Jan 28, 2014, 1:00 AM EDT
So what’s the big deal if I’m a trophy hunter? What’s wrong with selecting the oldest and biggest male and hunting him ethically ensuring that, if success comes, he is utilized for his meat, hide and horn?
Because wildlife was thought to be vanishing in the early 1900’s, scoring systems were implemented as a way to track the success of conservation programs put into effect. Bison numbers were down to just a few hundred and whitetail and pronghorn were also near extinction. As a result of diminishing wildlife, William T. Hornaday established the National Collection of Heads and Horns at the Bronx Zoo dedicated to “…the vanishing big-game animals of the world.”
Reflecting on what was thought to be ‘vanishing’, it’s obvious that the efforts of conservation and game management have restored wildlife to now overwhelming numbers. What’s more, in most cases, we’re seeing that wildlife are growing stronger and displaying larger horns/antlers. To me, this is exciting –a certain ‘I told you so’ to the anti’s who think we’re nothing but a bunch of trophy hungry murderers of innocent wildlife!
I personally score and record every single one of my trophies because I understand the importance of record keeping, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There is so much to a hunt; the preparation, walking for days in the heat or cold, climbing mountains, nearly killing yourself on a cliff edge, the bad shot you made before, the sleepless nights, tireless days and the list goes on. But these memories will be permanently etched in your mind; love your trophy for the experience and remember that it’s not about the number.
What are your thoughts on the record scoring systems?