 6 months). Anything more than that is game management, which is nothing more than managing a population for specific traits, age size, color, whatever.

    I think the terminology is our problem here.

    We will have to agree to disagree on this one Jaco. :D Beers:
     

  8. JacoS

    JacoS AH Legend

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    Probably, and so does the rest of Africa, in managing their large hunting areas.

    I am failing to see the problem: only post prime mature males to be harvested by trophy hunters.... So if it's a 13 year old 45" buff its a shooter.
    If it is a 6 year old 45" and its standing next to a 13 year old 42" which one do you shoot as a conservation minded hunter?

    Or rather which one does the ph call (no matter what you're paying its besides the point)

    There is no failure to compute here it is one of those very easy choices you think long run and management wise as we should or its all about shallow image.
    ;)
    My best
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015

  9. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I agree with BRICKBURN.
    Witold
     
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  10. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    I agree that most people want to harvest an old mature animal, myself included but we seem to throw the term conservation around freely in situations where it does not apply. I am going to try to explain one more time what I am getting at.

    If a population is not in peril or under threat of peril and has sufficient genetic diversity then it is said to have been conserved. If no other action is taken at this point it will continue to exist and therefore no further action is necessary. If that population then becomes threatened or will become threatened unless action is taken, then conservation must step in to ensure the viability and genetic diversity the species needs to exist.

    A population that is stable and does not require our assistance to exist can be managed to suit our goals as a natural resource. Game management can take many forms depending on our goals and ideals. Universally it must be conducted in a fashion that would preserve (sustainable utilization) an therefore not require the conservation of the species (over-utilization), beyond that it is up to the individual game manager to decide how to manage it.

    This management can take the form of maintaining a minimum number of male animals required to breed all available females. since carrying capacity is the same for the entire population the lower population of male animals allows for more female/young animals. This along with the removal of all excess animals each season will maximize the number of animals and the amount of meat produced from a particular area and is a sound management practice. It is however not conservation since its goal is maximum profit and neither helps nor hurts the species as a whole.

    Managing for the maximum number of post breeding male animals is another form of game management. It does nothing to conserve the species. Instead it produces the maximum number of old animals available for harvest. It is not conservation because it also attempts to maximize profit in a similar way to the first scenario, and neither helps nor hurts the species as a whole.

    Removing perceived inferior animals (small or deformed horns for example) in an effort to mold the population to specific management goals is also not conservation since it does nothing to ensure the survivability of the species, it neither helps nor hurts it. The same s true no matter the desired trait, be it color, length of hair, size of horns etc etc etc.

    African game ranchers as a whole try to manage for the most trophy animals possible, therefore the most profit from a property, conservation has nothing to do with profit, individual goals or ideals but rather the preservation of species as a whole.

    Does game ranching and hunting help conserve species? Absolutely, by giving them value. That is where conservation begins and ends in this regard no matter what specific traits individual managers value.
     

  11. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I get what you are saying, there is a lot of game management in Africa. Nothing wrong with it all in my opinion, actually wish we had more of it in the USA.

    The biggest problem we have worldwide is conservation of land for wildlife versus human needs and wants.
     
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  12. JacoS

    JacoS AH Legend

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    Diamond you are arguing semantics one last time from my side.

    To sustainable utilize an area post prime males should be harvested (trophy hunting)

    By doing this it contributes to conservation.

    I believe you are a little off par as far as some ranches management plans are concerned, many operations introduce only males to shoot them of every season, this has no advantage to our biodiversity and only provide smile in photographs... For this specific reason most ranch owners and ph's do not know how to ID suitable specimens as there is no need for them to do so apart from and inch estimation perspective, and for this very reason many foreign hunters are not informed as such.

    If one solely hunts for inches the inches will soon dissapear.


    That's is it.
    My best always
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015

  13. JacoS

    JacoS AH Legend

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    Conservation is a constant effort IMO "something" that constantly promotes the well being of game populations, habitat and biodiversity. Whether this be Selectivly harvesting post prime trophy species, anti poaching, erosion control or general habitat protection.
    But rather than separating these it is all these management tools combined.


    If we as hunters hunt trophy species prematurely we are not contributing in a positive way to the well being of the species we are uttelizing and the spill over effect of this will have implications to our biodiversity down the line.

    There is no excuse (no matter how high the $ sign for harvesting prime breeding specimens)

    Does ivan do it? No

    Does buzz do it? No

    Does Martin do it? No

    Does Pieter do it? No

    Does Jacques do it? No

    And I refuse to do it and if a hunter has an issue with it I am reasonably sure he'll find a sausage factory somewhere to entertain him, no serious self respecting professional hunter will entertain this.

    My phone died hence the half reply earlier.

    My best always
     

  14. jeff

    jeff AH Legend

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    Just an observation from all the plains game photos I see it looks like most are mature animals but not past breeding age. On many species the window between post breeding and death by old age is a small window.
     
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  15. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    And in a natural setting it is almost unheard of at all.
     

  16. JacoS

    JacoS AH Legend

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    Nope it's not that would be a gross assumption...... And a very risky statement..... On pg are we referring to introduced or not. Or don't we know??

    And while it is neglected on private ranches it is still no excuse to not be able or educate one self on a continual basis with regards to being able to age animals properly.

    We can go at this indefinitely, if I and many other reputable PH's and outfitters hunt that is the way it is.

    Yes I Reffered to myself as reputable... ;) I often refer to myself as hot as well...;)

    Animals should have the opportunity to breed and pass on their genetic, reach their optimum potential, and once they pass over their prime age they can be harvested, hence the minimum ages on Sable in Matetsi, lion everywhere in natural environments, leopard in multiple locations, Elle and so on.

    My best always
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2015

  17. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    That's from hunting in Moz in November!
     
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  18. JacoS

    JacoS AH Legend

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    Wahahaha ain't that the truth! And sticky not to forget full of Sh....1....t
    :);)
     

  19. Warbird782

    Warbird782 AH Enthusiast

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    I know a PH who misjudged a Nyala on the hoof by 3/4 of an inch on the short side. The client pulled a tape measure out of his pocket when he approached the downed animal and measured the horns. To the amazement of the PH the client refused to pay for the animal and threw a fit until the outfitter gave him another Nyala that "measured up".

    For me a good representation of a mature animal is what I am after. I know about what both of my Cape Kudu measure but not exactly. I know what I am looking for in my next kudu as well. Part of it for me is the shape of the horns and not so much the length. I like kudu horns that are wider and Nyala horns that flare out at the top instead of going straight up or in. Those are just two examples of what I am looking for.

    I believe that any outfitter or PH will try and find you a good example of a trophy for their area. After all if they let you shoot little guys that does not look good for them. Their reputation is on the line.

    Before you go, read and study the animals that you plan on hunting. Ask those that have been to that outfitter what kind of trophies that they saw/shot to get an idea what to expect. Lastly leave the tape measure at home and enjoy the hunt.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
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  20. jeff

    jeff AH Legend

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    The PH should have hauled that guy right back to the airport!! A good PH can make a close estimate but they don't have a crystal ball.
     

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