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Thread: Value of a Trophy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Glennallen since 1980

    Default Value of a Trophy

    I recently read a book which stated there are three phases a hunter goes through. The first stage is wanting to kill as many animals as possible, the second is wanting to kill only the largest. The final stage in this progression is only wanting to enjoy the hunt whether you are successful or not. I find this to fit me perfectly and now find myself enjoying the outdoors in a whole new light. I came to this realization several years ago on a winter moose hunt. The area was known for producing large bulls and I had my mind set on a 60" minnimum. Three hours into a seven day hunt I was within 300 yards of my dream moose. Apx. 65", tall wide palms with good points all the way up. This moose was standing on the road we had just drove up early a mile from camp. All I had to do was wait for him to leave the driveable surface and he was mine. After watching him for over an hour I made my decision and turned and left. Five days later after over 200 miles of hunting and a four hour stalk I downed a 53" bull. That smaller bull means more to me than the larger one ever would have. The enjoyment of working for my moose, the companionship of my partners, the terrain we traveled, and sense of accomplishment only enhanced the value of my "trophy". I now feel like I understand what hunting is all about and relish every moment with a new found feeling of sastifaction I never had experienced. This thread is not meant to diminish any one elses veiws but please let me know what your trophys mean to you. I want to hear your experiences. Hope this thread stays in a good light and we can all express our opinions.

  2. #2
    New member
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Chugiak, AK

    Wink trophy is in the eye of beholder

    All of my trophies means something different to me. Most of my mounts or rugs are named and have special meaning based on people involved with the hunt or the circumstances of the hunt. One of my favorite moose mounts is of my sons first moose, which he took this year, which means more to me than than my 54" or the 60 incher, I took on a lone fly-in hunt. Probably my most important trophy was my brown bear rug because it was such a religious experience for me, which I gave to my baby when she was born. So I think your right on the money.


  3. #3
    New member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007

    Thumbs up Trophy Experience

    I think I know what you mean. My husband and I went out on the first day that we were legal residents here in Alaska to hunt for black bears. We hiked up our trail and before we got to where we were to stop and begin glassing, my husband spotted a bear 100 yards away. Before I could blink, he had positioned himself and made a great shot. We were excited to have bagged a bear that day, but a couple weeks later was my turn! That day we hiked up the same trail before light and got ourselves positioned on the side of the mountain looking across to the tops of the opposite mountains that we began to glass. After about 10-15 minutes, I spotted a moving black dot and brought my scope up to take a better look. It was a very nice black bear about 1/2 mile away. My husband asked if I saw something, and I told him that I did, but it was really far off. Once he spotted it in his binoculars, we were off! He convinced me that it was worth stalking, and we began! Being more fit than I, he reached different ridge points first and encouraged me to continue on and that we were gaining on him! At about 300 yards we stopped and considered a shot, but decided to go closer. We were already above the tree-line, so after going a bit higher, we really began our side-pass stalk through the spongy lichen and blueberries. We reached about 200 yards and still thought we could get closer. At this point we were on the same mountain side as the boar and only moved when he was facing the other direction. We finally reached less that 100 yards and I brought up my rifle to take the shot. Unfortunately, I couldn't slow my breath or heart rate down and couldn't get set enough to take a solid shot. I'm a novice hunter (a total of 2 pheasant, and a Whitetail buck), so I still wait for a good shot rather than making it work! We would chase that bear two more times and I would set up for a shot just to see him walk out of site before I saw him no more. This experience was devastating for me! I could see this bear rug on my wall and taste the backstrap on my plate! I don't think many things have disappointed me more. My husband, being a much more seasoned hunter, had a great time and felt successful in a great stalk! We had gotten to within 75 yards of a large black bear from a beginning distance of 1/2 mile! He was very proud of us! He was also glad I didn't take a shot and wound the bear! He made me feel very good about what we did do, and didn't focus as much about what didn't happen! Don't get me wrong, I WILL have a black bear trophy, but this experience has made me feel that I will have earned it!

