Ivan Carter and Elephant Charges

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Hank2211, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. Hank2211

    Hank2211 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    A couple of days ago I watched an episode of Tracks Across Africa with Ivan Carter. The hunt was for female elephants in Zimbabwe (I live in Canada, and we ususally get these shows much later than when they originally aired in the US, so it may have been an older episode). In any event, as the hunt developed, Carter identified a female elephant to be taken, but rather than trying for a shot before she became aware of the hunters, he told the hunter they would come up behind her, follow her, and that at some point she would become aware of them, turn around, and charge. And then the hunter was to shoot her. And that's exactly how it played out. Very dramatic, and I'm sure an adreneline rush for the hunter.

    I've seen (on video) Carter do this many times with elephant. Often these are mock charges, and I have no doubt he knows elephants well - I have his video with Boddington - but that's not the point. At times he does this even when he has no intention of shooting the elephant. When he is actually hunting, he seems to intentionally induce a charge, and then has the hunter take the shot - with him backing up of course.

    My first question is, what are the ethics of inducing charges, mock or otherwise, for a camera? I've always thought my best shots were when the animal had no idea I was there - down and out without knowing what hit it. Does that make me old fashioned? In fact, I thought this was actually illegal in some African countries?

    If you compare how Carter hunts elephant to how someone like Buzz Charlton hunts elephant (and I'm only going by their videos here), there's a big difference.

    My fsecond question is this: how is this different from what Mark Sullivan does (or did) in his videos?

    Just asking.
  2. Odinsraven

    Odinsraven AH Member

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    Have never hunted anything bigger than a red deer however in my own "hunting ethics" I find it rather disgusting and indeed "TV" the best hunting and indeed culling I have ever done is where the animal was never even aware I was there - I have seen some of these USA hunting videos and in my mind and indeed as a personal opinion - I do not like them !
  3. VonJager

    VonJager AH Senior Member

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    If it is solely for the camera, I am not defending the behavior. However, there is no ethical shot on an elephant moving away from you.

    I have seen in a video of him, taking elephant with clients, where the elephant was not aware of their presence. It seems he prefers frontal brain shots, from about 10 yards or closer sometimes, and it seems difficult to do that all the time with the elephants never aware.

    He does say even with the elephant aware of their presence, a correctly placed brain shot ends it before the elephant hears the shot.

    I have not seen Buzz's videos so I can not compare them.
  4. Code4

    Code4 AH Enthusiast

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    When I learnt to stalk with my father, this was considered the successful end to a properly conducted HUNT. Old fashioned ? Who knows ? Maybe just not in vogue with the popular press.

    Anything on TV or Video is subject to editing and exaggeration. Some people take it as gospel, however at the end of the day its just entertainment.
  5. Red Leg

    Red Leg GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I have never seen him induce a charge on any of his videos - I think I have them all. He does believe in the brain shot. One of his techniques is to walk up behind an elephant and have his hunter take a frontal brain when the elephant turns around. He gets closer than most of his peers, which would concern me a tad if I were one of his clients (several respected friends, who are PHs, think he is nuts). But I have never felt he was creating a charge for the camera.
  6. Safari Afrika

    Safari Afrika AH Enthusiast

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    I am sorry to say I have the same feelings about this...
  7. Spudattack

    Spudattack AH Member

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    The other school of thought on this is that it is more ethical in the fact that you allow your quarry to know that you are there and hunting it and it actually knows it is in the game. It then has the chance to play a card whether it is fight or flight.

    I am not decided either way but thought i would play devils advocate!
  8. EDD

    EDD AH Veteran

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    Agree with Red Leg Completely on this one!!!!
    Also want to state that There is a BIG DIFFRENCE between Mr Carter & mark sulivan.... Just saying.....
  9. RickB

