Hunting The Rogue Asiatic Elephant: The Essentials

Professor Mawla

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Today , I am going to write a small guide of sorts . On how rogue Asiatic elephants are hunted . Since 1972 , I have been involved in no less than 24 hunts after rogue Asiatic elephants ( under the authorization of the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards ) but I see so little information available on these forums about hunting these creatures ( compared to their African counterparts ) that I thought that I might put together this little article . Maybe , some might get interested by reading it . Most of my experience in going after rogue Asiatic elephants , was gathered between 1972 and 1982 ( when I was taking every problem animal control job which the Forest Guards were offering , because I desperately needed the money ) . It may also interest some to know that amongst all of the dangerous game animals which I have hunted in the last 48 years , it was actually a rogue Asiatic elephant bull which actually came the closest to killing me in 1977 .

Before we begin , I would like to give the customary prologue that all of the photographs used in this article are my personal photographs ( several of which have featured in my book which was published in 1999 ) . Thus , none of these photographs may be reproduced without my permission as I own exclusive rights to them .
1E2DCED8-96F9-4476-A09A-5B3F3F066825.jpeg

A rogue Asiatic elephant bull shot by the author ( pictured , right ) with a .458 Winchester Magnum . 1977
 
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Professor Mawla

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* The Asiatic Elephant As An Animal *

Size & weight : The largest Asiatic elephant bulls are about 11 feet tall at the shoulder and seven short tons in weight, while Asiatic elephant cows are smaller at about eight feet at the shoulder and three short tons in weight. Length of body and head including trunk is 26 1/2 feet long with the tail being five feet long ( in an extremely large Asiatic elephant bull ) . With little imagination , they are the largest and heaviest of our Asiatic dangerous game .
Tusks : The Asiatic elephant cows do not possess any tusks , but tusks in an Asiatic elephant bull can can easily weigh up to 100 pounds of ivory per side .
Diet : Purely herbivores , the Asiatic elephant feeds on more than 100 different plant species and has a tremendous appetite . A large elephant bull will need at least 180 litres of water per day .
Distribution : In Bangladesh , Asiatic elephants are found in two regions -
a ) The Maulvi Bazaar forests located in the Northeast part of the country . This is where I have hunted them .
b ) The Chittagong Hill Tracts located in the Southeast part of the country .
42797F29-3576-401E-BD49-276A159872EF.jpeg

A domesticated Asiatic elephant photographed by the author . 1973


* Asiatic Elephants Becoming Rogues *

Normally speaking , the Asiatic elephant is a very mild mannered and gentle creature compared to their African counterpart ; with the capacity to be tamed quite easily . This is why elephant rides ( with a howdahs being buckled to the top of an Asiatic elephant’s back ) were and still are a common part of the tourism industry in rural Bangladesh .

However , there are a few reasons why these elephants occasionally turn rogue and begin to attack anyone they cross paths with . Potential reasons may include :
a ) Maggots finding a way to enter an Asiatic elephant’s brain
b ) Maggots finding a way to infect an Asiatic elephant’s injuries .
c ) An Asiatic elephant getting injured by a human being .
d ) An Asiatic elephant getting injured by an emboldened cheetah ( the cheetah will never succeed in taking out the elephant , but it will still try to kill them occasionally for feeding purposes ) .
e ) An Asiatic elephant getting injured by sharp objects ( such as pieces of wire fencing , metal rebar , bamboo stakes or sharp tree branches ) getting impaled into any delicate parts of it’s body ( such as paws , genitalia , eyes or trunk ) .
f ) An Asiatic elephant cow watching her calf get killed .
g ) An elephant bull getting injuring by the tusks of another elephant bull during a brawl in order to decide which one gets to mate with the elephant cows .

