John's Journal... Entry 169, Day 1
FINDING AND TAKING A TROPHY BUCK
What Is A Trophy Buck?
EDITOR'S NOTE: We all have our own opinions about what makes a trophy buck, and each idea has validity. However, I don't feel I need an organization to define a trophy buck. Actually no one but me has any concerns about the size of my buck. I have to decide what makes a buck I take a trophy buck, and you may have different parameters to define a trophy buck.
While visiting a friend's house, I noticed three monster-sized deer heads mounted on his wall. All three bucks had huge racks and big necks and probably would have scored better than 150 points on the Boone and Crockett scale. My friend considered them all trophy bucks because of what he'd gone through to take each, but would other hunters?
Private hunting organizations like Boone and Crockett, Pope and Young and Buckmasters have established fair-chase scoring systems that determine the minimum requirements a buck's rack must meet to classify as a trophy in their record books. But do these clubs have the final say on what constitutes a trophy animal?
If you subtract the fair-chase requirement for taking a trophy buck and consider only a deer's heavy body weight and large, wide antlers to define the characteristics of a trophy buck, then anyone can bag a trophy. You can find numerous deer enclosures around the country where paying high prices can get you any size buck you want to take. Just go to an enclosure, look at their photos of live trophy bucks, pay the asking price, and shoot the buck. Then you can mount your buck and hope you'll impress your friends and visitors.
But does a buck that just has huge antlers define a trophy? Or, does the remembrance of a physically-challenging elusive buck and/or a defining moment in your life or that of a friend or family member make a buck a trophy? In my opinion, through the years, outdoorsmen have cheapened the taking of trophy bucks by making them more available and by artificially producing more bucks. Today you may find a trophy buck as common as a bowling trophy. Anyone can get a bowling trophy. Just go to a trophy shop, and pick out the trophy you want. Pay the store owner his asking price, take the trophy home, put it on your shelf, and hope you impress someone with it.
TOMORROW: MY FIRST TROPHY BUCK