In July 2017, Namibia Professional Hunting Association presented a new Trophy Measurement System to the Namibian Ministry of Environment and Tourism. In 2020, Namibia Professional Hunting Association began the Age Related Trophy (ART) Measurement System, “creating incentives to hunt truly old animals past their prime and to discourage the hunting of immature animals altogether. It furthermore aims to underline the attraction and charisma of the often worn hunting memorabilia of old animals.”
The ART system manual further clarifies that age is not to be noted in years, but three categories: immature, prime or past prime. The exact definition of past prime varies by family and/or species. For example, those horned animals of the Bovidae family have a different system than tusked species. Then, within those categories, there may be additional aging criteria as well, such as indications of tooth and horn wear.
The Age-Related Trophy (ART) Measurement System was developed by the “Erongo Verzeichnisfor African game animals” and remains the intellectual property of the “Erongo Verzeichnisfor African game animals”, which is a registered trademark.
Some of the ways this proposed system scores animals includes:
- Only the longer horn/tusk is measured, and the entire length is measured
- Any animal that has not reached maturity is disqualified
- Multiplication of an age factor to reach final score
Specifics of aging criteria for different species will include age of horn cells, color of canine teeth/molar inspection, discoloring of horns, and closure of nerve cavity.
The material presented by NAPHA was the result of a working group that applied itself to develop a method of scientifically orientated aging of African hunting trophies at the request of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism.
At the 2019 NAPHA Annual General Meeting, the motion was passed to implement ART as NAPHA’s new measurement system for trophies for medal sales or for entry into the Top Ten. The NAPHA medal program was established not only to acknowledge the hunter for animals hunted, but also as a source of revenue for NAPHA for various ongoing projects securing the future of hunting.