Trophy Debate

Discussion in 'Judging Trophies' started by shooter, Sep 13, 2015.

  1. dobber

    dobber AH Enthusiast

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    while i know the speculation is all that it is, but here is the truth, the real truth to the shot and why i took him




    It was self defense, that Kudu had a knife and was willing to use it
     
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  2. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Well done Dobber. :W Revolvers:
     
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  3. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Touché Dobber!
     
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  4. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    For me glassing the game and making my own decision is HUGE part of the hunt. I hunt with my binoculars and shoot with my gun. And I would absolutely hate to hunt with a PH that said shoot that animal there, with no say at all. The hunt would have no value to me. Some PH's are excellent at judging game and others are not worth a $#%&. I think it depends if they do this for a living every day of the year.
     
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  5. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I think his point was that a lot of opportunities are missed by the hunter not being on the ball and ready to shoot when the opportunity presents itself. Those opportunities can be fleeting.
     
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  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    You learn that from Hank and that Damned Bliksem Volstruis!
    Glad you protected yourself and the community from that bloody Kudu.
     
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  7. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    While I am damn sure not an expert on kudu but I can imagine if one sees enough of them over time you would get pretty good at it. I can tell you I can look at whitetail does, and bucks who have already shed for that matter, in my area and be pretty damn close on aging them by looking at body characteristics. Animals much like people age in a certain way. One can look at a teen child and tell the difference between that and a person in their 40's. It's easier with people because the average joe sees a lot more humans Dailey then deer or kudu for that matter but.... If given enough experience animals are no different.
     
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  8. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I totally resent that.
    I am totally sure that I at 48 still look like I did at 18:D
     
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  9. thi9elsp

    thi9elsp GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    So, is that because of memory loss or poor eyesight! Mine is mostly memory loss at 55. :ROFLMAO:
     
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  10. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    There is a total difference between attitude and your appearance.

     
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  11. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    Nice Brick, I've always like Brian Adams music but I got news for him. He definitely isn't 18 anymore. Lol
     

  12. Ado

    Ado AH Veteran

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    I have given a lot of though to whether to get involved in this thread or not... I decided to have my say.

    The hunter is happy with his trophy.

    It is legal.

    The PH and Owner are happy.

    End of discussion in my book.

    We need to be very careful with this discussion as it (intentionally or unintentionally) diminish the hunters trophy which he is rightly proud of.

    Well done on securing your trophy...

    Ado
     
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  13. ChrisT

    ChrisT AH Enthusiast

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    I have several trophies hanging on my wall...

    My Red Hartebeest shoulder mount is that of one I shot donkey's years ago in the Kalahari... This was long before I became involved in the professional hunting business and in terms of the landowner's rules his guide had to accompany all hunters in the field...

    Whilst my buddies and I were there primarily for a meat hunt, I had never hunted a Hartebeest before and as such told the guide that I wanted to shoot a trophy Red Hartebeest. We came across a group of Hartebeest and the guide pointed the one out to me that he wanted me to shoot. I didn't even use my binoculars. I got my rifle up, trained the crosshairs on the shoulder and the Hartebeest dropped at the shot. When we got to the Hartebeest, it was a female and not a "trophy" bull...

    Was I disappointed? Well maybe a little but not much... It was my first Hartebeest ever, to me it looked like a nice one - even though it was female - and I didn't care if it was male or female. And to be quite frank; I still don't care. That Hartebeest shoulder mount has travelled with me and adorned my walls ever since and still brings back great memories of a great hunt with great friends and a good shot made with my .375 at 250 yards. So to me - that female Red Hartebeest is a trophy - one that I'm proud of and will forever cherish. (And, I saved myself some bucks by paying for a female instead of a male...)

    I shot my first Kudu bull early one morning in KZN... It was not exceptional by any standards - it only measures 49"... But I shot it on my Birthday as a "from Chris - to Chris" present and like all my hunts it is one I will never forget. Since then I've shot many kudu - including a 60" bull that also now hangs on my wall...but the kudu trophy that has the most meaning to me is that 49" bull that I shot in KZN...

