The Art Of Hunting The Mighty Gaur : A Comprehensive Guide

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Major Khan, Feb 1, 2020.

  1. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Fanatic

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    As part 3 of a 6 part series of articles which l am writing for African Hunting Forums ( each featuring a dangerous game animal from the Indian subcontinent ) , today l wish to provide my dear readers with an overview on how Indian gaur bison were hunted during my career as a professional shikaree, working for Allwyn Cooper Limited in Nagpur , India from 1961 to 1970 . I have already provided comprehensive guides on how panthers and royal Bengal tigers were hunted during my time . Today , the mighty gaur shall have his turn.

    The gaur is the Asian cousin of the African cape buffalo and the Australian scrub bull and l believe that the similarities between the 3 species are manifold . Therefore , aside from hopefully being an entertaining read , l am optimistic that this article may allow many of my dear readers who have hunted the cape buffalo in Africa or the scrub bull in Australia , to make a direct comparison of the hunting techniques used for the African cape buffalo and the Australian scrub bull , with the hunting techniques used for the Indian gaur.

    I shall break this article down into the following sections ; each to be covered in 1 post :
    1) The Grey Forest Ghost
    2) Gaurs & Man
    3) Tracking The Gaur
    4) Shooting The Gaur
    > Shot Placement
    > Adequate Armaments
    > Choice Of Bullets
    5) Following Up Wounded Gaur
    6) General Remarks

    Here is a photograph taken by myself of a gaur which l had shot and killed in 1969.
    Screenshot_20200112-062333_01_01_01_01_01.png
     

  2. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Fanatic

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    The Grey Forest Ghost

    The gaur is 1 of the 2 wild bovines prevalent throughout south east Asia ( well ...3 if you count Neelgai , but l personally consider Neelgai to be an antelope and not a bovine . ) . The other wild bovine commonly found in the Indian subcontinent is the water buffalo . Now , l believe that l speak for ALL Indian professional shikarees when l say this , but l do not think that ANY professional shikaree ever considers an Indian water buffalo to be a dangerous game species .

    I mean seriously... unless you are extremely stupid and are repeatedly provoking a water buffalo to attack you , a charge is nigh unlikely . I often shot water buffalo for their beef , but l always treated it like cheetal deer shooting . There was practically no danger involved whatsoever. A gaur however , is a completely different story....

    Nicknamed by the professional shikarees of West Bengal , as “ Jongol er Chaii Bhoot “ ( Grey Forest Ghost . ) , a Western gentleman will probably understand from the get go , that any animal nick named “ Grey Forest Ghost “ can only mean a great deal of trouble . Calling these brutes trouble would be an understatement. A very big understatement. I will explain more about why the gaur is nicknamed “ Grey Forest Ghost “ in my next post .

    These brutes can weigh around the ambit of 1800 to 2000 pounds ( With 2032 pounds being a fairly common weight for a fully mature male ) . Their horns are shorter and more curved than that of a water buffalo. However , this is precisely what makes the gaur far more fiendish than that of his water buffalo counterpart .
    To make matters worse , these brutes can , and often will charge people without any provocation whatsoever . Not just shikarees or people in the shikar party , but even ordinary villagers as well. More on this subject matter shall be detailed in the next post . A gaur feeds on grass predominantly ( as do most bovines , to the best of my knowledge. ) and therefore they inhibit the forests of many areas in the Indian subcontinent , feeding on the lush green Indian forest floor.

    Here is a photograph taken from the internet of a large male gaur.
    Screenshot_20200202-030255_01.png
     
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  3. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Fanatic

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    Major, I think your six part article would make a good book with six chapters.
     
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  4. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Fanatic

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    Gaurs & Man
    In India , many an unfortunate wood cutter has lost his life by going into the forests to chop up some " Lakhree " ( fire wood ) and crossing paths with a gaur through sheer happenstance .

    The reason why these brutes are nick named " Grey Forest Ghost " is because they have a propensity to move quietly through the forests to sneak up on their miserable victim without the victim even becoming aware of their presence . You may not even be aware of their presence for several minutes and then suddenly you may feel something breathing hot air onto you from behind . As you slowly turn around , you see this huge brutish bovine right about 1 foot away from you , breathing out through it's nose and looking at you with it's blood shot eyes . The experience is hair raising to say the least .

