Shooting on sticks

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Mtgoat, May 20, 2013.

  1. ruger1

    ruger1 New Member

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    I am taking a 338 win mag on my first trip to Africa. Off the bench I am 2-2.5 inches high at 100 and pretty much 0 at 200. When I go off sticks I can hold 3 inch groups at 100 yrds and 5-6 inch at 200. I am under 8 at 300 , but past that I am really all over the map. But as said earlier above shooting at an animal is always different then paper. Should I be worried or am I over thinking it?
     
  2. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Fanatic

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    You are probably over thinking it. I took a 338win mag to Africa and was shooting from 150 to 480 yards off sticks. Some standing/kneeling/sitting shots. All one shot kills. Supporting my right elbow really helped. My first shot was a great waterbuck at 254+ yards. My second was a blesbuck at 320 so the PH decided to give me a bit "more challenge" and kept making most of the shots longer. My kudu was at 480 yards. We used a rangefinder for most all shots. I did miss 3 times and killed 15 animals plus 30+ monkeys all with the same rifle. Never used the 30-06 I took.
    The 225gr Swift A-Frame bullets worked out very well. Most animals dropped on the spot.
     
  3. ruger1

    ruger1 New Member

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    Thanks! My wife tells me all the time not to over think stuff. I do feel very comfortable with this gun and I am also going to use 225gr tsx bullets. I have also practiced many other positions as well. I have used this set up on black bear and it did not go 15 yrds.
     
  4. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    There is a "little detail" that I haven't shared till now. In 1997 I had a medical incident - for any docs here, it was an acute onset sublumbar neuropathy. I went from normal to mostly paralyzed from the waist down in about 3 hours. I eventually recovered but I have some residual effects. Left calf only has a small muscle or muscle group that works but nothing for the rest, weakness in my quads, etc. I get around fine, but I am not as stable as I used to be.

    BTW - I have never been good from a kneeling position - even when I was in my teens, was shooting with a club and had a coach. I hate to shoot from a kneeling position!
     
  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I guess you will be finding some place to sit down and shoot. :)
     
  6. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    It's not all doom and gloom. I killed the moose that I mentioned earlier in this thread with an offhand shot at 100 yards. That was 10 years after my incident.
     
  7. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Certainly not, there is so much game in Africa, you can be like a kid in a candy store. You might have to chose your shots, it will make the hunt more interesting.
     
  8. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    I keep practicing and, what do you know, I'm improving. Funny thing about that. I'm getting mentally and physically comfortable shooting with sticks. My groups are getting smaller. Today, 80% of my shots were in a 3" x 4" group. Today, I identified two things that I'm doing wrong. Now that I recognize them, I can work on eliminating them, or at least minimizing them.

    Also, I've been working on follow up shots. I'm loading 4 rounds in the gun and try to fire them in close succession.

    When my older son was in middle school, he got involved in competitive shooting. One weekend we went to Colorado Springs. While there, we visited the Olympic Training Center. We happened to bump into one of the shooting coaches. He was very gracious and talked to my son for awhile. He told him that shooting is 80% mental, 8% physical and 2% equipment. He turned to my wife and I and said with a smile "They always want a new gun." For me, the mental part has gotten a lot better. If I had to take a shot on sticks at an African animal right now, I would expect it to be fatal. Physically, I'm also improving. I've been doing daily hikes (I'm not able to run) on steep, rough terrain at 6,000 ft elevation.

    I have 2 1/2 weeks until I leave. So I still have time for more improvement. I'm feeling good about how things are coming together.
     
  9. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Mtgoat you'll do fine and with 2 1/2 weeks to practice you'll be even better. I have found that I like doing most of my practice just before a hunt then I've still got my shooting eye when I get there its just a matter of going from the target range to the hunting range. We'll be waiting for a full report when you get back.
     
  10. ruger1

    ruger1 New Member

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    I would like to start by saying thanks to all the great info I got before my trip. I have been home for two weeks now from first trip to South Africa. It was the best time of my life and I can't wait to go back. Divernhunter above was correct that I was over thinking my practice with stix. Once you have a animal and not paper or milk jugs to shoot things change. I ended up taking 11 animals on a 10 day hunt with Huntershill Safari, from 5 yards off hand out to 400. The distance was not as much of a problem as was the wind. Living and hunting all my life in Indiana, I never really have shots over 100 yards, except for on coyotes. But shooting in the wind at long range was a learning experience. Picked it up after a couple of misses, thankfully no wounded animals. The game I took were, Baboon(350yrds),Blue wildebeest(20yrds),Common springbuck(180),black wildebeest(210),kudu(175),black springbuck(150),hartebeest(400),impala(330),blesbuck(260),warthog(5),and white springbuck(275). Once again thank you and good hunting to all.
     
