Yeti

Trophy Hunting?

GoCougs3006

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After listening to Hunt Talk Radio Podcast #31 featuring the guys from the Boone & Crockett Club and the discussion about "Trophy Hunting" and how the moniker is being used negatively by the anti crowd, I was surprised when I saw the title for this blog post and that it was in affiliation with the RMEF. http://blog.eastmans.com/trophy-hunters-nightmare-public-land-selloff/. What are everyone's thoughts on this and the use of "Trophy Hunting".

*I apologize if this has already been brought up in a different thread.
 

Topgun 30-06

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Seems like a weird title for what was discussed in the article seeing as how antis are against stepping on an ant and not just killing the biggest of the big game species!
 

hank4elk

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I'm eating trophy venison tonight.Had trophy cow elk the night before....
 
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I'm eating trophy venison tonight.Had trophy cow elk the night before....

My thoughts on this as well. Us being in the hunting world and immersed in it I think most of us have a different idea of what the word "trophy" means when it comes to the game animals we kill as compared to the idea that anti hunters have of the word.
 

MTGomer

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I think many have trophy hunting and poaching confused. The anti side thinks it is killing an animal simply for its antlers and not eating it. That's called an expensive felony in many places.

I guess Im a trophy hunter. We have a 3 month hunting season and I refuse to end it in one or two days by killing the first legal animal that steps in front of me.
 

hank4elk

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I'm the same and rarely take the 1st one...but I did on the buck last year.One I would have passed the year before.
The opening morning bull I had in my sights last year was a wall hanger for sure,gone in a flash and a dream still,only chance I had in 5 days......that's hunting.
 

James Riley

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I don't like the term "Trophy" but I will own it because it's become part of our vernacular. I don't like people trying to define the terms of a debate without first sitting down with the opposition and coming to an agreement on what it means. If they are going to paint it one way then I'll not go on the defense and complain. I'll move beyond their sneer and go directly to the merits of the case.

I have "trophies" but I don't view them like a bowling trophy on the mantel, or as any kind of testament to me or my skills. I view them more as a testament to the animal and a reminder of the hunt; the memory. It is not phallic and has nothing to do with small penis size or some manifestation of inadequacy in killing a better being with my big gun.

There is something deeper. I think it is in our genes. I think Cromagnon and Neanderthal felt the same way. I think those houses made of tusks were more than mere utilitarian. I think those Dakota, Crow and Blackfeet stacked them in piles for more than a cairn or marker. I think they held old Bull Skulls up to the sun with an understanding that eludes the antis. I think skulls are more than evidence of success. I like antlers. I like skulls. I don't care if I killed the animal or not. I like the ones I find, the sheds, stuff I've bought, and I will freely distinguish those from my kills when showing them to admirers or others. After all, it's not about me. It's about the animal. I like driving by barns and looking at what's hung up on the outside. The more the better. I like a skull on a ranch gate. I like seeing them laying 'in situ' on the ground. I like to hold them. I like the weight and the shape and the symmetry.

I like them for what I believe to be the exact same reason our ancestors painted them on the walls of caves in Europe, or on rocks in Africa and America: It brings what I love, like, respect, admire and yes, desire, into my home, close to me. I wouldn't mind being a live one. If I were a bird, I'd land and sit on them as they grazed and lazed.

Do I want to reduce them to possession, from a live animal? Yes, but not all of them. The bigger the rarer and the more difficult the hunt. I like that.

I am fully prepared to allow the law to check my desires in the name of science and perpetuation of the species but so far they say it's okay to go for the "trophy" and thus I do. Anyone who has a problem with that is divorced from that which they pretend to love and defend. y'Gasset has a lot to say about them, and it's sad. Sad they don't know the hunt, or, really, life itself.
 

sbhooper

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Trophy hunting is a catch 22 situation. The burning desire for trophies, is what is fueling the runaway license fees, outfitter controlled lands etc., etc. People seem to be willing to throw whatever money at the cost of a hunt, just for the trophy antlers. Outdoor programming is fueling this craziness, also.

The other side of the coin, is that all the money that people throw at this pursuit, increases the desires for land managers etc., to preserve and protect the species due to the monetary value of its head gear.