Nine times out of ten , a rogue Asiatic elephant is going to be a bull . However, an Asiatic elephant cow ( albeit in extremely rare scenarios ) can end up becoming a rogue as well .
57D737A2-C6CE-42B2-94ED-69A274B29A09.jpeg

A rogue Asiatic elephant photographed by the author and about to be hunted by the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards . 1976

* Asiatic Elephants & Their Attack Techniques *

When an Asiatic elephant decides to attack human beings , the sheer size and resilience of the animal makes them an extremely difficult threat to contend with . Among those who have never hunted Asiatic elephant’s , a shared view happens to be that it is practically impossible to be unable to spot an Asiatic elephant from afar . Nothing could be further from the truth .

Asiatic elephants are extremely intelligent creatures and demonstrate a skill for tactical planning which is rivaled only by the cheetah ( amongst Asiatic dangerous game ) . They are incredibly cunning and can sense danger from afar . When having to contend with them in densely forested area , the hunters need to keep alert at all times and must be ready to face a charge from any direction . As unaware as they might seem of the hunters’ presence , the Asiatic elephant is an expert at maintaining this facade until it is far too late for the hunters . Often , we have spent up to a hour stalking a rogue Asiatic elephant in order to close in on it . It appeared perfectly unaware of our presence before suddenly circling around and getting behind us . By the time we had become aware that it was use ( not the Asiatic elephant ) which was being stalked , the rogue would invariably be getting ready to charge .

There are principally two attack techniques which are employed by rogue Asiatic elephant :
a ) Crushing the target under it’s feet
b ) Impaling the target with it’s tusks

* Tracking The Asiatic Elephant *

The Asiatic elephant does not tire easily and is able to go several miles a day before stopping to take rest . Thus , it is indispensable to use highly competent trackers in order to find them . The Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards make use of Upojati tribesmen ( indigenous people living in the hills of Bangladesh’s Sylhet Division ) who have the work of tracking all of East Bengal’s game animals ( be it large or small ) down to a scientific formula . They are able to pursue rogue elephants through the dense terrain of Maulvi Bazaar and Habiganj for upwards of seven hours with ease . These wonderful people are so talented that that they can estimate the approximate size and weight of an Asiatic elephant , just by looking at the tracks of the animal .

The Upojati tribesmen also have a curious ability to gauge the approximate distance traveled by an Asiatic elephant by using elephant dung . Upon coming across a pile of elephant dung , an Upojati tracker will slip off his left sandal and curl his toes . Dipping his toes into the dung , he will then gauge it’s warmness . Depending on how warm the dung is , the Upojati trackers can work out an approximate guess as to how far the rogue Asiatic elephant might have gone .
BDB84E50-6D52-4B2D-A178-02DFEDF0B87B.jpeg

Upojati trackers photographed by the author . 1977


* Shot Placement On The Rogue Asiatic Elephant *

Only a shot to one of the three following places , can culminate in the death of the Asiatic elephant :
a ) Lungs
b ) Heart
c ) Brain

The Asiatic elephant is normally shot from one of three different angles :
a ) Broadside shot ( usually when the animal is unaware of the presence of the hunters )
b ) Quartering away shot ( usually when the animal is attempting to flee the hunters )
c ) Frontal shot ( usually when the animal is attempting to charge the hunting party )

Broadside Position : For obvious reasons , the easiest angle for shooting a rogue Asiatic elephant is the broadside position . From this angle , the easiest shot that can be taken by the novice is the double lung shot . The margin for error is the most forgiving as it presents the widest target on the Asiatic elephant’s body . An Asiatic elephant which has been shot through both the lungs , seldom thinks of charging . Upon taking this shot , the animal will dash off ; blood blowing from it’s nose and mouth . It will go roughly 100 yards before dropping dead . While a perfectly acceptable shot for a lone Asiatic elephant , this shot is problematic for rogues which might be in the proximity of Asiatic elephant herds . As stated above , a rogue Asian elephant which has been shot through both lungs will run off . Upon seeing this , the other Asiatic elephants ( those present in the herd ) will take flight as well ; essentially causing a stampede . This can lead to disastrous results if the elephant herd happens to be within proximity of an area inhibited by human beings .

