Hunting technique

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by CBH Australia, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    Not sure if my title nails it but there are 2 things that i notice when looking at images of hunting Africa.

    One is using sticks for stability. Obvious but is it a style only common to Africa??

    Number two is carrying the rifle, no sling barrel in hand and over the shoulder. I see it a lot but in media depicting Africa i dont see this as common practice elsewhere. Is it a trait, copycat action or is there purpose???


    Do they do this in Africa for quicker handling, quicker shots?

    I tried that this arvo with my CZ550 in .458, hunting pigs or just taking a walk with my rifle as today turned out. different and by myself i dont point it toward myself so no problem.

    I dont have a barrel band on my rifle but i do like the look of it (Think DG Rifle, traditional look or example of same as part of my interest) . Having a barrel band suggests the use of a sling on the same big game rifle.
     

  2. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Sticks are used by some here in the states depending on where one is hunting and distances shot will be. I have a mono stick and a tripod set as well. Obviously they give one a steady rest! In Africa they are used to a great extent.
    The gun carry by the barrel is something I had not seen in the states and thought it odd when seen in Africa. However, it’s not a bad idea for the person in front, usually the PH, but not so much for the next guy as control can be an issue especially if you are not accustomed to that style.
    I will SA that on my last hunt carrying my double over the shoulder was quite comfortable but I did not have it loaded at the time.
     

  3. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Sticks were developed in Africa primarily to get a stable rest higher than the grasses a bushes. There are few trees you want to take a rest on unless you like being stabbed by acacia thorns.
    PHs usually carry a heavy backup rifle and developed the over the shoulder carry to save their arms. I believe most PHs prefer the client to sling their rifle so as not to risk a bush pulling the trigger on an over the shoulder rifle pointing at their back.
    My experience is you are best served by slinging with the barrel toward the ground. This keeps the rifle lower and not constantly having the front sight hanging up in the bushes as you duck and dodge through the bushveld. JME
     
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  4. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I didn’t see your introduction, so welcome to AH! You’ve already started with some excellent questions!
     

  5. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    I go with" as steady as possible, as close as possible".

    So, I use tripod sticks as much as necessary, and it is a must for stalking.
    In europe, some kind of stick is not uncommon, although I see great many of hunters using a single stick, monopod.
    I also carry a browning folding knife, with small hacksaw accessory, so in case I forget my stick, I can make it from a tree branch.

    The trick, when cutting, or using monopod (hand made from branch) is following:
    The length to cut is approximate to the level of chin. (higher then height of shoulder)

    In shooting position to be placed a bit forward of hunter, with solid rest on the ground and with one foot supported from behind - by the same leg a bit streched forward for cca one good step.

    Then the stick to be inclined towards the hunter, the angle will get it in line with shoulder.
    This gives the best support or the best stable position possible in field condition with single stick.

    Three-pod, jim shockey primos is very good, (ver 2), but version 3 is even better.
    In version 3, there it is possible to block, or secure the stretch of legs - horizontally wise.

    In field conditions is not so important, because ground is rough, but for training on even grounds like wood, or concrete on the range, if stretched to much horizontally with weight of rifle from top - the legs will slide sideways , and stick drops down - spekaing of version two.
    So it could be pain in the neck for training.

    Rifle on sling, with barrel pointed down is how I carry in the field.
    Except in bush or tall grass. In that case - in hand, with barrel pointed side ways.

    Sling gives an option to have free hands, and with rifle slunge over shoulder are better to handle your own binoculars, climb over rocky terrain supporting with hands, drink water from your own bottle, or light the cigarette if necessary, etc.
     
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
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  6. Pheroze

    Pheroze AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Shooting sticks are easy to make. There is a thread here somewhere discussing that. After learning about the sticks I made a set and use them myself. They are great when hiking through boggy terrain too! But I think the ones mentioned by others are much more common in Canada.
     

  7. Jaws

    Jaws AH Senior Member

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    I learnt slings / belts on a DG rifle isn't really a good idea. PG, it doesn't matter IMO.

    On my first Ele hunt, I was instructed to remove my sling before we even put foot in the concession.
    Ending up in the really thick stuff where visibility was limited to a few feet, surrounded by a good couple bad tempered elle's, a sling would just be a hindrance when you need to act quickly. Being seconds away from animals that you can hear, but not see & expect to come at you at any second puts things in a different perspective.
    On a side note, that experience also changed my thoughts on the .375 from being a capable DG caliber to a minimal DG caliber under less than perfect conditions.

    Carrying & negotiating the bush with a heavy rifle in your hands starts working your fore arms in a different uncomfortable way, the most convenient way eventually is to balance the rifle on your shoulder and hang one hand on the barrel. I prefer to carry my own rifle, its part of the fun, I don't want a gun bearer running off into the distance if something happens along the way.

