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

PH decides who has a rifle. No way legal or not would I give any of my current trackers a rifle. 2 yrs prison for client 2 yrs prison for tracker.

If I was in a similar situation with a handicapped client, my learner with his own rifle would have been assigned to watch over client at all times, that is what he is training for. If he can keep the client safe and help me great. Find a nearby PH???

Everyone lived to hunt another day.

Lon
 
PH decides who has a rifle. No way legal or not would I give any of my current trackers a rifle. 2 yrs prison for client 2 yrs prison for tracker.

If I was in a similar situation with a handicapped client, my learner with his own rifle would have been assigned to watch over client at all times, that is what he is training for. If he can keep the client safe and help me great. Find a nearby PH???

Everyone lived to hunt another day.

Lon
Holy crappers! I never even conceived such a prohibition/penalty.
 
It depends. In South Africa, I’d expect the PH to make phone calls and find another PH or competent hunter nearby. The situation you are referring to in the original posts surprises me because there are other PHs (of varying experience) to call on to at least have a second rifle available with someone capable of shooting. There are very few trackers competent with a rifle to be of use in that situation. I think complacency can set in easily especially if a PH is used to working with buffalo on farms. In a country outside of South Africa, there may be no option except for the PH to go alone, but hopefully he could call on someone to assist as well maybe a few hours away. My Dad wounded a buffalo on a recent hunt and was recovering from a heart attack. The buffalo held up in a massive sea of reeds most of day. The PH and assistant PH (with my Dad’s rifle) went in at end of day and finished it off. There was a high likelihood of a charge in this situation as well. I’ve had 3 PHs I’ve hunted with involved in DG hunting accidents. Two were hit by buffalo and one was missing a toe from a leopard incident (from a bullet).
 
The PH should have the final word regardless of the client's health, physical ability, experience or ego, and he knows his trackers abilities as well. Some (very well-known and experienced) clients have severely injured a PH or tracker. I would prefer to finish what I started but I also respect the PH's decision and will comply. In a dangerous situation and "unknown" element can sometimes add additional risks.

Safe hunting
 
I see and understand many of the points made.

My opinion is if a PH is aware of his client’s disability, and takes on the work anyway, he has agreed to sort things out if they head south.
Similar to my line of work, even though I am regularly on the job, I get paid what I do to sort things out when they go south (or prevent it). That is why PH day rates are higher on DG hunts. “Anyone can hold the helm when the see is calm”

It sounds like the willing PH was doing just that (being responsible and sorting it out) when things unfortunately headed south. I commend him.
As for the client, sounds like he was doing what he was told by a professional. It could have ended up client & PH wounded, or worse.

Note: Me personally, I would want to be there to assist. I’m just speaking along the lines of agreeing to take on the work and responsibilities.
I also agree two rifles is proper, if available.
 
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Situations vary. Hunting public land, additional qualified help may be a long way away. A good tracker may be a poor hand with firearms. The client may be a lousy shot with bad nerves and happy feet. The PH wants to focus all his efforts on spotting the wounded animal not on baby sitting, so should the tracker. Federal game scouts are required in some concession areas, their qualifications may be tribal or as a chiefs son rather than hunting skills or marksmanship. When good help is available the PH is usually happy to use it. After fifty years prowling with dangerous animals the only one hurt has been me. And I still killed the animal
 
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I’ve only hunted DG in Mozambique but when researching some RSA hunts I think I’ve seen “2nd” PH in the daily fee rates on DG hunts.Don’t know if this is just the company being safe or a regulation in South Africa.
 
We know a PH was gored and a tracker picked up the rifle and took out the buff... and we know the client was asked to stay behind because of physical limitations

Do we know if ONLY the one PH and tracker were present? Was there possibly another PH there, but the tracker simply was who got off the shot?

Every DG hunt I have been personally on (granted, this is limited to just 3 hunts), and every DG hunt I am personally aware of otherwise in SA (which again, is limited.. but I'd guess Ive been in camp at different times when other peoples DG hunts have occurred on the property Im hunting .. and have a number of close friends that have done another dozen or so DG hunts when I havent been around), there have always been at least 2 PH's present..

