Following Up Wounded Dangerous Game : A Professional Shikaree's Most Loathed Task

Major Khan

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Tonight , l am going to provide my dear readers with not a story about any particular shikar incident , but rather a comprehensive guide on 1 of the most vital tasks which any professional shikaree must be savvy in performing : The task of following up dangerous wounded game. I think that l can speak for each and every professional hunter in the world ( Be it a professional shikaree from India or a white hunter from Africa ) that there is no task in the world which we loath more than having to follow up dangerous game .
If only each and every client in the world could place his 1st shot in a vital region , using an adequate and accurate weapon , then the world of the professional shikaree would be perfect . However , we do not live in a perfect world , do we ? From time to time , even the most sensible of clients will wound an animal which will need to be followed up by the professional shikaree . This is the whole purpose of tonight's guide . While there are far more experienced gentlemen in this forum than l , being the professional shikaree of " Allwyn Cooper Limited " ( India's largest shikar outfitters from 1954 to 1970 ) who was specifically assigned to guide clients for royal Bengal tiger shikars from 1961 to 1970 , l can safely say that l know a thing or 2 about the subject from personal experience . Below , is a personal tally of the dangerous animals which l had to follow up and the charging animals which l had to dispatch in my career .
Royal Bengal tiger - 11
Forest Panther ( known internationally as Hunting Leopard ) - 4
Village Panther ( known internationally as Spotted Leopard ) - 9
Gaur Bison - 3
Water Buffalo - 1
Indian Bush Boar - 57 ( this is so high , because these animals had to be killed during culling operations , as they were a big threat to farmer's crops )
Asian Sloth Bear - 8
Ganges River Crocodile -5




Before , l begin the guide , a little prologue is appropriate about the appropriate armaments for following up wounded dangerous game .
There is a world of difference between a rifle which is capable of KILLING a dangerous animal and a rifle which is capable of STOPPING a dangerous animal . I have provided a visual example below.
Below , is a photograph taken by my friend , former fellow professional shikaree and fellow forum member , Sergeant Kawshik Rahman of 1 of our clients who managed to kill a royal Bengal tiger with a single heart shot from a .243 Winchester calibre Savage Model 110 bolt rifle , and a 105 grain soft nose bullet . The incident took place in 1963.
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Below , is a photograph also taken by Kawshik of 1 of his clients who managed to kill a forest panther with a single shot from a 7 mm Remington magnum calibre Model 700 bolt rifle and a single 175 grain soft point Remington Core Lokt bullet .
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Now , these 2 ( and many other incidents which l have personally experienced ) are testament that small calibre cartridges like the .243 Winchester and the 7 mm Remington magnum can certainly kill royal Bengal tigers and panthers respectively .
However , the same weapons will ( unless the shikaree is extremely lucky and fortune smiles upon them that day in the most miraculous of manners ) certainly fail miserably to stop a charging royal Bengal tiger or a forest panther . Why is this so ? This is because such small calibre cartridges are only useful for picked shots on dangerous game ; shots which are invariably offered on a stationary , unsuspecting animal . However , a charging royal Bengal tiger or panther is certainly not a stationary , unsuspecting animal now , is it ?

You see , when a royal Bengal tiger or a panther is wounded or charging at the shikar party , it’s chest muscles are what offer the most resistance to the shooter’s bullets . Normally, when relaxed ( as in the case of an unsuspecting animal ) , these muscles are not very resistant to bullets ( even small calibre bullets , such as a 7 mm Remington magnum or a .243 Winchester ) . However , a wounded and/or charging royal or panther will have adrenaline coursing through it’s veins and this hardens the chest muscles considerably. This is exceptionally dangerous , because a charging royal Bengal tiger or panther ( or , indeed any animal ) only offers 2 shots : i ) Frontal brain shot ii) Frontal chest shot . Since the chest offers a considerably larger target than the head ( that too , on a fast moving , charging brute ) , it comes as no surprise why most shikarees will want to opt for the chest shot on charging animals . Hence , adequate calibres are a must .

