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Old 06-11-2016, 1:10 PM
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Fjold Fjold is online now
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Default Hunting South Africa - Getting ready

Before you get to Africa there are some things that you need to do and prepare for, to get the most out of your hunt.

Food and drink
Talk to your outfitter about meal and drink preferences when you contract with him. You don’t want to be in camp and find out that you hate everything that they prepare for dinner. You will get stuff like oxtail, mutton, pumpkin, steaks, chicken, ground corn (like grits), all kinds of vegetables and game meat once you shoot something. There will always be biltong (dried spiced meat, like jerky) nuts and chips out for snacks. Peanuts are called “ground nuts” over there so if you have allergies make sure that they understand that. If you are a diabetic, ask them to stock diet drinks and sugar substitutes for coffee. If you are a coffee drinker let your outfitter know as many of them are tea drinkers. I always mention that I’m a coffee addict and a French press and coffee is a necessity in camp. There will a bar in the dining area with a refrigerator stocked with beer, wine, soft drinks and bottled water.

Let your outfitter know which animals are your highest priorities as he may have some camps that have better populations of your desired animals and he can put you in the best place for your hunt.

Get in some kind of shape as you will be walking up and down hills and on uneven ground a lot. Get the shoes/boots that you plan to use along with your backpack and go walk some hills. You need to be able to walk 2-5 miles at a time as you will probably do this every day. This will get your legs and feet in shape and make sure that your foot gear won’t hurt you.

A couple of days before your flight, start taking your malaria prophylactic and I always take an over the counter allergy med like Zyrtec because even if you don’t have allergies here, there may be something where you’re going that will kick your butt once you get there.

Gun/cartridge choice:

For 90% of the plains game hunting your deer rife will do fine. I would not go lighter than a 7mm-08 and the 270, 308/30.06 is my preferred minimum. Take the gun that you shoot the best and use a heavy for caliber, tough bullet. Your PH will want you to shoot a bullet that will exit the animal as it’s easier to track if the animal doesn’t drop quickly (two holes bleed more than one). I recommend Barnes TSX bullets, A Frames, Partitions, etc. I prefer bonded core and monolithic bullets myself. In the bonded core/lead core bullets: 150 grain for the 270, 160s in the 7mms, 165 – 180s in the 30 Calibers. With the monolithic bullets you can go 10 grains lighter if you prefer as they are longer for their weight with good sectional density but I still prefer heavier bullets in those if you shoot them well. If you shoot a big magnum this is more important that you don’t want to shoot a lightweight, fast expanding bullet that could possibly blow up on an animal’s shoulder. You do not need a 375 H&H or 416 Magnum but take it if you shoot it well. Your PH will be happy with you bringing any gun that uses a heavy, quality bullet that you shoot well.

Practice shooting as often as you can. You can shoot off the bench to sight in your loads and check the trajectory and then build a trajectory card for shots out to 300 yards in 50 yard increments. With modern high velocity loads you can probably sight in about 1.5” – 2” high at 100 yards and be about 3” low at 300 yards but make sure that you shoot the loads at that distance to be sure. I recommend shooting at a 6” bullseye target as you will need to practice holding in the in the middle of a large undefined area of the body.

Another great thing to do is to take a strip of contrasting color masking tape and tape it vertically just off center of the bull and run it down off the target. This gives you a reference similar to an animal’s front leg. I would recommend looking at the different African animals shot placement photos that you can find on the internet:
http://www.shakariconnection.com/afr...placement.html .
http://www.africahunting.com/community/shot-placement/

For plains game species (except giraffe) I always recommend that you aim at:

• For broadside shots - follow the back of the front leg up and stop 1/3 of the way up the body. That’s where you want the bullet to land.
• Quartering toward you shot - Aim 1/3 of the way up the body where the shoulder meets the chest.
• Quartering away from you - Aim so that the bullet will leave the far side of the animal’s body 1/3 of the way up where the offside shoulder and chest meet.
• Head on shot – Aim where the base of the neck meets the chest.
• Heading away – Only shoot if you have a heavy for caliber bullet that will penetrate 5 feet and aim just under the root of the animal’s tail (animal’s exit hole). If you hit high, you will still break the spine in the body or neck, if you hit low, the bullet has to reach the diaphragm/lungs. If you hit left or right, you will break a hip.