Slightly more ambitious to accomplish , is the broadside heart shot . The heart of an Asiatic elephant ( like all mammals ) is located just above the base of the chest between the two forelegs . From a broadside position , the hunter’s bullet must penetrate the upper foreleg bone and still be able to hold together in order to successfully reach the Asiatic elephant’s heart . A rogue Asiatic elephant which has been shot through the heart , will usually go no more than roughly 50 yards before succumbing to it’s wounds .

Finally , comes the more refined and technical shot to attempt - The side brain shot . An Asiatic elephant’s brain is a little smaller than a football and is found at the back of the skull , where the spinal column begins . In order to attempt this shot , the hunter must be at perfect right angles to the Asiatic elephant and the ear hole itself should always be selected as a target . If the hunter’s bullet manages to reach the elephant’s brain , then instant death is guaranteed .
D49975E3-2278-4D44-A53D-CF240D5AF104.png

The ideal point of aim for a side brain shot on an Asiatic elephant bull . To see what the “ X “ denotes , please refer to the * Notes * section .

Quartering Away Shots : This is a slightly more difficult angle from which to shoot an Asiatic elephant , because the animal is fleeing while the hunter must take his shot . As a result , the window of opportunity keeps getting smaller every second . From such an angle , the best shot to attempt is a quartering away heart shot . In order to accomplish this shot , the hunter’s point of aim should be right behind the animal’s shoulder .

Frontal Shots : This is actually the most challenging angle from which to shoot an Asiatic elephant , because this angle typically only presents itself when the animal is charging towards the hunter(s) in order to attack them . Thus , the hunter is pressed for time as they must take their shot before the rogue can reach them . From this angle , two shots are the most ideal - The frontal heart shot and the frontal brain shot . As previously stated , the heart of an Asiatic elephant is located just above the base of the chest ; between the two forelegs . A shot to this reason will swiftly ( but not instantly ) take out the Asiatic elephant . The ideal frontal brain shot on an Asiatic elephant is an imaginary line from eye to eye , a palm’s width above the line and in the middle of the forehead. The shot is taken when the head is in the normal position , with the tusks held low . There is an oblong skull cavity at this point , where the bullet meets no heavy obstruction on it’s way to the brain at the back of the skull . It must be borne in mind that the skull of an Asiatic elephant is far thicker at the front than at the sides . The skull is also of honey combed structure with pockets of fluid .
09C7ED57-521F-4E6A-AA4D-34AADF57C666.png

The ideal point of aim for a frontal brain shot on an Asiatic elephant bull .


* Rifles For Asiatic Elephants *

Calibre : By far , most rogue Asiatic elephants which have been shot in Bangladesh were taken out by the .303 British calibre . When I was regularly appointed for problem animal control work by the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Department ( between 1972 and 1982 ) , the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards were ( and still are ) issued Lee Enfield bolt action rifles of .303 British calibre . This was what they would predominantly use ( employing 215 grain Bangladesh Ordinance Factories ammunition ) and they had mastered the art of taking out even the largest rogue Asiatic elephants with side brain shots ( their point of aim being the ear hole ) . However , this same calibre left a great deal to be desired when frontal brain shots or body shots were required to take out rogue Asiatic elephants ( especially bulls ) . It was also no good for stopping charges . During times like this , heavy calibre rifles were ( and are ) what was necessary . For sorting out messy situations like this , the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Department had a double rifle of .577 NE ( Nitro Express ) calibre in their armory . This was a Westley Richards single trigger droplock ejector which originally belonged to a Nawab ( nobleman ) during the British colonial era . Alongside this rifle , the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards had also stockpiled a cache of old ICI Kynoch 750 grain round nosed steel jacketed solid factory loads . This big double rifle was only used in cases of emergency , as ammunition for it was very limited ( ICI Kynoch had completely ceased manufacture of all centre fire sporting ammunition in 1972 ) . I was fortunate enough enough to never need to use any of the arms issued by the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards , as I personally own(ed) a large calibre sporting rifle . Mine was ( and is ) a .458 Winchester Magnum which I first began to use in 1976 and I could not be more pleased with mine . I owe my life to this excellent rifle and in 44 years , my .458 Winchester Magnum ( employing 500 grain ammunition ) has never let me down . Even against rogue Asiatic elephant bulls .