Even though , l have unfortunately never had the privilege of personally shooting an elephant ( they were a protected species even during our time , in India ) , l have accompanied forest department officials on several occasions when they had to dispatch rogue Indian elephants and not only witnessed elephants being shot , but l also helped in cutting open the corpses . Therefore , l do possess a rudimentary bit of information about elephant shooting , aside from what l have read in books . In the world of elephant shooting , no hunter has achieved more notoriety than an English gentleman named WDM “ Karamojo “ Bell . This gentleman slew upwards of 1000 African elephants , 800 of which ( rough count ) were slain with brain shots by using a .275 Rigby ( better known to the international hunting community as 7 x 57 mm Mauser ) calibre Mauser style bolt rifle , built by the British company , John Rigby and Co. Now , every 1 marvels at how a .275 Rigby cartridge ( using a 175 grain solid metal covered bullet ) can possibly slay African elephants which weigh between 5 and 6 tons .There are even gentlemen who have come to doubt Mr. Bell’s accomplishments over the years . Having read all 3 of Mr. Bell’s books ( “Wanderings of an elephant hunter” , “Karamojo safari” and “Bell of Africa” ) , l personally believe every thing which this gentleman was written. It is imperative that we all must understand the context in which Mr. Bell was killing those 800 African elephants with the .275 Rigby . Mr. Bell was an ivory hunter , not a white hunter. An ivory hunter’s job is to simply kill an elephant to acquire it’s tusks. These elephants were often stationary or moving slowly and most certainly unsuspecting brutes . A white hunter’s job is to stop a charging elephant ( or indeed any other dangerous animal ) which may attack the safari party . Therefore , an ivory hunter , like Mr. Bell could afford to use a small calibre rifle , like a .275 Rigby to dispatch unsuspecting elephants , by using picked shots ( such as side brain shots , because an elephant’s skull is far thinner at the sides than it is in the front portion ) . A white hunter , on the other hand , like forum member @IvW will however need something far more adequate for the task at hand , because if an elephant charges towards the safari party , then it will only offer the frontal brain shot , or the frontal chest shots ( shots which are certainly not picked shots ) .
2 more words are requisite about Mr. Bell. After reading all of his books carefully , l can safely say that Mr. Bell never once mentions about him stopping a charging elephant. Also , in " Karamojo Safari " , he makes passing mention of a .416 Rigby calibre bolt rifle , built by the British company, John Rigby and Co , as being a part of his battery . This leads me to believe that Mr. Bell did indeed possess a heavier calibre rifle in his battery , possibly as insurance should an elephant charge.


Let us now talk about the following up itself. For the purposes of this article , l will use 8 species of animals for reference ... animals which l have had to follow up and dispatch in my career .
To rank the dangerousness of the animals in this article , l will use the following symbol : * .
For example , an animal marked * ( 1 star ) is not very dangerous. However , an animal marked ***** ( 5 stars ) is the most dangerous .

Asian Sloth Bear ( **)
I have ranked these brutes as among the least dangerous , for 1 simple reason. They populate hilly regions with little thick vegetation. Therefore , if wounded , the chance that these brutes can retreat into thick foliage is minuscule . The advantage for the shikari here is that the bear will either charge straight or try to run off into the distance , but the absence of thick foliage will most certainly guarantee the shikaree enough time to stop the bear from charging or escaping with a well placed bullet of adequate calibre . The only way , l can possibly see a shikaree fail to stop a charging Asian sloth bear is :
1) If they are using an inadequate calibre
2) If they opt for a frontal brain shot .
An Asian sloth bear weighs 420 pounds in the largest male specimens. While not carrying the thickest hide , it would be foolish to go after these brutes with anything smaller than the .30 calibres . From personal experience , l would not recommend anything smaller than a .300 Winchester magnum ( although several of my clients have successfully taken these brutes with .30-06 Springfield calibre rifles ) . My personal favorite , all things considered , is the .338 Winchester magnum .However , you can certainly go higher if you wish. In the state of Nagpur , where l used to guide clients most of the time , the minimum calibre legally acceptable for visiting clients to shoot royal Bengal tigers , gaur or water buffaloes with , was the .375 Nitro Express. And since a foreign client was only legally allowed to bring 2 fire arms into India ( with 250 cartridges for each fire arm ) , most clients who would bring a .375 Holland & Holland magnum ( or larger) calibre rifle to shoot a royal Bengal tiger or gaur or water buffalo , would use the same rifle for bear shikar.And they were never let down.
Neither Kawshik nor l would advise anyone , but the most experienced of shooters , to ever attempt the frontal brain shot on a charging Asian Sloth Bear . The reason for this is simple . The head of the Asian Sloth Bear is oddly shaped and structured and to make matters worse , the size of it’s brain is rather small. This makes it extremely difficult for the shikaree’s bullet to find it’s way into the brain of these brutes . For charging Asian Sloth Bears , l am a massive proponent of the frontal chest shot , aimed at the heart. The heart of the brute will be tucked at the base of the chest , between the 2 front legs. It presents a large enough target for the shikaree to accurately reach with a well aimed shot from their rifle .
The best bullet , available in our time for Asian Sloth Bears was a good quality expanding bullet of sufficiently large calibre , such as the Remington Core Lokt or the Hornady expanding bullets or the Winchester Silvertip . Today , based on my understanding of ballistics , l am of opinion that the best bullet for an Asian Sloth Bear would have to be either the Swift A frame or the Trophy Bonded Bear Claw bullet . Their construction indicates highly desirable features for stopping an Asian Sloth Bear . Shikarees today are most fortunate that they have the 3rd option between soft point bullets and solid metal covered bullets . They have the option to select bullets with a controlled rate of expansion . What this means , is that shikarees have bullets which will properly hold together while traversing the body of an animal to reach the vital organs , while still opening up properly inside the Animal's vital organs to ensure larger wound cavities . Remember the body fat of an Asian Sloth bear often manages to close the wound cavities caused by smaller calibre bullets and the thick fur of the brute's often manages to soak up much of the blood.

