29 replies [Last post]
Location: N. CA
Joined: 03/13/2002
Posts: 42
Bagging A Trophy; Luck, Skill, or Both?

"What is a trophy” some would say it must make the minimum for the 'record books', others, in the eye of the beholder. I lean toward the latter. Every season is different with its own set of challenges. Some areas hold truly trophy class animals while others do not.

I have a good friend who has been hunting far longer than I, and he has yet to bag anything bigger than 2x3 buck. The area he hunts is not inclined to produce BIG bucks because of habit, genetics, lack of minerals, and so on, but he still manages to bag the biggest buck he encounters every season. I've tried prodding him to hunt different areas, but he's very content on hunting the same area year after year. In his eyes every buck he harvests is a trophy.

Do I consider him to be a mediocre hunter because he has never killed a record book buck? Absolutely not! In fact he is the best hunter I know. With over 30 seasons under his belt he has managed to take well over 60 animals. In California hunters are allowed two-buck tags per season/year forked horn or better, and he has managed to virtually fill all of them. Astounding!

Getting back to the question at hand….

Luck, skill, time spent afield, and coffee table scouting all play a roll. I just hope (crossing my fingers) I’ll be at the right place at the right time. He, He…

Kind of anti climatic- Anyhow that’s my 2 cents..

[ This Message was edited by: ontarget on 2002-12-22 19:24 ]

Joined: 11/15/2002
Posts: 157
Bagging A Trophy; Luck, Skill, or Both?

It is just being in the right place at the right time, and not getting excited, and flubbing it, not a big deal. So it is luck in the real world of hunting, now if your paying to hunt a game farm, well then it is just a money thing, the more money you have, the bigger the deer. I never belived in game ranch hunting, but friends of mine do and hunt game ranches, their trophies mean nothing to me, as it was "like shooting fish in a barrel"(I have seen the vidio tapes they made) I would rather get skunked, than hunt a game farm with semi tame deer.

saskie's picture
Location: West Carleton, Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 12/23/2002
Posts: 1264
Bagging A Trophy; Luck, Skill, or Both?

I'll take luck...especially with bagging a true trophy. True if you do your homework and take all the proper preparations you'll be "lucky" more often...but those true old bucks can:a) see better than you, b) hear better than you, c)smell better than you and almost always know their neck of the woods better than you. Skill will reduce the odds but you only get the "old guy" by being lcuky enough to be around when he makes a mistake.

[ This Message was edited by: saskie on 2002-12-25 21:29 ]

Location: WI.
Joined: 12/21/2002
Posts: 4
Bagging A Trophy; Luck, Skill, or Both?

A skillful hunter knows how to address problems A. B. and C. Taking mature bucks is a regular occurance for the skillful hunter. Taking a buck that has an exceptional rack is hard to do becuase so few bucks grow a trophy rack.

bitmasher's picture
Location: Colorado
Joined: 02/27/2002
Posts: 2974
Bagging A Trophy; Luck, Skill, or Both?

Ontarget makes a good point. Bagging a single B&C or P&Y trophy is not a good measure of skill. However consistently filling your tag year after year with mature bucks/bulls is without a doubt a measure of skill.

The "luck" factor becomes irrelevant with each passing year of a filled tag. A person can get lucky once, twice, or maybe even three times; but it would be rare to be "lucky" five years or even a decade running.

Skill also depends on the type of species pursued. A consistent black bear hunter w/o bait (or cougar w/o dogs) is probably more skilled than a consistent deer hunter.

groundhog's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: zone 20 Saskatchewan
Joined: 08/14/2009
Posts: 772

You have to be lucky to be good and good to be lucky! I think it comes hand in hand if you’re a constant hunter!

Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4421
I'ld say that it is more

I'ld say that it is more luck.  Personally I know where the big ones live and what they do but that doesn't help when there are 20 other hunters in the same area bumping into each other.  Now if I could have the area all to myself then I would have no problems bagging a 180+ point mule deer each and every year. 

SOBLE's picture
Joined: 07/12/2010
Posts: 162
Wow, this topic got drug from

Wow, this topic got drug from the boneyard didn't it.

numbnutz's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
I'd say its more luck than

I'd say its more luck than skill, You can be skille don finding him but you have to be lucky to get a chance at him.