    What makes a gaur so wantonly dangerous is that it charges at people randomly and without provocation . On numerous occasions , gaurs have been known to stampede right through Indian villages randomly attacking anyone it comes across , with it's horns . Time and again , they have attacked children who go into the forests to play , or pick fruits .
    If a gaur crosses paths with you and for whatever reason , it is ill tempered that day , then prepare for a great deal of trouble to come your way .

    And God help you , if you happen to be bleeding or wearing red clothing when you run into a gaur . The smell and sight of blood drives bovines insane and the propensity of them to charge you rises from the average 50 % to 99 % . The sight of red clothing has the same effect on a gaur's psyche as the sight of blood does .
    Gaurs will always attack other gaurs in the herd if they see any blood on them .
    This can be exploited in situations where culling whole herds may be necessary ( more of this , later . )

    Slightly off topic , but as an interesting side note : If any of you gentlemen have ever been in Spain to see a bull fight , then you will recall the Matadors using a piece of red silk cloth to stimulate the bull into charging towards them . This is because the red silk cloth reminds the bull of the sight of blood , which infuriates them .
    When a gaur charges to attack it's miserable victim , it's head will be raised high right into it is roughly 10 paces away from the victim . At this point , it will lower it's head , in order to engage it's victim with it's horns . The chances of someone surviving getting gored by a gaur are virtually nil . To the best of my knowledge , only 5 people personally known by me have survived getting gored by a gaur .

    The most notable example was my best friend and former fellow professional shikaree , the late Tobin Stakkatz . Tobin got rammed by a gaur in 1969 , which had been wounded in 1 lung by a client's .458 Winchester magnum calibre 500 grain solid metal covered bullet ( Winchester brand ) . Tobin lost a kidney and had to retire from guiding clients for dangerous game shikars in India for the rest of his time there .

    Here is a photograph of my good friend , Tobin after he went back to America after the filthy 1972 ban on all hunting in India
    . Despite losing a kidney , Tobin Stakkatz remained a true sportsman to the very end of his days , hunting American elk, moose , Kodiak bears and black bears with his .458 Winchester magnum calibre custom made bolt rifle ( which was built on a Springfield Model 1903 action . )
    Screenshot_20200117-035936_01_01.png
     

  5. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Fanatic

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    Tracking The Gaur

    If you wish to track down a gaur , what you need is a competent tracker . The most competent trackers in all of India are , without a doubt the Garo tribes men who live in the hills of West Bengal. To quote my good friend , Sergeant Kawshik Rahman , " It is as if Garo trackers have been blessed by Divine Providence itself with the inhuman ability to track down any beast , large or small . " These people are extremely alert , vigilant and observant. They are fiercely loyal and will willingly put themselves in harm's way to save their employer ( the professional shikaree ) . They have no greed whatsoever and only demand 1 thing from the professional shikaree at the end of the shikar : A pound of fresh beef from the gaur. I do not believe that anyone on these forums is so miserly , as to deny their faithful trackers a bit of fresh beef for their irreplaceable services.

    Unfortunately , these loyal tribes men only inhibit the hills of West Bengal .
    In Nagpur , where l was based , l had to make do with Shawtaal trackers . These people were also greatly skilled . However , by the mid 1960s they had developed an uncontrolled addiction to liquor and this severely jeopardized their competence in the field ( and their honesty ) .
    If you wanted Shawtaal trackers who were any good for the task at hand , then you HAD to make sure that your men were sober for the tracking tasks , at least 2 days prior to the shikar.
    Here is a photograph taken by myself of our loyal Shawtaal trackers , Mintu and his elder son , Devashish. Since Mintu made it a point to always only consume liquor AFTER a successful shikar was over , l always knew that l could rely on him . And true enough . He never let me down when tracking any game , large or small.
    [​IMG]

    The trackers will keep following the spoor of a gaur until they come across a large pile of gaur dung . At this point , the head tracker will remove his " Joota " ( a crude locally made Indian sandal , worn by villagers . ) and curl his toes , before dipping his toes into the dung . Judging by the warmth of the dung , the tracker will be able to gauge the amount of distance which the gaur has covered till now . The trackers will then be able to determine how far the gaur is away from the shikar party .

    While tracking down an entire herd of gaur is a relatively swift affair , tracking down a single solitary bull gaur , worthy of being a fine trophy can take some time . This is because the biggest solitary male gaurs typically tend to stray away from the herds and seem to prefer solitude over company . The longest amount of time it ever took my shikar party to track down a suitable trophy bull gaur , was 7 hours .