Gaur ( **** )
I have given this brute 4 stars , for 2 reasons . 1stly , their hides are extremely thick . 2ndly , when wounded a gaur always retreats into the thick shrub , making it close to impossible to spot it until it is very close . It was the following up of a gaur wounded by a client , which gave my best friend and shikar partner , Tobin Stakkatz life long injuries on 1 horrid day in 1969 . The brute hit Tobin in the stomach with it's horns and the ordeal cost Tobin his right kidney ( and a good deal of blood ) .Tobin retired from guiding shikars for dangerous game after that day and spent the rest of his shikar career in India , guiding shikars for sambhur deer ( If my dear readers would like , l can relate this story as well , 1 day ) .
A gaur is 1 of the most dangerous animals of India , and a fully mature male can exceed 2000 pounds in weight . Their horns are smaller and more curved than a water buffalo's horns and this is precisely what makes them far more dangerous than a water buffalo . Just like the Kudu has earned the nickname " grey ghost " among African hunters , the Indian gaur is named " grey forest ghost " by Indian shikarees . And with good reason . The silent , stealthy way that these brutes can move through the thickets of the Indian forests is downright scary .
When a gaur charges , it will be at very close range and only 1 shot ( practically speaking ) is offered to the shooter : The frontal heart shot . Due to the horns of a gaur , you can forget about attempting the frontal brain shot . The only time a frontal brain shot is offered if if the gaur is less than 7 yards away and has lowered it's head to engage you with it's horns . Make no mistake . Under NO circumstances whatsoever , is the shooter to wait that long to fire . Doing so , will 9 times out of 10 lead to fatal consequences for someone in a shikar party .
Therefore , the frontal chest shot is the only practical option . For the hunting of gaur in Nagpur , the minimum legally permissible calibre for a foreign client shikaree to use , was the .375 Nitro Express . Personally , however l would opt for nothing smaller than a .375 Holland & Holland magnum . Infact , l personally consider the .450 / 400 Nitro Express , using 400 grain bullets to be the perfect calibre for Indian gaur based on personal experience . Even though , l do not have any personal experience with the .404 Jeffery , my understanding of ballistics tells me that is is basically the bolt rifle version of the .450 / 400 Nitro Express and would personally be my choice for a bolt rifle to go after gaur with .
The most brutally effective rifle ever brought by 1 of my clients for securing a gaur was a .476 Westley Richards calibre double barreled side by side rifle , built by the British company , Westley Richards . Using 520 grain solid metal covered bullets , my client completely crumpled a charging gaur.
In our time , the only acceptable choice of bullets to follow up wounded gaur were solid metal covered bullets . Due to the lack of expansion caused by solid metal covered bullets in the vital organs of a gaur , it was imperative that large calibre bullets be used , to punch larger holes into the heart of a gaur . A .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre 300 grain solid metal covered bullet was marginal for this task . Such a bullet would punch a small hole in a gaur's heart and the hole would invariably close , due to the heart pumping blood . However , anything in the .400 series , using at least a 400 grain solid metal covered bullet , could easily punch a sufficiently big enough hole into the gaur's heart to render it hors de combat swiftly .
Today , the invention of premium expanding bullets with a controlled rate of expansion has made smaller calibres like the 9.3 × 62 Mauser or . 375 Holland & Holland magnum much better weapons for following up wounded gaur than they used to be back in the old days . The use of premium expanding bullets , heavier than the original 300 grain weight ( for a .375 Holland & Holland magnum ) have helped to propel the ( already high ) popularity of the .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre for buffaloes . The Swift A frame , has ( l believe ) all of the desirable features in a bullet to be used by the modern sports man .
However , my old fashioned tastes still prefer something in the .400 series .

