Ready to Hunt Elephant

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by CAustin, Jan 31, 2015.

  1. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Everyone I'm about ready to commit to an elephant hunt. I have traded PMs with some members about things I should know about this hunt but I'm sure there are things that I have not considered. I would like to have thoughts from members that might add value to my considerations before I book the hunt. The collective wisdom on this forum will be of great value to my decision making process. From your experience what questions must I have answered before booking? What thoughts do you have about the hunt itself and things I might watch out for.....or problems that came up during your hunt. I want to do an exportable hunt so that I can bring trophy elements back to the USA. Do I need anything from US Wildlife authorities before I undertake the hunt. This will be a once in a lifetime hunt for me so I need to get it right the first time. Thank you everyone in advance for your advice and shared information. Charlie
     

  2. gizmo

    gizmo SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Legend

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    1) make sure you book an exportable elephant hunt. I think SA and Namibia are the only two countries that this can be done in as of now.
    2) higher safari specialty importers, they deal with all the paperwork and hassle. Also you have confidence in knowing it's done right so there's no worry. If a hiccup comes along they deal with it and know how. Plus it's not that expensive and they're super nice people.
    3) make sure it's a reputable outfitter
    4) book the hunt and never look back
    5) take me with you, I could fit in a suitcase if necessary.
    6) have a great time on the hunt of a lifetime.
     

  3. Royal27

    Royal27 AH Ambassador

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    I think this is a great list. Number two in particular is worth talking about though I think. I met Robert at the AH dinner and have PMed with him before. I'd personally use him, although I haven't. Regardless of who you use though I think in the case of elephant it is well worth it. Too much money, too many rules, and too many idiots in the world. For me, this is insurance, just like using a rifle permit company.

    Did you see the story @Buff-Buster told about having to argue with USFWS about whether he could import the REPLICA of his hippo from Moz??? Nuff said....
     
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  4. gizmo

    gizmo SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Legend

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    Right and I personally think the money is well spent. I hired them for my trip this summer because I didn't want any problems when it came time to get my lion home. They are super nice folks and definitely know their business.
     

  5. gizmo

    gizmo SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Legend

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  6. Royal27

    Royal27 AH Ambassador

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    I think you're just being selfish with that one. Taking up all of his baggage space and making him pay overweight fees...

    Me? In order to help CAustin I will pay my own ticket, then carry is rifle all day, and even pull the trigger for him! That way he doesn't even have to lift a finger. ;)
     

  7. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Gizmo I think you should just come along as official observer. Not sure I could get you in the suitcase though.
     
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  8. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Ambassador

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    Not a lot from me to offer, but technically I believe the USFWS ele ban on TZ and Zim expired at the end of 2014. So if you're looking at either this year, it is exportable at this moment if I'm not mistaken. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if stupid doesn't beget stupid and the ban is renewed.
     
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  9. Big5

    Big5 AH Fanatic

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    CAustin, I strongly believe it will be one of the most memorable hunts you're likely to ever experience and I wish you all my best for a successful hunt.
     
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  10. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Ambassador

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    @ActionBob needs to chime in here as well as @Wheels, they did ele hunts this year. It be a few weeks before Wheels chimes in, he is in Tanzania on biz.
     
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  11. ActionBob

    ActionBob SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Charlie congratulations on making this happen!

    Talk to your outfitter and PH about how the hunt will go... Walking up to wild elephants is an experience to not be missed! Get in close, at least within reason... That 416 of yours is plenty of gun, shot placement is vital but the 416 offers a tad more leeway over a 375 as it has enough extra shock to knock the beast down if you are off just a bit.

    If at all possible, get your PH to let you set up and practice aiming on an elephant before the time comes for the actual shot. This is a time when you don't want to be shy about another guy whispering in your ear! Have him talk you through it and onto the point of aim. Watch some of @Ivan Carter videos and how he does this... This is something I did not get on my hunt, even though there was opportunity, from my perspective at least. When it came time for the shot, that was the first real aiming at an elephant I did and the PH had to be watching another ele off to our side. As you mentioned this will be a once in a lifetime for you... That means that first shot is likely the most important (and expensive!) shot you will ever take in your life!!! Get the most out of it.... A guy like Ivan seems to really "get it". There was one episode where he has the guy practicing on the first elephant they walked up on and he has him going through all the motions, explaining exactly where to aim, then whispers to chamber a round, take off the safely and squeeze the trigger... But the guy was calm and made a great shot because he was taken though it calmly and orderly.... The opposite is a PH who tells you to shoot quickly at an animal you never aimed at before and then criticizes you for a bad shot..... I did not have either one of these experiences but some practice aiming would have been nice when we had the chance days before.

