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Posted by Michael Strahan on Apr 21 2006
I've thought about this a lot, and for me it isn't about the book at all; it's about the attitude of the hunter. In my view, "the book" is two things; a tool to research regional genetic pockets for trophy hunting, and a celebration of the glory of animals of unusual size. I'm offended by hunters who think that the whole point is to see their name in lights. Personally, I think SCI made a mistake in even issuing their own version of records books, and I would have rathered that they left that turf to the established books already issued by Rowland Ward, Boone and Crockett, and Pope and Young. These three represent the gold standard in their respective fields.
It's unfortunate that these tools have turned the egos of some hunters into a cash cow for the organization that produces them, and when you look at the whole way this is handled, it begins to appear that it's all about money, at least as far as SCI is concerned. You pay to be a member, you pay to get your name in their book, and you buy a copy to show to your friends. I dunno.
Like I said, I think the concept is good. But it has been twisted, in my view, by over-commercialization, and by the egos of many of the hunters. I'm probably not the most objective guy for this one, because of some of the behavior I've witnessed in the field, by hunters obsessed with "the book". We had one sheep hunter (an attorney from Texas) who, upon jumping out of the Super Cub on the airstrip, announced that he had "$500 for the first 40-incher we got". He shot a 34-inch ram, against the advice of his guide (he insisted it was bigger). The first thing he did was pull out a tape. When he saw how small it was (it was a full curl, just a smaller ram), he literally threw it's head down on the rocks. It's times like that when you have to grit your teeth and discharge your legal obligations to the guy, and hope the next hunter "gets it". I've seen that same hunter in a few magazines since then, so perhaps he has realized his dreams of fame... Maybe so, but he won't be unrolling his sleeping bag by my fire any time soon.
I think this is a great topic, and I'm glad you mentioned it. These are just my opinions; I have hunted with all kinds of folks over the years, and will continue to do so. But I sure don't like it when folks think it's all about them.
Also, a tip of the hat to Cathy. Thanks for posting, and I hope you'll keep it up! Welcome to Outdoors Directory!
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