Trophy Minded: Is Trophy Hunting Hurting Our Sport?

Posted by: PJ Reilly on Sep 23, 2012
Page 2 of 3


Coinciding with the proliferation of older bucks has been a boom in the whitetail-hunting industry. And the emphasis clearly has been on growing and hunting trophy-class whitetails. There’s a glut of television shows, web sites, magazines and books that glorify the trophy lifestyle. How many times have you seen a decent buck walk under the stand of your favorite TV hunter, who leaves his bow on its hook, looks into the camera and says, “He’s a good one, but he needs another year or two to really blow up!”
“I think TV has had a lot to do with the trophy mindset,” said a bowhunter from Ohio. “Everybody wants to be like those guys on TV now, hunting for the biggest racks around.”
But TV hunters, websites and magazine editors are only producing what the public wants to see.
“You’re going to sell more DVDs if they’re full of 160-inch kills than if they’re 110s,” a professional hunter said. “That’s just the way the business works. The demand for seeing big bucks is there.”


Is it good for the sport to put hunting celeb's on such a high pedestal?

It was unheard of for a whitetail outfitter 20 years ago to impose a minimum score restriction on clients. A few had minimum point requirements, but now it’s common to walk into a camp and hear that all bucks under 125 inches or 140 inches, etc. are off limits.
“If you don’t do that, guys will shoot all your future trophies before they have a chance to grow up,” a Missouri outfitter said.

Jeff Brown is a Pennsylvania bowhunter and a state bowhunting education instructor. He’s noticed an impact of all the hype about trophy bucks. “Everybody talks about inches of antler and record books these days,” he said. “If you shoot a 115-inch eight-pointer, you’re made to feel like you did something wrong. What happened to just enjoying the hunt?” Doty sees some good in the growth of knowledge of and interest in antler scoring.

“We can communicate better about the bucks we’re seeing,” he said. “You can say, ‘I saw a 10 pointer,’ but there are small 10 pointers and there are big ones. If someone tells you they saw a 150-inch 10-pointer, then you can visualize what they saw.”

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3 Comments on "Trophy Minded: Is Trophy Hunting Hurting Our Sport?"

Re: Trophy Minded: Is Trophy Hunting Hurting Our Sport? #
Yes!!! What happened to the notion that hunting is about the adventure, not the result. The over commercialization of the sport is pathetic as 70% of the programming on hunting shows today is about selling products and the idea that you go big or go home.
Posted by murph on 9/26/2012 1:23:08 PM
Re: Trophy Minded: Is Trophy Hunting Hurting Our Sport? #
I believe there are pro's and cons to the trophy phase as well. I personally have not had the big $ to purchase my own land, or to lease my own personal hunting ground. I love the idea of someday getting the chance to shoot a trophy class deer, but until I can afford it, I will have to be happy with those 115" deer I have been seeing. I think that access to good ground has become a rich mans game, and leaves us middle class hunters with the public lands, but as long as I have some place to go, I will not complain.
Posted by ebowhunter13 on 9/27/2012 10:38:00 AM
Re: Trophy Minded: Is Trophy Hunting Hurting Our Sport? #
Ebowhunter has it right. I trophy hunt not because of score but because it would be to easy to go kill a young buck. But if you dont have good property you cant expect big deer and on public ground every deer is hard to kill after opening day.
Posted by bowhntr4life on 9/27/2012 9:59:33 PM

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