When I hunted the buff in my avatar, there were actually 3x PH's present.. one already had his DG license.. the other two were working on obtaining theirs and asked to come along so they could gain the experience and document the hunt in their log books.. So we actually had 4x DG rifles present.. I had a 375 H&H, one of the PH's also had a 375 H&H, another carried a 416 Rigby, and the final one carried a 500 NE double (I felt very assured that if things went awry in any way, there were plenty of people present to fix the problem both quickly and assuredly)..

When my wife hunted her buff and her croc there were 2x PH's present (both held DG licenses)..
 
Please note my earlier post was referring to Zimbabwe.

Lon
 
I’ve been on two follow-ups on buffalo, one in Botswana, the other in Zim. Botswana was my mess, Zim my buddy’s. In both cases there were four experienced rifles between PH’s, Appies, and clients. With that many rifles, experience and knowing when not to shoot is just as critical as knowing when to shoot.
 
I’ve only hunted DG in Mozambique but when researching some RSA hunts I think I’ve seen “2nd” PH in the daily fee rates on DG hunts.Don’t know if this is just the company being safe or a regulation in South Africa.
I have hunted buffalo three times in South Africa. First safari my PH and lodge owner were with me and one tracker. I was informed later the lodge owner was only along because he needed to log something for maintaining qualifications. It was culling on a breeding operation. Didn't take long but turned out to be the most dangerous encounter of the three safaris. The other two times only the PH and myself + tracker. Third safari failed to connect, also a culling job. The buff were too spooky and country was too thick. I don't think having an extra gun along is required.
 
We know a PH was gored and a tracker picked up the rifle and took out the buff... and we know the client was asked to stay behind because of physical limitations

Do we know if ONLY the one PH and tracker were present? Was there possibly another PH there, but the tracker simply was who got off the shot?

Every DG hunt I have been personally on (granted, this is limited to just 3 hunts), and every DG hunt I am personally aware of otherwise in SA (which again, is limited.. but I'd guess Ive been in camp at different times when other peoples DG hunts have occurred on the property Im hunting .. and have a number of close friends that have done another dozen or so DG hunts when I havent been around), there have always been at least 2 PH's present..

When I hunted the buff in my avatar, there were actually 3x PH's present.. one already had his DG license.. the other two were working on obtaining theirs and asked to come along so they could gain the experience and document the hunt in their log books.. So we actually had 4x DG rifles present.. I had a 375 H&H, one of the PH's also had a 375 H&H, another carried a 416 Rigby, and the final one carried a 500 NE double (I felt very assured that if things went awry in any way, there were plenty of people present to fix the problem both quickly and assuredly)..

When my wife hunted her buff and her croc there were 2x PH's present (both held DG licenses)..
I have hunted three buffalo and a leopard outside the RSA and a single buffalo within the country. Outside the RSA, I have never had a second PH accompany the hunt. My son and I did hunt buffalo together in the Zambezi Delta, but his PH was accompanying him and I was with mine. A second PH did accompany our buffalo hunt in the Limpopo.
 
Not a PH , don’t know all the details and certainly in a position to armchair quarterback. The PH is 100% in control, it’s his license and ultimately his life on the line. His job is protect the client first and foremost. Couple thoughts I’ll add; it could be one or any combination of them/all that resulted in whatever decision he made.

1) PH knew the hunters physical limitations or handicaps and thought it’d put him or the client at a disadvantage in a charge.

2) PH saw how the hunter reacted under pressure and decided he/she wasn’t calm enough and should a charge happen, it wasn’t worth the additional risk

3) PH saw the hunters shooting and decided it was more advantageous to not have him/her present

4) PH has seen the tracker handle a firearm or hasn’t witnessed it so he didn’t want the additional risk.

