Excuse my ignorance

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don’t get me wrong, I understand the value of the local PH who knows the lay of the land and to find game but once that has been accomplished surely the the client may have the opportunity to actually take over the hunt ....that is the hunt! ....But if the PH hands it to you on a plate?....dangerous game or not...
@AGNK
Believe me the PH doesn't just hand it to you. To me when I hunted in Namibia it was the tracker that did the guiding for the stalk. I learned more from my tracker in a 10 day hunt than I had in my time hunting OZ. The PH is there for legal reasons and to keep you safe and make sure you get the best possible trophies.
One bloke in our group did a 30km hike over 3 days just to get his kudu and if you told him it was handed to him by the PH you would need a good pair of earmuff so you wouldn't hear his tirade. My longest spot and stalk was 9km and I can assure you it wasn't an easy 9 k.
If you really want to test your stamina sit in a thorn bush hide in 36 degrees Celsius for 6 hours waiting for the right animal.


Your PH and tracker want you to have a great hunt so it wouldn't hurt to ask if you could lead the stalk sometimes. You WILL only get one of two answers but I would wait until I had my first animal in the salt before asking, you u mate y change your mind.
Bob
 

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I can honestly say a ph is a high value on any hunt. Even if you have hunted all your life and been to africa 100 times or never. Not knowing the terrain, concession layout or where the local neighbors are can be an issue. Not to mention if you are not aware of the behavior patterns of all african animals, you could get yourself in trouble quick. A great ph will have many years experience in the bush,tracking,sexing and general knowledge. I believe it is impossible to have their understanding of every animal or even every bush that can impact your hunt, without years of training yourself.
I believe a solo hunt is best suited for a ph, rather than a visitor.
Ive been caught in the middle of herds a few times, in a bad way. Thank god I had someone with me that knew exactly what to do !
Given the time restraints on these hunts. Im pretty sure you would be better off with a ph and crew. If you are worried about feeling like the trigger man, then get out of the rover and walk with the trackers. You will learn alot and feel more like part of the team. Then after the animal is found, spend the time with the ph, and be a vocal part of the kill. Then, you can also choose to help skin the kill if you want.
They are all there to help you. But if you want to do more work or less work, they will accommodate you as much as they can.
Have a great first trip !
I am not sure what sort of hunt would involve "get out of the rover and walk with the trackers." I have never seen a situation where trackers were walking and the PH and client were in a truck.

For the OP:

You will walk with the trackers every day. it is how hunts are conducted everywhere I have ever hunted in Africa. You will either spot an animal from the truck and start a stalk; or you will spot a track from the truck and start a pursuit; or you will simply park the truck and take a walk. In all of those cases, the tracker will lead, the PH will follow and then you will be next. About an hour into your first day, it will seem the only logical way to hunt Africa.

I might add, remove the tracker, and that is how every guided hunt you are ever likely to experience anywhere else in the world is conducted. In Europe, the tracker may be substituted with a park or estate ranger, in Asia with a local guide. But the system is exactly the same.
 
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Red Leg

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I didn’t think it when I hunted there, but I’m noticing on this forum that there are some huge differences between American and Australian perceptions of hunting by hunters. I think it’s hard for Americans to really understand what you’re asking for because we view hunting differently. I’m noticing this particularly around trophy hunting and guiding. I’m sure some Australians will add in shortly.
Yes and no. I do think - on this site at least - a lot more of the American hunters have experience with guided hunts before their first venture to Africa than what seems to be the average among our Australian cousins.
 

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I’d say after only 20 yards of a slow crawl over rocks and thorny plants, you will feel very much part of a hunting team and not just baggage the PH totes around. The next 80 yards of belly crawling will be even more exciting as you realize that you really don’t want to make a mistake.

i found it a wonderful education to get to closely follow an expert without feeling like I was intruding on someone else’s hunt.
 

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I am not sure what sort of hunt would involve "get out of the rover and walk with the trackers." I have never seen a situation where trackers were walking and the PH and client were in a truck.

For the OP:

You will walk with the trackers every day. it is how hunts are conducted everywhere I have ever hunted in Africa. You will either spot an animal form the truck and start a stalk; or you will spot a track from the truck and start a pursuit; or you will simply park the truck and take a walk. In all of those cases, the tracker will lead, the PH will follow and then you will be next. About an hour into your first day, it will seem the only logical way to hunt Africa.