    So yes; a trophy is in the eyes of the beholder and nobody should judge others based in the size (or in my case - gender) of their trophies.

    On the point of shooting young animals...

    There are many reasons why a property owner might want to have young animals shot on his property. For purpose of this discussion I will list two popular ones...

    One such reason might be because he has too many animals and he has to cull them or risk starvation in the dry season. From a logical point of view - it would make more sense culling young / sub-adult animals than culling trophy animals. (And Now I'm referring to the common definition of "trophy animal" ie. Mature, big-horned). A trophy animal can be sold to a hunter at trophy prices - which is significantly higher than meat prices so one would be quite silly to cull a 50" East Cape Kudu of 5-6 years old instead of a 2 - 3 year old bull... And with such shooting of young animals I persoanlly see nothing wrong. In fact; more often than not - it HAS to be done in the name of conservation.

    Another reason why one might want to shoot younger animals is to enhance general trophy quality on a property. Many Kudu Bulls will never become big trophies and to the trained eye, it should be noticeable quite early whether a bull has the potential to reach 60" or not. So if a landowner's goal is to produce exceptional trophies and one day have a 65" bull that will fetch more than $700K on auction, it would make perfect sense to shoot the inferior bulls with shallow curls or abnormal horns before they get to breeding age - thus rather allowing the bulls that has potential to become really big to breed with the females and spread their genes... Again; I see nothing wrong with this. There is a logic to doing so.

    Whether or not a hunt for an animal shot for any of the above two reasons should be sold as a trophy hunt is an entirely different question but as this Is not related to the original topic I will keep my opinion for myself.

    Best,

    Chris
     
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  14. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    You've done an excellent job of expressing what I think most hunters understand and believe.

    I sure do agree with you on that particular statement as well.
     
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  15. Dragan N.

    Dragan N. AH Enthusiast

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    Gizmo, I am wondering in your opinion from a conservation point of view is it better to shoot a mature animal that is in its prime or to shoot an immature animal? I mean I am pretty sure its quite clear that shooting an animal well past its prime is the best for conservation as that animal has passed on its genes and is longer doing so and depending on the species it might actually pose a threat to younger breeding or not yet breeding individuals. And the character some of these trophies from such animals is pretty damn cool. However a mature animal in its prime (especially if it is an exceptional representative of the species) is actually passing on its genes the most during that point in its life and is at its full potential. Now the younger or immature animal may have a lot of potential but there is no guarantee it will make it to maturity. A lot of animals face some of their highest death rates during their first years as they still may not have the size and strength to fight off potential predators that they would have in adulthood and they also lack the "wisdom" for lack of a better word that a mature animal has when it comes to escaping predators, finding food etc... So would the likelihood that they will survive and breed next year or two years from now be lower than that of the mature animal in its prime? My apologies if this question is stupid or some of the stuff that I've written is but I am genuinely curious about this...
     
