Professional Hunter Gun Safety

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Therack, Oct 4, 2017.

  1. Therack

    Therack AH Veteran

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    On a recent trip to RSA my Professional Hunter handled a rifle in a way that I have seen over and over again in photographs, magazines and on television. The over the shoulder carry where the barrel was pointed forward, towards the trackers. When we would stop the gun butt was placed on his foot and his hand was over the end of the barrel. All of this was with a loaded gun. When I questioned him about his gun handling the response was, " The safety is on." Gun safety is a pet peeve of mine and it drove me crazy.
     
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  2. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    The over the shoulder carry method seems to be the norm In Africa at least from my observations. I in fact adopted it on my elephant hunt but was always cautious as to where the barrel, was pointed.
    No way I would place my hand across the muzzle of any gun!
     

  3. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    I have been very sensitive about where a muzzle is pointed, loaded or not, ever since I lost my best bud shot and killed at 14 by his own “unloaded” gun.
     
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  4. Ole Bally

    Ole Bally AH Fanatic

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    PH I know killed both his trackers with one round from his double doing just that... The African carry as it's sometimes called was meant for trackers to carry the loaded muzzle loaders of the old hunters like Selous. As they approached their quarry, the hunter would step up behind the tracker and walk ' in time' with him then take hold of the stock, cock the hammer back and using the trackers shoulder as a rest ..fire.
    It's not a smart way to carry a rifle.
     
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  5. JTEX

    JTEX AH Veteran

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    Watching a PH place the butt of a double on the ground and lean the muzzles against his gut while glassing. Man that just makes my skin crawl!
     
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  6. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Totally agree. Maybe it's time to post a Hunter Education Student Guide on AH so that anyone can refer to it.
     

  7. IvW

    IvW AH Fanatic

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    When hunting/tracking un wounded game it is not necessary for the PH to do so with a round in the chamber.

    Following up on wounded animal is a different story, rifle should then be in both hands for total control over muzzle direction, safety etc..

    As for leaning on/over loaded muzzles is just crazy. The only safety you can trust is total firearm control by whoever is using the firearm.

    One of the reasons I don't like doubles is that it is either loaded or not. When unloaded it takes a long time to get it ready. When loaded well it is loaded but hunters and PH's become complacent and treat it like it is safe. Very dangerous.

    I have only ever used a double on wounded leopard follow up, as you never have time for re-loading a bolt during a charge. However then the rifle is in both hands and often already shouldered and you are in total control of the rifle.
     

  8. Tokoloshe Safaris

    Tokoloshe Safaris SPONSOR Since 2017 AH Veteran

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    That statement made about as much sense as "a policeman should only have a loaded handgun when chasing a wounded criminal".
     
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  9. JTEX

    JTEX AH Veteran

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    I will never leave the truck in DG country without a round in the chamber, ever.

    I use the rifles safety but never depend on it. I have lectured a PH on gun safety and several game scouts, I had a game scout in Zim replaced because that damned AK was pointed everywhere.
     
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  10. IvW

    IvW AH Fanatic

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    I was referring to hunting in general.

    DG hunting is a different story but would depend on where and what you were hunting.

    If either the PH or the hunter(or anybody else in the group for that matter) is carrying a rifle with a round chambered rifle safety is of the utmost importance.

    More so when having to follow up on a wounded DG animal.

    @JTEX- I commend you for speaking out and taking the actions that you did with regards to rifle safety, not many clients will, although it is the right thing to do.
     

  11. CLICKBANGBANG

    CLICKBANGBANG AH Veteran

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    I've seen more than anyones share of gsw's... It's a bloody subject topic... I will expect the fine members in the AFH community to take firearm safety seriously when it is heartedly advised. Thank you.
     

  12. V.Veritas

    V.Veritas AH Member

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    The PH who I've hunted with this year in RSA told me that this is the main reason he decided to own a .500 NE Krieghoff double gun. He wanted to make sure it's not cocked when he leans against it's muzzle.
     

  13. siml

    siml AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Gun safety is the MOST important thing on a safari!!!! 95 % of the hunting I do is in dangerous game areas, I will never have a round in the chamber, until approaching dangerous animals or following up. By the time I have shouldered my rifle there will be a round in the chamber, will have zero effect on my speed.

    A ph or client that points a rifle at me or my staff will learn a rough lesson.

    As for a ph pointing a loaded rifle around the place... He will get his head kicked in...
     
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  14. Fr8liner

    Fr8liner AH Veteran

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    Doubles will always be the challenge in these situations as @IvW has mentioned. They are loaded or they not and when they are not then there is a lot more to do.
    I found it safer and more relaxing to use a sling for the general walking and following of spoor. Once the stalk started or we entered the thick stuff, clipped it off and put it on as a belt or in a pouch so that both hands can be on the rifle and make sure it is pointing down or out the side.
    It sounds like an effort but it is better than having an accident you will regret for the rest of your life.
     
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  15. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    You suggest a great method.

    If gun safety becomes an "effort" or strain it is time to hang up the gun and take up fishing or better yet, knitting.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2017
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  16. zephyr

    zephyr AH Enthusiast

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    ONE SHOULD practice the same muzzle control regardless whether his weapon is loaded or not...
     
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  17. Karoo Wild Safaris

    Karoo Wild Safaris SPONSOR Since 2016 AH Enthusiast

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    Agree with you Simon. No need for a PH ( or client) to have a loaded gun unless following up or approaching an animal. You can never take that bullet back.
     
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  18. Therack

    Therack AH Veteran

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    Weather it's a double or a bolt gun the #1 rule of gun safety remains the same. Always point the muzzle in a safe direction. That's it, nothing less.
     

  19. Bullhunter

    Bullhunter AH Senior Member

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    No need for a PH ( or client) to have a loaded gun unless following up or approaching an animal....
    I know some situations.
    And some good reasons, to have your gun loaded if you are in the field.

    Always point the muzzle in a safe direction...
    Thats it.
    So "easys", end of the story.
    :)
     

  20. IvW

    IvW AH Fanatic

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    If you have for whatever reason chambered a round the rifle should be in your hands to ensure proper control over it and the direction of the muzzle and not slung over a shoulder or carried over the shoulder.
     

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