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What do you consider a "trophy"?

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I'm curious what people feel scores a "trophy" worthy of a head mount? Is it 120...130...etc.?

My brother and I have talked about a certain score that we say that if the deer grosses a certain score, the head goes on the wall. If it's close but under, then it's a judgement call of what the story was, and if it's worth the memory of the deer through the mount. I mount all antlers to hang on the wall as every deer tells a story. My biggest deer hunting regret is throwing away a spike from many years ago. EVERY deer tells a story, and I'm sorry those 2 points are not on my wall.

What does everyone else think? (Also, I thought this was a thread a while back, but I could not find it when searching.)

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I had a head mount made of my first buck, but he was also my biggest -- around 130 or so, maybe 135... doesn't matter. He's a real treasure to me, but I'm not so sure I'll ever do another. One deer on the wall seems like enough to me, I guess, and not even a 180 is going to knock this guy off my wall.

No. That 150 or so I eventually shoot is going to go European and on a pedestal. An accent peice, as my wife would say, and so much better than a lime green chair.

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I've got three on the wall between 125-140. I've got two other nice ones that are just under that in which I want to have some type of a rack mount done and then take them up to the cabin.

My next big one to be mounted will have to be in the 150 range or better. If I do take another 130-140 I will do some sort of European mount with it.

Anything around a 130 with the bow is a trophy in my book. If I waited for for a 150 or bigger every year I'd probably be about 10-15 years between shots at bucks.

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A trophy is in the eye of the beholder. I have my first deer mounted granted it is a ten pointer roughly 120" and there is a pretty good posibility I'll never get one that size again. It also depends on the area you hunt, which in some area's it would be a monster and the same deer somewhere else might only be average. I know plenty of people who have mounted deer that have gone under 100" but its the story that made them want to mount it.

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My first archery kill will be a trophy. Buck, doe, or anything in between. Still a trophy with the bow.

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I think everything is a trophy, killing something that can smell you from 100 yards away, that knows where you are before you even get into that tree. IF you can get that withing 40 yards or closer for a bow kill, thats a trophy. But trophy mounting i would say 140+

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Last year and this year I shot a 5x5 last years I sat for about ten days straight taking a break midday watching little bucks with does then finally one day when It was snowing like crazy and about ten below I seen a tall rack appear In a think slew I sat by looked in the scope and he was looking right at me. 1 shot and he was down. he's on the wall from peer hard work.

This year I scouted a nice buck I hunted 14 days straight for him on the 3rd day of the season he was bedded 50 yards from my stand I jumped him trying to get in my stand didnt get a clear shot till he was out a ways missed sat every morning and evening still on thursday night I seen Him hop over a fence within range but was to dark to get a good shot.Finally saturday night I got to my stand earlier and sat down looked to my left slowly to my right there he was out about 450 yards standing there looking right at me. I slowly took my time aimed about a foot above him waited for the wind gust to die down held my breath slowly squeezed the trigger to my a-bolt 30-06 my gun came up from the blast i quickly lowered my gun back on him again in time to watch the bullet hit his chest. seen him instantly buckel up. He ran about 50 feet and dropped what a feeling. He had some ground srink but still should score around 150 he's also going on the wall for the peer hard work. This is my fourth trophy deer on the wall and im only 29. I beleive anybody can get a trophy If they put in the time. If you find alot of does there will be a nice buck coming along sometime you just have to wait and freeze till he gets there.

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I feel a trophy is any deer that you hunt hard for and by this I mean hunting all day reguardless of the conditions, doing all of your homework and not just get lucky the first time you set up out of the blue, and I especially think any deer taken on public land is for sure a trophy reguardless in my book!!!

As far as shoulder mount goes my dad shot one a few years ago and has been hunting all his life and has only had the chance to shoot a couple of small bucks and 3 years ago he got a crack at a very nice 10 pt and laid him out and it is nothing huge by any means, since it only scored 114 5/8 and only had a 14" spread but he carried great mass and had a dark chocolate rack and a crab claw on one side so he was a neat deer, and the best part of it was the fact that my dad called me and told me the whole story like a kid in a candy store would talk, he never called me to tell me he got one otherwise, but this time he just couldnt hold back he was very proud of that deer and I was of him... Sorry about the ramblin

By the way this is a great topic

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Well for me it will be an 8pt. that is well outside the ears and then work my way up after that. Still looking for that first one. Maybe late Dec. while I am freezing my arse off one will stroll through.

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I had a 135 8 point on the wall that I got with the bow 4 years ago then last year I got a 160 5/8 8 point. Well, that had to go on too. Luckily my wife thinks they look nice so maybe one more but it's got to be bigger than the ones already on there (not real likely though.)

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I have taken a 120 and 125 with a rifle that are just on a board, had I taken them with a bow I think I would have gotten the full shoulder mount but for some reason they just didn't seem big enough, not enough mass I think. If I got something in the 135+ range I would probably do it.

