Utah Wildlife Forum banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
897 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This topic was hashed pretty well on the DWR site but I have not seen a thread on it this year yet so I will open the proverbial can of worms. What constitues a trophy? I suspect that most everyone would agree that a "400" bull elk would be a trophy so why? What is it about a 400 bull that makes it a trophy? Well they are beautiful and majestic but I think that the thing that makes them the most sought after is that they are rare. The more rare a prize the more of a challange it would be to get it. O K, so the past several years hunting in a spike only area on public land durring the regular rifle season I am sure I have seen and passed up good shots at more mature bulls than spikes. So would that not make it more challanging to shoot a spike than a mature bull? So why do so many hunters deem it an insult to their manhood to shoot a spike?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,169 Posts
My answer lies in the name of the topic. "eye of the beholder". I have shot a spike elk before and at that time it was a trophy to me. However a Spike is no longer a trophy to me. I hunt the any bull regions because I have checked off my goal of a spike elk. I am now looking for one that is a little bigger/older. If we are speaking about elk, then a trophy to me would be something that is bigger/older than what I have already shot. Don't get me wrong, I love the meat, but that is not the only reason I hunt. I look for other qualities now in elk. I just don't feel good about shooting a spike. I don't think it is wrong in all cases. But for me it is. I believe that the trophy really does lie in the eye of the beholder like you said. For this reason, if someone tells me they think a spike is a trophy, then great, good for them. I am happy for them. But I expect the same understanding from someone else about my beliefs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
What constitutes a trophy?-
I for one would shoot a spike and not worry about what someone thought about my manhood. Now don't get me wrong I would love to harvest a a nice 350 class or better bull. One day I will but until I have the resources, time, and permit to do so I am just as happy taking home a spike, raghorn bull, or even cow I worked hard for. A trophy for the wall will be great to have but I have more trophy's in pictures of hunts hanging out with my dad (He cannot hunt anymore due to physical limitations) brothers, freinds, and now my own children.

I suspect that most everyone would agree that a "400" bull elk would be a trophy so why? What is it about a 400 bull that makes it a trophy?-
I believe this is nothing more than knowing that a 400 class bull are 1 in 1000 or more of bulls that score above 350. Like you said they are rare. That makes them legends, stories around campfires that a freind of a freind shot. A bull heard around the world so to speak. The bull just taken on the pahvant will likely be talked about for years to come. The pictures being circulated make us all dream of getting a bull that big. In short testosterone and media make a 400 class bull a trophy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,137 Posts
Meaning of "Trophy"

There have long been two meanings of the word "trophy." One is simply the reminder of a great experience. All hunters know that they can look at the anters of their first buck, whether it was a spike or a record-class animal, and bring back fond memories of the time, place, people, and animal that made the occasion so special.

The other concept measures how well an animal compares to the potential of the species. A nice corn-fed whitetail buck will dwarf a sitka blacktail for instance, but in terms of antler size either one could be below average, average, above average, or trophy class. The latter means that the animal has a combination of genetics, nutrition, and age that have allowed it to meaninfully represent what the species is capable of becoming.

Either one does not necessarily imply the other. A yearling animal can be a wonderful trophy in the first sense, but will never fulfill the second definition. By contrast, a world-class animal can be bought, taken purely through the effort of others, harvested without following the rules of fair chase, poached, etc. In these ways such an animal will never have the appeal of the first definition. The ultimate experience is taking the trophy-class animal and putting in the kind of effort that makes for a great memory, resulting in both outcomes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,174 Posts
What makes a 400" bull a 'trophy' is how much a bull elk must overcome to become a 400" bull. He has to survive the elements, hunters, predators, sickness, and many other obstacles for 7+ years to get there, even then most 7+ year old bulls will NEVER hit the 400" mark regardless of how old they get. A spike has overcome what? ONE season of the elements, predators, and sickness, with no/little hunter threat.

