Hippo hunting what is ethical consensus?

Royal27

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Bob don't know that I could out run even that pointed quill rat!
Your Zambezi hippo hunting sounds great. I've not hunted hippo on the Zambezi but I have done some tiger fishing on it over the years.

I caught a hippo while tiger fishing. Had to throw her back, too small...

In all seriousness, I did foul hook a hippo on the Zambezi. That line was broken for sure!
 

Justin.

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I caught a hippo while tiger fishing. Had to throw her back, too small...

In all seriousness, I did foul hook a hippo on the Zambezi. That line was broken for sure!
Now that would be one heck of a “fish” mount to have a replica made of, since you were kind enough to throw her back LOL!!!!
 

IvW

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Old thread but 7x57 with a game scout around is obviously a no no, so is minute of pie plate accuracy....
You need a new hippo gun.....
In the water it is very accurate first shot that is needed with a premium grade expanding bullet.
On land a bigger gun is better...
In sugar cane at night only the 500 is recommended...I use the 500 Jeff for that.
 

mark-hunter

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I never hunted hippo, nor elephant.

But this discussion is actually the same as many other on the forum, how ethical is to hunt large game, with smallest possible caliber, and accurate shot placement.

This debate is ongoing since invention of smokeless powder and small bore rifles in the range 6.0 -6.5 to 8 mm, the debate fueled by 100 year old writings of Bell.

There is also available on this forum, few pages from an article in man magnum magazine, where a research was conducted, based on courts ruling and court evidence records where a poacher was sentenced for poaching elephants with 22 rifle. So, this all suggests anything is possible with any caliber.
Possible, maybe yes, but not recommended.

My personal view: for all dangerous game, to use caliber as large as possible, and personally, I would not shoot hippo with anything else less then 375 H&H, in water or out of water.
 

IvW

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I shot many crocs and hippo in the water with a 7x57mm, super accurate hardly any recoil and effective....then again I was not paying any trophy fees...legal? At the time that was not an issue.
Would I recommend it? NO.

375 H&H is by far the best option however the problems start when the person cannot handle the recoil.....
 

Tanks

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Obviously the OP has been to his hippo hunt and back and probably returned to Africa multiple times in the last 5 years.

Other than being illegal to use a caliber smaller than required caliber, one also has to remember that the trophy fee is paid for any wounded animal as well. A medium bore like .375 with the right bullets is more than sufficient for an accurate brain shot.

As stated in an earlier post I'd recommend a caliber in "stopping round" range when hunting them on land at short distances (20 meters or less).

I have a lion hunt coming up in the near future and bait animal is hippos on land. I'll be using the .500 NE for that.
 

Bert the Turtle

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A hippo in water is not a long shot. If your 375 isn’t accurate to an inch or two at 50 yards, something is wrong.

There is a general idea that the bigger caliber rifles are less accurate. There is no inherent reason why a 375 should be less accurate than a 30-06. If anything, it should be more accurate if held to the same dimensional tolerances because the difference is proportionally less.
 

edward

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i think im safe!!!

001 (6).JPG
IMG_0232.JPG
 
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IvW

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A hippo in water is not a long shot. If your 375 isn’t accurate to an inch or two at 50 yards, something is wrong.

There is a general idea that the bigger caliber rifles are less accurate. There is no inherent reason why a 375 should be less accurate than a 30-06. If anything, it should be more accurate if held to the same dimensional tolerances because the difference is proportionally less.
Recoil management......some can some cannot....
 

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One of the DCA Hippos I shot on land had been shot at least 3 times in the head, once or more with a shotgun so that doesn't count, still had a lesser caliber bullet in his skull, this on top of a healing wound from a snare !

Bullet in my Hippo inside.JPG

Bullet in my Hippo .JPG

My Hippo Leg.JPG
 

freefall

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I don't understand why one would want to shoot a resting hippo in the water.
But I refused to take grizzly hunters to a tree stand.
Hunting dangerous game implies some degree of danger, nicht wahr?
 

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I don't understand why one would want to shoot a resting hippo in the water.
But I refused to take grizzly hunters to a tree stand.
Hunting dangerous game implies some degree of danger, nicht wahr?

Most hunters only want the romantic idea of danger, not actual danger, not much danger in shooting Leopards from blinds or Lions for that matter, unless you screw it up & then mostly handed by the PH !

Of course it is a big part of the job to ensure the hunter is safe (main part really) so even if we get a gung-ho hunter we need to curb his/her actions a bit .

Some of the Spear hunters come to mind !!
 
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PeteG

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I don't understand why one would want to shoot a resting hippo in the water.
But I refused to take grizzly hunters to a tree stand.
Hunting dangerous game implies some degree of danger, nicht wahr?
It can take a bit of time looking over a group of hippo to find the best shooter. Glassing them in the water gives the time to make a good decision.
On land, you may end up 10yds from a hippo. This might not allow for your ph to pass on the animal if it is not a good trophy. Hell, at that range you may not even have the time to make a decision if he/she comes towards you.
it’s risky and can be an unnecessarily dangerous situation for ph, client and crew.
 

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I have been offered to take a hippo on land, at night with a thermal scope. Price is good, but I don´t have any experience with that type of hunting.

I would like to hear the opinion of those who have tried it.
 

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The first time I visited the Caprivi it was for an elephant only hunt (end of season) that turned into a hippo hunt so my experience is limited to say the least. I took my scoped .404 along for this one.

Who needs a scope on an elephant rifle?
While we were getting the elephant meat taken care of I was asked if I wanted to take a hippo that was being a pain in the ass for some of the local fishermen. At the price quoted I couldn't refuse.

Do you need soft point ammunition for your elephant gun?
No need for soft points on elephant but it just so happened that I had a few softs that hit to the same point of impact as my solids. PH preferred a soft point for this hippo application. There was little to no cover for quite a distance from the bank but I was able to get a solid (somewhat awkward) shooting position sitting in the sand using one of the locals "watercraft" as a rest. One reason I personally only carry a rifle that I can shoot in a prone position. (angle would not allow prone) If you can handle recoil in the prone position you are good to go with most any. When you have several different hippos surfacing at different times for a quick breath it is not as easy as you think. What I saw was breaking the surface with just eyes, ears, and nostrils for about a 3 second count before submerging. Your PH has to be quick with the go or no go as do you on the trigger.

A minimum legal caliber rifle that you can shoot from any position that puts softs and solids in the same hole with a quality 1-? scope is the tool for that job.
 

Charles de Ribeau

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i have a question as I've not previously hunted hippo but will be doing so this summer.

It seems there is a large faction that says "in the water, shoot them with the most accurate small bore rifle you own". In my circle of friends I know two that killed them this way. .270s and 30-06 bullets to the brain.
I say "Ditto." to all of the other comments that have already been posted. I will add, with no disrespect intended, that you only know two hunters who **claim** for have killed hippos with smaller caliber rifles. Unless you were there, you can't sort the BS from the truth. I know some people who claim to have done some amazing things in their lives and I don't believe much of it. I don't call them on it, but I also don't believe most of their tall tales.
 

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