A Survey Of What Do African Professional Hunters Want You To Bring

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Terry Blauwkamp, Mar 29, 2009.

  1. Terry Blauwkamp

    Terry Blauwkamp AH Senior Member

    Feb 26, 2008
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    Member of:
    SCI, Dallas Safari Club, NRA
    Zimbabwe, Nambia, & South Africa
    A Survey Of What Do African Professional Hunters Want You To Bring

    During the past years, I have undertaken an intensive survey of African Professional Hunters, (PH’s).

    Most PH’s have said that there are only two times they are scared while hunting, (ok, maybe three):
    l. When they go to meet a client at the airport that they have never met before. He has no idea what this guy looks like and what kind of shape he is in. He is sometimes not even sure if the client is old or young.
    2. When the client opens up his gun case and they head for the range. Lord only knows what the salesman at the local discount store sold this poor guy. This is especially true about African hunts, since odds are that, the salesman hasn’t a clue what the client is going to shoot. To most people, a Kudu is about the same size a Duiker.
    Usually the client tells the clerk that he is going to Africa and asks what does he need? The salesman immediately hands him a 300 Loudenstomper-Ultra-Wounderby with a muzzle brake and a great big scope.
    The salesman never even asked what he was going to hunt or at what ranges or conditions game might be encountered.
    3. The final time he is scared is when the client wounds a Buffalo, Lion or Leopard, because he (the PH) is the guy who must find that animal and finish the job. Moreover, guess who has the best chance of being chewed on?

    Below is listed the replies of the PH’s contacted.

    What do "most" PH’s want a hunter to bring for guns?
    For Plains game: (Including Leopard)
    Most important, is that a client bring a gun his familiar with and can shoot the best.

    PH’s surveyed would like to see most clients bring the following:
    1st choice is 300 Win Mag with 26 votes, if he can shoot it.
    2nd choice is 30-06 with 24 votes
    3rd choice is 7 mm Mag with 18 votes
    4th choice is 338 Win Mag with 9 votes
    5th choice is a 270 Winchester 7 votes
    6th choice is 7 mm STW or any of the ULTRA Magnums

    For “Dangerous” Game (Buffalo, Lion, Elephant, Rhino, or Hippo):
    1st. Choice is 375 H with 54 votes
    2nd Choice is 416 Rem with 11 votes
    3rd Choice is the 458 Win or Lott, and Misc. Double Rifles.

    Are many of the scopes hunters bring too big? 48 yes and 5 no

    Is there any particular gun or scope that you HATE to see one of your hunters arrive with?
    First place went to Weatherby (aka, Wounderby) they got 27 votes. The new ULTRA Calibers and STW’s are not getting any raving reviews so far either.

    The reason the most everyone hates the Weatherby's, (and the Ultra’s) is because the recoil is too severe, and the client flinches and then makes a bad shot.

    IF a man uses the RIGHT bullets AND can stand the recoil, the Weatherby and Ultra’s are awesome killers.

    Scopes were not a major factor, except if a variable power, the client always has it cranked up to max all the time. Better to set it at 4x or 6x and then if needed power up to 9x or 12x.

    Do very many hunters bring reloaded ammo? 58 yes. Which is about half of their hunters?

    Is there particular factory ammo that you LOVE to see your hunters bring?
    Federal Premiums with Nosler Partitions or Trophy Bonded Bear Claws got 61 votes
    Remington ammo with Swift A-Frames got 21 votes
    PMC or Wby with Barnes X bullets got 14 votes
    Winchester Fail Safes got 9 votes

    Have you ever experienced any misfires?
    Factory misfires. 78 no 5 yes
    Reload misfires? 79 no 4 yes
    Do you or any of your PH's reload? 17 yes 59 no.

    Do you think that the "Super Premium" bullets, like Trophy Bonded, Swift A-Frames, Fail-Safes, and Barnes-X etc are worth the extra cost? 69 yes 14 no

    How about Nosler Ballistic Tips and other “plastic tipped” bullets? A simple NO will cover the replies. They are too violent on impact, and seriously lack reasonable penetration.

    Should your hunters practice more? 77 yes

    Do reloaders tend to be better shots than those that do not reload? 66 yes 2 no

    Do you like hunters to bring guns with KDF or Mag Na Ports? 75 no and 0 yes (Better to bring a smaller gun that kicks less.)

    If hunting dangerous game, does the client REALLY know what might be in store for him? No way, they watch the Mark Sullivan videos and see TOO MANY charges, (most of those are allegedly staged anyway.) What they really do not realize is that their little soft bodies are not ready for the bush.

    They bring Boots that are new, and their feet will hurt an hour after arrival. There is no way they are ready for a long hard hunt on foot or their belly.
    Many clients are there only because they feel it is the “IN” thing to do and they must keep up with the “Jones”. They are much wiser the second time around.