If you are shooting uphill or downhill remember to adjust your shot placement lower on uphill shots and higher on downhill shots so that the bullet passes through the lower part of the chest. Remember also that the trajectory of the bullet will be effected less by gravity on steeply uphill or downhill shots. On a 300 yard laser measurement on a 45 degree slope, the bullets trajectory will be identical to a 212 yard shot on level ground. (Gravity acts on the horizontal distance to the target not the angular distance).

90% of the time your PH will want you to shoot off of shooting sticks and you’ll usually be shooting in the standing or sitting position. Get an adjustable set of shooting sticks and practice shooting off them often. When you spot a quality animal, your PH will set the sticks up and tell you to shoot. The idea then is to get on the sticks quickly and place an accurate shot. Many times speed will be essential so you have to practice a lot. You have to try different methods to see what’s comfortable and works the best for you. Some people lay the forearm of the gun in the fork of the sticks and hold the gun in front of that, I hold the forearm of the gun and lay the back of my hand in the fork of the sticks. Try a variety of ways and see what gets you on target quickly and accurately.
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Old 06-11-2016, 2:52 PM
Divernhunter Divernhunter is offline
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I understand you have been to Africa more than I have.
HOWEVER: I need to point out at least one completely wrong statement that applies in Africa and here in the USA. It does not matter if the animal is uphill or down. The bullet is going the same horizontal distance given the animal is the same distance up or down the same angle hill. You hold for the SAME distance. You DO NOT hold high on downhill and low on uphill. That can cause you to miss. Using your numbers the animal is the same 212 yards horizontal. What you are stating is an old wives tail which too often gets repeated. Please check this out with knowledgeable sources.

You may have not experienced this but as a disabled hunter I have. I cannot do long hikes. I spoke to my outfitter/PH about this before booking and they told me no problem. We hunted SA in a 30,000 acer place without any internal fencing. All animals were born and raised there. You could hunt all day and not be against a fence. We also hunted another of their properties which only had a sheep fence and it was 15,000 acers. We just made a greater number of shorter hikes and a bit more glassing. He was always checking with me about if the stalk would be too long. All of our hunting was spot and stalk and we hunted all day long. He even showed me where they built an elevated blind with a ramp for a fellow in a wheelchair a number of years before and they had people drive game to him. Much like I have seen/read about in Europe. SO ----You can still hunt and do well if you are less mobile providing you choose the right outfitter/Ph and type of hunt. We came back with some excellent animals and 9 which made book including the #48 Gold Cape Impala.

To each his own but I sight in my rifles 2.75" high at 100 yards. All of our shots were between 135-480 yards with most 250-400 yards and that was just because we were hitting and killing everything with one shot and no to more than 20-80 yards tracking. Later I asked why all the long shots and our PH said with a smile he wanted to give us some "challenge". I am booked to go back in 2017

As far as rifles: Above all take something you can shoot accurate. I took a 338win mag with 225gr Swift A-Frames and a 30-06 with 150gr Barnes TTSX ---both sighted in 2.75" high at 100 yards. My daughter took a 257Roberts with 120gr Swift A-frames. She put the bullet exactly where they told her every time and there was no tracking. She shot Kudu, Zebra, Blue Wildebeest, Red Hartebeest, several warthog and Impala. I do like the Swift A-Frame bullets and will be using them again in my 338Win mag and 264Win mag in 2017. They will work. It is more important that you shoot accurate with a good bullet than have a big rifle you cannot shoot well!

Agreed that you do not want a quick expanding bullet especially in a mag. Also you do not need a 375 or even a 338 for planes game. A 25 or 6.5mm caliber will work just fine. Again just use good bullets and place your shots.---I prefer Swift A-Frame but Barnes or Nosler Partition are also excellent.

I have a shot placement book and our PH added that while all of that is true to please shoot to break a shoulder as it makes tracking so much easier. He was right and I tend to do that in all my hunting anyway. It is easy enough usually to be able to take a path that will get vitals AND a shoulder.

Something I found very helpful to me with shooting sticks was to have another set(or mono stick) to rest my elbow on especially for shot 350 yards and more. It really helped to steady this old guy. I even used the PH's shoulder a couple of times when we were in a hurry and/or the terrain made it better. My daughter did not need the 2nd brace like I did.