I might add, remove the tracker, and that is how every guided hunt you are ever likely to experience anywhere else in the world is conducted. In Europe, the tracker may be substituted with a park or estate ranger, in Asia with a local guide. But the system is exactly the same.
I have never been on other peoples hunts. I can only speak for myself for the fact that I like to be part of everything involved. I want to experience it all and take all the memories home with me.
But as to the people that dont walk with the trackers ? There is a million videos that show just that ! Youtube is full of them. It could be a older man that cant walk miles upon miles a day or a celebrity that just wants to shoot the animal.
My point was for the op to get involved in everything. Since he is afraid of feeling like a trigger man.
On a separate note. I would suggest the op to take a safari tour before the hunt. Its your first time there, see the animals without the rifle first. Very different from the zoo, let the emotions and awe sink in !
 

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I have never been on other peoples hunts. I can only speak for myself for the fact that I like to be part of everything involved. I want to experience it all and take all the memories home with me.
But as to the people that dont walk with the trackers ? There is a million videos that show just that ! Youtube is full of them. It could be a older man that cant walk miles upon miles a day or a celebrity that just wants to shoot the animal.
My point was for the op to get involved in everything. Since he is afraid of feeling like a trigger man.
On a separate note. I would suggest the op to take a safari tour before the hunt. Its your first time there, see the animals without the rifle first. Very different from the zoo, let the emotions and awe sink in !
I truly have no idea what millions of videos or hunts you are talking about. Every hunt with which I have ever been involved (other than sitting in a leopard blind), the PH and I (sometimes accompanied by a gamescout) followed the trackers - a few steps behind. I conservatively would guess that is the experience of the 99.9% of the veteran African hunters on this site. An exception would be some PG operations where the PH may also act as the tracker in which case the client is directly behind him.

I would also offer a bit of caution to a first time African hunter in getting too much involved. For instance, a skinner's job is an important one. He takes great pride in his work, the outfitter places great responsibility on him, and offering to take a hand in that process needs to be done very carefully. I personally would not intrude on that responsibility though I do know some here have done so successfully. If the trackers are trying to sort out the direction taken by the wounded springbok, buffalo, whatever from a herd that has blown up following a client's shot, the last thing they need or want is a pair of well meaning size 11 Courtneys disturbing the spoor. Just use common sense, and spend your time learning.
 
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You can write volumes about what you don't see in those Youtube videos.

They are quite likely very heavily edited just to show you what you might expect, the hunter shooting his or hers animal
 

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Thank you very much gentlemen...one other thing I’d like your thoughts on....something that’s been bugging me for a very long time...

Referring hunting as a ‘sport’ or recreational sports ...that term never sat well with me.... just can’t see the correlation...that’s probably just me I guess?



Years ago think in the early 80’s I had a lengthy discussion with a Spanish hunting acquaintance about ‘bull fighting’ ...he informed me that the bull fighting events are not written in the ‘sports’section of the local newspaper but in the ‘arts’ section....

Found that very interesting...
 

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Im
I truly have no idea what millions of videos or hunts you are talking about. Every hunt with which I have ever been involved (other than sitting in a leopard blind), the PH and I (sometimes accompanied by a gamescout) followed the trackers - a few steps behind. I conservatively would guess that is the experience of the 99.9% of the veteran African hunters on this site. An exception would be some PG operations where the PH may also act as the tracker in which case the client is directly behind him.

I would also offer a bit of caution to a first time African hunter in getting too much involved. For instance, a skinner's job is an important one. He takes great pride in his work, the outfitter places great responsibility on him, and offering to take a hand in that process needs to be done very carefully. I personally would not intrude on that responsibility though I do know some here have done so successfully. If the trackers are trying to sort out the direction taken by the wounded springbok, buffalo, whatever from a herd that has blown up following a client's shot, the last thing they need or want is a pair of well meaning size 11 Courtneys disturbing the spoor. Just use common sense, and spend your time learning.
Im talking about all the videos on youtube that shows the client and the ph idling down a trail talking about girls or the last kill or whatever, while the trackers are walking out in front taking care of business.
And when it comes to the skinning. I never said he needed to walk over and take the skinning kit and do it himself. I said he needs to be involved. Atleast watch the process. In other words dont get comfy with a cigar and whiskey !
 

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You can write volumes about what you don't see in those Youtube videos.

They are quite likely very heavily edited just to show you what you might expect, the hunter shooting his or hers animal
I understand. I figure as most that has never been there. The hunting ideas are from youtube and capstick books. So I was just trying to say dont be afraid to get involved in everything. There are some real winners on youtube, if you know what I mean ?
 

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Your best bet is to discuss this with your potential ph.
you will need to gauge his or her feelings on how far you want to be involved in the hunt, the stalk, the decision making, trophy selection etc.
It’s one thing to see a huge leopard come in, it’s another question to try age that leopard to make sure it’s legal.