During the 1970s , only two large calibres had factory loaded ammunition and reloading components commercially available for them . These were the .375 H&H Magnum ( employing 300 grain ammunition ) and the .458 Winchester Magnum ( employing 500 grain ammunition ) . While the .375 H&H Magnum was an excellent calibre , I personally always preferred a larger calibre for frontal brain shots and body shots on rogue Asiatic elephants . A larger calibre produces greater wound cavities , when used for body shots on rogue Asiatic elephants . These larger wound cavities aid in accelerating blood loss , which brings about the animal’s death faster by causing it to hemorrhage . But a larger calibre which employs a heavy bullet also produces more shock to the central nervous system of the rogue Asiatic elephant ( provided that the velocity is adequate ) . This is why I have always preferred the added insurance of the .458 Winchester Magnum and 500 grain bullets .

Today , a far wider array of choices exist for the aspiring hunter of rogue Asiatic elephants . One has the various improved .450 bores such as the .458 Lott , .450 Rigby and the .450 Dakota . All of these can easily push a .458 calibre 500 grain bullet at velocities which are far higher than those accomplished by even the hottest loaded .458 Winchester Magnum rounds ( even though I have personally never found the .458 Winchester Magnum to be wanting in terms of velocity , as long as it was properly loaded ) . There are also the various .500 bores such as the .500 Jeffery , .500 NE and the .505 Gibbs . There is also the .577 NE and the .600 NE ( and also a .700 NE which I personally consider to be pure novelty ) .

However , my 48 years of personal field experience has shown that one of the .450 bores ( which employs 500 grain bullets ) is more than adequate for sorting out even the largest of the charging rogue Asiatic elephant bulls .

Ammunition : A rifle is only as good as the ammunition that you feed it , and nothing could be more true when selecting the appropriate ammunition for sorting out rogue Asiatic elephant bulls . For rogue Asiatic elephants , I maintain that only solid non expanding bullets must always be used . My personal favorite is the copper clad steel jacketed solid bullets currently manufactured by Hornady as part of their DGS or “ Dangerous Game Solid “ line ( slightly flattened at the point ) . In modern Hornady DGS .458 Winchester Magnum factory loads , these bullets weigh 500 grains and are pushed at an advertised velocity of 2140 feet per second , which is more than adequate for sorting out the largest of the rogue Asiatic elephant bulls . The Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards are issued Bangladesh Ordinance Factories .303 British calibre factory loaded ammunition of similar design , for problem elephant control work . These employ strong steel jackets and are slightly flattened at the point .
AF757890-6BA9-4F7A-9485-027BD7813A88.jpeg

Recovered Hornady DGS .458 calibre 500 grain copper clad steel jacketed solid bullet fired from the author’s .458 Winchester Magnum

Today , a new type of solid non expanding bullet has universally dominated the international big game hunting market - the monolithic solid bullet which is crafted entirely from one single piece of brass or naval bronze . However , since I do not possess any personal experience with using these modern monolithic solid bullets on game ; I shall refrain from commenting on their terminal and ballistic performance .

