What is a Trophy Hunter?

spypoint camera whitetail buck doe

Are you a trophy hunter? That’s the question these days that gets asked a lot about deer hunters that most people emphatically say their answer is “No”.  But are they lying to you or themselves?

A simple question was asked on Twitter by @WhitetailLegacy about if you would shoot a buck you’ve been hunting for years after it has already dropped one side of its rack. That question quickly spun (like everything on social media) into people throwing around the term “Trophy Hunter” all over the place. There were a lot of comments from people saying they are “meat hunters” and don’t care if it has a rack on one side, both sides or it’s a doe and of course, there were a few bashes against people who hunted based on the size of the rack. Why does everything have to turn into bashing on social media?  That’s a totally different topic. Let’s get back to this one.

So what is a “Trophy Hunter”? Before we answer that question I have a quiz for you. Take a look at the Spypoint Camera pic above. You have a nice buck and a couple does. You can take your pick of any one of them to shoot. Which one would you choose? Be honest…. We will come back to this later.


Earlier I asked you to look at the picture above and pick which deer you would shoot. What did you choose? If you chose one of the does, I’m calling you a liar. Of course, you chose the buck. You’re a hunter and every hunter’s dream is to kill that monster buck. If given the opportunity to shoot a mature buck over a doe, wouldn’t you take it? Heck ya, you would. So technically, you’re a Trophy Hunter right? You fall under that very loose definition just like everyone else. We are all “Trophy Hunters”.

Ok, I know what you are saying. “But Matt, my main goal isn’t shooting a big buck. I’m more interested in the meat.” Yes, I completely understand that. I shoot a doe every year and haven’t shot a buck in I don’t know how long. But yes, I am a Trophy Hunter. I’m totally fine with that. Being a Trophy Hunter doesn’t make you less of a hunter. But for a lot of them (other than most TV and high fence hunters), it makes them more of a hunter than I could or would ever be. If a hunter spends countless hours every week all year long preparing to hunt one, two or three trophy bucks, to me that makes them more of a hunter than most of us. There’s no need to judge them for doing what we don’t want to do or have the ability to do. 

Whenever we hunt or fish, we all want that big one. Just admit it. You’re a Trophy Hunter like the rest of us.



  • Cody Jenkins March 6, 2019 at 8:34 pm

    I’m a trophy hunter and a meat hunter and proud of both

  • Robert Young March 7, 2019 at 1:04 pm

    A freezer full of venison is a Trophy.

  • Paul Synoground March 7, 2019 at 1:44 pm

    Every deer taken is a trophy to me me regardless of sex or size. I’m a trophy hunter and proud of it. Hunting mature deer, buck or doe, can be a challenge so when you spend that time preparing for the hunt whatever deer you kill is a trophy.

    • ANTHONY ELROY SUCHY August 1, 2019 at 10:03 pm

      You are very true on your statement. My daughter shot her 1st and was disappointed it was a fawn. I told her she should be excited about any deer she gets and it’s a trophy to get one. Many people don’t get a deer. To me it’s a disrespect to the animal if you aren’t excited and proud of the animal you took. Maybe I’m old fashioned. I do trophy hunt in that I’ll take a msture buck over a doe if they are both in frontof me but if the doe comes out and I get her and tag if full and then buck walks by and I can’t shoot I’m still happy with what I shot and have no regrets. Yes this has happened to me more then once.


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