    Tomorrow , l shall complete the 2nd half of this article. But until then , dear readers... Good Night .
     

  6. Skinnersblade

    Skinnersblade AH Veteran

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    If not a dedicated book to gaur then certainly the whole series of articles would make a wonderful comprehensive book. Reminiscing the last years of hunting in India.
     

  7. Bob Nelson 35Whelen

    Bob Nelson 35Whelen AH Enthusiast

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    Friend Ponton
    He's just a ball of muscles. Is that protrusion on his withers more muscle or what. Looks like a weight lifter on steroids.
    I think I would like a minimum of 404 Jeffery for that brute. Sounds like he would charge you just for the fun of it and a bit of exercise.
    Cheers mate Bob
     

  8. Bob Nelson 35Whelen

    Bob Nelson 35Whelen AH Enthusiast

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    Friend Ponton
    I have just finished reading your other story on the gaur that almost ended a career, I left a reply on it for you.
    I just read this one as well once again another well written historical piece of work. I enjoy your writings imensly and rate them in the same class as the works of Seleous and Ruark. Please keep writing stories such as these remind me of why I hunt. Even tho I'm 61 at times I wish I was old enough to have experienced these times.
    Cheers my learned friend
    Bob Nelson.
     

  9. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Poton, I never realized just how evil toward man these beasts can be! The photo you posted is truly a powerful looking beast!
     
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  10. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Fanatic

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    Shooting The Gaur


    Naturally , when 1 has to contend with an extremely aggressive ,thick skinned , 2000 pound bovine with pin sharp curved horns , ample consideration must be given to proper shot placement , the appropriate firearms and the appropriate ammunition for use on these brutes .

    > Shot Placement

    On account of those imposing looking horns on the heads of these large brutes , you can immediately discount a head shot as a potential option for bringing down a gaur. It will not work .
    For the shikaree who is taking a shot at the gaur from a broadside position , 2 shots are ideal :
    1) The double lung shot .
    2) The heart shot.

    For the novice , the double lung shot is , without a doubt the SAFEST shot to attempt on a gaur , on account of the very large and easy target which it presents for the shooter . A professional shikaree should always advise those of his clients who are new to the game of hunting gaur , to opt for this shot . It is the work of the professional shikaree to help the client to get within a suitable position where he can take the double lung shot on a gaur .The objective is to ensure that both the lungs of the gaur are pierced . A wounded gaur struck through both lungs seldom thinks of charging . It will run a short distance of say , 80 yards , coughing blood from it’s mouth and through it’s nose .Then , it will drop dead ; lifeless on the green Indian forest floor.
    The red X on the photograph below marks the general point of aim for the shikaree who wishes to secure a gaur with a double lung shot .
    Screenshot_20200202-030255_01_02.png

    For the more experienced shikaree , the heart shot is preferred . In order to be able to reach the gaur’s heart from a broad side position , the shikaree’s bullet must be able to pierce the animal’ upper fore leg bone and still hold together to reach the gaur’s heart . A gaur struck in the heart , will not go more than 50 yards before expiring .
    The red X on the photograph below marks the general point of aim for the shikaree who wishes to secure a gaur with a broadside heart shot .
    Screenshot_20200202-030255_01_01.png

    When trying to shoot a gaur from the frontal position , only 1 shot is offered to the shikaree : The frontal heart shot . It must be borne in mind that the heart of a gaur is tucked in the base of the brute’s chest right between it’s 2 fore legs . When a shot is taken from a frontal position , the shikaree’s bullet must traverse through the strong chest muscles of the gaur , before reaching it’s heart .

    A final note is worth mentioning . While an elephant with 1 broken leg will be unable to move ( on account of it's massive weight ) , a gaur with 1 broken leg will still be able to affect an escape ... or worse ; charge the shikar party. The only way the shikaree can immobilize a gaur is if your bullet manages to hit it in it in the spine , or if your bullet manages to break both shoulders of the gaur.


