Original Research

Altertative trophy measuring techniques for African buffalo

S.E. Gandy, B.K. Reilly
Koedoe | Vol 47, No 1 | a65 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/koedoe.v47i1.65 | © 2004 S.E. Gandy, B.K. Reilly | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 18 December 2004 | Published: 18 December 2004

About the author(s)

S.E. Gandy, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa
B.K. Reilly, Tshwane University of Technology, South Africa

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The African buffalo is considered the classic African trophy. It is the choice of many hunters who will never go on to hunt any of the other dangerous game animals on the continent. A good trophy is perceived as that of a mature bull with a hardened boss and horn tips that lengthen into sharply pointed hooks. However, indications are that these are the bulls in their breeding prime and there is concern that the continued targeting of these individuals will negatively impact on the population dynamics of the herds, ultimately affecting the sustainability of buffalo hunting. As they age and become postreproductive, the horns broom down, reducing the trophy score under the current measurement systems. A new measuring system is needed that encourages hunters to target the older post-reproductive bulls, instead of those that are still breeding. A random sample of trophies was divided into broomed and non-broomed sub-samples. All key parameters that can be measured in the trophy were measured with a view to identifying the parameters that would allow broomed-down individuals to compete favourably with the non-broomed “classic trophy” in the primary measurement systems, those of Safari Club International and Rowland Ward. An index, created through dividing tip space by the mean of the two individual horn lengths proved to serve the purpose. This factor was then applied to the mean of the SCI and Rowland Ward measurements in the samples. These methods allowed broomed horns to score more points in the record books than non-broomed horns. Boss width and boss space are other possible measurement inclusions that could be considered.


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Crossref Citations

1. Trophy Hunting and Sustainability: Temporal Dynamics in Trophy Quality and Harvesting Patterns of Wild Herbivores in a Tropical Semi-Arid Savanna Ecosystem
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doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0164429