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Hunter or Shooter

This is a discussion on Hunter or Shooter within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; I am new to this forum and hope this was not already discussed. We had this discussion on our hunting ...

  1. #1
    huntatafrica is offline New Member
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    I am new to this forum and hope this was not already discussed.

    We had this discussion on our hunting society meeting on Monday and I would love to hear some of your guys input.

    As a PH, should we let our clients hunt or just shoot. Yes, all clients do not have the same experience. But I like to give my clients as much info on the game he wants to hunt, habitat and the layout of the area. I would then make some suggestions and then let him lead the hunt. I would jump in only when I see him making a big mistake and suggest some correct options. This usually takes a bit longer then me just putting him on an animal and he just doing the shooting. I have had some young boys hunting their first time to experience hunters, and they all enjoyed it very much.

    This apply to non dangerous game only.
    Jurie Moolman
    Passion for Africa
    www.huntatafrica.com

  2. #2
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    Jurie sounds like a good idea.

    From my experience you let the client know excatly what is happening all the time. In other words why suddenly changing direction on a stalk or deciding that its now time to take the shot. In this way he doesnt feel like he's just following but participating in the stalk and hunt and understands exactly what is happening.

    Unfortunaely we dont live in a perfect world and with the amount of money we are dealing with we cannot allow to have any mishaps shooting the wrong animal for instance. One must take client by client it will only take the first day or two to realise how experienced a hunter is. From there you can make up your own mind on how far you will let the hunter hunt for himself while taking a backseat.

    Remember we are Professional hunters and are there to help and makes sure everything goes as perfect as possible. A doctor is also a professional in his field would you like your doctor to let you prescribe medicine for yourself just because you did have the same symtoms as what you normally have when getting flu ??? I know it sounds negative but I would rather help as far as I can to make the holiday and experience as great as possible than to allow the hunter to make a mistake because you took back seat.

    Cull and management hunts are perfect for what you would try to do or if you can single out a lone animal. It all depends on the situation but just dont give the idea to the client that he can run the show and you will supervise it, it will and can cause a lot of damage.
    Frederik Cocquyt, Outfitter and Professional Hunter
    fcocquyt@gmail.com
    Cell: +27 83 709 8927

  3. #3
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    Jurie... am glad you pointed out the application to non-dangerous game. Your concept is a very credible one and always a thrill for a guest to make his/her own stalk and shot, but after proving to you that he/she is capable.

    My style is to hunt TOGETHER. By that I mean sharing my knowledge with the client and having him/her involved in every aspect of the hunt and getting the guest to really get a feel of HUNTING. Shooting is something that we establish the first day out when we sight-in the rifles. The rest is about hunting and communication is key - be it sharing stories around the campfire, educating the guests on your particular area in terms of what to expect and general character of your game and habitat conditions etc.

    During a hunt, a guest should know as much as possible of what is going on, what the objectives are and the hunting party should work as a team. The shot belongs to the guest and it is up to him/her to take it.

    The guest should not dictate the hunt - the hunt belongs to the hunting party - it is a team objective entitled to the trackers/PH and guest. You will enjoy it best this way.
    Ryan Shallom (CEO)
    www.wild-footprints.com
    Tanzania, East-Africa.

  4. #4
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    I think you have a great idea.
    As the others said it would definatly have to be based on the experince of the hunter. As a first timer in africa i plan on the P.H. leading and me following. I do expect to be involved in every aspect though. I dont want to be lead blindly by the hand and the P.H. say there shoot.
    I have walked in the tracks of the elephant, heard the lion roar and met the buffalo on his terms. I shall never be the same.

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    Calhoun is offline AH Enthusiast
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    ...Ryan I agree with you! As good a hunter as I think I am I don't know the animals or their behaviors & ways like an African outfitter!! I let him do the leading & being in charge but I do throw my 2 cents worth in on occassion!! Just sitting back, following & observing everything going on during the hunt - stalk makes some damn good stories & memories if you pay attention!
    ...There's no way I could judge the animals quickly, or even track an animal like those trackers do!! One spends a lot of money to get to Africa & countless hours planning - I leave it to the professionals & I'll take back the memories & trophies!!

