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Trophy hunting: For or Against?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by winwun, May 16, 2003.

  1. winwun

    winwun Well-Known Member

    While realizing there are countless thousands of sincere hunters who make no bones about going for a trophy, I believe it is demeaning to the human condition and is not ennobling of the hunter in general to kill something in order to brag about doing it. I hunt. I am a meat hunter. If I don't eat it, I don't shoot it. The standard picture of a hunter packing out a trophy rack does more harm to the so-called "ethics" of hunting than we can repair by clean living. The obvious question, is "Where is the rest of the meat and the hide?" We can't answer the question. If a person wants a head as a memento of a treasured event in his/her life, then so be it. But to plan ahead for the "memento" and to waste the meat and hide is, in my opinion, questionable and speaks not well of us as a group. I take the first deer that comes along and if it is a nice rack, then that is the luck of the draw. The meat will likely be tougher than a yearling doe. An old man in the upper part of the state told me once, "You can't eat them horns. Hell, they don't even make good gravy".
  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    This is one of those arguments which is subject to a lot of confusion. There are as many realities to hunting as there are hunters.

    Seems to me that about the only thing that's really important is that the meat not be wasted.

    I know that at the deer lease that a bunch of us had back in the 1970s, there was an unending "oneupsmanship" effort going on, every season. 'My buck's bigger'n yours!" But everything got eaten...

    Staying with horned critters: A trophy animal is nearing the end of its lifespan. Its genes are in the pool. Aside from killing an animal that is smarter/warier than the younger ones, and therefore putting more effort into "earning", you've kept it from dying of starvation as its teeth finally wear down beyond an ability to graze or browse.

    Sure, there's the low-life that would shoot a magnificent trophy and take the head and hide and leave the rest. They represent a statistical irrelevance. Sorta like the old bit that bank robbers drive cars, but not all drivers rob banks.

    Besides, there's more meat on trophy-sized critters. :) And, if you know what you're doing, they're tender and tasty.

  3. Bruz

    Bruz Well-Known Member

    Trophy hunting: For or Against?

    The premise of your question is that if one is for trophy hunting then that person is only killing for the trophy and letting the meat go to waste? I have not heard of any hunters that let the food go to waste. I do not feel there is anything wrong with trophy hunting as long as the meat is used...if you do not use the meat (and it is not a pest) you are not a hunter you are a poacher.

    I used to believe that one should not kill it unless you were going to eat it, till I started shooting gophers...:scrutiny:
  4. cratz2

    cratz2 Well-Known Member

    Hrmm... we'll... when I think of trophy hunting, I think of Africa and I am told that no meat goes unused in Africa.

    Here in North America, and these are considered fighting words from the PETA-type, but I honestly believe on the most basic level in the survival of the fittist. If you were walking through a field and a wolf wanted to take you, he wouldn't worry about how you would look mounted on a wall, but he would take you. By the same token, if you are out hunting and you happen to see a choice example of whatever it is you're looking for, why would you not take it? You're there for the hunt, regardless of if you eat the meat or not so what is wrong with waiting for a particularly choice one? Maybe I just don't get it.

    And, while I'm sure different areas of the country are different, around here, if you shoot a deer and leave it for a week, there won't be a nice little deer carcass... coyote and birds and probably other little things as well will more than likely find it, so the meat is not going to waste even if you leave it.

    I guess put me down as a pro-trophy hunter though if at all possible, I don't understand why a hunter would hack off the head or rack and leave the meat so I guess put me down as a 90% pro-trophy hunter. ;)
  5. winwun

    winwun Well-Known Member

    Thanks, guys, for some well reasoned and thoughtful replies to, as Art said, a very touchy subject. Art, you brought out some aspects of the hunt that had not occured to me.

    I am still "bugged" by the picture of the single hunter packing out the rack. I realize the picture is staged, but the message is bad.
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    winwun, I hope you don't believe that the various anti-hunting groups are above falsifying appearances! :)

    Years ago, an anti-hunting group showed some film of hunting from airplanes in Alaska. What they did not tell the audience that the shooting of wolves from the plane was being done by employees of Alaska's game department in a population control effort.

    In another sequence, they made it appear as though a polar bear had been shot from the airplane. The reality was that the plane was used to find the bear. The plane landed the required distance away and then the hunter made a cross-country (cross-ice?) stalk for the shot. The plane was merely a variant of the lower-48 use of a truck or ATV to get into hunting country.

    As with the anti-gun crowd, the anti-hunters are quite happy to lie. Hunters are merely people, and are of much less importance than animals. (Seems to me to be a bit of a dichotomy, there.)

  7. MeekandMild

    MeekandMild Well-Known Member

    Considering that around here the "Food Bank" is constantly begging for meat and there are a half dozen processors who donate their time cleaning it for them I think that trophy hunting is all right. If you don't like the meat then somebody else wants it.

    Somebody should make a documentary showing time lapse movies of a bowl of cute little bean sprouts growing then cut to a nasty PETAphile pulling them and devouring them on her bagel. Talk bout evil and wicked! :uhoh:
  8. Preacherman

    Preacherman Well-Known Member

    In Africa, even trophy animals are typically eaten (unless it's something like a lion or leopard, which don't taste nice at all...) I've seen many trophy animals carefully skinned and "headed" by the PH's staff, and the meat then taken back to camp for staff use, or distributed to local villages. On culling operations, there are often factories set up to handle the disposal of the largest carcases, meat, hide and all.