The round nosed steel jacketed solid bullets employed by Winchester for their .458 Winchester Magnum factory loaded ammunition , were actually quite poorly constructed during the 1970s and 1980s . In 1977 , I nearly lost my life when two such bullets blew to pieces after I took two frontal brain shots at a charging rogue Asiatic elephant bull. I was only able to save myself after crippling the rogue ( by getting his leg bone to snap ) and buying myself enough time to take him out with a side brain shot . The round nosed steel jacketed solid bullets employed by Remington Peters for their .458 Winchester Magnum calibre factory loaded ammunition, were actually far thinner than those employed by Winchester .
905F8BC9-9C8D-471D-AFD4-6C594B5029D3.jpeg

1985 era Winchester Super X .458 Winchester Magnum factory loaded ammunition belonging to the author ( 500 grain round nosed steel jacketed solids and 510 grain soft nose )

During the 1970s and 1980s , Barnes ( formerly known as Colorado Custom Bullets ) used to offer a round nosed copper jacketed lead cored solid bullet for the hand loading market . These features two minute pin holes : One in the base of the bullet and one on the bullet tip . These were frequently prone to severe distortion upon striking Asiatic elephant bull skull and shoulder bones . These experiences have led me to maintain that the jacket material of solid non expanding bullets ( which are to be used for sorting out rogue Asiatic elephants ) should always be steel and not copper . And the nose profile should always be flat instead of rounded .
0443668C-A329-4CB7-9009-FB93C42D471E.jpeg

Barnes 1970s era copper jacketed lead cored round nosed .458 calibre 500 grain solid bullets owned by the author ( for reloading ) .

The velocity of ammunition used for hunting rogue Asiatic elephants must be adequate but not excessive . Too low velocity and adequate straight line penetration will not be achieved . Too high velocity and bullet distortion begins to occur ( case study : the frequent bullet failures experienced by .460 Weatherby Magnum users ) . I maintain that a .458 calibre 500 grain bullet ( which is to be used against rogue Asiatic elephants ) should be propelled at a velocity no less than 2130 feet per second and no more than 2450 feet per second .

As mentioned above , I use a .458 Winchester Magnum for problem animal control work . Without straying too far off topic ; accomplishing a velocity of 2130 feet per second with the limited case volume of this calibre is not the easiest thing to do , but it certainly is possible . From 1975 onwards , Winchester Western and Remington Peters ( the only manufacturers of .458 Winchester Magnum factory loaded ammunition until Federal introduced their Trophy Bonded line in 1992 ) were loading their .458 Winchester Magnum factory ammunition to achieve a velocity o 2040 feet per second ( in order to avoid gunpowder clumping issues and prolong the shelf life of factory loaded ammunition ) . While this was certainly enough for four or five ton Asiatic elephants , it consistently proved inadequate for frontal brain shots and shoulder shots on six or seven ton Asiatic elephant bulls . Only hand loaded .458 Winchester Magnum ammunition ( where the loads were tweaked to achieve a velocity of 2130 feet per second ) were capable of consistently defeating the bone mass for frontal brain shots and shoulder shots on the largest of the six and seven ton Asiatic elephant bulls . Today , Hornady ( as part of their DGS line ) is the only manufacturer of factory loaded .458 Winchester Magnum ammunition which is loaded to achieve a velocity higher than 2100 feet per second while employing 500 grain bullets ( their advertised velocity is 2140 feet per second) .

For other large calibres , I believe that the a good choice of factory loaded ammunition ( which is available today ) is the “ PH “ line offered by Norma in Sweden . They offer excellent factory loaded steel jacketed solids for the .375 H&H Magnum , .404 Jeffery , .416 Rigby , .416 Remington Magnum , .458 Lott , .450 Rigby , .470 NE , .500 Jeffery , .500 NE and .505 Gibbs calibres .

Platform : Whether or not an operator wishes to use a bolt action rifle or a double rifle for sorting out rogue Asiatic elephant bulls , is largely a matter of personal preference . Many hunters with a success rate far higher than my own ,prefer the double rifle . I personally subscribe to the bolt action platform of rifles . I am also a big believer in large capacity magazines for bolt action sporting rifles . My own .458 Winchester Magnum is custom built on a Winchester Enfield 1917 action , which has a magazine capacity of three rounds . During my closest call with a charging rogue Asiatic elephant in 1977 , my first two bullets had failed to stop the charge . Had I not successfully crippled the rogue with the third and final round in my magazine , then I would definitely not be among the living today . My .458 Winchester Magnum has still retained it’s original three round magazine and I have absolutely no reason to complain about it at all . However , I fully acknowledge the following : Four , five or even six rounds in the magazine would have certainly made me feel a great deal safer than merely three rounds .
42072233-25EC-4693-A8E2-9043668436A9.jpeg

The Enfield 1917 action custom .458 Winchester Magnum belonging to the author.