    Based on the information received from almost 100 South African, Namibian, Zimbabwe and Tanzania PH's, a profile has emerged.

    Most likely, the first time hunter is likely to bring a large Magnum of some sort even though he has a fine 7mm Mag, 30-06, 270 Win or 35 Whelan at home, "somebody", convinced him he needs a new 300 Mag or bigger, just for plains game.

    The stock on his rifle will be new and shiny, and has a 50/50 chance of a muzzle brake to reduce recoil and kill his PH's ears.

    He will shoot ammo or bullets that are going too fast and are of too light in weight for the caliber, like a 150 gr instead or 180 gr or 200 gr. in the 300 Magnum or 30-06. It seems they believe that FASTER is the magic word. Supposedly, the FASTER it goes, the better "it kills", so they use the 140 gr or 150 gr in the 7 Mag instead of 175 gr. bullets.

    Our first time hunter will most likely have a minimum of a 3x-9x scope and most often will have a 3.5x-10x or more on it. It will have a gloss finish, and no matter what the situation, it will be cranked up to the maximum all the time. It will be in High rings with enough space between the scope bell and the barrel to run your finger underneath.

    There is a 50/50 chance he will bring reloaded ammo, and thank goodness the odds are, he will have no trouble with it.

    IF he has trouble with the functioning of the ammo, it will be that he has got them loaded too hot, and will stick a bolt or blow a primer.

    His clothes will be brand new from Cabela's or Bass Pro shop, but will be a nice light colored khaki so the game can see him better. He will have a new "safari" hat with the Zebra trim, which is hot and heavy. On the other hand, at the very least a new “white” baseball cap on that the game can see for miles.

    His boots will be new and they will be Gortex lined so his feet sweat, and he can get blisters easier.

    He will have a big ammo belt so that he can carry lots of ammo.

    If using factory ammo, there is a 50/50 chance he will have brought Nosler Ballistic Tips instead of Nosler Partitions, even though they are both Federal Premiums.

    He certainly will bring a lot of luggage along and will buy a bunch of junk and carvings, and now has to figure out how to get them home. The “rule” is, “You bought it, and you carry it”.

    Our second time hunter is much wiser now. Depending on where he will hunt, he will now tailor his gun to the conditions.

    If he is hunting in the southern part of South Africa or Namibia, where ranges are "long", he will still take his 300 Mag, but it will be a dull matte finish, in a black fiberglass stock. He will also think twice about a stainless steel gun and scope, because they “shine” too much.

    Moreover, it is doubtful if he will ever own a muzzle brake again, since his PH and his trackers are now learning to lip-read.

    He may still bring a 3x-9x scope but it to will be in a matte finish.

    If he is hunting in the "brush" of the South African Transvaal or in Zimbabwe, he might even just bring his 30-06 with a plain 4x scope, and will shoot 180 gr or heavier PREMIUM bullets, or may even use 220 gr Bullets.

    In addition, he will practice MUCH more.

    He has a new understanding of just how tough African game is. He will use heavier and tougher bullets next time. Bullet velocity will not be as much of a factor this time. If he is a handloader, he will again bring reloads, coupled as mentioned above, with heavier and tougher bullets.

    His nice new light colored safari clothes will now be relegated to sitting around the campfire telling lies.

    His hunting clothes will now be a "dark" or darker green and even a little Real Tree or Advantage camo thrown in for good measure. His hat will be of very lightweight and cool material and will again be a dark color.

    His boots will be well broken in, and will be plain leather or fabric, with no Gore-Tex or Thinsulate.

    His ammo belt will now be for only 5 or 10 shells, because he has practiced shooting offhand, and with his new shooting sticks or bipod.

    If using factory ammo, he will still use Federal Premium ammo, but with Trophy Bonded Bear Claws or Barnes TSX bullets now.

    His new gun case of last year will look like the devil now. He will have gotten some lightweight luggage bags after the Airlines nipped him for over-weight charges. Those heavy suitcases are history. He will also remember that it is TWO pieces of luggage per passenger, not two bags AND a gun case.

    He will also put his ammo in plastic 20 round boxes, and slip them inside the ORGINAL FACTORY box, so he is in compliance. This is because the ones his factory ammo were in, were destroyed in transit, and the Airport X-ray machine showed loose ammo in his luggage and he had to unpack it and fix it all up.

    Speaking of ammo, he and his partner will now each carry some of each other’s ammo, because last year the airlines lost his bag with all of his ammo, and he had none for a week and had to use his partner’s guns and ammo.
    HOWEVER, he has had so much fun that he just cannot wait to go back again. He will drive the old car a year or two longer, and not put new carpeting in the house.

    He will do just about anything he can do to come up with the time and money to go again.

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