    I was superbly impressed by the performance of the Federal Premium Hydro Solids I used.... I'm sure your Hornady solids will be fine but if you want that bit extra, get one of the guys on here to load some up for you.

    I suspect you are completely comfortable with that rifle and scope combo you have.... But practice as best you can. I could not safely practice the upward angle and would have liked to take a course down in Texas or the like.. But I was out of time. so I set up targets at my range at 25, 50 and 100 yards (my only options) and I would practice shooting at all ranges off sticks and off hand and to shoot as fast as I could while maintaining accuracy. Especially as I was also training for a buffalo. You are doing this right having done both lioness and buffalo first! You should be well prepared but practice those off hand 25 and 50 yard shots. Especially good accuracy offhand at 25 yards!

    Then be as prepared as you can be for the most incredible mixture of emotions as you bring that huge and majestic animal down in one shot at close range! Quickly reload and be ready for follow ups "just in case", your PH will be there to let you know if he wants another shot in but it goes down back legs first, your likely done. Anything else, get another couple shots in and do it quickly. You owe it to this animal more than any others to get it done correctly and quickly!

    And start working out as best you can, this should be the most physical hunt you have ever done other than maybe a mountain hunt. But don't think an elephant won't go up a mountain! We tracked then right up the biggest steepest hills around, I was on all fours with my rifle slung over my back climbing rocks up a hill right on their trail of destruction. They are incredible animals! Hunting is the only time you can really experience the full thrill of getting in next to these beasts! But it can be very physically demanding. You can do an elephant hunt out of condition, but the more you can do, the better the experience will be and the more likely you are to get the best animal.
     
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  12. ActionBob

    ActionBob SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Dammit Phil... Now you have me bothered and thinking!

    There were two other great elephants in that area I hunted, one 30# really perfect animal,, we called him the tree killer because he was always the one pushing over trees. Beautiful symmetrical ivory perfectly curved and very long for the size/weight. That one was shot by a hunter after we were there, right before Christmas.

    The other an old thin bull who was slow and hanging out with his buddy the tree killer, and eating the trees pushed over. He was mid 40's on the right and had a good foot broken off the left.... I would be sorely tempted to go back and get him!

    These guys were in the herd of about 50 that was on the border crossing over to RSA at night and raiding the tomato fields. Wonder if the herd skedaddled out of there after the tree killer was shot?

    My bull was shot right at camp, a good 2 1/2 hour drive away.
     

  13. gizmo

    gizmo SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Legend

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    Brother if I could I would be there with you in an instant.
     

  14. gizmo

    gizmo SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Legend

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    I was going to pay the extra baggage fees as I am a very considerate man.
     
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  15. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Good stuff here already from everyone. Bob I had not considered the aiming at other elephants that I was not going to shoot. This is exactly the kind of info I am looking for. Did you eat any if the meat and how was it? I have seen some video of the nearest village cutting up the animal rather quickly but immediately starting a fire to cook some of the cuts.

    Keep the comments and discussion going here folks. Thank you!
     

  16. jeff

    jeff AH Elite

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    I've eaten meat from the head and the trunk, the head meat was great, the trunk was rubbery and not to my liking.
     

  17. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Action Bob when the Tusk is weighed I am making the assumption that the nerve root has been pulled out. Is that correct?
     

  18. robertq

    robertq AH Fanatic

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    First let me thank Gizmo and Royal 27 .
    This is our baby and will move heaven and earth to make our clients not only remember the hunt but
    who put the cherry on top.

    Hi CAustin,
    If you're in Vegas please stop by our booth (#458)... we deal with a lot of reputable outfitters
    in South Africa and Namibia. If you find a outfitter on your own, we will speak to him on your behalf.
    Good luck!!!!
    Thank you for allowing Rosella and I to be part of the AH family.
     
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  19. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Tusk weight is Ivory alone.
     
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  20. Environ

    Environ AH Veteran

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    Good luck on your hunt CAustin.im off on my first Ele hunt in March So this is a great thread to hear from those with experience
     
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