The Often Discussed Question of Back Up Shots
I know this question comes up all of the time, and I am sorry for those long time members who have to address it again, but I hope that you will use your knowledge to help a first time dangerous game hunter.
The issue is obvisouly the back up shot.
On leopards its not an issue - I have to make the double shoulder shot count.
On everything else, some guidence is requested. First, I know rnough to have this discussion with the PH's well ahead of going into the field hunting. Personally, I want to kill my own trophies, I think we all do. But sometimes they do not just drop where they are standing - in fact, rarely will they do that.
I believe in shooting an animal on its feet, even if mortally wounded, however many times it takes to quicken the death of the animal. By way of example, last night I shot a whitetail with my bow for the freezer. Broadside shot and these new bows shoot so fast and with such razor shape braodheads, the arrow passed straight through and I know from the way it responded, that the deer did not know it was hit. I could see the mortal wound but she was still standing. She walked about 20 paces straight away from me and looked back, giving me about a 5 degree angle. I slipped another arrow in from just in front of the hind ham and it penetrated all the way through the diagram into the lungs and expired in 10 paces.
On something like an elephant, which I will take with a side on high heart lung shot, I know the elephant will not go down. I will fire again and as many times as I can get shots off to assure a clean and quick kill.
As far as instructions to my PH, what I would like to say is "watch the shot and see if it makes a lethal impact, if it does, hold the back up shots unless you feel we are at risk of loosing the animal." For an elephant, if I make the heart/lung shot, I would like to see the PH make that back up shot, if I have not already done it, in the rear hip joint, front knuckle, or other debilitating location. I would really like to make the lethal shots inthe vital to make the harvest "mine."
Same on Cape Buffalo's.
If however the PH is watching and for any of the many reasons possible, he sees that the shot is not in the right place, there can be no question but to place a shot into the vitals.
Anything like a charge while tracking is a no brainer.
So, I guess what I am really asking for is what is the responsible 'minimum' amount of back up I should ask for from my PH. Anything that involves saftey is no question. But I watch these shows on TV and often see the hunter fire and its an almost simultaneous double tap, the second shot coming from the PH.
Is it OK to request some restraint from the PH? I absolutly do not want to loose an animal, but I do not want to break that trigger once and have my hunting support staff open up on the animal while I stand there wondering who is doing what to me trophy. I actually have a friend who was on a Buf hunt and prepared for the shot but just as the Buf moved into the shooting lane, he decided it was not what he wanted and did not take the shot. Because they knew is would be clearing te opening quickly, it had to be a quick shot. He did not shoot and was stunned to hear a blast (incidentally it was from behind his ears and he nearly shot the PH for defening him with the muzzle blast from a .458 mag) from his PH. The PH actually shot before he did. Same thing happened again on the track. I would be really upset about that.
I would really like to comfortabale saying is, just back me up if you see me make a less than perfect shot or we are in a situation where, based on the shot or shots, you feel we are at risk of loosing the animal. If you can, focus your shots on debilitating locations and allow me to take the killing shots, including more than 1 insurance shot on each of the animals to be harvested.
Am I being reasonable? Thoughts and suggestions greatly appeciated.