Proper Dangerous Game Rifle followup when the client can't followup?

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So this came up in another thread. Client wounded a buffalo but due to physical limitations was unable to followup and finish the animal. So PH and tracker went after it. The PH was badly injured and only saved by the courageous actions of the tracker who crawled through the grass, retrieved the PH's rifle, and killed the buff. My question on that thread, which has now been properly rerouted here, is this: Is it standard practice for the PH to leave a disabled client and his rifle behind to pursue wounded dangerous game in thick cover with only his own rifle? Is there some reason why clients cannot turn their rifle over to a tracker to assist in finishing dangerous game (e.g. licensing requirements)? I would think that at least two rifles should  always be brought to bear anytime dangerous game is hunted, especially wounded dangerous game. In my opinion any client with physical disabilities who attempts hunting game, dangerous or otherwise, should accept any inconvenience necessary to ensure his wounded animals are dispatched as quickly as possible, including donating his rifle and ammo. I would  never send a PH and tracker off to hunt down a wounded buff with only one gun. If they don't want to take my rifle, they can wait for help. To me, that just seems common sense. But at least on person with more experience hunting dangerous game than me says it's common practice to leave the client and his rifle behind while PH pursues with only one gun.
 
More than a few white hunters feel uncomfortable about a tracker carrying a firearm and accompanying them during a high stress situation like following up dangerous game. The white hunter feels more “In Control” of the whole situation if he is the only one armed. The rationale is that the tracker might get too excited & trigger happy very soon, which might result in an ugly (and potentially fatal) accident.

I don’t remember all the particulars, but Brian Herne’s excellent book “White hunters” tells the story about a tracker who accidentally shot & killed a white hunter during a follow up job on a Cape buffalo. Or maybe it was a lion. I need to read that book again.
 
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More than a few white hunters feel uncomfortable about a tracker carrying a firearm and accompanying them during a high stress situation like following up dangerous game. The white hunter feels more “In Control” of the whole situation if he is the only one armed. The rationale is that the tracker might get too excited & trigger happy very soon, which might result in an ugly (and potentially fatal) accident.

I don’t remember all the particulars, but Brian Herne’s excellent book “White hunters” tells the story about a tracker who accidentally shot & killed a white hunter during a follow up job on a Cape buffalo. Or maybe it was a lion. I need to read that book again.
I think I would have more faith in the gun handling abilities of a tracker that I live and work with every day than some client I just met yesterday. :D
 
I think I would have more faith in the gun handling abilities of a tracker that I live and work with every day than some client I just met yesterday. :D
Most clients have more firearm use then a tracker.

Now the reason behind that could be a discussion in its self. And I see your point

But ask most trackers if they have handled a weapon, let alone fired one.

It will be a no/never - not someone I would want behind me or next to me with a chambered weapon waiting for a charge.

Obviously there are exceptions like anything In this world. Nice French video on YouTube of a leopard charging in Moz. tracker and Ph go in and stop a charge. PH hugs his tracker who was armed and ready.
 
More than a few white hunters feel uncomfortable about a tracker carrying a firearm and accompanying them during a high stress situation like following up dangerous game. The white hunter feels more “In Control” of the whole situation if he is the only one armed. The rationale is that the tracker might get too excited & trigger happy very soon, which might result in an ugly (and potentially fatal) accident.

I don’t remember all the particulars, but Brian Herne’s excellent book “White hunters” tells the story about a tracker who accidentally shot & killed a white hunter during a follow up job on a Cape buffalo. Or maybe it was a lion. I need to read that book again.
Point taken. I've had coworkers I couldn't trust to have my back in dangerous job situations. But they didn't last long as coworkers. On my first safari, my PH's tracker was a piece of shit. No, I would not think Glen would let him have a gun. But when we changed gears and went after buffalo, that guy was sent back to the truck. Our tracker thereafter was the property manager who was formerly my lodge owner's tracker. I have no doubt he was very capable but did not need to be armed. There were three rifles at hand already. I finished that buff with a single heart shot. Sadly, COVID claimed that guy. The trackers on my last three safaris would get my gun if the need arose. I wouldn't have hesitated.
 
I have on multiple occasions allowed a tracker to squeeze off a shot so they could test one of my rifles…always good for a laugh! I recommend it highly and they get a kick out of it as well.

HH
 
I have on multiple occasions allowed a tracker to squeeze off a shot so they could test one of my rifles…always good for a laugh! I recommend it highly and they get a kick out of it as well.