Below , l have provided a photograph of a gaur killed by myself and Tobin Stakkatz which had charged us .
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Water Buffalo ( * )
These creatures are not aggressive at all ( ranking lowest in my list) and are far more mild mannered than their brutish gaur cousin . While a water buffalo weigh as much as 2000 pounds ( just like a gaur ) , it seldom thinks of charging if wounded and does not usually retreat into the thickets . Taking all this into account , all of the advice which l have provided , for the gaur mentioned above , will also apply for the water buffalo , such as shot placement , calibre and bullet choices .
Speaking for myself , l never really considered these creatures to be very challenging and only shot them whenever l wanted the meat
( The flesh of the Indian water buffalo is excellent and akin to coarse beef ) .
Below , is a photograph kindly lent to me by Kawshik of his colleague , Clay Quiah with the skull of a water buffalo which was shot by a client , using a .458 Winchester magnum calibre bolt rifle , built by the British company , Birmingham Small Arms .
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Indian Bush Boar ( *** )
I have actually ranked the Indian bush boar to be 1 star more dangerous than the Asian sloth bear . This may intrigue many of my dear readers , but hear me out for a moment . Many people do not consider boars very dangerous , but the Indian Bush Boar , is certainly not a harmless creature by any means . With a maximum weight of 300 pounds , sharp curved tusks that look like Sikh Kirpan daggers and the propensity to rush into the thickets when wounded or alarmed , an Indian Bush Boar is certainly not a brute to be underestimated . What is the most menacing about these villains , is that they have a propensity to try to attack the legs of their hapless victim , and have been known to cause many deaths by rupturing the femoral artery of their victim . For shooting Indian bush boars which might charge the shikaree , 2 shots are offered from the frontal position : i ) the frontal brain shot. ii ) The frontal heart shot . For a beginner , the heart shot is more advisable , since it presents the larger target and therefore allows for a greater margin for error . I personally favor the frontal brain shot , because it can drop an Indian Bush Boar on the spot . Experienced shooters will benefit from learning how to perform the frontal brain shot on charging Indian Bush Boars , because it produces instant death . Any weapon above .30 calibre will be adequate for stopping a charging Indian Bush Boar .
My personal favorite , would be the .30-30 Winchester in a model 1894 lever rifle and 170 grain flat nose premium quality expanding bullets .
For the Indian Bush Boar , good quality soft point bullets are an absolute must .
A little bit of trivia may interest all of you gentlemen . In my life ( despite being a Muslim ) , l have probably shot more wild boars than any other dangerous animal combined . The reason for this , was because boars were extremely harmful to the crops in farms all over India and Allwyn Cooper Limited ( my shikar outfitter ) would frequently send their shikarees to go to the farms and aid in the culling . The head culler assigned to these operations was my best friend , the German American , Tobin Stakkatz . And l participated in every cull from 1961 to 1970 .
A warning is requisite here . There is a chance that low velocity bullets may deflect off a boar's tusks . I have seen this happen more than once with the .315 calibre Indian Ordinance Factories bolt rifles ( firing 244 grain soft point bullets at a velocity of 2000 feet per second ) which were very popular amongst our local shikarees .
At close ranges , there is even a chance that the deflected bullet may hit and injure someone in the shikar party . This actually happened to a shikaree under our employment during a boar culling operation , by the name of Pavan . He got injured in the arm .
Below , l have provided a photograph taken by myself of 12 of the 63 Indian Bush Boars killed by our culling team , during a culling operation 1 day .
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Royal Bengal tiger ( **** )
Being the professional shikaree of Allwyn Cooper Limited specifically assigned to guiding clients for royal Bengal tiger shikar , it is safe to say that l have had more than my fair share of wounded royal Bengal tigers to follow up and dispatch . In my career , l have had to dispatch 11 wounded royal Bengal tigers .
These brutes can weigh up to 500 pounds in a fully mature male and can be very dangerous indeed , because when wounded , a royal Bengal tiger will always retreat into the thickets where it will attempt to ambush the Shikar party . The only thing stopping me from giving them ***** ( 5 stars ) on my list , is that you can almost always see them coming due to their massive size and the amount of noise that they can make while moving through the thickets . The ideal regions to shoot a charging royal Bengal tiger are either the region between both eyes ( if 1 is opting for the frontal brain shot ) or the heart , located at the base of the chest between the 2 front legs ( if the shikaree is opting for the frontal chest shot ) . In the state of Nagpur , the minimum legally permissible calibre for foreign client shikarees to use on a royal Bengal tiger , was the .375 Nitro Express . However , l personally feel that the 9.3 × 62 Mauser or the 9.3 × 74 R are perfectly acceptable calibres for royal Bengal tigers . My good friend , Kawshik , who used to guide clients in Darjeeling ( where no such minimal legal calibre limit existed ) had numerous successful clients who tool royal Bengal tigers with the 9.3 × 62 Mauser . When l used to guide clients in Uttarakhand ( where the minimal calibre law did not exist ) , l had many clients who successfully secured royal Bengal tigers with excellent side by side and over under double barreled rifles , chambered in 9.3 × 74 R . Personally , speaking for myself , l prefer the .375 Holland & Holland magnum and 300 grain Winchester Silvertip soft point bullets as being ideal for royal Bengal tigers .
Royal Bengal tigers demand good quality soft point bullets , like the Remington Core Lokt or the Winchester Silvertip .
Any modern equivalent , such as the Swift A frame will do admirably.
Below , l have provided some photographs taken by myself or my servant boy , Ponual , of royal Bengal tigers wounded by clients which l had to follow up and finish off.
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Below , is a colored photograph of a royal Bengal tiger , killed by my good friend , Kawshik , who was kind enough to provide me with the photograph to use here.
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Panther ( ***** ) WARNING : APPROACH WITH EXTREME CAUTION

