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There is no Such Thing as a Trophy Hunter

There is no Such Thing as a Trophy Hunter

trophy hunter

The debate about the trophy hunter is based on a public myth and a categorical misunderstanding.

The term “trophy hunter,” as high-jacked by mainstream media, is someone who hunts for a trophy and nothing else. Whatever it may be whether its antlers, skulls or fur, is portrayed to be the driving force of why that hunter has stepped into the woods. And that makes them a trophy hunter.

Let’s just stop right there, before we fill out the picture any further. We need to ask ourselves: do we know any whitetail hunter that does not use the meat? The answer is that the vast majority of all whitetail hunters make sure the meat is used. We would be hard pressed to find any counterexamples.

Meat Hunters With High Standards

Although there may be people out there set on trophy class whitetails, they are really just meat hunters with high standards. Some of us may choose to pass on a first year deer, some of us might not. Does that make one method better and the other worse? No. That is because there is no such thing as a trophy hunter, but there is such a thing as meat hunters with prerequisites for harvest.

We can take this to an even further extreme. I can tell you from firsthand experience that hunters in Africa do not let anything go to waste. The Giraffes, Cape Buffalo, and all the other exotic animals like Elephants are picked as clean as bison were historically by native Americans. Maybe the hunters have questionable motives, but to spread the false notion that these animals are not used casts a false vision.

For years, I spent countless hours pursuing trophy whitetails. More than once, I have been accused of being a trophy hunter. Yet as far as I recall, the process never changed. I can remember making Italian sausage from my biggest buck to date. The back straps of each of my trophy whitetails became venison carpaccio. All the while, I marveled at Mother Nature’s beautiful art work in the form of whitetail deer antlers.

Those back straps taste the same as a doe or young buck. We are all meat hunters. Some of us just have very specific goals in mind when we fill our freezer. Maybe it is time to say that there is no such thing as a trophy hunter.

View Comments (2)
  • I too think that the word “trophy hunter” comes with a quite negative denotation. When people hear trophy hunter, they think about people killing lions or rhinos or some endangered species in Africa. Why? Because pictures of those hunters posing over those dead animals get spread all over Facebook and without any background information it actually looks pretty questionable. If people would know that every single bit of that animal gets used for something I am sure their opinions would change quickly.

    Kind of funny that people buy meat in stores from animals that never saw the day light having a miserable life and at the same time criticize hunters that go after animals that spend their whole life in nature up to that point, where they have a quick death and feeding a hungry family afterwards.

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