Naturally, as hunters we are tuned in to primarily target mature male game animals. These are the animals we see mounted on the wall, profiled in magazines and feature in the stories we are told as kids.
It is therefore very common to walk past a number of females in pursuit of that elusive trophy-class male. However, if in doing this we find ourselves harvesting immature males and taking very few females the result will be a herd with a high ratio of breeding females, very few younger males getting to mature trophy quality and a population that increases beyond the carrying capacity of the habitat.
This kind of hunting will lead to a high population, a habitat under pressure and a herd out of balance with very few decent animals:
The good news is that hunters can help achieve a much healthier herd balance by targeting more yearling and breeding-age females while at the same time exhibiting the discipline to leave younger males to mature. This results in a more balanced herd that promotes better quality meat animals, more trophy-class males and a far more intense and exciting rut – lots of mature males competing for fewer but highly receptive females. It’s quality over quantity and a win-win for hunting and conservation: