Management Stag Trophy
Introducing the Andy Frankiewicz management stag trophy. In memorial of Andy Frankiewicz . Andy was a Ridge member, husband, hunter and a good man. His passing came as a shock to us all and it is only natural that his memory be sustained within us through this perpetual award.
This award will however do more than remember a man. It will help carry the beliefs of Quality deer management(QDM). These are beliefs that, as a RIDGE member, Andy held. You may ask, why choose such a poor specimen of antlers to remember a man. The answer lies within our love and belief of deer management. If we love the deer and appreciate them as a gift of nature, we must acknowledge our responsibility to manage them to the best of our ability. To that end we must practice restraint, humility and good judgment so that we all may benefit.
We must practice restraint . You may come across a perfect royal 6 x 6 on a beautiful foggy pre rut morning. He may be completely unaware of your presence and a certain kill for a trained hunter. A better trophy on your wall could not be imagined. On close inspection you notice his youthful gait, high pedicels and large ears. Your knowledge tells you he is a perfect specimen of Red deer genetics yet only 4 ½ to 5 ½ years old. You exercise restraint because you know that the genetics have not had time to pass on into the herd. Humility because you know that the quality of the herd is more important than your own desire for success.
After watching the stag quietly feed out of view you thank the powers that be for the amazing experience and hunt on . The morning reveals more sign and you follow it up coming across a stag in the thick. Well concealed and you’ve had to work hard for this crafty fellow. Glassing him over, you note his obviously advanced age and poor quality of antler. He has evaded hunters for so long but now your paths have aligned. The shot is taken, he pumps his legs and staggers to make the safety of the hills but his strength fails him this time as you’re well placed shot has done the job.
You have a mixture of feelings that only a hunter can know. Sadness, the death of a beautiful beast. Elation, the rush of blood from the natural predator instinct within you. Satisfaction and fulfilment, the culmination of the morning efforts and indeed the many years learning through success and failure before this moment. This is the good judgement we must practice to ensure the quality and sustainability for future generations. This is why we celebrate Andy’s life with a management stag not a perfect trophy stag.
Now the hard work begins. Carry that carcass out and process its venison. Take it home and feed your family. Give thanks and remember. Like Andy, your life may end unexpectedly so make the most of what you have and practice QDM so that your sons and daughters may love the deer too.