  6. #6
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    After this last trip to Africa. I'm glad I bought Swarzoski binoculars...they saved me a ton of money in the end. I had two PH's that had a Tasco $3 binoculars. I thought it was crazy!!! They couldn't see a #%$& thing through the things...we let a lot of animals go. Finally, I glassed and shot what I wanted. The clowns didn't get there say. For the record I got some nice animals. They said this doesn't happen in Africa...where the client knows what to shoot. I wish it hadn't come down to this. I actually had a very nice impala at 150 yards and should have killed him dead...but they couldn't see it. When I saw it run out to 300 yards....I took a risky shot, on the last day and wounded him. Of course we didn't recover him. My shot was very difficult and I should have passed. But I had lost all faith in my PH's so I risked a hard shot and paid the price. I'm mad at my self, but even madder at my guide.

    Tip to PH's make sure you can glass animals for your client...he isn't paying you $300 to $500 a day to have a $3 pair of binoculars!!!!! Clients aren't dumb and the trips to Africa are not free!

  7. #7
    Frederik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enysse View Post
    Tip to PH's make sure you can glass animals for your client...he isn't paying you $300 to $500 a day to have a $3 pair of binoculars!!!!! Clients aren't dumb and the trips to Africa are not free!
    This is not just the PH's fault but the outfitter as well not checking what binoculars are used by them. Financially it makes a lot of sense if the PH can spot very well with his binoculars for the outfitter.

    I dont own Swaros or Zeiss but my 10x42 Nikon Monarch has never let me down as we dont have very long twilight hours like in Europe and the US.
    Frederik Cocquyt, Outfitter and Professional Hunter
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    Cell: +27 83 709 8927

  8. #8
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    I would have had no problem with the 10X42 Monarch by Nikon. Heck I have a pair and would have happily donated...if they needed a pair. It is plenty good, especially if you are seeing Kudu and impala on a daily basis. But the binoculars I saw...were junk!

    By the way I enjoyed catching up on your posts Frederik.

  9. #9
    Frederik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enysse View Post
    By the way I enjoyed catching up on your posts Frederik.
    Thanx
    Frederik Cocquyt, Outfitter and Professional Hunter
    fcocquyt@gmail.com
    Cell: +27 83 709 8927

  10. #10
    DUGABOY1's Avatar
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    Jurie I think all good PHs know that their first responcibility is to make a good judgement call on his client hunter right off the bat! First when you reach the rifle check area, stand by and see how he handles his rifle as he unpacks it, and how he goes about loading it! Gun handleing is your first clue to his seasoning around firearms. This is very important, because if he is not safe with the way he goes about this is the first example of his inexperience, then he bears watching. His shooting my be spot on off the sticks, or over the bonnet of the bakki, but where he points that rifle while doing it far more important than his shooting.

    If you are sattisfied with his rifle safety check, then the first night around the table or fire in the lappa, ask some very important questions of his past hunting trips even if they are only for deer or bear. His stories will give you some clues as to his hunting ability.

    If there are dangerous game involved in his safari, and he has a large rifle, how he shoots it will tell you volumes about his practice habits in preperation for this safari. A copy of Doctari's book in camp will be valuable to have him point out aiming points especially on his dangerous quary. All this can be is the friendly banter around the first camp fire before any hunting starts. On the first day of hunting if he spots animals on his own a lot, he has game eyes, and that is an indication of his hunting experience.

    If he seems to be a HUNTER then give him some leway, if not point him in the right dirrection on every stalk, and correct his bad gun handleing right off the bat ! It is your call because ultimately your are responcible for what he does.

