Becoming a Trophy Hunter - Part II

In the second of four articles Matthew Rogers explains his decision in choosing park deer over wild.

taxidermy

With the decision made to step away from the 2014 Roe Rut, and focusing on securing a trophy herding animal later in the year, the next big decision to be made was how it should be taken.

(Left: Many Trophy hunters will employ a taxidermist to get the most from their trophy)

There are many arguments surrounding the culling of park animals, on the basis of ‘good’ and ‘evil’. While I did have a decision to make regarding the selection of an animal in a natural habitat versus a controlled habitat, my framing of the situation is different. For me, the basis was not ‘good’ and ‘evil’ but ‘representative’ or ‘best in class’.

My previous artilce closed with a discussion of wall space – after all, you only have so much brick and plaster that can be given over to trophies, so you have to make it count and be happy with your choices. So therefore, it became an important driver for me to have a fine animal but also one that I would be happy with, and critically, unlikely to ever better. If I went out next season and shot an even better buck, that is a lot of aggravation in having it prepared, mounted, and hung.

And there we have another decisive turning point in my rationale – shooting a wild animal, while immensely satisfying, runs the very real risk of it being bettered the very next season. While I do intend to have my house positively dripping with heads, I would be loathe to have four of the same animal, stacking up in a corner because they were second best, or third best, to my latest acquestion. Taxidermy appears to be the latest ‘on trend’ accessory so perhaps one could recoup some costs by selling them, but let’s remind ourselves – some things in life are worth trading upwards, like from a Lada to a Bentley. The lives of animals less so.

My decision to stalk a park deer was not taken lightly, but having realized the action and converted the decision into a taken head, it felt like one of the most fulfilling and satisfying decisions made while stalking.  Another decision of equal gravitas must have been the decision to switch species at the last minute and to stay true to my principles of ‘best in class’ – but more on this another day.

My next article will explore the experience of park stalking for trophies. This article explored why the decision worked for me, as an individual and a sportsman, but the next entry will recount what it is actually like, from the second the car door opens to the final setting of the sun and closure of dusk.

To read part one of Matthew's 'Becoming a Trophy Hunter' click here: becoming-a-trophy-hunter-part-i

To read more about Taxidermy click here: taxidermy

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