Southern African Wildlife College

Gert Odendaal

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Good day to all members. Here is a detailed write -up about a Dangerous Game Hunting course-The Elephant we attend at the Southern African Wildlife College.
Dangerous Game Hunting course in Practice:
We arrived at the Southern African Wild life College on Friday the 20 th July at 13h00.
vrdZ1DP.jpg

This is the group who participated in the course with us is Pieter Nel and Gawie Lindeque our course training officials.

We booked our rifles in at the College safe and went to the camp to off load our gear . We immediately departed to receive our theory class that was conducted by Pieter Nel while Gawie did our admin /certificates for us .
The theory was extremely interesting, I learned a lot about elephants I never know beforehand. We completed the theory three hours later since it really is a lot of work to go through...all important information that gives us a broad picture of what is expected of us during the course.



Practicing shot placement on a skeleton of an elephant head standing three meters above the ground..

We then went back to camp to prepare dinner over the camp fire:

The food was exceptional :



Then there was our home brew coffee and condensed milk that is an all time favorite around a camp fire..


That concludes our first day on the Dangerous Game hunting course...we were entertained with hyena and jackal sounds around the camp while we sat around the camp fire..
 

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Gert Odendaal

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Sunday morning:
Shooting skills being tested...every one needs to use a dangerous game rifle and use it accurately ...we spend some time shooting on the range at targets to see how accurate and fast the participants shoot their rifles. The calibers we used was .375 H &H Magnum and a .458 Mannlicher Schoenauer , my personal rifle .




Gawie Lindeque explaining to us how to best reload and shoot a dangerous game animal rifle ...


Gawie explain the double stacking by short stroking the bolt handle as well as using a flat palm/hand to open and close the bolt at fast pace when shooting at a dangerous game animal..


Gawie explain the danger by using a clenched fist to cycle the bolt since one of the fingers can pull the trigger while your hand is clenched over the bolt handle..always cycle by using a flat hand to hit/pull the bolt handle open or shut it close as hard as possible..

Then it was time to do some real live shooting at elephant targets.These are life size targets ..in different positions to execute different shot placements on the elephant.
We had two good camera men...running at full pace:
 

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Gert Odendaal

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I am currently uploading very good videos taken of the elephants we approached during this course.
 

Gert Odendaal

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While I am waiting for the videos to upload here is a video taken on our previous buffalo course..Pieter Nel showed us then how to approach an elephant so you as hunter will have all the advantage to be able to do a close up shot or multiple close up shots if you missed the brain and the elephant turns to run...
 

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What an exciting class! Question: In the first elephant course video, it looks like the shooter does not close the bolt back up before running to the next position. Was this a technique taught for some sort of safety reason, or did the shooter just get excited like I'm sure most of us would?
 

Gert Odendaal

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What an exciting class! Question: In the first elephant course video, it looks like the shooter does not close the bolt back up before running to the next position. Was this a technique taught for some sort of safety reason, or did the shooter just get excited like I'm sure most of us would?
Wfet, thank you kindly for following this thread, it is much appreciated. As a safety precaution he opened his bolt since there was an instructor running with him..on other videos you will see we press the round down into the magazine box and push the bolt over the live round so there is no live round in the chamber..for safety reasons again..keep in mind in real scenario most hunters will run with their safety on...I myself do not trust any safety on any rifle..I push the round down into the magazine and when I need to shoot I just chamber a round again and shoot..this is especially when a guide is walking in front of me...beforehand I show the guide how I do it so he knows there is not a rifle loaded with a live round pointing at his back....(y)
 

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Wfet, thank you kindly for following this thread, it is much appreciated. As a safety precaution he opened his bolt since there was an instructor running with him..on other videos you will see we press the round down into the magazine box and push the bolt over the live round so there is no live round in the chamber..for safety reasons again..keep in mind in real scenario most hunters will run with their safety on...I myself do not trust any safety on any rifle..I push the round down into the magazine and when I need to shoot I just chamber a round again and shoot..this is especially when a guide is walking in front of me...beforehand I show the guide how I do it so he knows there is not a rifle loaded with a live round pointing at his back....(y)

That makes sense
 

Gert Odendaal

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I am currently uploading videos about the approaching of the elephant bulls. Everything you do when stalking the elephant bull need to be done very slowly and softly. These bulls run immediately when you as a group does not bundle together ..they are extremely afraid of the human profile...we bunched together so the bull elephant do not recognised us as humans..any loud voice or fast moving gesture will cause them to turn and run as if they never intend to stop...
The reason why we needed to get as near as possible is to identify the different shot placements , when about ten paces from an elephant bull your chances of killing it with the first shot is good, while the elephant is so near and you have a poor shot placement and it turns to run , you still have the opportunity to take numerous shots at other shot placement like the ear hole, the heart/lungs/the hipbone and the backbone .
 

Shootist43

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Great info so far, I hope there is more to come.
 

Gert Odendaal

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Stug, you are correct, this was one great course to attend . I have known nothing of an elephant except that it is a huge animal and an animal I took a lot of photos of when I drive around in the Kruger National Park.
On this course Pieter Nel and Gawie Lindeque conducted a theory class that took three hours to complete...I now know much more about an elephant , even more than what GOOGLE can tell you.
Reading up on elephants on the internet there are a lot of incorrect information and assumptions that is incorrect.
Elephants died of hunger when the last set of teeth is worn down ..they do not reach these old age/many years of 50 or 60 years..long before that they die of starvation not capable of eating anymore...is but one fact I did not know...
All the hair on an elephant`s feet are tiny sound conductors capable of receiving low frequencies through the earth up to 30 kilometers away.

These are but a few interesting facts I learned on tis course...
You will see in the videos I will upload today when we stalked the elephant bulls they really have excellent eyesight ...most people think they do not see well, wrong...they have excellent eyesight.
Another misconception is that you always hear people will tell you how clever an elephant is..not true , a baby elephant is born with no instincts what so ever, a blank , all that an elephant know is what he learned while growing up...
 
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Gert Odendaal

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Good, members here is the first video where we approach/stalk an elephant bull. Notice that we all bundle together , this is to confuse the elephant . Keep in mind as a juvenile around a waterhole everything runs away when the elephant approach it, from a pigeon, to an impala...this is imprinted into the juvenile elephant`s brain..everything is suppose to run..now suddenly there are standing things in front of him and they do not run away...
 

Gert Odendaal

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Signs to look for when you want to determine if this elephant starts to get annoyed and do not want to have you so close to him:
The elephant`s tail will stop and get stiff. His ears will stop swaying and his whole body will go still..this is when you need to back up slowly and create a space between the group and him..until his tail is wagging again and his ears sway again..that determine the save distance /space at that moment.
When stalking an elephant you can gain a lot of ground if the group stalk direct behind the elephant when he walks away from you since this is the blind spot of an elephant.(y)(y)(y)
 

Gert Odendaal

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Members, keep in mind, while we approach the elephant and stand near him we all have to indicate shot placement and determine weight of the tusks. This is a learning process every time we approach an elephant bull..(y)(y)(y)
 

Gert Odendaal

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The following video is about the re-enactment of an elephant that a hunter hunts , through practicing shot placement and shooting at the correct angle to ensure a one kill shot due to being so near an elephant ..please notice how slow the hunter pick up his rifle to take aim..this is extremely important since the elephant will turn and run if you are making a sudden movement..
 

Gert Odendaal

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Members, I will upload more videos and photos with descriptions ...I am off to the gunsmith shop now..:A Banana::A Banana::A Big Hello::A Big Hello:..
 

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