I agree that you should tell your outfitter/PH any diet restriction and types of food you like/dislike. I am diabetic so they had diet soft drinks for me and the brand I like. I told them I do not eat Mayo so on our sandwiches for lunch/snack they made sure I only had mustard as I asked for. Same goes for certain dinner/breakfast items. I requested low fat milk and cereal(man they had some good ones) since I do not eat eggs. They had eggs and bacon for my daughter. I did have bacon. So just tell them what you like and do not like. Just remember that is not impolite and they cannot read your mind. They also had a great rum called Red Heart Rum which went well with my diet Coke at dinner. I brought a bottle home with me. My daughter liked the wines they served. I do not drink coffee so that was not needed. That made the PH happy since he always had a Coke for breakfast.

Be sure to let the PH know what animals are most important to you. Leave the tape measure at home and just enjoy the experience. If you picked a good outfitter and are not a pain in the rear end you will get good animals. I think if you are a pain you might still get good animals but neither you or the PH will enjoy the hunt as much. There is more to the hunt than just killing animals and record book ones.

My outfitter/PH said they get 2 types of hunters. One is a born hunter and the best of them are easy going and fun to be with. The other is the money made "hunter" who can have multiple problems. Such as very demanding, treats the PH/staff as beneath him, hunts with a tape measure in his pocket, has too much gun for his shooting ability, demand every animal be a Gold top 100 animal, expects to be wined and dined, drinks too much booze, has a new gun he has not shot at all or much---same for the scope, Uses a scope with 27 adjustments before he can shoot, treats staff(and PH) like crap, complains about everything(especially when an unexpected problem come up--especially one the PH has no control about) and the list goes on.
Having hunted all my life, knowing my rifles/loads, my daughter being raised with firearms/hunting and being there for a good time we had a great trip. This was a budget hunt for us and we came home with 9 SCI book animals Gold or silver. WE also were able to shoot a number of animals for free. The outfitter/PH could do this because they owned the land and enjoyed hunting with us. A couple where shots just to see if I could hit the animal---which I did.We measured them on the last day we were there just because I knew people here would ask "how big".

Be sure to take any meds you need with you in your carry on bag--also your CPAP if you use one.

One last thing I learned was it is better to hunt with someone who owns the land than when they just have a concession.....provided it is a large enough place that the animals are not trucked in and in small areas. My outfitter sells animals to smaller operators so that was a good thing. I do understand this will be different in different countries and where most hunting is not high fence.
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Last edited by Divernhunter; 06-11-2016 at 3:05 PM..
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Old 06-11-2016, 3:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Divernhunter View Post
I understand you have been to Africa more than I have.
HOWEVER: I need to point out at least one completely wrong statement that applies in Africa and here in the USA. It does not matter if the animal is uphill or down. The bullet is going the same horizontal distance given the animal is the same distance up or down the same angle hill. You hold for the SAME distance. You DO NOT hold high on downhill and low on uphill. That can cause you to miss. Using your numbers the animal is the same 212 yards horizontal. What you are stating is an old wives tail which too often gets repeated. Please check this out with knowledgeable sources.

.
You need to read my post more closely, the trajectory will be the same for a 212 yard shot. The path of the bullet inside the animal's body has to be accounted for though.

The trajectory to the target is dependent on only the horizontal distance to the target but the bullet's path through the body depends on the angle that you hit him at.

If you are shooting steeply down hill and hold 1/3 of the way above the bottom line and the bullet impacts there, the bullet's travel path through the body will be steeply down and may not hit the heart.

If you are shooting steeply uphill and hold 1/3rd of the way up the shoulder then the bullet's path through the body will be going up and may miss the vitals also.


Put another way, if the animal was facing quartering away from you, would you aim to put the bullet on his near shoulder? Of course not, because the path of the bullet through the animal has to account for the angle that you hit him at.
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Last edited by Fjold; 06-11-2016 at 3:15 PM..
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Old 06-11-2016, 5:16 PM
Divernhunter Divernhunter is offline
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^^^ I agree but the way I read it you could mistake it for holding differently due to bullet drop or such. Also you would have to be on a VERY steep hill to make a large difference. Most hill shots it would be a very minor adjustment and you should still try to send the bullet so it breaks a shoulder.

Now I understand better what you meant.---Doug
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