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It depends on where you are at along the lines of hunting and years in the field. Like Al Lindner says you'll always remember your first muskie and your biggest muskie. I will always treasure my first buck a 7 pointer in 1984 and I haven't ever scored any of the 21 MN bucks I've taken, 15 of them would be deemed mature, it doesn't matter to me, my largest buck is a monster taken in 2004, I'm sure it would score well but it's not meaningful to me to see where it scores, it is more meaningful to me the way and how I took all 21 of these, that's what means the most to me anyway, good luck hunting.

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I don't really know, I think I'll know it when I see it though. I've probably only seen a handfull of bucks in my life while hunting that were wider then 15-16". I don't think I've shot a buck that would break 100", maybe a 14" spread. A nice 10+ pointer or a large 8 pointer will probably do it for me.

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anything you harvest should be a trophy. like mrklean said, if you can outsmart one of natures most cautious and smart animals at short range, you should be proud. as far as trophy antlers go, i guess anything that would make books, typical or non, P&Y or B&C.

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They are all trophies, that doesn't mean they all go on the wall with a full mount. I have one small buck on the wall because he was the first buck I ever shot and I got him hunting with my grandfather whom I only got to go with a couple years. He's got more memories than all the rest of the deer I've shot combined so he'll never come down. The only other one I mounted was a 165" deer that died about 100 yards away from that first one many many years later. I do keep all the antlers though (or at least all I can).

If I ever do another full shoulder mount, it will either be a bow whitetail that I think is worthy or a legit trophy mule deer, or an absolute BEAST of a whitetail with my rifle.

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Great stuff everyone. Great feedback, recommendations, sentiments, etc.

I shot one this year with my dad on the final day that I'm putting on the wall. I scored it, but the memories are the real story and the reason...not to mention it was a decent 8 point and the cabin needs a little something on the wall. Normally we throw in the towel and skip the last day, or just pull stands. I got this one and it was a great day. I don't know how many more years my dad will hunt...I hope a good number more. Lots of great memories this year. I was guiding my brother's 12 year old and he shot a doe out of the same stand the opening day. I've never been so excited after a shot as I was for and with him. It was AWESOME to see that excitement in a young hunters eyes.

Good stuff!!

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I'd like to see that 160" 8 pointer. We found a dead 8 pointer years ago that scores 160", and that thing dwarfs most 160" 10's. Any mature buck is a trophy, I like the idea of scoring a deer so I can get an unbiased idea of how big the rack is, but score isn't everything. My brother shot a 135" ten pointer a few years ago that dressed at 256#, that buck was never going to be huge buck according to b&c, but a trophy in anyone's book.

Mike

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ya, to agree with a lot of you a trophy is solely based on the memory behind it, every deer i hav harvested means something differently to me. A trophy doesnt always mean it's worthy of a full shoulder mount though. however, i still can remember the story of my first deer. after hunting for 2 years and seeing handfuls of deer but rarely getting a shot and missing 2 deer i had shots on i finally got one. a fine 8 pt that just might hav broken 100". It is a respectable deer but the what makes it a trophy to me is the memory definitly. It was shotten from a groundblind that my father and i constructed together in a ravine and worked for several days brushing out and cutting shooting lanes. It was shot with the winchester slug gun that my parents gave me as a christmas gift. most importantly the proud look on my father's face when we found that deer was what i will always treasure. I think he would be satisfied to never shoot another deer knowing that he introduced all his boys to deer hunting, helped them attain their first deer, and helped pass on to us a hobby that we can all enjoy together as a passion. memories like that is what IMO make any ordinary deer a trophy.

all sappiness aside, a "mounter" in my book would have to break 140. I've shotten 9 deer in my short history of deer hunting, being im only 17, but i hav now began passing on small bucks hoping to manage my family's hunting land for big bucks. With some of the pics i've seen on scouting camera i am hoping the 10th deer in my book will be that long desired mounter!

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I think it all depends where you are in your hunting "career". If you routinely shoot good bucks I think you could hold out for a good one or fill the walls. If you are an experienced deer hunter and it is your first big deer get it done and enjoy it. All of us have different places to hunt and time to devote to hunting, so what we put on the wall is dependant on that in my opinion. Chances are if you are thinking about getting a shoulder mount getting it done will make you happy, besides they all look nice.

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whats a trophy deer?

answer: anything that Tiffany Lakosky shoots! grin

serious though, I try to shoot any bucks that are over 120" with a firearm or bow. My biggest buck is a 9 pointer from last year that should be ready for the wall soon. I'll post pics when I get it back.

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A trophy? For me, it's a dead deer. Period. Can't eat the horns, you know. Not that horns aren't nice to look at either...

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Depends what your history is. If you've been hunting for a long time and have taken multiple 120+, then no, I would do a european. If you have been hunting a long time and don't see a lot of big bucks(heavily pressured areas for example) I think a trophy mount would be fine for a score in the 120's. I would probably full head mount 130+, but maybe more or less depending on the particular buck.

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