For the purposes of simplification , l am writing about the village panther and the forest panther under 1 heading . However , they are very different animals . A village panther will never weigh more than 130 to 170 pounds .
These creatures typically lurk around the villagers of India and Bangladesh , and cause much devastation to live stock , such as goats and calves . A forest panther is much larger and can weigh up to 200 pounds . They stay in the forests and prey on Chital deer , hog deer , barking deer , Chinkara , 4 horned buck and the odd wild boar ( usually very young defenseless boars ) . A panther is the most dangerous amongst all of India's dangerous game . A wounded panther , even more so .
Normally , if a panther runs into a human being , he will pounce on his hapless victim and give him a quick series of very deep , but very brief bites and scratches with it's teeth and claws in the victim's face , neck and chest before making off. You will probably survive , but you will look as if someone has driven a lawn mower over you .
There are 2 exceptions to this . The 1st is the man eater ( for obvious reasons ) . The 2nd is a wounded panther , whose aggression sky rockets . A panther is unrivalled in dangerousness. It's speed is something which needs to be seen to be believed . This is only worsened by the fact that a panther always retreats into the densest of thickets when injured . Since a panther is smaller than a royal Bengal tiger , it can hide in holes in the ground or even climb trees to ambush the shikar party. And what an ambush it is . A panther is the most cunning of animal adversaries which a shikari may ever have to face . It lies in wait for the shikar party to get near where it is hiding , all the while plotting whom to pounce on . And then , it will pounce on that specific victim . After it has done it's work on it's 1st hapless victim , it will then pounce on it's next victim and so on .To make matters worse ( if they were not already bad enough ) , the Indian panther is a nocturnal creature and therefore , they were invariably hunted at night . A wounded panther would thus , always have to be followed into the thickets at night , by using a torch light . And believe me . It was a night marish task for us , professional shikarees.