* Notes *
As a last ditch resort , it is actually possible to cripple a charging or escaping Asiatic elephant by shooting it in one of it’s knees with a sufficiently heavy bullet . This ( coupled with the charging Asiatic elephant’s momentum ) will cause it’s leg bone to snap and give away . An Asiatic elephant ( on account of it’s great weight ) will not be able to move . This allows the hunter to close in on the immobilized Asiatic elephant and finish them off easily with a side brain shot . Care should be taken however , to avoid the animal’s trunk while closing in on it . This tactic actually saved my life in 1977 , when I faced a charging rogue Asiatic elephant after my first two bullets had failed to stop the charge . The incident can be read about , in the link below .
 
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Major Khan

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Very well written , Anayeth . I would really like to go after these brutes with a .505 Gibbs caliber rifle and 600 grain solid metal covered cartridges ... Some day .
 

Professor Mawla

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Very well written , Anayeth . I would really like to go after these brutes with a .505 Gibbs caliber rifle and 600 grain solid metal covered cartridges ... Some day .
@Major Khan Sir
Thank you . Norma in Sweden and Double Tap Ammo in the United States both offer 600 grain factory loaded ammunition for the .505 Gibbs . They employ Woodleigh round nosed steel jacketed solids .
 

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Thanks professor, it’s not often you get info on hunting Asian elephants. Have you seen the picture Kawshik took right before his friend shot the rouge elephant? It’s one of my favorite pictures.
Major Kahn don't I recall a story you told of breaking and elephants leg with your old Belgian, or did I make that up.
 

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Thanks professor, it’s not often you get info on hunting Asian elephants. Have you seen the picture Kawshik took right before his friend shot the rouge elephant? It’s one of my favorite pictures.
Major Kahn don't I recall a story you told of breaking and elephants leg with your old Belgian, or did I make that up.
@Wyatt Smith
Thank you very much . You are correct . It was actually Major Poton Khan Sir who had originally taught me the trick about Asiatic elephants not being able to move with three legs . He had done it once in India ( prior to the 1972 Indian hunting ban ) when he and a friend ( who used to work in the Indian forest department ) were called to sort out a rogue Asiatic elephant bull . The forest department officer was armed with a department issue Lee Enfield of .303 British calibre ( employing ICI Kynoch 215 grain round nosed steel jacketed solid factory loaded ammunition ) and Major Poton Khan Sir was armed with his Belgian 12 bore boxlock side by side shotgun ( employing 3 inch hand loaded Eley Alphamax Magnum spherical ball shells ) . The forest department officer was attempted to take out the rogue with a side brain shot , but his shot had been taken slightly at the wrong angle . As a result , the rogue Asiatic elephant had charged at both of them . The forest department officer attempted to stop the charge by taking several frontal brain shots at the oncoming rogue ; all of which were failing to penetrate into the animal’s brain . Finally , Major Poton Khan Sir was forced to stop the charge by shooting the rogue Asiatic elephant in the knee with a spherical ball load fired from his Belgian 12 bore boxlock . With the rogue elephant now immobilized , the forest department officer was able to approach the downed animal easily and finish him off with a .303 calibre 215 grain round nosed steel jacketed solid bullet fired through the ear hole. I had first heard about this incident during the war in 1971 . Major Poton Khan Sir ( who used to be our sector commander ) was teaching our unit how to shoot Asiatic jungle elephants so that we could use their meat to supplement camp rations ( or alternatively , to stop charges from any rogue Asiatic elephants which us freedom fighters might be crossing paths with ) . This knowledge had saved my life in 1977 , when I faced a charging Asiatic elephant bull ( armed with my .458 Winchester Magnum ) .

