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Jun 14, 2023 | 08:33 pm 1704 0

The most valuable hunting trophies.

The most valuable hunting trophies.

In ancient times, our ancestors hunted various animals to feed themselves and obtain material to manufacture valuable items. Over time, this need disappeared, and the main goal of the hunt was extracting a trophy. The latter proves the hunter's skill, so many amateurs and professionals strive for it. Only a few of the many awards obtained fall into the most valuable category. They cost much money and are the pride of their owner.

How is the value of trophies determined?

For the first time, hunting trophies began to be compared in the middle of the 19th century. At that time, there were no restrictions on shooting animals, so many participants participated in competitions and exhibitions. From the trophies shown to them, the best ones were chosen, considered the most valuable. The only criterion in those days was the opinion of the judges. They were selected from among experienced hunters but often played along with one of the participants. This became a serious problem, since each participant, without having exact criteria for judging, killed the maximum possible number of animals in the hope that at least one would be a precious trophy. This approach led to the extermination of many species of fauna, most of which, to this day, have not been able to restore their former population. Growing dissatisfaction and conflicts between hunters forced hunters to develop a single rating system that would help choose the winner. It was introduced in 1881, but a few months later, it was canceled due to its bias. An unsuccessful attempt to create a rating system led the hunters to return to the old way of determining the most valuable trophy.

In 1910, R. Ward's book on hunting trophies was published, and a new rating system was proposed. It was as simple as possible but quite effective. It was used everywhere, and they would stay the same for a long time. The situation changed in 1930 when the CIC system was established in Europe. It provided for evaluating the value of trophies according to several essential criteria. The points obtained were summed up with the assessment of the appearance of the prey, and the result was entered in a unique table. A slightly modified and modified CIC system appeared in 1932 in the USA. It was intended exclusively for hunters from North America and lasted for several decades.

The middle of the 20th century was spent in disputes about determining the value of a trophy. Many options were proposed, but none of them was adopted unanimously. The solution was found in 1977 at the World Hunting Exhibition. Its participants adopted the unified international rules for evaluating trophies, which are still used today. They are based on the CIC system, which has been refined and adapted to the needs of modern hunters.

The current criteria for determining the value of trophies:

  1. Typicality. This evaluation criterion makes it possible to reject all trophies obtained from killing atypical animals. The standards of each animal are clearly defined, so it is possible to avoid biased evaluation. The latter include representatives of the fauna, which have different indicators (small size, non-standard color, various mutations, etc.) that differ from those characteristic of a particular species.
  2. Symmetry. This criterion provides for the conditional division of the trophy into two parts and comparing them with each other (size, shape, etc.). It evaluates animals' horns, tusks, skins, and heads. The presence of even minor differences reduces the final score, which is an indicator of the value of the trophy.
  3. Beauty. This criterion is the only one that is subjective. Each evaluator has their concept of beauty, so the same trophy, checked by different people, can get dramatically different points. This rarely happens since most appraisers are professionals in their field and use the same rules to determine the beauty of the trophy.

The critical point is that the value of the trophy does not depend on the chosen method of hunting. In this regard, animals can be tracked using any available devices (for example, modern-day optics or night vision devices) and killed with any legal weapon.

Popular trophy animals

A valuable trophy will be obtained only from animals rarely found on the planet or belong to the elite category of hunters. All of the above makes certain trophy animals the primary goal of any hunter. Tracking down and shooting them is always tricky enough. This requires traveling worldwide and hunting in dangerous places, often with harsh climatic conditions.

The most popular trophy animals:

  • lion;
  • elephant;
  • leopard;
  • buffalo;
  • rhinoceros;
  • giraffe;
  • tiger;
  • hippopotamus;
  • rare species of antelope.

The most valuable hunting trophies

There are many types of trophies, but the most valuable of them are the heads, skins, horns, tusks, and fangs of animals. They all have their evaluation criteria and are divided into separate categories. Because of this, one part of the beast is often valued much more than another (for example, a rhinoceros horn is a much more valuable trophy than its skin).


Many consider the head of a killed animal to be the most status trophy. Very often, it is the hunter's pride. Therefore, it is placed in his dwelling or a particular room where various hunting exhibitions and other similar events are held. Animal heads have been valued since ancient times. In the distant past, they were used as idols, which were worshiped, and offered as gifts to the gods. Nowadays, such a trophy is used exclusively for decorating rooms and training future zoologists.

Taxidermists carry out the work on the creation of such a trophy. They have unique skills and abilities that allow them to carefully separate the head from the animal's body and process it correctly. This process often takes time, but the final result is worth any expectations. The prepared trophy becomes entirely safe for humans (it does not rot and does not contain dangerous insects) and does not lose its attractive appearance over a long period.

The heads of various animals often become trophies for participating in exhibitions and hunting competitions. They are judged by size, weight, volume, shape, and appearance. The results obtained are compared with generally accepted standards, and the final score shows the value of the trophy. In some cases, additional criteria are introduced that make it possible to determine the value of the animal's head accurately.

In each country, the heads of certain animals are especially valued. They are often prominent representatives of the fauna, which only true masters of their craft can get on the hunt. In this case, they will need special weapons and high-quality additional equipment (for example, daytime optics, thermal imagers, and classic night vision devices). The most valuable trophies are the heads of the following animals:

  • boar;
  • different types of ungulates (deer, elk, roe deer, antelope, buffalo);
  • lion;
  • tiger;
  • rhinoceros.


