With all the modern techniques and technology involved in rifles and ammunition nowadays. Hunting should have become easier and more comfortable. But remember out in the African bush there’s always wild animals that you are not familiar with then all the above are canceled out.
Here at Kuche Safaris we believe not to shoot our clients wounded animals. It is your hunt and your animal we will try our best to find it but you should finish it unless you want us to help you. On big 5 and dangerous game it is a different situation but as far as possible you have the first opportunity always. We are not ballistic experts but think we know what works in the field and what not. We are exposed to different situations everyday and can only give advice on what we saw what worked and what not. As calibers and bullet weight are important, shot placement on African game are more important than the above.
We have seen Cape Eland being killed with medium calibers and lost wounded Impala, Warthog that was shot with a .375. Hereby a humble and easy guide on what to use when you come to hunt in Africa. This will make it easier on you and your guide and if your shot placement was good you will get your desired trophy.
We would suggest that you use Barnes TSX bullets if available or any premium bullet with the same quality. Remember, to pay a Dollar or two more on quality ammunition is really worth it when you hunt and shoot at expensive animals.
Most of your hunting will be spotting and then be stalking. We use your age and physical abilities as our guide and consult with you all the time. Your hunt is built around you and your abilities. Our advice would be to practice shooting from sticks (we will provide) Your rifle should be sighted at a 100 yards (start at 25). Get used to shoot with your scope sitting on 5x or 6x. If you go higher it will become more difficult in the bush. This will make it very difficult to find your animal. A little advice is not to take too long before you shoot. All animals are naturally wild and don’t stand around for too long. When you practice get in the habit of quick shooting. Wait on you PH to tell you which animal and when to shoot. Before your hunt make sure that you understand when we want you to shoot. He will use the word “shoot” or whatever word you’ve agreed upon beforehand, as a signal when to shoot.
A very good book and DVD for our shot placement on African Game is by Dr. Kevin Robinson “The Perfect Shot” It is available on the internet and well worth the money. Suggestion: Buy the DVD/CD or book and study it on your flight to South Africa. This will help to make the flight shorter and to boost your spirit.
Shot placement on African Game is very important as all the animals in Africa are tough, doesn’t bleed a lot and have a very strong will to survive. They are tough, from the tiny Steenbuck to the “Black Death” – Cape Buffalo. Don’t let a bad shot ruin your day… The vital organs on African Game are situated low between the shoulders and not behind like in America and Europe game therefore the shot placement differ. A Shot like a white tail might end up as a gut shot in Africa.
Short guide: On a full broadside shot, take your scopes crosshair and line the vertical crosshair on the back of the front leg. Place the horizontal crosshair in the lower third of the animals body on the shoulder. On frontal shots (Try to avoid ) use the centre of the shoulder line normally about one third. This should take out the heart, lungs and from the side, break the shoulders as well.
Remember, without front wheels a car can go nowhere.
On small game like the Steenbuck, we would recommend that you shoot on the shoulder like we explained, your trophy will be damaged and you won’t have a nice mount. If you use a bigger caliber and have solid bullets you can shoot as described for the shoulder and have no problems. On dangerous game or the Big 5 use a rifle with min .375 caliber. With the heavier bullet weights available, you can choose some real good bullets. On .375 we would recommend heavier than 300gr, although we have hunted a lot of trophies with the 300gr. But while the heavier bullets are available why not use it. This just raises the foot per pound energy and that is what you need. The same basic principals on shot placement counts but your PH will guide you through this.