The only way to survive an encounter with a panther is to kill it as soon as possible , on the spot , the moment the shikaree sees it . Due to the speed and stealthy nature of the panther , this is easier said than done . Just before the panther charges , it will give a snarl most of the time . Use that snarl to help you pin point the general direction of the panther and take aim and fire immediately . If you have access to a pack of hunting dogs , like long coat pure breed German Shepherd dogs , now is the time to put them to good use , to help you determine the panther's location in the thickets and possibly even keep the panther at bay , long enough for you to place your shot .
The charging panther offers 2 shots to the shikaree . The 1st is the region between both eyes for a frontal brain shot . The 2nd is the heart , located in the base of the chest , between the 2 front legs . I personally consider the frontal brain shot on a charging panther to be the only safe way to go . It will drop a panther on the spot .
A village panther can be comfortably dispatched with any calibre larger than a .264 Winchester . For a forest panther ( on account of it's heavier weight ) , it is imperative that the shikaree does not go below a .30 calibre weapon . My personal favorite calibre for following up wounded panthers of both species would have to be the 9.3 × 74 R , using 285 grain premium quality soft point bullets .
Even though , l am not very authoritative or opinionated about whether shikarees should use double barreled rifles or bolt rifles , here is the 1 place , where l must put my foot down . For the following up of wounded panthers , a double barreled weapon is the only way to go. A bolt rifle is no good here , because the sheer speed of a panther prevents most mortal men from operating the bolt fast enough to chamber a second cartridge . This effectively turns the bolt rifle into a single shot rifle for this 1 scenario alone . A double barreled weapon , with twin triggers will allow the shikaree an instant 2nd shot at the charging brute , which might determine a matter of life and death .
My ideal weapon thus , for pursuing of wounded panthers would have to be a 9.3 × 74 R calibre side by side double barreled rifle , with 24 inch barrels , twin triggers and no automatic safety .
The panther , on account of it's soft frame demands a soft point high quality expanding bullet , like the Winchester Silvertip , Remington Core Lokt or ( based on my reading of modern ammunition choices ) the Swift A frame .
Below , l have provided some photographs taken by myself of some of the panthers which l have shot from 1965 to 1970.
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Below , l have provided a photograph taken by myself of a charging panther , killed by my grandfather , Sepoy Jalaluddin Khan by using his .405 Winchester Model 1895 lever rifle .
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Below , l have provided a photograph kindly lent to me by Kawshik of a panther , killed by himself and his client , Don Fernando Delgado .
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Ganges River Crocodile ( **** )