HH
The trackers had a good time laughing at my little Ruger #1. They had never seen a falling block rifle. It intrigued them to say the least

“Too small” Referring to its short barrel and over all length. They did ask to shot it but we never found the time.
IMG_1158.jpeg
 
On my third safari I muffed a sixty yard shot and wounded a nice kudu bull (the brush I thought I was shooting over was in front of me, not the kudu). On the second day my PH asked before we left the lodge if I was okay with him bringing a rifle. My mouth fell open. "Well, it will NOT be okay if you don't!" He wound up killing the kudu and I was fine with it. Actually, elated. We had split up, PH at the end of the long valley and me following the trackers as we pushed from the other end. This bull characteristically ran up over the ridges when pushed so it was expected I would get the shot. Didn't work out that way but who cares. Kudu's suffering was over. I think the trackers were rather surprised to see my reaction when the kill came over the radio. Apparently most clients won't let PHs clean up their messes. As far as I'm concerned, the "hunt" is over when a mess is made from poor shot. After that it's just about getting the animal dead as quickly as possible any way possible.
 
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I think that many PH, or no matter who are looking for the wounded game, do the search often alone. This situation will not have been that unusual. Equipping a tracker with the rifle of a client is but unusual and imho not a good idea. Some reasons have already been cited.

I would like to read the opinions of several PH's before I write something more on the topic.
 
Perhaps this is a stupid question, in which case, please forgive my ignorance. Why wouldn't a PH have a second PH from the area accompany him on a follow up?

It kind of makes me wonder if the client is generally considered useless when following up wounded dangerous game, so from the PH's point of view, it's really not any different whether the client comes along or not.
 
OK, .....I'm going to be the asshole here and say if you have those types of physical impairments or disabilities that prevent you from finishing the game should this scenario arise, you shouldn't be hunting dangerous game.
 
OK, .....I'm going to be the asshole here and say if you have those types of physical impairments or disabilities that prevent you from finishing the game should this scenario arise, you shouldn't be hunting dangerous game.
Agreed. Don't start something you aren't willing or able to finish. This was the lesson with my son before we went on our first buffalo hunt together. No way he was going on that hunt until he was mature enough to fully grasp this lesson. (and we had a great hunt)
 
I would have handed my rifle to Sam the tracker in a heartbeat. I guess it depends on the tracker, but if its a matter of life and death to any of the three of us, by all means, take the damn thing. I can replace a rifle. My/their family cannot replace their father/husband.
 
OK, .....I'm going to be the asshole here and say if you have those types of physical impairments or disabilities that prevent you from finishing the game should this scenario arise, you shouldn't be hunting dangerous game.
I had an acquaintance go over last May/June with his family. He was recovering from a skiing injury and was still nonweightbearing. He sent me a picture posing behind a buff and I asked him who killed it? He responded that he did! I asked him, how the hell did you do that? You couldn’t even walk last week? They put him in a bow blind and he shot it over range cubes and alfalfa!
 
OK, .....I'm going to be the asshole here and say if you have those types of physical impairments or disabilities that prevent you from finishing the game should this scenario arise, you shouldn't be hunting dangerous game.

I agree to a certain extent but to be fair most buffalo hunts end without trouble and handicaps don’t come into play. A good first shot from a guy in a wheelchair beats a bad shot from a professional rugby player.

When it does end up with potential trouble, more often than not, it’s because the client made a bad shot in the first place, physically fit or not. That’s where I’m not 100% on board with “don’t start what you can’t finish”: if the client started it right in the first place, the great majority of the time that would finish it. Put another way, while things happen even when everything is done right, the great majority of the time, the client who is willing and theoretically able to finish it is the reason it’s a problem in the first place. The PH may well be relieved to be sorting it out on his own.

What it comes down to is it’s a business. A lot a people can’t afford a dangerous game hunt until they are well past their physical prime. If a rich fat guy wants to buy a Ferrari he can’t fit in, you sell him a Ferrari. If a rich old guy wants a buffalo hunt, you figure out a way to make it happen. Got to keep the lights on.
 
Perhaps this is a stupid question, in which case, please forgive my ignorance. Why wouldn't a PH have a second PH from the area accompany him on a follow up?

It kind of makes me wonder if the client is generally considered useless when following up wounded dangerous game, so from the PH's point of view, it's really not any different whether the client comes along or not.

Sure, a PH can get help from another, but it takes a certain amount of time for them to arrive.

You have to differentiate between two different situations when it comes to wounded game, the immediate following up of the game or the looking for the wounded game hours even a day later. In the first case, the most common situation by hunting in Africa, whoever is available has to help and if the client cannot for some reason, then unfortunately the PH has to do it alone. In the second case, as usual in our countries, you have enough time and you can organize something and recruit enough staff. We need the opinion of the PH's.
 
Best answer here is likely "it depends".

The PH knows the situation. He/she has experience and training to make the best plan.

Hopefully the hunter did some homework before choosing the PH.

Different game, different terrain, different trackers, different clients...

Let the PH decide.
 
OK, .....I'm going to be the asshole here and say if you have those types of physical impairments or disabilities that prevent you from finishing the game should this scenario arise, you shouldn't be hunting dangerous game.
I pretty much agree, but I also realize that things can happen after a hunt is booked or even paid for. It hasn't happened to me (yet) but each year I see more health issues. I had a heart attack after my last safari. This year I got a got a pinched nerve in my neck. I'm just hoping to get out for deer this year. Anyway, shit happens.
 

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