Quick Read: What is a "Trophy"

The term "Trophy buck" is tossed out in the hunting community more than necessary. It causes people to believe they need to shoot a monster in order to have a successful season. You need to be realistic when setting your hunting goals. In order to shoot a mature buck, you have to hunt where they live, and quite simply you may not hunt where a big mature buck lives, or there may be great amount of hunting pressure around you.

After setting realistic expectations for yourself, work towards those goals. For example, if you live in Michigan where the hunting pressure is extremely high, it can be extremely tough to shoot a mature buck. If you set your goal of shooting and 2 1/2 old on public land and succeed, that can be just as impressive as someone shooting a 3 1/2 year old 160" buck on highly managed land in Iowa. 

So right now, evaluate your hunting situation. If you do live on highly managed land in Iowa, maybe you can set your expectation to be a 160" buck or better. But there are many people who don't have these circumstances. The term "Trophy" is just relative, don't let it dictate what you do or don't shoot.

-Alex Comstock