  4. #4

    Default value of a trophy

    I have been married 15 years. During that time my wife never hunted with me. This year my hunting partner left the state. My wife did not want me to hunt alone. I had drawn a Point Mckenzie cow permit. We got up and drove the six wheeler around the swamps. I taught her to drive and she actually was having fun! We hunted, picked berries and ate lunch together. We saw no moose. On the way out she said lets go to the end of the road where it is drier. We did and a moose ran right out in front of us. I shot it and tagged it. She assisted in butchering it, holding the bags and lifting the meat. Fortunatly it was all near the machine. It was only a cow, but it was a cow that we found together. It was an animal that we worked togetehr to obtain. The picture is in my office, granted she did not pull the trigger but it still was as much hers as mine. Truly the most rewarding trophy i have ever gotten. Now she has her own 308 has practiced shooting and wants to go out again! I can not wait to have her sit on the black bear bait this spring! So there you have it a most rewarding trophy with no trophy value just great memories.1 Chef Viktor

  5. #5
    Member martentrapper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Fairbanks, Ak.


    I'm a subsistence hunter! Anything legally saleable on my kills is sold. Meat is eaten or shared with others. Numbers in the Wells Fargo account go much further to improving my families life than mounts on a wall! No "truer" form of hunting exists.
    I can't help being a lazy, dumb, weekend warrior.......I have a JOB!
    I have less friends now!!

  6. #6
    webmaster Michael Strahan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
    Anchorage, Alaska

    Default Trophy Hunting

    Thanks for starting this thread.

    We all hunt for different reasons of course. One article I read recently mentioned a study done by Yale professor Dr. Stephen Kellert, and indicated that 43% of all hunters are primarily interested in the meat or other items provided by the animal itself. This makes consumptive use the primary motivation for hunting in the United States. About 17% hunt to experience nature itself and the remaining 38% are folks who consider themselves "sport hunters". This latter category of hunter is the primary group focused on the "trophy" aspect of the animal, as I see it. So the question of the value of the trophy itself is really a sport hunting question.

    The five stages that a sport hunter goes through (not a meat hunter, mind you), are generally agreed on as:

    1. Shooter (focuses on the most shooting opportunities)

    2. Limiting Out (proving your proficiency by taking more game)

    3. Trophy Hunting (looking for the big one)

    4. Method (limiting yourself by experimenting with different means and methods)

    5. Sportsman (focus on the total experience)

    Hunters may move in and out of these phases, or skip some altogether, and may spend more time at one level than another.

    This progression is generally attributed to Denny L. Vasquez, though I'm not sure if he's the original author. It has been used in hunter education courses for several years, perhaps because it really resonates with a lot of hunters. Personally I think it sums up a lot of folks. I know I have experienced some of these stages myself.

    As to what a trophy means to me, it's about remembering good times with friends. Even if the time was alone with God (what a friend). I look at the walls of my office and almost all of my trophies are photographs. My first grizzly- I see the photo of a younger man posing with that animal; a man full of dreams and aspirations, some of which came to pass and some are yet to be. The skull of that bear sits on my shelf, but the rug adorns a friend's lodge in the Alaska Range. The largest caribou I ever shot- The man in that photo didn't realize that this would be his last hunt with his best friend. The antlers are long gone...but the memories persist. My grandfather posing with a stack of fish he caught surf casting... I recognize the house behind him as my boyhood home, but I never had the pleasure of meeting the man himself. He was killed in a hunting accident seven months before I, his first grandchild, was born. I have the rifle he carried on that last hunt in my gun cabinet, and sometimes I take it out and hold it, wondering what it was like hunting with iron sights. I also wonder what life would have been like, had he lived. He was a good man, I'm told. So for me, it's about hanging on to time in a small way, and also about letting go of it, and moving forward to what lies ahead. After all, the future is where we're all headed, right? What better use of a trophy than one that prepares us for what is to come?

    Thanks again for the interesting topic. It's good to think about these things.

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  7. #7


    I guess first and foremost I cherish what little game I've taken in the past and the opportunity just to be able to go.

    That said the more I go the more I am loosing the passion to be out. I get tired of seeing all the negative, destruction, bloodlust, and just slobs for a lack of a better term.

    My enjoyment of this state in the hunting relm is really starting to whane! I keep my hopes up thinking of big sheep seen of years past and hopefully the opportunity to go after it's kin in years to come. Gets old hunting solo and just down right dangerous on most outings to do it!

    Just no fun!!!

    Dunno where it falls in your progression, but after 15 years of bowhunting, I'm really questioning things everytime I think of a hunt.


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