    > Adequate Armaments

    So what makes the best rifle calibre to dispatch a gaur ? At 1 extreme end of the spectrum , there was my client , Mr. Tom Bolack ( Former Governor of New Mexico . ) who used a single .30-06 Springfield calibre Winchester brand 220 grain round nosed solid metal covered bullet to land a fatal heart shot on a 2024 pound male gaur in 1964 . His rifle was a Mauser Oberndorf bolt rifle , originally chambered in 8x60 mm , which had been rebarrelled to .30-06 Springfield . This was also coincidentally Mr. Bolack’s favorite rifle .

    Here is a photograph kindly provided to me by my good friend , Sergeant Kawshik Rahman of Mr. Bolack in 1963 , when he received Allwyn Cooper Limited's " Tiger Of The Year " award.
    Screenshot_20191125-042606_01_01.png

    On the other extreme end of the spectrum was His Royal Excellence , the Maharajah of Sirguja . His Royal Excellence favored a behemoth weapon for shooting gaur bison. He had the English company, Holland & Holland built him a bespoke .600 Nitro Express calibre double barreled side by side rifle with 24 inch long barrels , double triggers and no automatic safety.Propelling a 900 grain round nosed ICI Kynoch solid metal covered bullet , this miniature cannon , no doubt made short work of any gaur !

    Here is a photograph kindly lent to me by my good friend , fellow former professional shikaree and fellow forum member , Sergeant Kawshik Rahman of His Royal Excellence’s .600 Nitro Express calibre Holland & Holland side by side rifle . The photograph was taken by young Kawshik at an auction house in Sirguja in 1958 , where a great many of His Royal Excellence's personal possessions were being auctioned.
    Screenshot_20191017-164946_01_01.png



    Mr. Bolack’s actions have proven that it IS possible to use a .30-06 Springfield calibre rifle and 220 grain round nosed solid metal covered bullets to kill a gaur successfully. However , it is not fair to use Mr. Bolack as an example to represent the mere mortal man. Bear in mind that Mr. Bolack was also my client who dispatched a 503 pound male royal Bengal tiger with a single 130 grain Winchester Silvertip soft point bullet , fired from his .270 Winchester calibre pre 64 Winchester Model 70 bolt rifle in 1963 . His level of surgical proficiency with a rifle cannot be expected from the mere mortal man.

    Under ideal situations, any of the 4 calibres mentioned below can be used to successfully take a gaur , provided that picked shots are used and that shot placement is extremely critical . I have listed them below , in ascending order .
    1) The .338 Winchester magnum , using 250 to 300 grain bullets.
    2) The 9.3 x 62 mm Mauser , using 286 grain bullets
    3) The 9.3 x 74 Rimmed , using 286 grain bullets
    4) The .375 Holland & Holland magnum, using 300 grain bullets.

    However , when dealing with ANY dangerous animal , let alone 1 which weighs 2000 pounds , has thick hide and unmatched aggression , can we always hope for ideal situations ? I think not . I can tell you all right now , that when a wounded , maddened gaur charges at you , your .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre rifle will begin to look rather small. Therefore , it is imperative that a larger calibre be used . A .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre 300 grain round nosed solid metal covered bullet makes for too minute a hole in the heart of a gaur . It can take an adult male 2000 pound gaur up to 22 minutes to expire , with a .375 bore sized hole in his heart . During those 22 minutes , he can ( and WILL ) remain very much a threat . A gaur shot through both the lungs with a .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre 300 grain solid metal covered bullet can still go on for up to 12 hours without slowing down , due to the .375 sized bullet hole in it's lungs being too small .


    During my career as a professional shikaree in the 1960s , the only commercially available calibre which was larger than the .375 Holland & Holland magnum was the .458 Winchester magnum . It was advertised as being capable of propelling a 500 grain bullet at 2150 feet per second . When it accomplished this , it was an excellent calibre .
    Here is a photograph kindly lent to me by my good friend , fellow former professional shikaree and fellow forum member , Sergeant Kawshik Rahman of 1 of his clients who used an English Holland & Holland double barreled side by side rifle , chambered in .458 Winchester magnum to dispatch this large male gaur which weighed in the excess of 2000 pounds .
    Screenshot_20191006-203431_01_01.png


    However , l have had enough narrow scrapes in my career with dangerous game wounded by client's .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifles ,to know that the .458 Winchester magnum was certainly not always propelling those 500 grain bullets at it's advertised velocities .
    At any rate, l do not believe that a cartridge case which has 0.5 inches less powder space than a .375 Holland & Holland magnum cartridge case , yet fires a 200 grain heavier bullet can ever be anything except conceptually wrong .
    The .458 Winchester magnum factory loaded ammunition ( regardless of manufacturer ) had a very definite shelf life compared to other calibres . Ammunition which was 3 to 4 years old would begin to develop erratic velocities. Another very serious problem was that , in old ammunition , the bullets would slowly get pushed out of the cartridge cases . This could cause feeding problems in short action rifles , such as the Fabrique Nationale Mauser / Browning Safari Hi Power bolt rifles .

