Every animal I kill is a trophy to me. I guess I could be called a trophy hunter by some folks, I simply try to kill older animals if I can. I do have a few heads on the wall but they are in my office or bedroom and not on display in the rooms company commonly frequent with the exception of a pronghorn skull my wife likes on the living room wall. I keep the horns/antlers and mount or otherwise preserve them not for something to brag about but more like a tribute to the animal or as a reminder of the hunt. I also have a lot of family members who love game meat but don't hunt so I share with them. If i'm hunting strictly for meat I try to find an old doe. I tend to let a lot of young animals walk away. Most of the "professional hunters" make me sick, they are not hunters at all in my book, simply shooters. Some of them are just clowns who I doubt could even find a deer on public land let alone kill it. They just pay someone else to do their hunting for them. I really think it's a personal decision that each of us must make and live with. If someone wants to only shoot large specimens that's fine by me, as long as the meat is put to good use I don't have a problem with it.
Live to hunt, hunt to live.
Its all in the hunt. Not the kill, not the kitchen, not the photos. I can't say that I've eaten everything I've shot (prairie dogs, coyotes, fox, ect.), but I can say I've made use of the animals I consider edible and believe everyone else should as well. Like every other ethical dilemma when hunting, there seems to me a wide variance in what is considered the minimal acceptable use of an animal. Its obvious we all fit somewhere in the middle of the Native Americans who used every usable part of an animal and the buffalo hunters of the past who wasted almost everything. Wild game doesn't tickle my taste buds as a beef ribeye would, but there is much more of a sense of accomplishment and an ease of mind knowing that the skill to provide still lives on with each bite of a wild animal.
There is a sort of compassion that accompanies me to the field. I find it difficult to pull the trigger on uneducated deer. If my goal were to simply fill my tag every year I have no doubt I could do so in a quick manner. The hunt to me is a reason to get out and be part of nature. I have many tags end up in the garbage and that is okay with me because all that means is that I got to hunt the whole season. I consider all the close encounters with young animals to be practice for when or if the time comes when I will have to use this skill in a practical manner. To know I have taken a mature and wary animal simply means I am simply on top of my game as far as hunting skills are concerned.
There are many different opinionated people on this site. The difference from this site to the next is that most of the discussions are healthy, peaceful, and honest and can in fact change the opinions of its readers or at least help some shed some light on why some hunters are the way they are. I enjoyed reading this thread and am encouraged with the enthusiasm it shows. It shows that, all of us are passionate about our....lets call it heritage instead of a sport.
This is a Wisconsin calico buck. Cabelas paid this guy $13,000 for the cape and horns. Thought it would be appropriate with all the talk about WI. I think this guy would consider himself a trophy hunter.
I don't Break the rules, I Modify them.
I think most hunters weather they are trophy hunters, meat hunters or somewhere in between are good hunters with good ethics. There are just a few trophy hunters that all all they care about is killing the biggest buck or bull they can and dont care about anything else or how much it costs, and a few meat hunters that all they care about is killing something no matter what, and they give both a bad image. Its just horrible here where I live. Its mostly open farm fields and opening morning there are pickups and 4 wheelers chasing deer all over. Some of them dont even know whose property they are on. If you drive out in a field after 9am opening morning and a deer sees you 1/2 a mile away they are gone on a dead run. I even had a guy shoot in my direction near my house on the border of my property and the neighbors. I dont say his shots werent backed by a hill but the muzzle was still in my direction. I tracked him down and told him he was lucky I didnt return fire as that is the first thing I think of in situations like that. We have lots of whitetails but I dont even hunt around here because of how everyone else hunts.
Well now thats a buck of a different color IKIC lol
I'd like to add one more comment so there's no misunderstanding about me.
I may have strong opinions on hunting methods, but all it means is it's something I wouldn't do. I hold no bias if someone else does it. It also doesn't mean we can't be friends. One of my best friends uses bait, and a tree stand. Of course I rag him about it, but we're still best friends.
There are some who i'd have nothing to do with, but I don't call them hunters, and see none of that on this forum.