So, what is a trophy?
Somehow I envision a plaque, medal, or statue. Something that was presented as a reward for something done at a high level against other humans. OK so you hunted a relatively dumb animal with only it's instincts for survival. But you killed it with a rifle and scope from somewhere near 200 yards. I can’t imagine when that animals instincts ever came into play. So what was the great high level activity that you did to justify the word trophy?
Man is the only predator who does not make body contact with his hunt. Why don't you try to run the animal down, or perhaps wait in a tree for it to pass by and drop down and kill it with your bare hands?
When you say you want to be a hunter and not a killer, it confuses me. You hunted, you pulled the trigger, the animal died. You killed it. That makes you a killer. Had any other predator done the same thing you would have called it a killer. There is no difference. Sometimes you even use that as a justification. Wolves, mountain lions, coyotes, and other predators are hunted and killed because they are killers, not because the are hunters.
And please don’t' try to color the act with words like reverence or respect. Not that you do, but most hunters hunt for only one reason. Entertainment. It's fun. Not that having fun is a bad thing, but killing part of the echo system has a truly negative effect.
When the deer, that you said is so difficult to find is taken out of the system he is taken away from the natural predators. Wolves and mountain lions hunting for food have to move into territories populated by humans. And a new hunt begins. Nature is out of balance. The cause..........humans.
Example: I live on the fringe of a the wilderness in Northern California. My neighbor complained to the authorities that she had lost two, oh my god, TWO, of her precious pet goats that had been left out over night. The authorities determined that it was a Mountain Lion and are now going to trap it, and euthanize the animal. Why? Because it did what it has always done. The authorities said it had developed a taste for goat and would be back. Who are they kidding? They eat goat. Why not relocate? To expensive.
I digress, but the point is clear. Hunting is a necessary part of the animal kingdom, and an unnecessary part of the human kingdom. We do it for fun. Please don't try to paint a pretty trophy picture, or justify what you do as necessary to keep animals from starving. How did they manage without us?
Let me finish with a story about a friend of mine who is a hunter? A duck hunter to be exact. Went out for eight days and came home with 32 ducks. Gave away ten and ate, over the course of the next year, ten more ducks. The next season comes and he tosses twelve ducks in the garbage to make room for 26 ducks from this season. Why did he kill more than he could eat? Simple, it was fun.
Please, don't get me wrong. I don't care if you hunt and kill, but please don't try to create some glamorous justification for your action, and don't try to convince others that they should have reverence or respect for their "TROPHY". If that was really your intent you should have told them to use a camera with a cross hair. That would be respect and reverence. But as you well know, that wouldn't be any fun, would it? You wouldn't have something to hang on your wall to show the world what you had done.
As far as meat is concerned, I don't know anybody who eats Wolf, Mountain Lion or Coyote, so these can only be considered meaningless trophies by your standard.
And what of the responder who is going to Africa. Is he going to bring back the meat from the animal he kills? No. He will probably give it to the guide, except the head of course. And that is of course the 'TROPHY", isn't it. It will be fun. He will come home with a picture of him next to a dead animal, and later the head of that dead animal......MAYBE.