Sergeant Kawshik Rahman Sir actually owns a tea estate which is roughly 15 miles away from the college where I teach . Let me send him a message on Viber , inquiring about the photograph which you mention . When he sends it to me ( which should not take long ) , I will provide it to you .
 

Major Khan

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Thanks professor, it’s not often you get info on hunting Asian elephants. Have you seen the picture Kawshik took right before his friend shot the rouge elephant? It’s one of my favorite pictures.
Major Kahn don't I recall a story you told of breaking and elephants leg with your old Belgian, or did I make that up.
Your memory is as razor sharp as my Buck Model 110 lockback folding knife , Master Smith .
 

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Enjoyed the read, thanks for sharing!
 

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I was wondering can an african elephant be stopped by shooting a front leg, in case of grave and imminent danger and total emergency?

This has never been discussed here, as I recall. (frontal brain shots are mostly discussed here)
Maybe experienced Ph's could comment on that.
 

Gemsbok45

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i think of all the Zim Elephant with snares back in the late 90’s.That and cow elephant made me look at my 416 like a 22.Kamarojo bell made us all a little careless.I like like knock out value!
 

Professor Mawla

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I was wondering can an african elephant be stopped by shooting a front leg, in case of grave and imminent danger and total emergency?

This has never been discussed here, as I recall. (frontal brain shots are mostly discussed here)
Maybe experienced Ph's could comment on that.

@mark-hunter
Yes , they can . I just asked Mr. John Coleman ( a friend of mine who used to be an Eastern Cape based African professional hunter with more than 60 years of dangerous game hunting experience ) .
 

Professor Mawla

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i think of all the Zim Elephant with snares back in the late 90’s.That and cow elephant made me look at my 416 like a 22.Kamarojo bell made us all a little careless.I like like knock out value!
@Gemsbok45
I could not agree more . For that reason , my favored setup is a .458 Winchester Magnum employing 500 grain bullets .
 

IvW

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I was wondering can an african elephant be stopped by shooting a front leg, in case of grave and imminent danger and total emergency?

This has never been discussed here, as I recall. (frontal brain shots are mostly discussed here)
Maybe experienced Ph's could comment on that.

Not something I would try and I think it is a stupid idea, why would you aim for the front leg knee joint when you can execute a frontal brain shot which is certain...I think some people read to much and stories escalate from there.....same as killing an elephant bull with a .22 LR....unless you do not know where the brain is located to start with.....

I personally prefer the frontal brain shot......rather than hoping that the front leg bone will shatter after being penetrated by a .458 or slightly larger solid and the weight of the elephant on that leg......
 

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Today , I am going to write a small guide of sorts . On how rogue Asiatic elephants are hunted . Since 1972 , I have been involved in no less than 24 hunts after rogue Asiatic elephants ( under the authorization of the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Guards ) but I see so little information available on these forums about hunting these creatures ( compared to their African counterparts ) that I thought that I might put together this little article . Maybe , some might get interested by reading it . Most of my experience in going after rogue Asiatic elephants , was gathered between 1972 and 1982 ( when I was taking every problem animal control job which the Forest Guards were offering , because I desperately needed the money ) . It may also interest some to know that amongst all of the dangerous game animals which I have hunted in the last 48 years , it was actually a rogue Asiatic elephant bull which actually came the closest to killing me in 1977 .

Before we begin , I would like to give the customary prologue that all of the photographs used in this article are my personal photographs ( several of which have featured in my book which was published in 1999 ) . Thus , none of these photographs may be reproduced without my permission as I own exclusive rights to them .
View attachment 365852
A rogue Asiatic elephant bull shot by the author ( pictured , right ) with a .458 Winchester Magnum . 1977

Can you clarify, all I see is 3 elephants one left with a mahout on its back another right with a mahout on its back and one in the middle which two people seem to be trying to fit rope around its neck....I do not see anybody pictured witha rifle next to a dead elephant unless one of these three where shot in the pen.....
 