We now come to the final dangerous animal , which we professional shikarees would have to follow up in old India . A very large mature male can weigh in the ambit of 2000 pounds and exceed 20 feet in length . When l say that more people in India and Bangladesh are killed every year by crocodiles than all the other 7 dangerous animals combined , l think that l have managed to illustrate exactly how dangerous these brutes really are.
The trick in following up a wounded crocodile is pretty straight forward . Do not ( under any circumstances ) let it reach the water . If you do , then consider the crocodile lost . As long as the crocodile is on land , you can dispatch it fairly easily using the right calibres . A crocodile offers the shikaree only 1 shot - the brain shot and this is where things can get tricky . You see , there is a weak point in the back of the crocodile's head , where the skull is exceptionally thin. Even a .22 Long Rifle calibre bullet of 40 grain weight , fired into this region will instantly kill the crocodile . Indeed , in recent years Kawshik has successfully killed a few crocodiles with his .22 Winchester magnum rim fire calibre Austrian ISSC bolt rifle , by aiming for the region in the back of the heads of the crocodiles.
Below , l have provided a photograph kindly lent to me by Kawshik of his favored " Croc killer " in recent times .
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The problem , however arises in situations where this perfect shot cannot be offered . In order to stop a crocodile , then and there , the shikaree's bullet must find the brain of the crocodile . In order to be able to reach the brain of the brute from all angles through the crocodile's skull , it is imperative that the bullet be 1 of adequate calibre . Taking into account the size of the largest crocodiles , l would not recommend going below .300 Winchester magnum under any circumstances . My personal preferences would have to be a .338 Winchester magnum with premium quality soft point bullets in 275 grain weight . If the weak spot in the back of the crocodile's head cannot be taken aim at , then the next best region to aim for , is 1 of the 2 eyes . The concept is that a good soft point bullet of adequate calibre will punch through the optic canal and find it's way into the brain of the crocodile .
However , it is imperative that the bullets be premium expanding bullets , such as the Remington Core Lokt , Winchester Silvertip or ( taking modern ammunition into account ) the Swift A frame.
Below , l have provided a pair of photographs taken by myself of crocodiles which l have had to dispatch .
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Many trigger happy shikarees mistake the Gharrial for a crocodile and try to shoot them upon sight . Nothing can be more erroneous . A Gharrial is not dangerous to man at all . They eat fish .
The easiest way to identify a Gharrial is by looking at it's nose . A Gharrial has a long , thin nose and mouth . It's jaws are infact so weak , that a strong man or woman could easily hold them open with their bare hands ( although this is certainly not a recommended practice ! Nevertheless Kawshik's late girl friend , Antora Jahan actually did it once , as part of a bet with Kawshik ) .
Below , l have provided a photograph taken from the internet of a Gharrial , for reference purposes .
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I conclude this article , by offering some basic advice . Keep your wits about . Keep a cool head . Use a weapon of adequate calibre . Learn how to be swift and accurate with that weapon . But most importantly , try to take sure that your 1st shot is well placed in a vital area ! That way , you never have to carry out a follow up at any rate !
In a way , the only reason why l am writing this article today is because of my dearly deceased American friend , Tobin Stakkatz. You see , while Allwyn Cooper Limited was a much bigger outfitter than Sundar Raj Shikar ( where Kawshik was based ) , Kawshik's outfitters had a far more ethical ( although , in some cases problematic ) policy than my outfitter. You see , Sundar Raj Shikar practically guaranteed that the client would secure his trophy come what may . If the client wounded a bird or animal and was hesitant to follow the wounded animal , then the professional shikaree would step in and go after the wounded animal to finish it off and recover it .
In Allwyn Cooper Limited , the policy was different . The only time a professional shikaree would ever open fire on an animal , would be if the animal was charging at our client or anyone in our party. A wounded animal escaping , was the client's problem .
While l always made it a point to recover any wounded animal shot by myself , by hook or by crook , l must admit that l was rather indifferent to an escaping animal wounded by our clients . It is not an ethical point of view , but my ( admittedly poor ) justification at the time was that l was not the one who shot at the animal in the first place .

Tobin , however was always somewhat disturbed by wounded animals escaping . He did his best to recover every wounded animal ever shot by our clients ( even though , he was not paid to do this ) .
When l told him once , not to bother with all the gruelling effort to track down an animal shot by some one else , his reply was something that still rings in my ears ,
" Yeah , well , back where l come from , in the states , a real hunter never leaves a critter to die in the bush . We brought those clients here , Poton. We've got a responsibility " . Something about what he said , made me eventually change my views by 1965 and l always accompanied Tobin when he would go into the long grass or thickets to pursue wounded animals , with his rifle . However , l have to be blunt and honest . I did this , more out of my respect for Tobin , rather than any ethics ( even though , l now realize after all those years that we were actually doing the right thing ) .
Therefore , it is because of Tobin today that l am writing this article .

Another thing is requisite . While l have listed my favored guns and calibres for following up all of the Indian dangerous game , in my career as a professional shikaree , l always used the same gun for following up all dangerous game ( but then again , this was due to lack of availability of anything better ) . It was my old Belgian shot gun -A 12 calibre side by side shot gun with 3 inch chambers , extractors and 28 inch barrels ( left barrel is fully choked , while the right barrel is modified choke ) . Loaded with either Eley Alphamax Lethal Ball cartridges ( 2.75 inch length ) or Eley Gas Tight cartridges ( 3 inch length ) hand loaded with 16 calibre hardened spherical ball bullets , it ( to it's credit ) never let me down . It may not be the most modern of armaments . But never in the last 60 years , did it ever give me any reason to complain about it . The number of messy situations that old ( but well maintained ) shot gun ever got me out of , cannot be counted by hand.
Below , l have provided a photograph taken by myself of my wonderful old shot gun .
FB_IMG_1575727193927.jpg


Well , that concludes another article . My next 1 will be written on the 30th .
I am off to bed now , so l will reply to any kind feedback by my dear readers tomorrow morning .
By the way , l fortunately had a most excellent hog deer shikar on the 27th with Kawshik , his niece and her In laws to be . If anyone is interested in seeing any photographs , please be sure to message Kawshik . He is a little preoccupied at the moment with arranging his niece's wedding . But he will be sure to reply .
I hope that this article has proven enjoyable.
 
