Hunting trophy

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Deer antlers on loden coat

A trophy is a sign of a successful hunt serving antler , horn , fur o. Ä. and traditionally belongs to the killer of the animal in question. It serves as a memento, decorative and collector's item and, in the case of antlers, is usually hung up as a wall decoration or, in the case of the chamois beard, worn as a hat decoration with traditional costume .

Types of hunting trophies

Jay's mirror feather

Typical hunting trophies include the antlers , horns and teeth of mammals , for example the gun of the boar or the grandeln of the red deer , the claws of various birds of prey and bird feathers , for example the mirror feathers of the jay or the tail feathers of the pheasant . Furs from martens , foxes and bears as well as paws from foxes and rabbits are also collected as trophies .

It is common for a hunter to take possession of trophies only from game he has killed himself. The well-known saying “Do not adorn yourself with foreign feathers!” Indicates this. To adorn yourself with a trophy that you have not hunted yourself is seen by hunters as shameful and inappropriate for pasture .


Hat with various hunting trophies, exhibited in
the Wolfstein Castle Hunting Museum

Hunting trophies are still coveted collectors' items, showcase objects and - incorporated into various hunting costumes - as status symbols . In the case of coveted trophies, the price of the trophy often exceeds the value of the venison . Prices of several thousand euros are paid for the shooting permit for “strong” red deer . Many animal species are prepared and stuffed for their own homes or for natural history museums .

Artificial selection

For some game species with antlers or horn, the hunting seasons depend on the trophy formation.

In order to obtain the desired trophies, red deer are shot after a selection process . In addition to the quality of the grazing and the general health of the animals, the genetic information is largely responsible for the development of the antlers. In order to exclude “badly” predisposed animals from reproduction, preference is given to shooting young and weak deer that “have a high level of eavesdropping” (antlers shorter than ears), while young deer with well developed antlers are spared: they are only harvested at the height of their antler formation and in the meantime they can introduce their genes into the population.

This method, which was previously referred to as Aufartung, has been applied to roebucks since 1934 with the Reich Hunting Act. At least in the case of roe deer, this selection is becoming less important. In most of the state laws of the German federal states, there are only two differentiation classes: one-year-old, and two-year-old and older bucks.

When it comes to red deer, in Germany , Austria and Switzerland the shooting of crown deer (the end of the antler has at least three points) is allowed from the age of ten years. Violations are the subject of numerous legal proceedings in Austria and Switzerland.

The shooting of roe deer is no longer subject to any legal requirements for the shape of the trophy. The shooting of roebucks is sometimes only permitted until mid-October in Germany, as the bucks lose their antlers in autumn. The new formation lasts until May, the beginning of a new hunting season. In 2013 , Rhineland-Palatinate was the first federal state to change this regulation so that the hunting season for deer ends on 31 January regardless of gender and age. In other federal states the hunting season was extended, mostly until the end of December.

With horn-carriers such as chamois, mouflon or ibex, the lifelong, continuous development of the horns is used as a decision criterion for a launch. The "wax-in" should be mentioned as an example of an early shooting of a mouflon ram. In this case, the tip of the curve of either a horn or both sides does not grow parallel to the neck, but in the direction of the neck or jaw.

Legal basis

The presentation of hunting trophies is only legally anchored in a few federal states. B. in Bavaria according to § 16 Abs. 4 of the regulation for the execution of the Bavarian Hunting Act (AVBayJG). This is justified with the purpose of providing information and transparency.


Collection of hunting trophies from Maximilian Graf von Arco-Zinneberg (1811–1885), the "Eagle
Count ", in the Palais Arco-Zinneberg

The trophy cult, as a fixation of hunting on trophies is also called, is the subject of public and internal hunting criticism.