    Sticks, well I suppose the PH / guide knows the environment takes its toll on some hunters with the heat, long, tough walks & stalks and just want to grant you the best opportunity to take a perfect shot when he gets you to your dream trophy animal. Typically there are enough empty hands to carry the sticks, so why not?
    Its your hunt, you can decline the sticks if you really want to.
     

  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Sticks are very common in African hunting.
    You typically have someone to carry them for your use.

    At home (Canada), I don't use them at all. It is more weight and just one more thing to carry around.
    I use Harris bi-pods and natural aids; trees, posts, etc. if required.
     

  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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  10. Mark Biggerstaff

    Mark Biggerstaff BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I have only been on one trip to Africa so far. I took my sling off about mid day on day two. It always seemed in the way. Due to the thick brush we hunted i was constantly taking it my shoulder. I carried the rifle the next 5 days either cradled in my arms or on shoulder muzzle facing behind me. No one was behind me.
     

  11. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I think hunting without a sling is dangerous for someone who is accustomed to using one. In particular, the muzzle forward over the shoulder carry is an accident waiting to happen. Particularly if that rifle is carried by someone number three or four in line which is typical on a dangerous game hunt. I use a sling almost all the time, and when in brush carry the rifle muzzle down over the left shoulder. I guarantee you I can get it into firing position as quick or quicker as anyone employing the over the shoulder muzzle first technique. Most PH's do not use a sling, but some very good ones such as Len Taylor do so. He also uses the left shoulder muzzle down technique.
     
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  12. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Yep I agree with Red Leg, ie, slung on weak side shoulder muzzle down. Easily put into action. Much easier to get through the bush. As safe or safer than any other carry. IMO
     
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  13. CBH Australia

    CBH Australia AH Enthusiast

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    Thanks for all the replies. There are many good points here. It makes sense now.
     

  14. Erik7181

    Erik7181 AH Member

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    Iv read in books a lot of hunters in the dark continent don’t use slings because when you have to make a quick shot it gets in the way. Which ruining a shot could make or break your trip depending on the animal your hunting.
    Also the sticks are good because you can carry them when your stalking.
     

  15. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    In my view, that is arguable. What is the difference betweem quick second shot in Africa when compared to the same on some other continent?
    What I have noted in coversation with other hunting friends of mine, they were saying that narrow sling on the rifle (or shotgun) is more quick handling then, wide sling easier rest on shoulder. But personally, I have never noticed the difference. But they are using wide shoulder rest sling for general purpose rifle for stalking, while shotguns and rifles for driven hunts are fitted with narrow slings.
     

  16. BigSteve57

    BigSteve57 AH Enthusiast

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  17. Chukar

    Chukar SILVER SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    Very much agreed.

    It is a safe way to carry a weapon and it is very fast method of employment if practiced.

    We used to call this the "African carry" where I was at in the Marines, it caused much head scratching when I started reading the posts here....
     

  18. Jeff Schaeffer

    Jeff Schaeffer AH Veteran

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    Larry Potter of Midway has many youtube videos. In one he demos carrying a rifle muzzle forward on the shoulder holding the barrel. He then quickly moves it into a shooting position. Looks fast and cool, but you will be last in line and that carry style is unsafe in that situation. I never took my sling out of the duffel bag because it would have been in way and would have caught even more thorns than clothing. It would have been really in the way while crawling (there was a lot of that) and what is the point of crouching low (a lot of that too) if you have a slung rifle barrel sticking straight up above your head ? Defeats the purpose. I carried my rifle at port arms facing almost parallel to the ground nearly all the time.

    Sticks are especially useful as a steady rest for the hyper-adrenalized client whose hands are shaking because they realize that the eland weighs more than every deer they ever shot combined. Don't ask me how I know this. :)

    Jeff
     
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  19. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    I use a Safari Sling. Goes up behind my right shoulder behind my back and down over my left shoulder in front. Points the muzzle to the side and can give hands free carry. To shoot, just bring the rifle into position. The sling will move out of the way. Very comfortable and distributes the weight to both shoulders.

    My PH carries the sticks and positions them for a shot, pointing me in the right direction.
     

  20. IdaRam

    IdaRam SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    I am 100% with Red Leg. Especially when you are putting in 10-15 miles a day or more chasing buffalo, elephant, eland, etc. Add in fatigue to long, hot days and dangerous game, you gotta recognize that all it takes is one lapse of concentration for disaster to strike. Whatever it takes to ensure muzzle control, always. I will take a proper sling, properly employed every time.
    If you are going to be in thick cover for an extended period of time and are bothered by the sling, snap it off and put it in your pocket. Or hand it to a tracker. The less fatigued your arms and shoulders are, the better you are likely to shoot, especially off hand.
    I’m sure plenty of people will choose to disagree, and that is fine, to each his own. In my opinion employing the “african carry” and not using a sling are two of the most ill advised choices a person can make.
    YMMV
     
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