IvW

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View attachment 365858
The ideal point of aim for a frontal brain shot on an Asiatic elephant bull .

Although this picture is of an African elephant bull it seems clear that the position of the brain is completely different for the two species....this shot placement would miss the brain on an African elephant bull........ very interesting....something I was not aware of, not that I have had the oportunity to hunt Asiatic elephant.....thanks for sharing
 

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Can you clarify, all I see is 3 elephants one left with a mahout on its back another right with a mahout on its back and one in the middle which two people seem to be trying to fit rope around its neck....I do not see anybody pictured witha rifle next to a dead elephant unless one of these three where shot in the pen.....
From what angle do those look like mahouts ( elephant riders ) to you ? Mahouts carry three pieces of equipment with them at all times : thotti (hook), the valiya kol (long pole), and the cheru kol (short pole) . They are vital for elephant riding . Where do you see them ? These are people ( myself included ) sitting on top of dead rogue Asiatic elephant . Surely you can see the huge thick jute ropes tied around their carcasses ( and not just the neck ) ? This is to aid in the transportation of the carcasses to the Maulvi Bazaar Forest Department ( which is mandatory once every problem animal is shot ) . Back in those days , we would use ferries for this job . My .458 Winchester Magnum is in my truck . I do not think that anyone needs to lug around a heavy rifle to tie up Asiatic elephant carcasses .

79EF2A58-55BF-4D1C-BFBC-0238184F8888.jpeg


Shooting domesticated penned elephant ? I genuinely do not know how to respond to that .
 
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Professor Mawla

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Although this picture is of an African elephant bull it seems clear that the position of the brain is completely different for the two species....this shot placement would miss the brain on an African elephant bull........ very interesting....something I was not aware of, not that I have had the oportunity to hunt Asiatic elephant.....thanks for sharing

I think I know where this is going , but yesterday @Philippe and I were actually talking about this and I quite openly told him that the elephant in the photograph is an African species but the located of the target is for the frontal brain shot on an Asiatic elephant .

And yes . That is where the brain of an Asiatic elephant is located .
 
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Professor Mawla

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Not something I would try and I think it is a stupid idea, why would you aim for the front leg knee joint when you can execute a frontal brain shot which is certain...I think some people read to much and stories escalate from there.....same as killing an elephant bull with a .22 LR....unless you do not know where the brain is located to start with.....

I personally prefer the frontal brain shot......rather than hoping that the front leg bone will shatter after being penetrated by a .458 or slightly larger solid and the weight of the elephant on that leg......

Wow . Read too many stories . Sure , if you say so . Go find the story I copied that from .

An elephant will NOT be able to stand on three legs . Let alone move . When an elephant is running , a well placed shot to the knee from any rifle of reasonably heavy calibre can easily break the animal’s leg bone . This breaks the elephant’s momentum as it’s leg gives away ( accelerated by the fact that the elephant is moving ) and it falls to the ground ; unable to move . Anyone who disputes this has never shot an elephant . It is as plain and simple as that . I have done it with a .458 Winchester Magnum and 500 grain bullets . But I have also seen another forest department appointed hunter do the same thing with a 10.75x68 mm Mauser and 347 grain ICI Kynoch split point cartridges ( not even a solid ) .

Oh , and one more thing . If you read all of the details , then you would know that I only did this as a last resort . I first did give the charging rogue elephant bull two frontal brain shots , but as encountered bullet failure ( the 500 grain .458 calibre Winchester round nosed steel jacketed solid bullets distorted badly ) . I crippled the rogue elephant with the third shot , in order to save my life .

Unless you can think of any other accusation to throw in my way , I think that we are done here .
 
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