I do agree to a point on what a hunter goes thru playing a part in how I define a trophy. This year I guided a hunter from Wisconsin who two days before his hunt had three blood vessels burst in his lungs, he almost didn't come, but decided to try and 'get by'. He was very limited on how hard he could push it, which limited how far off the trail we could go, on a unit with alot of rugged country holding the 'best' bulls. On the fourth day he was spitting blood enough to fill an 8 oz cup, I took him to the Panguitch hospital and they told him to be careful and not over-exert himself. I told my wife that night on the phone the hunt was most likely over for the guy, but the next morning I woke him at 4:00 am and asked if he wanted to kill an elk. He was game(he nutted up and went further than any day previous), and 4 1/2 hours later we connected on a solid 7X8 bull, although he is nowhere near 400", he is over 350" and considering what this hunter overcame to kill this bull, makes me feel this bull was every bit as much of a 'trophy' as the much bigger bulls we put on the ground this fall.

If a spike is a 'trophy' to YOU, why do you care what someone else thinks of it?

The pictures being circulated make us all dream of getting a bull that big. In short testosterone and media make a 400 class bull a trophy.
I disagree 100% with this comment. I dream of killing a 400" bull DAILY, and the "media" has NOTHING to do with it, nor do I believe it has anything to do with 'testosterone', since my wife aspires to kill a 400" bull herself, and I am positive she is NOT driven by 'testosterone'. BAck in high school, long before the 'media' was a factor, we had big buck contests and pheasant tail contests, and girls participated, how is that possible if "testosterone and media" are soley to blame?

PRO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
sometimes the trophy is the hunt itself. for example, this years muzzy hunt i had a couple of chances at filling my deer tag with a couple of 28" bucks. but because of circumstances beyond my control the deal was not closed. but by seeing these deer and going after them i found myself in some of the most elk infested country i have ever been in.

i came across a couple of elk engaged in an earth shaking fight. as i sat there in awe watching through the aspens i heard a couple of loud cracks from up above me. as i turned around i saw a pig of a bull bust out of the aspens above me. and at full bore he ran 15 yards to my right not even knowing i was there to join the fray. this event took about 45 minutes to be over and i was just shaking with excitement. those are the types of memories that i consider to be trophies.

now with that said i do want to be able to put a tag on an animal that is of trophy caliber a 200" muley or a 380+ bull. but that event will not hinder what i deem to be a trophy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,021 Posts
Lets look at it through the eyes of the law.

If you are caught poaching, the severity of your punishment is related to how big the animal is. In the DWRs eyes a trophy animal is a buck with 4 or more points wider than his ears and an elk that scores over 300.

I think alot of what a trophy is to the individual is how much blood sweat tears and money went into the harvest of said animal. My freind epek works his guts out hunting mule deer and definatly puts stock in shooting quality animals. His 156 6/8 inch buck he killed this year is by no means a hog that would have Doyle Moss on the phone to a client. But, the time and effort he put into that deer means more than anyone could ever know. What he went through, and the hours of planning, hiking, waiting, and passing on lessor deer is what makes his deer a TRUE trophy.

Trophys aren't just the inches an animal possesses, but the memories cherished and the efforts put forth by the hunter him/her self.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
I disagree 100% with this comment. I dream of killing a 400" bull DAILY, and the "media" has NOTHING to do with it, nor do I believe it has anything to do with 'testosterone', since my wife aspires to kill a 400" bull herself, and I am positive she is NOT driven by 'testosterone'. BAck in high school, long before the 'media' was a factor, we had big buck contests and pheasant tail contests, and girls participated, how is that possible if "testosterone and media" are soley to blame?

Big buck contests and pheasant tails contest? Your right! That sounds like EGO to me.

So you want a 400" bull to help your EGO?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,174 Posts
So you want a 400" bull to help your EGO?
Nope! I have guided hunters that have put 400" bulls on the ground, my "EGO" says these bulls were killed as a direct result of MY 'skills'. My quest for a 400" bull for myself is based on many factors, most of which are very personal. I feel neither the need nor desire to 'justify' to you or anyone else why I am obsessed with the taking of a 400" bull with my archery gear. Following my own advice, whatever I deem to be a trophy to me is not based on your approval. If you feel condemning me for by-passing a 'lesser' animal somehow makes you more of a hunter, so be it. I know my abilities and I know what I am capable of doing. I have taken several 'book' animals and have posted on a forum/magazine/sporting goods store, exactly ZERO pictures of any/all of them. How is that "EGO" driven?

Big buck contests and pheasant tails contest? Your right! That sounds like EGO to me
.

No, I call that having fun with comrades and adding a little flavor to a enjoyable past-time. It's like fantasy football, it means nothing in the grand scheme of things, but talking trash and giving friends grief in fun, is just that, FUN!