One of the big concerns a ph has to deal with on government concessions etc is ensuring your hunt is legal.
would you take the chance on a $60k cat hunt only to find out you decided to shoot an immature cat, besides causing your ph to lose his licence and huge financial penalties to the concession owner, you’d never see your lion trophy.

what if you’re stalking a superb buff only to wander into a neighbouring concession? There aren’t any fences here... it can happen.

what happens if your hunt is unsuccessful? You go home after a 10day buff hunt without a trophy, that’s money lost to the hunting outfitter, it’s a bad reputation for a ph and you as a client will not be happy and likely not recommend that outfitter/ph/concession/country.

there is a lot of decision making that you can be a part of and a good ph will be hunting with you. Not simply guiding you to an animal and saying shoot.

Communication before you book and during the hunt over your expectations is key.
 

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When I guide a Hunter/client, I always try to gauge his experience in the field and then I will always adapt the Hunt to him. I also gauge his needs in the Safari, and if he wants to be more " involved" then that's how we hunt. Ultimately it is he/she that needs to be happy with the experience, not me. So having said that, I am happy to have someone Hunt the way he wants, and me just be the " guide" provided it is Safe and Legal.
 

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AGNK.................you asked a very fair question. The behavior that you describe does happen. I've seen it on YT videos and even on promo vids by the operator. My short answer to you is...no......no it is not too much to ask. Some hunters have spent a lifetime honing their hunting skills, and they know a lot. Since they are paying for the hunt, they should at least be included in the decision making. Nearly all of the successful PH's have already figured that out. The ones you refer to that simply want to go on THEIR hunt while you pay....they don't last long. Other hunters have not had your experience or developed much of a skill set....good PH's assess that pretty quickly too. I think you will be pleasantly surprised, and have a great time in Africa.....FWB
 

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Referring hunting as a ‘sport’ or recreational sports ...that term never sat well with me.... just can’t see the correlation...that’s probably just me I guess?

It defines your relationship to this activity.
If you spend the money for hunting, it is sport, or recreational sport.
If you make money from it, it is proffesion.
That is from our basic ground perspective.

From global perspective, definition of sport, is more complex.
Generally what is THE SPORT, will be determined by international olympic committee.
By them IOC (int Olympic committee), the Sport can be by the nature:
- olympic,
- or non olympic (both accepted by IOC).

In order to consider application to IOC, an international (sport) organisiation will have to be member of sportaccord organisation, which itself consists of 5 member organisation (ASOIF, AIOWF, ARISF, AIMS, GAISF). you make google search for them, you will get a picture. Search first for sportaccord.

I went a bit deeper into it, because of my other hobby, target shooting and other disciplines then ISSF (which are olympic disciplines and recognised as "olympic sports"),
I was interested in f-class (ICFRA) and IPSC, and IDPA - and their global status and acceptance as a "sport".

The results of my reasearch are quite dissapointing, because neither ICFRA, IPSC, or IDPA organisations are not members in any of sportaccord organisations, and olympic committee does not recognise them as "sport".

In a same manner, there is no any hunting organisation registered as a "sport", in any international sport assosation, as member of sportaccord. (CIC, SCI, DSC, or national hunting associatins by country)

This, to my understanding, that hunting is not officially recognised "a sport", but only as some activity which CAN BE legal, and also subject to restriction puts global hunting in very incovenient situation.

And we are also wittness to this... trophy import bans, some countries banning hunt totally... etc etc.... If hunting gets recognised as a sport internationally it would put hunting in much better international legal position.

If an animal trophy would be officialy and internationally recognised as sport medal, then no ban on trophy import could ever be inforced, provided is legally accomplised animal trophy.
But, who am I to question great hunting organisations and their legal teams....
But to my simple minded understanding, make hunting as officially recognised international sport - many problems will fixed.

It will put hunting on much better foundation.
It is always much easier for country to ban hunting, full or partially or trophy imports, then for a same govt of some country to ban "sport".

(it sound like banning the art - ie not exactly popular of politcally correct). Sport, in modern world is untouchable!

O, BTW - inetratnial sport fishing federation CIPS is member of sportaccord.

(and what they do, is hunting fish for sport)
 
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Red Leg

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Im

Im talking about all the videos on youtube that shows the client and the ph idling down a trail talking about girls or the last kill or whatever, while the trackers are walking out in front taking care of business.
And when it comes to the skinning. I never said he needed to walk over and take the skinning kit and do it himself. I said he needs to be involved. Atleast watch the process. In other words dont get comfy with a cigar and whiskey !
I'll repeat I have no idea what African hunting you are talking about. .