    If you wanted the very best results from a .458 Winchester magnum calibre rifle , the the trick was to ALWAYS use VERY FRESH ammunition (preferably loaded no more than a year prior to the client coming to India for shikar . ) . This would ensure that the 500 grain bullets were being propelled at the advertised velocity of 2150 feet per second. A 500 grain bullet being propelled at a velocity of 2150 feet per second could crumple even the largest gaur from any angle , with a reasonable shot in a vital region.
    In 1983 , the American company, Winchester decided to reduce the velocity of their .458 Winchester magnum calibre factory loaded ammunition from 2150 feet per second to 2040 feet per second , in an attempt to increase the shelf life of their .458 Winchester magnum calibre ammunition. This came as the cost of reducing the original penetrating potential of the .458 Winchester magnum calibre even more.

    Personally , however ... I never really liked the .458 Winchester magnum calibre , because l found the fluctuations in velocity to be a little too frequent for my taste. To me , the very BEST rifle which l had ever seen being used on a gaur was a Westley Richards side by side double barreled rifle chambered in .476 Westley Richards . A client once brought such a rifle to India for a gaur shikar , along with old stocks of ICI Kynoch 520 grain round nose solid metal covered bullets . The effect which a shot from this rifle had on a 2037 pound male gaur was monstrous . That single shot completely anchored the gaur by breaking both it’s shoulders , while piercing the heart .
    Thus , if l had to name a rifle calibre which l would confidently use against any gaur in any situation from any angle , it have to be hands down , the .476 Westley Richards utilizing a 520 grain bullet . The rifle built for this calibre would have to be a double barreled side by side rifle built by the Belgian company , Lebeau Courally ( I love their work ! ) with 24 inch barrels , double triggers and no automatic safety .

    I have also had a client who came to India for shikar with a double barreled side by side rifle built by the British company , W J Jeffery , chambered in .450/400 Nitro Express . With this rifle , he had brought some old stocks of ICI Kynoch 400 grain solid metal covered round nose cartridges. He took a male gaur with a single heart shot from this rifle from the broadside position . The rifle worked impressively on the gaur , but the gaur itself was a relatively light 1 , weighing only 1783 pounds .


    Therefore , for the largest and heaviest gaurs weighing upwards of 2000 pounds , my preference would always be for a calibre utilizing at least a 500 grain bullet , providing a velocity of 2150 feet per second or thereabouts.

    Today , the modern sports man is blessed with a wide array of choices available to him . There is the .404 Jeffery using a 400 grain bullet ( which , l understand is ballistically identical to the .450 / 400 Nitro Express , but in a bolt rifle . ) , the .416 Remington magnum using a 400 grain bullet , the .416 Rigby using a 410 grain bullet , the .425 Westley Richards using a 410 grain bullet , the .450 Nitro Express using a 480 grain bullet , the .450 Rigby using a 480 grain bullet , the .500/465 Holland & Holland using a 480 grain bullet , the .458 Lott using a 500 grain bullet , the .470 Nitro Express using a 500 grain bullet , the .505 Gibbs using a 525 grain bullet , the .500 Jeffery using a 535 grain bullet , the .500 Nitro Express using a 570 grain bullet , the .500 A Square using a 600 grain bullet and the .577 Nitro Express using a 750 grain bullet . It is my belief that any of these fine calibres today would make for an excellent choice to tackle even the largest gaur . Personally , l am really intrigued by the .500 A Square and would love to know more about it. I would really be interested in seeing how a custom built .500 A Square rifle built on an Enfield 1917 action would perform on a gaur with it’s 600 grain bullet .


    > Choice of Bullets .

