African Trophy Expectations

Most hunters African trophy expectations go as far as taking a fully mature animal which is near the end of its useful breeding life. They are prepared to hunt hard and be selective to achieve this.

  • Some hunters actually don't have any trophy expectations - they don't necessarily know what a mature male of any animal looks like. They are totally reliant on their PH calling the shots and if they have a good PH, will come away with a decent set of trophies.
  • It is always a good idea to do some homework about the animals you want to hunt and have some knowledge of what constitutes a desirable trophy. For example, taking a Cape buffalo which may have a good spread but a soft boss - given a few more years, he could be a truly great trophy. Some hunters particularly enjoy hunting animals with abnormal horn formations or only one horn. Such animals are usually found by chance but a few collectors may ask about obtaining these trophies.
  • At the other end of the spectrum are the serious record book hunters. With these hunters, high African trophy expectations are the be all and end all of their hunting experience.
  • Some hunters start their hunt enquiries with specific requests for a certain size trophies. No harm in that but a sensible outfitter or PH should not make any firm promises. The only thing he should commit to is, that there are possibly animals in that size range present in the hunting area and working hard to try to get you up on one.
  • Once in the field and actually looking at the possible record book animal in front of them, these same hunters are liable to pressure their PH into committing to the size of the trophy, to the exact fraction of the inch...or else they won't pay the trophy fee. The sensible PH will only give his experienced estimate. It's up to the hunter to shoot or not, if indeed, the animal is still standing there, after the debate.

Generally if a hunter selects the right hunting company and clearly communicates his trophy expectations to the outfitter and PH, he will go home very satisfied. If he has set his standards extremely high for a particular animal, he must be prepared to go home empty-handed or compromise with a slightly smaller trophy.

Strangely it is often the hunter who is diligently plodding along not looking for anything special, who suddenly gets the chance to shoot an outstanding trophy animal. Good hunters make their own luck.

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Page Updated: Feb 2024

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