The OP expressed a concern about his role in a hunt in Africa. For someone who has not experienced a lot of guided big game hunting, that can be an absolutely legitimate question. Ergo, I think addressing his concerns are important. However, I am not sure creating a concern where none should exist is entirely helpful.

He does not have to be worried about being part of the team approaching an animal (or during any other part of the hunt). His PH will be delighted to find a client passionately interested in the experience. I have never observed chit chatting with a PH while stalking game and neither will @AGNK. Nor will he ever be idling along in the vehicle while trackers follow a spoor (unless he suffers from a crippling injury or disease). That simply does not happen.

And I think most of us would agree sitting around a fire in the early evening, stretching legs tired from pursuing a kudu through the thorn or an eland across half of Africa, and reliving that fantastic day with one's PH over a scotch, beer, or soda (even a cigar) is absolutely part of being involved.
 
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Red Leg

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It defines your relationship to this activity.
If you spend the money for hunting, it is sport, or recreational sport.
If you make money from it, it is proffesion.
That is from our basic ground perspective.

From global perspective, definition of sport, is more complex.
Generally what is THE SPORT, will be determined by international olympic committee.
By them IOC (int Olympic committee), the Sport can be by the nature:
- olympic,
- or non olympic (both accepted by IOC).

In order to consider application to IOC, an international (sport) organisiation will have to be member of sportaccord organisation, which itself consists of 5 member organisation (ASOIF, AIOWF, ARISF, AIMS, GAISF). you make google search for them, you will get a picture. Search first for sportaccord.

I went a bit deeper into it, because of my other hobby, target shooting and other disciplines then ISSF (which are olympic disciplines and recognised as "olympic sports"),
I was interested in f-class (ICFRA) and IPSC, and IDPA - and their global status and acceptance as a "sport".

The results of my reasearch are quite dissapointing, because neither ICFRA, IPSC, or IDPA organisations are not members in any of sportaccord organisations, and olympic committee does not recognise them as "sport".

In a same manner, there is no any hunting organisation registered as a "sport", in any international sport assosation, as member of sportaccord. (CIC, SCI, DSC, or national hunting associatins by country)

This, to my understanding, that hunting is not officially recognised "a sport", but only as some activity which CAN BE legal, and also subject to restriction puts global hunting in very incovenient situation.

And we are also wittness to this... trophy import bans, some countries banning hunt totally... etc etc.... If hunting gets recognised as a sport internationally it would put hunting in much better international legal position.

If an animal trophy would be officialy and internationally recognised as sport medal, then no ban on trophy import could ever be inforced, provided is legally accomplised animal trophy.
But, who am I to question great hunting organisations and their legal teams....
But to my simple minded understanding, make hunting as officially recognised international sport - many problems will fixed.

It will put hunting on much better foundation.
It is always much easier for country to ban hunting, full or partially or trophy imports, then for a same govt of some country to ban "sport".

(it sound like banning the art - ie not exactly popular of politcally correct). Sport, in modern world is untouchable!

O, BTW - inetratnial sport fishing federation CIPS is member of sportaccord.

(and what they do, is hunting fish for sport)
Good discussion. I wish I could find it, but someone wrote in interesting article on this subject twenty or more years ago. He traced the notion of hunting as sport to the middle ages in Europe. He noted both Romans and Anglo Saxons earlier hunted wild boar - often from horseback - but true organized killing of game began with European landed aristocracy using their serfs as beaters. Many examples of these hunts are found in art, particularly tapestries from that period.

He concluded, that the notion of hunting as sport reached its pinnacle in Georgian England where "shooting parties," mainly for driven partridge, became the the most important social events on the annual calendar among royalty and the broader aristocracy. The wonderful British SxS's and stalking rifles we so admire today, are products of that age. It was also a short step from driven birds to the competitive sport of Pigeon shooting which was an amazingly popular spectator as well as participatory sport at the time (and is still passionately pursued in places like Spain, Argentina, and the Republic of Texas.)

Continental Europe took a significantly different course. By the late 19th century, most hunting was directly related to conservation. Selective shooting to insure the best breeding genetics and small drive hunts to take advantage of animals and birds taking advantage of farmers' fields had a very different social context than what was happening in Great Britain. Yes, it was still the purview of the landed welltodo, but the intent was quite different.

North America became a product of both of these traditions built upon its own history of hunting as a means of survival on ever expanding frontier. North America also had a commercial component that further confused the issue. I think it is one reason so many of us have such a hard time articulating this passtime of ours. I suspect Australia's history creates similar confusion.
 

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However you choose to hunt or stalk. I hope you have a great hunt !
Its a true experience, not matched by much in this world !
 

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