Huntcell 's Link
Sure was in good condition after all those years.
But it does sound like a pretty good day at the office for the CO; I’d imagine seeing so much bad behavior by so-called “sportsmen” would get really old, so seeing someone - several people, really - following all the rules right down to the letter... sounds pretty refreshing...
I understand your misgivings about having it mounted, Matt.... Completely. But somehow I think most of us would be able to see our way clear...
If the antlers were badly bleached, though, I think I would just let it go as a Euro.
I'm sure some would.
I once found a bull 3 days after I shot him too far back. The magpies and flies had made a mess of him, and you could smell the stench from him a 1/4 of a mile away. I cut the antlers off, tied my tag to them, and packed them out, but nothing about that experience was rewarding to me. The antlers hanging on my garage wall are a constant reminder of my poor shot execution and a wasted animal.
I guess everyone has a different definition of "trophy".
I agree. I hope that is how it is presented. The steps and effort that the article mentions the hunter taking to find the bull make me believe that he will present it as such.
Maybe getting it mounted was his way of honoring the animal.
To me, honoring an animal is all about making a swift ethical kill, then thanking God for allowing that animal to bless your dinner table for months to come. Mounting the antlers of a lost and wasted animal, with another animal's cape, is the definition of horn porn egotism, to me. I couldn't look at that mount without feeling disappointment and remorse every time. And I surely wouldn't want to explain to visitors how that mount got on my wall
But, again, I don't expect everyone to share my opinions.
But I guess in this new world of PC AND touchy-feely emotions it may make some sense. Maybe?
Having said that, I am glad you located the remains.
As far as I know he never took credit for harvesting the animal but said he mounted it just because it was a truly gorgeous buck - which it was (~150 class). I see nothing wrong with that.
In Steve’s case the only thing that remains slightly unclear is whether the bull actually died from Steve’s arrow (although it’s likely the case). But regardless, it’s a great story with a very happy ending. Not that Steve’s choice of mounting the bull is any of my business, if I’d arrowed a huge bull like that and it was eventually returned to me by the authorities as mine, I’d mount it. Beautiful bull and a lovely story of initial heartbreak to unexpected redemption. Very nice.
Lots of hunters have shot animals that were packing broadheads and bullets from previous seasons.
Seems like the story is more of the "trophy" than the bone. He can retell the story whenever someone looks at that mount, and can imagine that he killed the elk with his arrow.
Better that than what I experienced recently. A friend's nephew showed me the mount of a 410" bull he killed. His story was incredible, DIY, public land solo hunt in an area I know very well, not known for big bulls. Then he showed me the hero shot. I recognized the backdrop, and called him out. He killed it on a small high fence operation with basically tame elk, and invented the DIY, public land story.
He begged me not to tell anyone because his wife would go berzerk if she knew he had paid that kind of money to shoot that elk, with a baby at home and another on the way.
The meaning of "trophy" is different for everyone.
I never understood the “.. I punched my tag, knowing the animal was dead.“ Just quit hunting that species, because, if you never found it, you don’t know for sure it’s dead.
What if you “mortally” wounded the second biggest buck of your life but couldn’t find him, so punched your buck tag. Sitting in your treestand trying to fill a doe tag and the biggest buck you’ve ever seen strolls by. You can’t shoot. Then a week later your neighbour shows you a pic of the buck he just shot and it’s the one you “killed” and punched your tag for.
I still say a trophy mount is to stroke the ego of the hunter, more than it is to honor the animal. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm as guilty as anyone. But let's call it what it is, at least.
Scientist 's Link
That’s something I could look at every day with a clean conscience and only good memories.
And as for “Honoring the Animal”.... Gimme a freakin’ break.
Scientist 's Link
On the bright side, we don’t need the disdain from the anti’s. We can get it right in our own circles.
Certainly Happy for this fellow bowhunter though,
I have a similar story from the year I graduated high school. I have always wanted to write an article about it, so I'll keep the details short, but it was a coming of age story with a magnificent buck who I found a shed from when I was a senior. He had a huge droptine, and lived on an incredibly pressured piece of state land in south east Mi. I saw him during the summer in velvet and he was unbelievable. I'm talking big even by Canadian standards. It was a one in a 10 million deer for this area. That fall, I hunted him for 5 weeks straight and never saw him. Long story short, unbeknownst to me, he got had locked together with another deer and killed the other buck. He was dragging the buck around on a local civic center soccer field and a public works dept guy, who had also been hunting the buck, saw it. He contacted the Sheriff Dept who shot the buck in the neck with a 12 ga. I had no clue about all this and the next summer I was still scouting for the buck. I had heard about 2 big bucks that had been locked together and stopped in one day to see if the Sheriff's Dept had a picture. Turns out it was the buck I was after. My heart was in my throat. When I asked what happened to the buck, the badge heavy deputy, all but told me to get lost. I was a young kid, easily intimidated, and heart broke. I thought about the buck for years afterward. 7 years later, a week before I moved out west, I decided to try and locate the buck one more time. I simply wanted to lay eyes on and hold the rack that I had dreamed about. There were an incredible amount of details I am leaving out in case I ever write it all up, but I eventually found the owner of the rack (The public works guy) who was a super cool older gentlemen. I told him the whole story and showed him the shed. He brought the rack to work later that week and let me see it. In the end, without me even trying, he offered to let me buy it. He said he could tell it meant more to me than it did to him. You could have pushed me over with a feather. It had never been mounted as the deputy had shot it in the neck. (Thankfully for me!) I bought it on the spot and had a friend mount it. There were so many amazing and neat things about the story. I have him proudly displayed in my house, as he was a magnificent buck, and yes, I feel it is a buck worthy of honoring in the sense that he grew to be so mature, outwitting hundreds of hunters over the years in an area where a 100" buck would be a trophy. I have newspaper articles and tons of pictures regarding the whole story and have never taken credit for the buck, but tell interested people the whole story. I have yet to have a true hunter not appreciate the amazing story and incredible deer.
So yeah.... you can poopoo the thought of honoring an animal, but to those of us who get it, it makes total sense. I am sure the hunter in this story would much rather have recovered the bull that day, but given the circumstances, I think this was a fantastic ending to a cool story.
Myself and millions of people love to wander Cabelas or Basspro just to look at the awesome animals displayed. I didn’t shoot them. Nobody in that store shot them. And many are even Just replicas of amazing animals. I don’t see the difference in having one in your home.
Some people get mounts done with sheds they’ve found, because the sheds or deadheads are incredible or they have a history with that animal. I just don’t see the ethical dilemma here.