    Then you will run into the know-it-all who's opinion of his ability is not in sync with the signs he has presented on the first day! The call is yours !

    Just one man's opinion!
    DUGABOY1 www.doublerifleshooterssociety.com
    "If I die today I have had a life well spent, for I have been to see the elephant, and smelled the smoke of Africa" qt by Damon(mac) McCartney

  11. #11
    Ray Atkinson's Avatar
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    Hunting is a business if you are a guide or PH..I would judge each hunter and try to oblidge his hunt requests as long as it was legal and moral. If its legal and he wants to shoot from the truck, then thats his choice, if it isn't legal then no dice...It is his hunt, he paid for it and your pretty much obligated to oblige him IMO..It is a thin line and your good judgement comes into play and you guys know that.

    I am not one to sit in judgement of anyone other than myself when it comes to hunting. If I am subsistence hunting such as a cow elk then I will shoot her from the truck (not off a public road) where I have a rest over the hood and can put the bullet behind her ear. I would shoot her in an alfalfa field or where ever she shows up..It is making meat, not hunting in my book..

    By the same token if I go after a bull elk, then its horseback, and walking, stalking and totally fair chase. I hunt buffalo off shanks mare and elephant under the harshest of conditions and sleep on the track if I must.

    What disgusts me most is that most folks are the same way about shooting from a truck, but what is amazing is how many deny it profusely...Having been in the hunting business for so many years it is like most things, its not always what it appears to be. There is shooting and their is hunting and 99.9% of you have done a little of both..

    We must be carefull about opening up a can of worms on such moral subjects. We may play right into the antis hands.
    RAY ATKINSON

  12. #12
    Shallom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enysse View Post
    They said this doesn't happen in Africa...where the client knows what to shoot. I wish it hadn't come down to this. I actually had a very nice impala at 150 yards and should have killed him dead...but they couldn't see it. When I saw it run out to 300 yards....I took a risky shot, on the last day and wounded him. Of course we didn't recover him. My shot was very difficult and I should have passed. But I had lost all faith in my PH's so I risked a hard shot and paid the price. I'm mad at my self, but even madder at my guide.
    This is very disturbing to hear from visitors. A PH should be well equipped and should do their best to serve their guests. It always pisses me off to know of such things still happening around Africa. A decent bino, just like a decent gun, is an essential to any PH. If that is what you experienced on your Africa Hunt, then please know that it is not the norm and not right. Pole sana.
    Ryan Shallom (CEO)
    www.wild-footprints.com
    Tanzania, East-Africa.

  13. #13
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    Enysse - your notes about the PH's binoculars are surprising. On the first day, my PH told me that "...optics are the most important tool for a PH..." After a couple days of hunting, I understood why he carried high-end Zeiss. My 10 x 42 Nikon Monarchs were OK, but his better optics really made a difference.

    Are you going to post a hunt report? I'd like to hear how things went for you, what you learned, what you'd do differently in the future and what you'd do the same.

  14. #14
    Ray Atkinson's Avatar
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    Enysse,
    I also have seen this off and on over the years, in some cases it had to do with affordability, in others it had to do with availability, and in a few cases it was just a farmer with a PH license..

    It shouldn't happen and a PH should always have excellent optics, but there are a number of PHs that should not be in the business, it is no different from any other business..

    I recall one hunt some years ago with a pretty well known PH wherein I had to track every wounded animal hit while they ran willy nilly all over Tanzania. In one instance they were gone for 3.5 hours tracking a band of Impala that had my "gut shot" Impala in it, and I found the animal about 100 yards from where I shot it through the lungs and left a very good blood trail, and I had it in the bakki by the time they got back..

    I recall another instance wherein the PH only had glass in one side of his cheap binocs..

    It happens, but the upside is such things are very rare indeed, and Africa, on the whole, has by far, the best guides, trackers and professional hunters than any other country and by a good deal I might add, not even any comparison...
    RAY ATKINSON

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