PRO
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,637 Posts
Webster's definition.

Something, as a prize or memento won or received as a symbol of achievement or victory.

I have killed a couple of bucks in the 26" range, nice bucks but I dont consider them "trophys" though some may. I have hunted hard for the animals I have taken, very hard for some and I still dont consider them trophys. Good memories as well.

A trophy is definately "In the eye of the beholder". :D

sawsman
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Like everyone else has said, it is a personal thing, I myself could care less about a big bull. But 2 weeks ago My buddy shot a kick ass 6x6 in the book clifs area, I helped clean and drag the **** thing out, and shared in the joy of his Bull. I am content with a spike or nothing at all. I just enjoy the time spent with loved ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,066 Posts
[/quote].
but talking trash and giving friends grief in fun, is just that, FUN!

PRO[/quote]

Which is exactly what I was doing. You disagreed with me so I had to ruffle your feathers. Man you need to lay off the double expressos
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
TEX-O-BOB said:
Pro, don't ever change dude! I love you just the way you are. 8)

You are like Ted Nugent minus the guitar. O*--
and the hair if i have heard right my bloodbrother. O*-- *OOO* <<--O/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,174 Posts
callofthewild said:
TEX-O-BOB said:
Pro, don't ever change dude! I love you just the way you are. 8)

You are like Ted Nugent minus the guitar. O*--
and the hair if i have heard right my bloodbrother. O*-- *OOO* <<--O/
*\-\* O-|-O

Got love the skullett! I not only hear the "callofthewild", I feel the "spirit of the wild. Instead of being the Motor City Madman, I am the wildlife forum madman! Thanks for the props blood brothers. FYI, I have a guitar, but it isn't electric and only plays songs with the 'twang' thang!

PRO
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,046 Posts
proutdoors said:
What makes a 400" bull a 'trophy' is how much a bull elk must overcome to become a 400" bull. He has to survive the elements, hunters, predators, sickness, and many other obstacles for 7+ years to get there, even then most 7+ year old bulls will NEVER hit the 400" mark regardless of how old they get. A spike has overcome what? ONE season of the elements, predators, and sickness, with no/little hunter threat.

I do agree to a point on what a hunter goes thru playing a part in how I define a trophy. This year I guided a hunter from Wisconsin who two days before his hunt had three blood vessels burst in his lungs, he almost didn't come, but decided to try and 'get by'. He was very limited on how hard he could push it, which limited how far off the trail we could go, on a unit with alot of rugged country holding the 'best' bulls. On the fourth day he was spitting blood enough to fill an 8 oz cup, I took him to the Panguitch hospital and they told him to be careful and not over-exert himself. I told my wife that night on the phone the hunt was most likely over for the guy, but the next morning I woke him at 4:00 am and asked if he wanted to kill an elk. He was game(he nutted up and went further than any day previous), and 4 1/2 hours later we connected on a solid 7X8 bull, although he is nowhere near 400", he is over 350" and considering what this hunter overcame to kill this bull, makes me feel this bull was every bit as much of a 'trophy' as the much bigger bulls we put on the ground this fall.
1) If a trophy elk is determined by how much it has to overcome, then wouldn't a 320-350 bull from an open unit be more of a trophy than a 400 bull on a LE unit? Didn't the smaller inches bull have to overcome more? And, wouldn't that also mean that a 400 bull from an LE unit that does allow spike hunting is a bigger trophy than a 400 bull from an LE unit that does not allow spike hunting...

2) I would agree that your client's "trophy" is bigger than other bulls of equal and even more inches of antlers because of his effort...I would also say that the DIY hunts produce bigger trophies than guided hunts for the same reason. And, your client's trophy would have even been bigger had he done the preseason scouting to locate the bull.

3) I would also say that guided hunts have diminished, in my eyes, the legitimacy of the record books...I liken the use of guides to the use of steroids in professional sports. In fact, in my eyes, record animals taken by guide teams have changed the sport of hunting much like the steroid era changed the sport of baseball...

4) But, for every Barry Bonds hater out there--like myself--there is a Barry Bonds lover. And, unless state's severly restrict and regulate the use of guides, I am stuck with it...just like I am stuck with Barry Bonds being the home run champ.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,501 Posts
That is a very interesting comparison there. I don't know what I think about that. Nice point. I'll have to mull that one over for a while. Very interesting.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top