27 replies [Last post]
buckykm1's picture
Location: Vicksburg, Mi
Joined: 11/24/2010
Posts: 366

When i was whitetail hunting, i got way to hung up on the horns, my next buck always had to be bigger, and i have taken a lot of nice bucks over the years, but, for me it took the fun out of hunting. and i quite hunting deer. the only hunting i do now, is a 2 week trip out west Elk hunting, and i love hunting again, i don't care how big the Bull is, as long as it is a legal bull or cow i am happy, it as put the fun back in hunting, and isn't that what it is really about, spending time with friends and family and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors.


Critter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!Moderator
Location: Western Colorado
Joined: 03/26/2009
Posts: 4422
I don't know, I have been

I don't know, I have been horn hunting now for the last 25 years and in those years I have taken 6 or 7 deer for the meat, but then I do average at least one elk a year and I'll usually give it to a someone that can't get out into the woods or the fishing areas.  I have had more fun looking for that buck that would scare all the rest off of the hill.  I found him a few years ago but I was busted while I was trying to get within range of him.  I spotted him while he was 1,000 yards off.  Now when I hunt and see those smaller bucks I just enjoy watching them and get to know just what they are doing.  I'll even carry rocks in my pockets to throw at the smaller bucks just to get them accustomed to running away from humans.  In this day and age the average hunter does not need the meat to feed his family.  If he needed the meat that bad he should sell his rifle and buy himself a fishing pole and hit the rivers and lakes. 

arrowflipper's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 578
Great question Hunter25

Great question.  I'd love to say that any animal I take is a trophy and I guess in a sense it is.  BUT, when it comes right down to it, I don't look on them that way.  I took a three by three muley last fall as well as a big doe, but I didn't look at either as a "trophy".  I don't know if it's the difficulty of getting the animal or the rarity of what I get that makes it a trophy.

I have a mountain goat that is in the Pope and Young record book.  YES, he is a trophy.  I have a large moose from Alaska and I certainly look at him as a trophy.  And my red stag from Germany is a trophy.  Why.... I guess because they are all pretty big.  BUT, I have some smaller animals that I look at as trophies as well.  My bobcat and my bear are real trophies to me, yet neither one of them come anywhere near making the book.  But to me, they were a trophy.

I've killed upwards of 60 deer in my life and only a very few do I classify as a trophy.  My first buck when I was 13 was a huge trophy to me.  And it wasn't because he was a 5X5, but rather because he was my first and I was proud of that.  I took a very nice 4X4 muley one year that many would consider a trophy but to me he was just another nice deer.  I don't know that the one I have mounted is even a trophy.

I wish I could put a definition on "trophy" but I can't.  At least not for me.  I respect and appreciate every animal I take but I don't consider them a trophy.  My first elk with a bow was a trophy and it was a cow.  Maybe I should have had her mounted?

Great question..... I have a few animals in my "trophy room" and I guess I call them all trophies, though there are those who would say they are just your average, run of the mill animal.  I love every one of them though.  Even my jackalope which I tell people I killed in self-defense.

jackalope.jpg149.93 KB
sdwolfden's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Custer, SD
Joined: 09/07/2010
Posts: 83

My trophies are all the pounds of meat I can put in the freezer.  I have shot 2 bucks, both 8 pointers(one is the buck in my profile picture).  I got each of them a year apart and my very first buck was taken at age 49 when I drew my very 1st buck tag.  The 2nd buck was taken when I was 50.  I have only been hunting 6 years, this year will be my 7th year.  In the six years I started with my first deer ever, a nice mule deer doe, and have progressed to whitetail does and then my whitetail bucks and more does.  I have taken 2 pronghorn does(good eating), and some turkeys that I roasted or smoked.  In this day and age, hunting to fill the freezer saves me money because for the price of the tag, I can get more meat off of it for the price than I can buy at the store.  And yes, I fish also and eat my catch.  I always try to be self-sufficient and do for myself what I can do for myself.  I also process all the game I harvest on my kitchen table.  Why pay $75.00 or more per animal when I can have it all my way.

jaybe's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: S.E. Michigan
Joined: 10/19/2010
Posts: 832
which would you shoot; the

which would you shoot; the 31" wide 18 " high 4 point with OK mass or the 26"w X 24"h 4 point with brow tines and mass thru the length of the antlers?

 It might depend on what I already have on the wall. If I was looking for a very wide rack, the 31 incher might be the object of my attention. But if I already had a wide one, I might go for the more balanced and heavier rack.

To tell the truth, since I have never shot a mule deer - if I am confronted with this kind of choice this fall in Wyoming I just might whip out my camera and take a picture of both of them! Not to say that I could get buck fever after hunting deer for 45 years - - just sayin' . . . Big smile

Or I might do what my cousin and I used to do when we sneaked up on a bunch of crows in the trees. Knowing that we would only get one shot with our .22's before they all took flight, we'd both get all lined up on different crows and count to three - - and both shoot! That might not be a bad option with my hunting partner in the scenario we're talking about here.


Topgun 30-06's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Allegan, MI
Joined: 12/11/2010
Posts: 693
I'd take the 26"x24" buck as

I'd take the 26"x24" buck as I have always liked the basket-type higher rack over the real wide rack, unless the wider one has some real mass to him.  I also can't get real worked up over nontypicals either, as I really love a buck with symetry.

ndemiter's picture
Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: lawrence, KS
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 647

a trophy for me is usually just the accomplishment of how i killed my prey.

my favorite kill... i have several that are tops in my book. my favorite bow kill: i stalked and shot a whitetail doe and fawn in the timber of Ohio. (lots of crunchy leaves).

my favorite rifle kill: i shot a 200 pound boar hog in TX at 140 yds running hard, dead away.

i think that the quality of the trophy depends entirely on how the hunt progressed. the biggest deer i've shot i rarely even think about. i sat down, he walked in front of me. i didn't work for it.

but it's not necessarily all about how much work i put into it either. i've had hunts where i worked my tail off, harvested an animal, and didn't come away from it with a sense of accomplishment. i guess, i just love it when a plan comes together.