The loss of public access will only serve to drastically increase the cost of these trophy hunts and will push the average people out of the equation-as in Europe.
 

shootbrownelk

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The RMEF are against the transfer of Federal BLM & NF to the States. Our access on State lands in Wyoming are severely restricted right now. I hunt 100% on BLM & NF...I want to keep it that way. Like I said before, the Democrats want your guns and the Republicans want to take away your places to use them. Liz Cheney (from Virginia) is running for Wyoming's sole House seat, she is 100% FOR the land transfer, she won't get my vote.
 

jzeck2

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I here all too often from friends and fellow hunters that you can’t tell me what to do or what to say, I’ll say and do what I damn please and if you don’t like it tough. I’m afraid this is an all too common response and will be among the last nails pounded in our own coffins. The use of the phrase trophy hunting and our dogged determination to keep using it falls into this category. I, as a hunter don’t have a serious problem with the word trophy, but I understand what many of us mean when using it. For us the trophy is more than the dead animal and few pounds of antler or horn, it is the experience and how we can relive that experience every time we start the grill or see the antlers on the wall. Unfortunately most of society does not understand the term as we do.
We must realize we live in a world (the U.S.) where the vast majority of people are non-hunters, how much support we get from them depends on how they feel about us and our hunting culture. We have all heard the 10-80-10 statistics, 10% are hunters, 10% are anti-hunting and 80% have no strong opinion on hunting and probably most would support it if done in a way that seems reasonable to them. Far too many of us act like we only have to deal with the 10% and these actions disenfranchise many in the 80%.
Unfortunately most of the hunting media is doing their best to disenfranchise the 80%. We get a lot of talk on horns and antlers, we get a lot of hanging from trees, then we get the kill shots and the remainder of the show is antler porn. If we are lucky they mention that they will be donating the meat since they shoot so many animals. What we don’t see in many instances is any talk of the landscape and habitats the animals live in, their habits and traits, the challenges they and their habitats face today. Finally we hardly ever see or hear anything about the value of the animal beyond the cape and antlers. Of course there are exceptions and folks like Randy Newberg and a few others are producing material that goes above and beyond this very limited and to many of the 80% distasteful shows and videos they see on TV and YouTube.
I personally have become very selective in what I post on social media, I try to be very careful in the way I speak or write about my hunts. My typical post today is a picture of the elk burger I just grilled up and comments along the line of free range and organic food. Do I post pictures of the animals I have harvested, the answer is yes. But I do attempt to show more than the grip and grin photo with a bloody tongue hanging out. I try to show the place as much as the animal, the struggle it took to harvest the animal the camaraderie with friends and family.
We all have choices to make unfortunately the choices of others will affect the rest of us in being able to enjoy our lifestyle. We can go on making offensive comments to the 80% and thumbing are noses and we will surely see their support fade or we can try to communicate the reason most of us got into hunting, being in the wild places, observing all of nature, and the procurement of the best natural protein one can get. Or we continue down the path of not caring what anybody thinks, the “you can’t tell me what to do or say” but unfortunately they can, they will do it in the voting booth. Instead of the “wackem and stackem” comments try to communicate the real reason you are participating in this lifestyle.
What we say and do does make a difference. Our use of language is an important tool in educating and informing the 80%. Let’s get out dictionary and thesaurus and expand are intellects and those who are watching and listening. Or we can just keep doing what we have been doing and keep watching the hammer blows fall on the nails.
 

idelkslayer

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As far as the blog post is concerned they are absolutely right that a public land transfer will quickly destroy our access. I don't believe that is will destroy the land because it will take care of itself but our access to it will be diminished or completely lost.

As far as trophy hunting I typically hear the antis saying something along these lines: "I don't have an issue with meat hunting but I hate trophy hunting." Part of the misunderstanding is what the terms actually mean and what they think it means and how the ethics of each type of hunting differ. Most antis hear the term trophy hunting and what they envision is the killing of animals for their antlers/horns and leaving the rest of the animal to rot where it lays whereas we know that trophy hunting does not result in wasted meat. My wife grew up in Portland, Oregon where she was taught and believed that hunters would drive around in their pickups with semi-autos and machine guns and shoot everything that moved, then cut the heads off of the bigger animals and leave everything to rot. Only after moving to rural Idaho did she discover how wrong that was.

What the antis don't understand is that the only type of hunting they can tolerate is trophy hunting because trophy hunting embraces ethics while there are no ethics in true meat hunting. True meat hunters don't care how the animal dies as long as they can take the meat from it. This is why Native Americans and prehistoric peoples all over the world chased animals off of cliffs and cornered them in deep water, (practices that would send antis into into a frenzy if modern hunters used them). Their goal was the meat and they didn't care how they got it, there's no room for ethics when you and your family are hungry. However even these meat hunters valued the trophy aspect of their kills, They painted hunting scenes on stone walls, they kept animal parts for bragging rights and for ritual. Antis have this belief that meat hunters are more ethical but they are transposing the ethics of our modern fair-chase hunting culture to meat hunting and it never happened that way.

True meat hunters would set snares and pit traps and wouldn't care if the animal suffered or for how long. True meat hunters wouldn't practice fair chase because because why would you give you prey a chance to escape if you need it for food; you would exploit every weakness and every advantage to make a kill and that is the opposite of modern hunting ethics.

