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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: NE NV
Joined: 03/18/2010
Posts: 382
Hunting Contests

The problem isn't with the contest but with the people who enter & for that there probably isn't any answer.  It doesn't seem too long ago when my town (Elko, NV) went out if it's way to welcome hunters; seemed like every hardware store, bar & casino had it's own contest.  Hallways, floors & bar tops were covered with antlers large & small.  A kid with his first deer, typically a forky or three point, would be displaying his accomplishment just as proudly as a seasoned hunter his or a Dude with trophy taken with the aid of a guide.  Hell the kid would usually win something even if it was only a hat & a free burger.

The race for B&C recognition, competition between guides, one upmanship between hunters, places of employment and business' holding the contests brought on bigger & better prizes.  Forget the values of the hunt itself - gotta shoot the biggest no matter what.  Still got contests but fewer & with the same clicks of guys to the exclusion of regular hunters, whatever that might be.  Winning a contest is almost an entrance exam for those who just have to be admitted into the local group of "expert hunters".  Seems like too many people hunting for their ego & not for their soul.

Sorry for the rant - didn't know that nerve was so close to the surface. Between this drive for self aggrandizement, the desperate "need" for technology & the perceived right to kill an animal (as in "I paid my money for that tag & by god I'm gonna kill something no matter what"), I have to wonder if hunting will be available in the future for my kids & the rest of the "unwashed masses" without the preverbial silver spoon.

numbnutz's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: portland,oregon
Joined: 09/06/2007
Posts: 3058
I kinda have mixed feelings

I kinda have mixed feelings on yote contest. I mean I really dont like the whole hunting contest thing. atleast for big game animals. but with predators that NEED to be controled better I kinda like that idea. I dont know if i would take any prizes just because i'd be killing them for our deer herds and that would be prize enough for me.

Joined: 04/24/2010
Posts: 19
Hunting Contest

Boy you nailed it. These guys cheat like it was going out of style. Seems like the same bunch keep getting all the primo tags that you or I will never draw. Then the cameras, radios, phones, hell, even airplanes. Then they steal antlers or buy them. I always feel grateful when they get caught.

Location: DFW
Joined: 12/13/2006
Posts: 17
Re:Hunting Contests

I to have mixed feeling about this. Here in Texas what started as a small contest in South Texas giving away small prizes to the winner has exploded. From the early Muy Grande contest to the Parks and Wildlife acutally telling people they can only shoot white-tail deer that are over 13" wide in certain counties. I have seen deer hunting change here in Texas in the last 30 years to the point that you are almost ashamed to bring in a deer that is less that 140" BC. It is a double edged sword. I see a lot more mature deer now than I used to. But , hunting has lost something in the process. I can't imagine telling my Grandfather that passed away many years ago that he shouldn't shoot the three year old 10 points anymore. All of the pictures of smiling faces holding up those deer are not being taken as much today. Maybe there will be an abundance of 140" deer here in the future but for the time being there are kids and old people that are deprived the thrill and excitement of completing the hunt. They may never get to under these "rules". The old people will die and the kids may lose interest. The contests have lead the way for "trophy management". I am just not sure about what we have taken away from the camp. The meat pole with smiling people and cameras flashing. The congradulations and the kids smiling because they have be able to do what their Father and Grandfather did.

AjoOldTimer's picture
Location: Ajo, Arizona
Joined: 07/09/2010
Posts: 66
Depends on how you look at

Depends on how you look at the issue. If someone is in the contest they might pass on a smaller game in hopes of the winner stepping out in front of them and not harvesting. I'm sure there are people who cheat but I would think that % is small with someone shooting someone's else bigger animal for the contest. Look at people who party hunt. 7 people 7 tags and whoever gets into them first opens up. All states I would think outlaw this as the western states I hunt do. One tag per person, one kill, no exceptions.

Ca_Vermonster's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: San Diego, CA
Joined: 07/27/2007
Posts: 5813
Almost every check-in station

Almost every check-in station in Vermont has them, and I know they are pretty popular in other places.  Our local "Buck Pool" is $3 to enter.  They give a rifle to the biggest buck (weight).  They also draw a name from the "lucky hunters" and one from the "unlucky hunters".  They also get rifles, usually a smaller one like a .22 or a muzzleloader.  I can't imagine the season without it.  It's a nightly thing for me, stopping at the store ont he way back home, checking to see who got what......

Maybe it's a little different for us, since it's based on weight.  You can't really tell how much the deer is gonna weigh, so it's kinda hard to "cheat".  Plus, with the other prizes, you don't even need to kill one to win.

Location: california
Joined: 05/19/2010
Posts: 87
I think I'm ok with a store

I think I'm ok with a store having a contest, for the biggest turkey,deer elk whatever and giving away a prize. Sure someones gonna cheat, or poach but that guy was gonna do it anyway. I would think in most cases it guys together to talk about hunting and fishing. I know my son won 2 fishing poles once with  11 pound catfish he caught by himself and he was as happy as could be. He constantly wanted to know when the next contest was so we could fish it again. More time outdoors with my son it all works out.

bigalwapiti's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 04/04/2010
Posts: 357
My thoughts.

I have really thought alot about this lately and have read everyones comments. Please dont take anything personal, I don't bring any new light to the conversation that hasn't already been said except my final thoughts. But screw the contest! If you and your buds want to have a competition, that would be great. But why in the heck should hunting become a competition? What happened to the pure enjoyment of being in the outdoors away from it all, doing something you enjoy?  Should it be illegal? No, it shouldn't, there are way to many laws already (big government crap). But let's be smart about it, so government stays out of this. We already have enough opposition out there trying to take our rights away.  Cheaters will be in every competition. We already have some unethical hunters (very small %) in the field, but let's not promote anything that will increase there chances of screwing more up. If a local store wants to give something away to the heaviest or biggest, let them, but having sponsorship envolved is getting a little carried away. I am all about quality time in the field with family, friends or heck by myself and I don't want to see anything destroy what I enjoy. I initially had thoughts about maybe it would help promote passing up on smaller game and would help increase the mature population of big game, but maybe someone would have a reason for taking the smaller Elk or Deer and who am I to say anything about that (negative or positive comment). It's there tag and maybe it has taken them years to receive it.


Location: So. IL,
Joined: 07/16/2010
Posts: 28
I would have to agree with

I would have to agree with you. I think the key that brings in the dishonesty is the size of the prize. Some folks just can't help themselves, get obsessed with winning and end up sacraficing ethics. These contests should be low key and local.

Location: Arizona
Joined: 06/07/2002
Posts: 506
Hunting Contest

I've never entered any hunting contests, and not even unofficial ones so to say either. I tend to avoid that kind of thing, but to each their own.

I have entered pools on ocean fishing boats before, day trips and long-range, even won a few, but that's it. I've seen people try to cheat on those before too by the way, and get busted, LOL.