  11. DOC-404

    DOC-404 AH Elite

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    ..Excellent. I'm glad you enjoyed yourself and that everything worked out well.. :thumb:
     
  12. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Glad you had such a good time Ruger1 be sure to post some pictures for use to drool over.
     
  13. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH Enthusiast

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    Excellent report an congratulations on your shooting successes. Now let us see some pics! :praying:
     
  14. ruger1

    ruger1 New Member

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    I am not sure if I am doing this correct but I hope that these pictures can be seen. Once again I thank you all for the info I learned by ready the threads on many subjects here. My entire trip was better because of finding this sight with out a doubt. I have not even been home a month and all I can dream about is returning to Africa again someday. The whole experience was more then I even imagined. The land ,the people, the food, the incredible amount off animals that I saw. It was truly breath taking to me. For those of you that live it every day or get to go back often you are truly blessed. I envy you all. I would also like to say thanks to Huntershill Safaris in the eastern cape of South Africa for all the memories. And a special thank you to Wayne Dell my PH and knew friend. GOOD HUNTING to you ALL!

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  15. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Enthusiast

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    Congrats on your hunt and I wish I had prepared as you did prior to my first SA trip. I like that saying "You will play like you practice." My second SA hunt was much more enjoyable in the shooting sense given the uptick in the amount of time I committed to practice shooting off of sticks and focusing on "kill zones" on various antelope photographic targets. I'm getting ready for my third Africa trip, this one to Zimbabwe to hunt Cape buffalo and you can bet I've been (1) shooting a .375 H7H (2) from the sticks (3) at a Cape buff target (4) with many more rounds of .22 to practice technique. I also know that there are a number of questions I'll ask my PH before we head out on our first hunt, and letting him know what my shooting limits are.

    Congrats again on your preparation and your hunt, well done.
     
  16. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    Well, yesterday I had a panic attack, followed by a good laugh at myself.

    Backing up a couple of months, I started practicing shooting from sticks. It took a lot of practice and finally was to the point that I was feeling pretty good about my ability to shoot a reasonably small group. Then, a week ago, I felt that I was not shooting quite as well. Yesterday, I went to the range again. The shots were just not hitting where I expected them to. It took a pretty good dose of wishful thinking to considering the first 10 rounds as making anything resembling a group.

    Grumbling, and a tad concerned, I put up a fresh target. Four shots and only 2 hit the paper. Now, I knew something was wrong. I set up my bench rest and fired one more time. I was positive that I was dead on when I squeezed of the shot. I didn't even nick the paper!

    You may recall from other posts, that I am going to use an gun provided by my outfitter. However, I still felt a sense of panic. That's because when I get back from my safari, I have only 2 1/2 weeks until my elk hunt. I was sure that there was an internal problem with my scope. On my way home, I called my gunsmith. It turned out that he, like me, is leaving for 2 weeks on Wednesday - too busy to work on my gun, but come over now.

    When I got to his house, we went into his workshop. He was ready to put on one of his scopes (he's done that twice before in emergency situations - what a great guy!). However, before doing that, he checked the mounts. Yep, my bad - they were loose. He reset them and bore sighted it. To top it off, he wouldn't let me pay him for his work! (I mailed him a check when I got home.)

    I should have thought of the scope mounts, but I didn't. I could breathe a sigh of relief and also have a laugh about my "panic". So, now I am back in business for my elk hunt over Labor Day weekend and my confidence for my safari is higher than ever. I begin my trip in just under 36 hours - and, of course, I can't wait!!!
     
  17. Mtgoat

    Mtgoat AH Veteran

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    Congrats on some great trophies.
     
  18. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    Been there, done that on a couple of occasions. Each time I think I'll never forget this and always have the proper torx wrench with me at the range and never do! All you can do is laugh. Glad it worked out and good luck on both your hunts.
     

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