Among the many valuable trophies, special attention is paid to the skins of various animals. Their external beauty distinguishes them and has practical applications. Such awards often become an excellent alternative to floor and wall carpets. It decorates the room and creates a cozy atmosphere in it. Animal skins sometimes become the main decorative item used to create the interior.

Skinning an animal killed by a hunter is a complex process that requires specific skills. Such work is often carried out by specially trained people who know precisely what manipulations must be done. In this case, it is essential to exercise maximum caution since any erroneous action will ruin the trophy and make killing the animal useless.

Skins as trophies are an indispensable attribute of any hunting exhibition. Also, competitions are often held among hunters, where jury members check the skins they have obtained according to several essential criteria. The final score is influenced by such indicators as length (measured from the tip of the animal's nose to its tail), width (measured in the middle part of the trophy), and the condition of the hairline. The last parameter considers the uniform distribution of wool over the entire skin surface and its color, density, and luster.

The skin of only a few species of animals becomes a valuable trophy. They often include inhabitants of mountains, plains, and forests, distinguished by an unusual color and a unique pattern on their wool. Some of these animals are nocturnal. Hunters will need high-quality night vision devices to shoot them and not damage the skin. They will help you aim better and make the most accurate shot. Among the most valuable trophies are the skins of the following animals:

  • leopard;
  • tiger;
  • jaguar;
  • giraffe;
  • bear;
  • lynx;
  • wolf;
  • fox;
  • small fur-bearing animals (sable, ermine, arctic fox, squirrel, and others).


In all books and films where the main characters are lovers of hunting, someone's horns are described and shown. These trophies often decorate the wall not only with fictional characters but also with real hunters. This feature is explained by the availability of horns, which even a beginner can get on the hunt. In addition, the high popularity and value of the trophy are influenced by its external attractiveness. Very often, the horns have an intricate shape so that you can admire them endlessly.

The process of separating the horns from the skull of an animal is relatively simple. Special skills are optional to complete such work so that everyone can cope with the task. The main thing in this matter is accuracy and knowledge of the basic principles. If you do not make serious mistakes and strictly follow the generally accepted rules, you can complete the work on creating the trophy as soon as possible.

Many different criteria for each type of animal determine their value. Horns, more often than other trophies, get to various exhibitions. Despite this, in all cases, the horns' length, circumference, scope, and number of processes are necessarily considered. Also, during the assessment, the shape of the trophy and the features of its appearance are taken into account. The obtained data are compared with the standard, after which the points are subtracted or added. The total amount allows you to determine the most valuable trophy.

In the second case, the hunter will need night optics to get the trophy. It will help you find the animal of interest in the dark and safely get close to it at a shot distance. The most valuable awards stand out for their impressive dimensions, unusual configuration, and many processes. Hundreds of animal species have horns, leading a diurnal and the following animals have such horns:

  • buffalo;
  • deer;
  • elk;
  • markhor goat;
  • saiga;
  • mouflon;
  • oryx;
  • markhorn antelope.

Tusks and fangs

The tusks of various animals have long been considered valuable trophies. Our ancestors used them to create tools, jewelry, and decorative items. This material is distinguished by its strength but can be perfectly processed. Today, tusks are also a prized trophy. Many hunters with different skill levels dream of getting them. The fangs of animals have a similar meaning and application. They also make a fantastic trophy, the value of which is often the highest possible.

Separating the tusks and fangs from the body of a hunted animal is a simple process. To do this, it is enough to use improvised tools and make a little effort. These trophies are very expensive. Because of this, many unscrupulous hunters kill many animals, putting some species on the brink of extinction. Various preventive measures are used to combat this phenomenon, and violators are severely punished. This process does not interfere with legal trophy hunting, the purpose of which is to obtain the tusks or fangs of a particular animal. Often it is carried out in the dark, so hunters use night vision devices. With their help, it will be possible to determine the belonging of an animal to a particular species and prevent the accidental killing of a disappearing representative of the fauna.

Many criteria determine the value of tusks and horns. The main one is size. The larger it is, the more valuable the trophy becomes. Also, evaluators pay attention to the weight, color, and condition (presence or absence of various defects on the surface) of the bone tissue.

Fangs and tusks may interest the hunter but are not found in all animals. At the same time, most of them are under the auspices of various environmental organizations, further complicating the hunter's task. Nevertheless, such a trophy can still be obtained legally. To do this, you need to obtain permission to shoot the following types of animals:

  • elephant;
  • boar;
  • walrus;
  • rhinoceros;
  • warthog;
  • saber-toothed deer;
  • tiger;
  • hippopotamus.

Only some trophies obtained by hunting are valuable. To become one, it must meet specific criteria and be attractive from an aesthetic point of view. Most often, among the most valuable trophies are the heads, skins, horns, and tusks of various animals, tracking down and killing, which is the most challenging task. Hunters make many sacrifices to get them, ranging from wasted time to significant financial investments. However, all of the above does not stop true connoisseurs of trophy hunting, who consistently achieve their goals and receive a well-deserved reward.

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