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  16. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    Actually quite the opposite, you pose a very good question. Now I can say the vast majority of my experience is in whitetail and mule deer in the Texas panhandle. Books can and have been written answering your exact question. The state of Texas has spent millions of dollars in studies answering that question as well. Point being that is a very good question.
    I will readily admit I am no expert with a doctorate in wildlife biology but I have taken several classes on this subject, attended several seminars, and worked with the state biologist on my ranch who sets our management plan for the last 5 years.
    I'll take a shot though and try to answer without writing a book.
    First, an animal will never reach its potential unless given sufficient time to do so. I.e peak maturity. Now whitetail deer tend to reach this level at 5 1/2 years of age, mule deer at 6 1/2. (Mule deer mature later than whitetail). So unless allowed to live that long you never really know what you've got. Studies on the kwma have shown that even spike deer at 3 1/2 years old can grow to be very nice "trophy" deer. Reason being is it isn't necessarily a result of genetics. Late fawn birth, drought, poor food sources, high stress, and many other things play a huge factor into antler growth.
    Also, just because an animal is young doesn't mean it isn't actively breeding. The fact is that deer begin to breed at 1 1/2 years old or their first hard horned year. Deer breed more the first half of their life then they do the last as breeding and the rut take a huge toll on the animal each year. After time the animal begins putting more effort into sustaining life than breeding. (I.e post mature animals)
    By removing only mature animals the benefits are twofold. 1) the animal has the opportunity to reach full potential and 2) by removing those mature animals it ensures the younger generations have the oppurtunity to breed thus keeping a strong and healthy herd.
    By shooting immature animals you are making absolute certain that the up and coming generations have no chance to breed and contribute to the gene pool.
    It's much like anything else you can only use one particular set of genes so long before it can start causing problems. ( yes there are exceptions and much depends on what end goals in a management program are but even those who use sire bucks over and over must mix it up a bit before genetic problems begin to be exposed).
    One thing is for certain, a certain way of destroying a population is to start targeting immature animals. Now culling can be a beneficial tool, there are two main types of culling 1) population control and 2) genetic removal. Population control is typically (on North American deer populations) done by the removal of femal animals as that provides the ends without damaging the herd if done properly. Specifically with out upsetting the target buck to doe ratio's. In most cases if not all it is to improve the buck to doe ratio and bring the herd back to balance.
    Now genetic removal would be removing those male animals that show certain traits that are less desirable. This is only moderately successful and many other things must be done over the long term to work as the female carries 50% of the genes. This is generally the last part of the management program and is still only done on mature animals as a general rule.
    I hope this helped and before I get a million responses talking about the specifics of this and that my intent was to give a cliff notes answer without writing a 100 page thesis on animal management and biology.
    Dragon N there is, with very few exceptions, no so such thing as a stupid question. If you have any other questions or would like further explanations I will be happy to answer if I can. If I don't know the answer which can be very likely depending on how technical you get I can certainly try and find out for you as I have a pretty good working relationship with the state biologist for my area and they use my ranch at times for research. ( we have a research project starting next month on our panhandle mule deer on my place and those surrounding me) I can also point you in the right direction if you would like some books and articles on the subject. Thanks, Erik
     
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  17. Norwegianwoods

    Norwegianwoods SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Well explained gizmo.
    From a pure conservation point of view when it comes to deer, it doesn't matter if you shoot some young bucks as it normally is more than enough bucks to breed the does.
    You might kill a future high scoring trophy, but that doesn't really matter from a conservation point of view.
    If trophy quality is the most important to you, then you need to let all bucks live till they reach maturity, no matter how big/small they are at young age.
     
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  18. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    Thanks, I try my best to have my deer herd better off at the end of the season than it was at the beginning of the season. I may not always accomplish this but that is always my goal.
    At the end of the day I feel it is my duty to do this for the animals that I care so much about. The thing about management is that what works in one place doesn't necessarily always work everywhere. There are a few basic principles that I feel are pretty universal though no matter where you are.
     

  19. gizmo

    gizmo AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Ambassador

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    Norwegianwoods I might only add that the most efficient way of culling animals is to remove the females. Also you have to be very very careful removing immature males, as a culling tool, as it upsets you buck to doe ratios. That's why for every buck we kill we have to remove 2 does. You also have to understand that buck mortality rates are much higher. That's a key point many forget. The stress of the rut, fighting, vehicle accidents, etc effects bucks and mainly young bucks the hardest.
    The way I've been taught and the biologists have pounded in my head is simply you dont shoot immature animals period. Am I saying its the end of the universe if one immature animal is taken, no I am not. I'm simply saying either your serious about conservation or your not. Also I have to agree with Simon on that from the pictures the land owner has posted of the piles of kudu, the bulk of what I see are immature animals. Now, it's not my property and it doesn't effect me one bit so not a whole lot I have a right to say about it other than my original statement of that your either serious about conservation or your not. It's sad that far too many people cave on proper management plans all in the name of the all mighty dollar.
     
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  20. UKHunter

    UKHunter AH Fanatic

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    I don't think it is possible to apply one form of conservation and culling to every environment or property. All will differ in many aspects from habitat to population percentages. To say that culling immature males is bad conservation is a very ambiguous statement. A good management plan will involve culling animals across the full age spectrum. The percentages of different age groups will depend on the requirements of the cull plan based on the individual environment.
     
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