    RickB AH Fanatic

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    Let me start by saying this. The majority of todays hunting shows are garbage. It is no different then watching a "reality" show. There is nothing real about it. You have a producer and you have people doing scripted things. The camera in front of the hunter getting ready to shoot, the camera next to the animal on the ground, and we get a REALLY fake supprise when he finds his animal in the woods. It is all garbage to me. I only truly like over the shoulder hunts. It makes the video more enjoyable. Now this leads me to Mr Cartrer. If this is his perticular way to hunt ele, who am I to judge? I do not care it he wants to go slap the ele on the ass before he shoots it. If that is what he chooses to do, so be it. To me as long as the shot is clean, I am ok with it. I have seen some video where the ele knows they are there and ones where they do not. Does this mean you can not grunt at a deer to stop it just so you can shoot? It knows you are there, it is aware of your presance. What is the difference between that and stalking up to an animal and shooting it once the best opratunity has presented itself. I have been following Mr Carter for years now. He is the last person I would suspect of doing something un-ethical. Just my 2 pennys.
  10. svinejakt

    svinejakt AH Veteran

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    To compare Ivan Carter and Mark Sullivan is crazy. In what I have seen of IC, I have never seen him doing anything unethical and I would say that he is one of the most imprtant spokesperson for hunting in general in the world. After what I have read in reports Buzz Charlton also likes the frontal brain shot as do IC. I think that`s because you get close range and therefore have a good chance of getting the elephant brained in one shot. If I could choose 2 people to go after elephant. Buzz and Ivan would be in there on league. I would not think about for a second going with any of them. If I wanted to se Mark Sullivan shoot a buffalo in the ass for me then kill it for my trophy money I would choose him. The latter will never happen;)

    I do think there are some bad habits by some people in the industry.
    Ivan and Buzz is in my honest opinion the best in the business:)
  11. postoak

    postoak AH Senior Member

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    If the client is okay with it (and I suspect that they LIKE the idea of shooting a charging elephant) then I can't see anything wrong at all about it. Since when is it some hunting code that the animal isn't supposed to know the hunter is there?
  12. timbear

    timbear AH Enthusiast

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    I believe there is a moral difference between making an animal intentionally suffer and making an animal aware of your presence before you shoot, particularly with animals that are inclined to attack rather than run. It the shot is well placed and results in an instant kill I can not fault the shooter. Having never hunted elephant, I am not sure of kill zones, but from what I've read, frontal brain shots are one of the few methods to bring one down without suffering.
  13. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Veteran

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    I'm pretty critical in how most hunting shows are presented, very critical to be honest. Mr. Carter's two shows are the only ones worth watching for many reasons, not the least of which includes his ethics and love of wildlife.

    Shooting a frontal brain shot on an elephant is humane, quick, and challenging, I wish I had the resources and guts to do it. But, then again, I guess, if I understand your point of view, it is more sporting to stand off at 100 yards, shoot the elephant with a heart/lung shot so the animal can run a half of a mile while choking on its blood as its blood pressure drops to zero.

    And I don't know that I've ever seen an elephant charge induced by Mr. Carter for the sake of exciting video footage. Please reference the episode(s) you are referring to and I'll see if I can find them and see what you are concerns are.
  14. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I like Ivan and think he's an excellent PH. I have no problems with the way he hunts. You get a up an close hunt, worthy of what you pay for his services. Brain shot, super deadly.
  15. 35bore

    35bore AH Elite

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    ditto....
  16. gi jane

    gi jane BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    I don't know Mr. Carter personally, nor have I hunted with him. However, from what I know and from the research I have done, I must say I am very impressed with him and his technique. Personally, I believe he is legit and I respect his passion and expertise.
    Deep-down I think Ivan Carter is a good man and an amazing PH!!
  17. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Veteran

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    AGREED !
  18. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    Absolutely. Ethical hunting is extremely important to Ivan. He has never been a show-off, he always works hard to give his clients an unforgettable experience without putting anyone in any sort of danger. He knows what he's doing and he understands elephant behavior better than anyone else I know.
  19. 1ObsessedHunter

    1ObsessedHunter AH Veteran

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    +1 I own a few of his videos and watch him all the time on Tracks Across Africa. I've NEVER seen anything indicative of unethical behavior. He's a conservationist and extremely ethical. Nor can he compared to Sullivan only in that Sullivan is a little crazy. I think Ivan would be very disappointed if he read this thread.
  20. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I agree! We should be careful, how we talk about people. I have never seen or heard Ivan do anything that wasn't positive for wildlife conservation.

    I don't go to the BIG SHOWs, but if I did. I would walk up to Ivan and tell him I enjoy watching his hunts, they bring a lot pleasure to my otherwise dull day.

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