Place All Tape Measures, Box Cutters & Range Finders Here Can you imagine a collection box at the Airport marked like this? Sure enough, that is exactly what I am proposing. It is not just me that is proposing this, but also a number of Outfitters and PH’s I have spoken with lately too. Why in the world, would or should these items be banned from the Airplane? Does it have anything to do with the navigational system? Are they a terrorist threat? The box cutter has a very legitimate reason for being banned, but the Tape Measure, and Range Finder could be banned only because leaving them home will enhance the pleasure and success of your trip in the long run. Ok, ok, I’m about ready to run for cover, but hear me out. The first thing that will get in your way is the Range Finder. Yes, I owned one and had great fun with it, but gave it away as it was quite useless most of the time. Why? Sort of a simple reason: “If you need a Range Finder, the game is too far way anyway”. No need to range an animal if it only 200 or so yards away. If an animals looks a bit too far away, “Crawl closer until you feel comfortable to make the shot, or don’t take it”. About 99% of the time, if you ask your guide or PH how far something is away, they will be with a few yards of the exact distance anyway. If he says, “A little over 300 “, you now need to decide if you want that shot. Extenuating circumstances soon enter into the decision. Are you able to shoot prone and/or with a bipod, or are you limited to a sitting position or leaning on a tree or rock? Maybe if you going to shoot from a tree or rock, you should not shoot beyond 150 yards, but if able to use the bipod, a little over 300 is not such a big risk. Besides, here is what is going to happen while you are “ranging” it. The animal was perfectly broadside in the clear, and by the time you got ready to shoot, the best angle was lost. So you get to wait it out or loose the opportunity. Much the same can happen when using Binoculars. Although they are recommended by about every Guide and PH, using them at the wrong time can really mess things up. For example, the Guide or PH is looking through his Binoculars to see if a certain animal is what he wants the client to shoot. This is his job, and what you are paying him for. What goes wrong is he says to the client, “Take the one on the left”; only find the client not ready to shoot, but looking through his Binoculars too. By the time he gets in shooting position, the animal has either spotted the movement or just moved on, and the shot is lost. So if it looks like you may get to shoot, get ready for the shot. Now the Tape Measure is the proverbial death of many hunts and relationships. Guides and PH’s alike would rather you left yours home than anything else. Far too many hunters are so obsessed with what an animals scores, they forget the stalk and hunt. What they really want to forget is the fact they may not have made a clean one shot kill, and after all, that is most important of all. I’ve seen people jump on the animal before it is really dead, just to get a tape measure on there quickly to see if it is ½” bigger than his buddy’s was. What they really better do, is be very careful and not have a Gemsbok or Bushbuck come to life as they pull out the tape measure and get themselves skewed. This is all done so that tonight they will brag in camp about how big it was, and how far away he shot it, (more than once). The pressure to shoot one bigger than anyone else, and maybe get it higher into the “Book”, soon takes away the pleasure of the hunt and the shot. What has all this got to do with Reloading and Ballistics? Not a thing, but I’ll just bet that you will enjoy your trip more if you will heed the information.