    During our time , there was unfortunately no such concept as “ controlled expansion “ bullets . We only had soft nose expanding bullets and solid metal covered bullets . The traditional practice during a gaur shikar ( among users of bolt rifles) was to load most of the rifle magazine with solid metal covered cartridges , except for the cartridge on top ( which would be fired 1st . ) This cartridge would be a soft point . Among users of double barreled rifles , the 1st barrel to be fired would invariably be loaded with a soft point cartridge , while the barrel to be fired 2nd would always be loaded with a solid metal covered cartridge .
    The best soft point ammunition available during our time was the classic Winchester Silvertip soft point bullets . The way that these would open up and expand inside the vital organs of a game animal was completely unrivalled by anything else which we had seen at the time .
    Below , is a pair of photographs taken from the internet of a box Winchester Silvertip soft point cartridges . Chances are , that if any of you fine gentlemen remember these , then you are at least 50 years old.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    There was another extremely popular make of soft point cartridges available during our time - The Remington Core Lokt soft point cartridges . These were every bit as efficient as the Winchester Silvertip soft point bullets. As a matter of fact , they are still in production today . Here is a photograph taken from the internet of a box of Remington Core Lokt soft point bullets.
    [​IMG]

    Another excellent manufacturer of quality soft point bullets , during our time was Hornady . Yes... Hornady actually used to be an A grade brand , during our time . The steel " jackets " with which their bullets used to be constructed were of an extremely fine quality . Unfortunately , the Hornady of today no longer holds a candle to what the great company once used to be . There have been over a hundred independent reports of Hornady dangerous game ammunition failing miserably in the shikar field in modern times ( many of these reports were by our very own African Hunting forum members ).

    Below , is a photograph taken from the internet of a box of Hornady soft point cartridges.
    [​IMG]

    Among European companies , the German company , RWS was particularly renowned for their soft point bullets.
    Here is a photograph taken from the internet of a box of RWS soft point cartridges .
    [​IMG]

    The idea was that the professional shikaree would get the client close enough to the gaur , so that the client shikaree could shoot the Gaur from a broadside position . The client would then opt for a double lung shot on the gaur , by utilizing a premium soft point bullet .
    Let us use a .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre 300 gain Winchester Silvertip soft point bullet , as an example . If the shooter is facing the gaur from a complete broadside position , then a double lung shot on the gaur with the aforementioned bullet , will guarantee you 1 very dead trophy . The 300 grain Winchester Silvertip soft point bullet will take out both the lungs of the gaur by opening up nicely inside the brute's lungs . A gaur with both lungs pierced will seldom charge . Rather it will run a short distance of say , 80 yards , coughing blood from it's mouth and blowing it through it's nose before expiring , lifeless.
    If , however , the 1st bullet ( for whatever reason ) is improperly placed , then that would mean that the shikar party would need to deal with a wounded Gaur , which is either escaping ... Or worse : charging the members of the shikar party .
    During these times , the gaur would only offer 1 of 2 shots available for the shikaree to take :
    1)A heart shot from the frontal position , or
    2) A heart shot taken from the rear position with the point of aim being the brute's shoulder .

    For this purpose , solid metal covered bullets were indispensable . As mentioned previously , a 300 grain .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre solid metal covered bullet makes for a very small hole in the heart or lungs of a gaur .
    Therefore , when using solid metal covered bullets on gaur , a larger calibre should always be used in order to punch larger holes through the heart and lungs of a gaur .
    During our time , solid metal covered bullets from the American company , Hornady were the most revered , especially among my American clients . The " jackets " of their solid metal covered bullets were made from a very high quality and thick steel . It is a real shame that the Hornady brand no longer enjoys the same sterling reputation today that it did , during my time in the 1960s.

    Below , is a photograph taken from the internet of a box of Hornady 500 grain .458 Winchester magnum calibre solid metal covered bullets .
    Screenshot_20200203-034556_01.png

    Another extremely popular brand for manufacturing solid metal covered cartridges was the American company , Winchester. Today , Winchester no longer manufactures factory loaded ammunition in the .458 Winchester magnum

    Here is a photograph taken from the internet of a box of Winchester 500 grain .458 Winchester magnum calibre solid metal covered cartridges .
    Screenshot_20200203-033544_01.png

    A 3rd company known for producing quality solid metal covered cartridges was the American company , Remington.
    I believe that just like Winchester , Remington no longer manufactures factory loaded ammunition for the .458 Winchester magnum calibre .

    Unfortunately , l have not been able to find a photograph on the internet of a box of Remington .458 Winchester magnum calibre solid metal covered cartridges to use as reference . So , you will forgive me dear readers .