I do believe that we have gotten too focused on the trophy aspect of it however no one who practices fair chase hunting is a true meat hunter in my opinion. Fair chase places value on more than just the meat obtained, it places value on how the meat is obtained and therein lies the difference and the reason why we are all trophy hunters to some extent.
 

jzeck2

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What the antis don't understand is that the only type of hunting they can tolerate is trophy hunting because trophy hunting embraces ethics while there are no ethics in true meat hunting. True meat hunters don't care how the animal dies as long as they can take the meat from it. This is why Native Americans and prehistoric peoples all over the world chased animals off of cliffs and cornered them in deep water, (practices that would send antis into into a frenzy if modern hunters used them). Their goal was the meat and they didn't care how they got it, there's no room for ethics when you and your family are hungry. However even these meat hunters valued the trophy aspect of their kills, They painted hunting scenes on stone walls, they kept animal parts for bragging rights and for ritual. Antis have this belief that meat hunters are more ethical but they are transposing the ethics of our modern fair-chase hunting culture to meat hunting and it never happened that way.

True meat hunters would set snares and pit traps and wouldn't care if the animal suffered or for how long. True meat hunters wouldn't practice fair chase because because why would you give you prey a chance to escape if you need it for food; you would exploit every weakness and every advantage to make a kill and that is the opposite of modern hunting ethics.

I very much disagree with your supposition, and I'm afraid this does more harm to our cause. I grew up knowing a lot of "meat hunters" and not a single one of them was unethical. What I hope you are talking about is the "market hunters of the the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. the folks that TR fought so hard against and why he set aside the federal lands we enjoy so much today.

Language is important, and being precise in your use of language is important. If indeed you met "market hunting" then we agree, if you met what you said and throwing meat hunters under the bus hurts our lifestyle.

I am not opposed to hanging a beautiful set of antlers on the wall, nor am I opposed to a beautiful medium rare elk steak sizzling on the grill, We need to communicate all aspects of the hunt and do it carefully and precisely realizing we do no good when we only reinforce the opinions of people who are already on our side. We need to win the hearts and minds of the people in the 80%.
 

James Riley

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I very much disagree with your supposition, and I'm afraid this does more harm to our cause. I grew up knowing a lot of "meat hunters" and not a single one of them was unethical. What I hope you are talking about is the "market hunters of the the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. the folks that TR fought so hard against and why he set aside the federal lands we enjoy so much today.

Language is important, and being precise in your use of language is important. If indeed you met "market hunting" then we agree, if you met what you said and throwing meat hunters under the bus hurts our lifestyle.

I am not opposed to hanging a beautiful set of antlers on the wall, nor am I opposed to a beautiful medium rare elk steak sizzling on the grill, We need to communicate all aspects of the hunt and do it carefully and precisely realizing we do no good when we only reinforce the opinions of people who are already on our side. We need to win the hearts and minds of the people in the 80%.

Semantics. Like I said, people need to agree on terms before engaging in logical argument. Just as I said "trophy" has come to a certain meaning. Rather than debate it, I skip to the merits. However, the term "meat hunter" has also come to a certain meaning. A gloss has been added to it which includes the ethics you reference, but strictly speaking, a meat hunter kills for meat to eat and that's the end of it. A wolf is a meat hunter. Ethics are not part of the equation.

So, rather than "us" getting all split up over terms, we should ask if we foisted the terms upon ourselves, or are these placed upon us by outsiders? If the former, then I think we can agree that meat hunters today get the gloss. And we know what a trophy is. But we are talking about what outsiders are saying about us. If "trophy" is a dirty word, then so too can "meat hunter" be a dirty word. Why does "meat hunter" get the gloss and "trophy" does not? Makes no sense. That is what I gleaned from idelkslayer. I agree with him.
 

GoCougs3006

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I'm just confused why RMEF (or whoever wrote the article) decided they needed to put "Trophy Hunters" in the title. No matter what we hunters define trophy hunting as, the anti's all see it as someone going out and shooting an animal purely for the antler/horns/skull/hide purely for the image it portrays and do not care about and/or use the meat. And Unfortunately this is how most of the non-hunting public also view "trophy hunting". Like most hunters I know, the experience of hunting, followed by the meat in my freezer are the most important aspects of hunting for me. Would I rater shoot a larger animal than a smaller animal? You bet I would. And is only harvesting the mature males of a species the best way to conserve a hunted species? Yes again. But as logical as all of this is to us hunters this is not the image of trophy hunting that most of the non-hunting public has. Most non-hunters can not understand that hanging a set of antlers on wall is a sign of respect and a great reminder of good times to most of us. Much like hanging a picture on the wall is for them. They see a set of antlers on the wall as a bragging piece that we use to fuel our egos. For this reason I do not like the term trophy hunting. Even if it is only used between hunters who get it.
 

James Riley

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Off topic. Once upon a time and a long time ago in a land far far away I was security in the home of a foreign allied general. On his wall in a "trophy" room, along with many animals, was the head of a NVA with a pith helmet with star, and a bayonet in his teeth. I could not read the language on the brass plate below but it was translated to me by another as something to do with the height, weight and location of the kill. It was legit.
 

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