Last edited:

Major Khan

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Very interesting, Major Khan, how you gave a guide for each species, I enjoyed it. I must ask, would crocodiles try to attack or charge if wounded or would they just flee to the water?
Excellent question , Master Smith. The reaction of the crocodile is completely random . If it gets injured and sees the shooter nearby , then it may try to attack. If it gets injured and cannot see the shooter , then it will try to make for water as soon as possible. In order to ensure that that the crocodile is secured , the shikaree must stop it from reaching the water by any means.
 

Kawshik Rahman

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Poton
Splendidly written as always. I am assuming that you opted for the under lever rifle calibrated for the .30-30 Winchester cartridge for wild boars , due to ease of operation when dealing with large groups of those beasts during culls ? At close range , those beasts can be rather fast and trying on one's nerves !
Also , l would personally give a crocodile a full five stars ( one star more than you ) . Those devil lizards are downright brutish and a devil to stop with body shots !
 

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If the water is infested with crocodiles, or even if one escapes wounded to water, how to get it? is there a way to find and collect wounded croc?
 

Major Khan

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If the water is infested with crocodiles, or even if one escapes wounded to water, how to get it? is there a way to find and collect wounded croc?
Under no circumstances , Mark Hunter ,are you to ever let the crocodile reach the water. If it does , then consider the crocodile lost . I have only ever pursued 1 wounded crocodile into the water and l will never do it again .
 

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Deac Croc, will not get afloat, when gases accumulate?
 

Major Khan

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Deac Croc, will not get afloat, when gases accumulate?
Oh no. A dead crocodile certainly will get afloat , Mark Hunter . The problem is that the corpse will be lost , because of the massive currents in the Ganges river .
And a non fatally wounded ( but still living ) crocodile which gets into the water is , as good as lost. You asked a very good question ! I only pursued 1 such wounded crocodile into the water , and l will never do it again . 1 of my trackers can never walk again without a cane , due to my foolhardy decision .
 

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Thank you Poton for another fantastic report! The wealth and breadth of knowledge you possess is encyclopedic. Happy new year to you!
 

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Thanks for sharing again, have enjoyed this read as well!
 

Major Khan

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Thank you Poton for another fantastic report! The wealth and breadth of knowledge you possess is encyclopedic. Happy new year to you!
I am very grateful that you have enjoyed this article , Gesch . Happy New year to you and your beautiful family . Kawshik is far more knowledgeable than l . I consider my amount of knowledge average.
 

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If the wounded crocodile gets in water, is it likely to survive?
The only thing which can determine if the crocodile lives or dies , is how badly the brute is wounded , Perttime . However , remember this . Every wounded animal will always try to retreat into it's natural habitat ( or a place which looks closest to it's natural habitat ) thinking that they will be safe there . Thus , even a dying crocodile will attempt to reach the water , thinking that it will be left in peace .
 

Major Khan

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Poton
Splendidly written as always. I am assuming that you opted for the under lever rifle calibrated for the .30-30 Winchester cartridge for wild boars , due to ease of operation when dealing with large groups of those beasts during culls ? At close range , those beasts can be rather fast and trying on one's nerves !
Also , l would personally give a crocodile a full five stars ( one star more than you ) . Those devil lizards are downright brutish and a devil to stop with body shots !
You know me too well , Kawshik . I gave the panther 1 more star to illustrate how dangerous these brutes are .
 

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Poton or Kawshik,
Excellent article, as usual, Poton. If a wounded croc makes it into water could or would it be killed by other crocs?
 

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Poton or Kawshik,
Excellent article, as usual, Poton. If a wounded croc makes it into water could or would it be killed by other crocs?
Thank you so much for liking it , Newboomer . To answer your question : No. Other crocodiles would be indifferent to a wounded crocodile. Only Bovines will attack other wounded Bovines if they see any blood on them . This is why bull fighters in Spain use red pieces of silk cloth ( to emulate blood ) to provoke the bull bovines into charging towards them.
 

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