In 1971, Horst Stern said in his remarks about the red deer :

“It is time to demystify the red deer antlers as a status symbol. When the renowned hunters with their bone gazes on the walls of the men's room and bowling alley à la Helmut Horten finally no longer make an impression on anyone, because everyone knows that these antlers were very often won by semi-domesticated crib-eaters, then the field of fire is finally free for the biological hunt. "

- Horst Stern : Comments on the red deer (1971)
Exhibition wall at the (compulsory) trophy show of the Kufstein district, Austria in the hunting year 2012/13

The Ecological Hunting Association does not see an age-old tradition in the trophy show as an institution , rather this fashion was introduced “around 100 years ago [...] according to the principle: the bad must go and the good must stay”. The trophy show does not do justice to the assessment of the game living in the hunting area, because only the headdresses of male animals are regularly exhibited.

An expert report on the forest-game conflict prepared and published in 2010 on behalf of the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (BfN), the German Forestry Council (DFWR) and the Working Group on Natural Forest Management (ANW) sees a continued strong fixation on trophies and antlers among German hunters a resulting unequal treatment of animal species. The z. Wild game feeding, sometimes for several months, selection of breeding when shooting and occasionally also medicinal treatment of the game for the purpose of “trophy enclosure” is assessed as a threat to the wild animal character of the animal species concerned. The trophy shows, in recent times often referred to as Hegeschauen, are rated as an unsuitable instrument with regard to shooting planning and execution.


  • Fritz Nüßlein u. a .: The practical handbook of hunting knowledge . 16th edition. BLV, Munich 2006, ISBN 3-8354-0020-7 .
  • Christian Ammer , Torsten Vor, Thomas Knoke , Stefan Wagner: The forest-wild conflict. Analysis and solution approaches against the background of legal, ecological and economic relationships. Göttinger Forstwissenschaften - Volume 5, Göttinger Universitätsverlag: Göttingen 2010, ISBN 978-3-941875-84-5 , full text online (PDF) .
  • Richard Blase: The hunter's examination: The teaching, learning and reference work for training and practice . Quelle & Meyer, Wiebelsheim 2004, ISBN 3-494-01336-5 .
  • Walter Frevert, Friedrich Türcke (Ed.): The hunting customs: hunter's language, fractional signs, hunting signals and other practical hunting customs in the past and present . Parey, Berlin 1995, ISBN 3-490-29212-X .
  • Bernd Herrmann, Klaus-Steffen Saternus: Biological trace research: Volume 1: criminal biology . Springer, Heidelberg 2007, ISBN 978-3-540-71110-0 .
  • Hubertus Hiller: Hunters and Hunting: on the development of hunting in Germany between 1848 and 1914 . Waxmann Verlag, 2003, ISBN 3-8309-1196-3 .
  • Olgierd EJ Kujawski: Hunting trophies: extraction, treatment, evaluation . BLV, 2005, ISBN 3-405-16848-1 .
  • Ilse Haseder , Gerhard Stinglwagner : Knaur's large hunting dictionary . Augsburg 2000, ISBN 3-8289-1579-5 , p. 796 ff.

Web links

Wiktionary: Hunting trophy  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Hunting trophy  - collection of images, videos and audio files
Commons : Stuffed Animals  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Duden | Hunting trophy | Spelling, meaning, definition. Retrieved November 29, 2018 .
  2. Egon Wagenknecht: deer Hege with a rifle. Neumann, Leipzig / Radebeul 1983, ISBN 3-7888-0380-0 , pp. 187-203.
  3. Konrad Jeker: Of non-huntable, one-sided crown deer and limping comparisons . In: , accessed on October 24, 2013.
  4. ^ Federal Chancellery Austria: Federal Chancellery Legal Information System . Retrieved October 24, 2013.
  5. Law and Ordinance Gazette for the State of Rhineland-Palatinate No. 13 of August 20, 2013. p. 293.
  6. Closed and hunting seasons in Germany at: , accessed on September 27, 2015.
  7. Implementing ordinance for the Bavarian Hunting Act
  8. Hunt between "morning prayer" and trophy cult. In: November 7, 2015, accessed January 30, 2019 .
  9. Every year again or trophy cult in its purest form . ÖJV press release from June 21, 2004 on . Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  10. Ammer (2010), The forest-wild conflict. Pp. 18, 130
  11. Ammer (2010), The forest-wild conflict. P. 179
  12. Ammer (2010), The forest-wild conflict. P. 108