5) PH thought the animal was sicker than he was

6) Made the call for assistance but wanted to get on the track and sort it out a bit before help arrived and the wounded animal hadn’t gone far at all

7) Client froze-up earlier


Not everyone reacts well in stressful situations or under pressure. Not everyone has the muscle memory or skill to function in a stressful situation. Sometimes the last person you’d think is the one who freezes up in a life or death situation like combat or while hunting dangerous game. There’s a reason some people get left behind after a mission or two
 
I write this from a VA hospital bed where I am recovering from a throat cancer operation. I won't be able to talk, making some folks happy...lol. But it is my leg that is the problem. Skin was taken to rebuild part of my throat and that included a nerve. It will improve but at present I can't walk without being able to hold on to something. I'll be using a leg brace for some time and hope to leave walking with a cane. My hunt is scheduled for Sept. 25. My outfitter and PH have known from the beginning of my situation. I expect to be at least 90% by then. I'm an experienced hunter and guide but have never hunted Africa. I will be the client there and not the hunter. If I do my job there will be a dead buffalo that puts none of us in danger beyond what is "normal", if there is such a thing. My PH will be the boss and if he says stay behind after a bad shot that is what I will do. In the mean time I will do all I can to get into proper condition to do what is required of me. First and foremost, make the damn shot.
 
It's best to hunt for a certain amount of time only in the company of an unarmed guide and a few trackers, as we did for years in some areas of Burkina Faso. Wounded buffaloes also happens and you have to manage the problem alone, with all the dangers that come with it.

I went after a few buffaloes, one in particular where I was the guilty party. I found it dead the next day, but in between there was a short following up in the tall grass, quick second shot at the buffalo that was standing just in front of me, but disappeared after the shot. Thereafter I could not find the buffalo and no local guide or tracker was willing to continue searching with me in the tall grass, understandable because some things could not have gone well already before. We finally found the buffalo dead the next morning at the bottom of a tree but only after we burned down the tall grass and so that we could see the vultures in the tree. That was a good ideas of the locals, but everything was improvised because something like this can hardly be planned in advance. It was not my first hunt in Africa and from far not my first buffalo, but because of actions like this I am always very cautious with my opinions about someone else's conduct in such situations. Sitting in an armchair you can think about a lot of things more calmly than if you are standing full of adrenaline in terrain.
 
...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)? ...
Based on various comments here, I doubt a lot of forum members that shoot only rat calibers like a .375 can shoot my .500 NE accurately/comfortably ;) let alone a tracker that hardly fires a rifle.

So, the answer in my case is a big no.
 
The intention of this thread was instructional not critical. I was wondering what the practice was and why. Clearly, the tracker who crawled through grass and retrieved the PH's rifle, then shot the buff (a couple of times) knew how to use it. Apparently, the answer to my question is complicated. Lack of experience with firearms or unreliability is one factor cited for not giving the disability client's rifle to tracker. There may be govt regulations and liability insurance in the mix too. Surprised me to learn that followup on wounded dangeros game with only one gun is not that uncommon.

As to whether a client with disability(s) should be hunting dangerous game, that is a different topic. However, I think that any operator who knows beforehand a client has zero experience hunting and/or a disability should arrange to have an operator with extra gun available for dangerous game. A guy in a wheelchair in a blind is no good for followup on wounded animals and PH knows it when the hunt is booked. Plan for it. The guy with a bow is simply a handicap for DG followup. And the probability followup will be needed is higher. But I imagine most of those clients would have a rifle along in case it is needed to finish the job. A client who insists on wounded DG followup with a bow is nuts and needs to be sorted out before the hunt starts. My opinion anyway.
 
A propos rat calibers and big bores, it's better you are well armed for all borderline actions.

In Burkina Faso once again, three hunters were hunting together buffaloes with locals, one experienced and two inexperienced hunters, all three only armed with rifles caliber 375 H&H Magnum. The buffalo shooting did not go as planned and the buffalo attacked all three. After a hail of bullets caliber 375, the buffalo was finally killed. Result of the action; 2 hunters light wounded, one hunter seriously injured who ended up in the hospital, but recovered very well, and a broken rifle that briefly served as a shield against the buffalo at a critical moment. Use enough gun is maybe a better option.
 

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