    One of the more impressive sights in African hunting is if you kill something very large close to a village... I watched a game ranger take down a rogue elephant that had been destroying crops near a Zambian village. He downed it about 300 yards from the village. In less than four hours, virtually every single scrap of edible meat had been chopped, cut and torn off that elephant by about 400 excited, happy villagers. Their comments were along the lines of three or four tons of edible meat delivered to their doorstep made up for three or four acres of destroyed grain! In fact, some of them even got INSIDE the carcass, and were cutting from the inside out while others cut from the outside in. Made for a few hair-raising escapes!
  9. JohnDog

    JohnDog Well-Known Member

    It could just be a question of logistics. The head, rack and cape of a big bull elk can easily weigh over 80 pounds. The next trip you might see the guy carrying out a hindquarter. But you don't see those pictures, those aren't the glory shots.

  10. Bruz

    Bruz Well-Known Member

    some of them even got INSIDE the carcass

    Wow Preacherman, i"d like to see that...ya did'nt take any pictures did you? Do they use machettes, knives on poles, or just regular knives.
  11. sm

    sm member


    Stimulates the local economy. Meat is not wasted. Economy again helped through the taxidermist, which again stimulates economy at the local level again because hunter wants to return...or because of his success others wants to go afrter viewing taxidermists work.

    Hey the locals depend on hunters say on Central /Southern American Dove hunts...

    In anything there are those un-ethical. Poachers ... be it 4 legged , has fins ,or flies.

    At least I'm honest about the natural order of things...unlike some groups whom twist facts about critters...while they use paper products to print misleading facts , and wear leather shoes to protest in.
  12. Feanaro

    Feanaro Well-Known Member

    Hunting just for a trophy seems wasteful to me. If you eat or sell everything but what you want as a trophy that's okay but it's a waste of good meat otherwise.
  13. winwun

    winwun Well-Known Member

    Art, again you made some good points about the opposition's tactics. Sort of an amusing aspect of this occured last year, one of my hunting buddies was mad, he was conned into making a $25.00 donation to "the opposition" who used the format, coloring, type styles, etc. of the standard NRA "begging letter". He should have noticed something strange when they said to make the check out to "cash".
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Feanaro, I think we're all pretty much in accord about the issue of the meat and how extremely rare any "casual" or deliberate wastage might be.

    Consider this, however: For those whose goal is the biggest deer or elk one can find, it is common for many trophy hunters to not shoot at all at some "lesser" animal--and might not fire any shot at all during a season.

    However, whether or not an animal is killed, the experience of the hunt is still there. "One does not hunt in order to kill. One kills in order to have hunted."

    It is not unreasonable to view many trophy hunters as having far higher standards than "just us guys". They work harder to fulfill a self-imposed requirement.

  15. WYO

    WYO Well-Known Member

    I hunt on public land where trophy quality animals require very hard hunting and passing up shots on a lot of other legal game. I don’t have what it takes to do it, but I have a lot of respect for people who are trophy hunters under those hunting conditions, because they pass up a lot of shots that I would have taken. Also, in most places, there is a wanton waste law, meaning that meat cannot be abandoned on animals classified as “game animals." The only people I hear of who abandon the meat of game animals are poachers, not trophy hunters.
  16. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

    In Colorado, it's not "questionable", its a felony.

    I also think its a rare occurence. Hunting offenses such as these will make the news here, and wasting game meat doesn't show up in the news very often. Usually when it does, it's out of season professional poachers.
  17. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member

    In my camp, we have a saying... "If you kill it, you skin it. If you skin it, you eat it." I can't imaging killing any kind of game and not keeping the meat. I've heard of someone killing a deer and giving it to a needy family, but never just for the "trophy". If legal game walks by me in season, it's probably going down regardless if it's a "trophy" or not. Of course, as Art said, everyone wants to bring in the biggest, but IMHO, bambi's make the best eatin'. :D

  18. Feanaro

    Feanaro Well-Known Member

    I can respect any man who imposes standards upon himself that make things more challenging. But I A. think it's too much trouble and B. wouldn't have a place to put a trophy if I wanted one. They can hunt their trophy deer and I will hunt "joe-blow" deer. ;)
  19. Keith

    Keith Well-Known Member

    Trophy hunting of the type described simply doesn't exist. Or, more precisely, it is properly termed; "Felony".
    If somebody kills a game animal and doesn't take the meat, they've just broken the law and most hunters (including myself) would take great joy in turning in such a person to the local authorities.

    This is one of those PETA inspired myths, that the term "Trophy Hunter" refers to a type of hunting where only the antlers are taken. Why would anyone think that a hunter so skilled as to only take trophy animals, would not take the meat?
  20. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Hey, I'll go ya a deal that's on the weird side: "Anti-trophy" hunting. One deer season at Terlingua, a couple of guys were jeeping along in the back country and found only the head and a little of the neck of a really good 10-point mule deer buck.

    First time I ever heard of somebody taking a carcass and leaving a really good set of antlers!


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