    Among these , l liked Hornady solid metal covered cartridges the most , due to to their strongly constructed design . During my career as a professional shikaree , l have seen the solid metal covered bullets from the following companies distort at least once : Winchester , RWS , ICI Kynoch and Remington ( only once , in the case of Remington . ) However , l have never seen a Hornady solid metal covered bullet during my career , which got distorted upon being fired at large game. Their steel " jackets " were extremely strongly constructed.

    Today , the modern sports man is spoilt for choice ! The invention of " controlled expansion " or " semi soft point " bullets has , for the most part completely pushed the practice of loading a rifle magazine with both soft point bullets and solid bullets into obsolescence , as my good friend @Shootist43 kindly informed me . Today , the bulk of sports men who hunt cape buffalo in Africa do so with soft point bullets exclusively ; bullets which have a controlled rate of expansion .
    Unlike the Winchester Silvertip soft point bullet of our time ( which would only work for broadside double lung shots on a gaur) , these modern semi soft point bullets can be used by the shikaree to shoot at an African cape buffalo from any position or angle and can be expected to reliably penetrate into the cape buffalo's vital organs , before opening up inside the brute's vital organs and inflicting massive amounts of damage .

    Some of the modern soft points which l hear the most praise about are the Swift A frames and Barnes TSX soft point bullets . My brother sports men on African Hunting Forums speak quite highly about the performance of Swift A frames and Barnes TSX soft point bullets on even the heaviest of African cape buffalo. And l am inclined to believe them .
    I have read reports about an excellent modern bullet named the " Rhino Solid Shank " . This innovative modern design has the capacity to hold together as it pierces the fore leg bone of even the largest African cape buffalo , before opening up to form 4 points inside the cape buffalo's heart or lungs. The damage which such an ingenious design could inflict on a gaur's vital organs can easily be imagined.

    Solid bullets in modern times are no longer the metal covered bullets with a lead core , which was the standard " solid bullet " of our time . The modern " Monolithic Solid " bullet is constructed entirely from a single homogeneous piece of metal ( usually brass . ) These modern " Monolithic Solid " bullets are by design , far less likely to distort when traversing through a gaur's body , than a traditional metal covered bullet . As noted my my fellow forum member and African White Hunter , @IvW , the modern " Monolithic Solid " bullet has , for the most part completely pushed the traditional solid metal covered bullet of my time into obsolescence in modern times.

    I would like to conclude this portion of the article with another speculation , dear readers . I know that the vast majority of you gentlemen prefer to use a .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre rifle of some sort for ALL your African game.
    However , could such a rifle reliably stop a charging Gaur ? I can personally attest that with the solid metal covered bullets of my time , you cannot do so with 100 % reliability. However , today many modern bullets exist which has greatly helped the .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre boost it's ( already stellar ) performance . Unlike the 300 grain standard bullet weight during my time , today .375 calibre bullets exist on the market which can weigh up to 340 grains ( l also recall reading a book once which gave passing mention to a 380 grain .375 calibre bullet, which is available for those sports men who hand load their own cartridges. )
    No doubt , these heavier weight .375 calibre bullets have greatly increased the .375 Holland & Holland magnum calibre's usefulness against a charging gaur greatly . Nevertheless , l would personally prefer a larger calibre , using a 500 grain bullet at the very least .

    Hopefully , the last 2 sections of this article shall be completed by tonight.
     
    CoElkHunter, WizzyH, gesch and 9 others like this.

  11. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    a great story sir,

    thank you!
     
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  12. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    Great story, and it took some efort and time to write. Thank you, Sir.
    Question:
    Is there any place today where gaur can be hunted legally by foreign hunter? In natural range, or introduced?
     

  13. Skinnersblade

    Skinnersblade AH Veteran

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    I too would be interested in knowing the answer to your question @mark-hunter
     
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  14. kurpfalzjäger

    kurpfalzjäger AH Enthusiast

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    The Gaur is a species that are threatened with extinction. It is listed in CITES Appendix I and is protected by laws in all countries. I don't know where you legally want to hunt it.

    There are always opportunities for such species to be shot worldwide when it comes to problem animals. Normally the local authorities do that and it is not considered legal for a foreigner in his own country. Therefore such questions should be asked carefully at a public forum.
     
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  15. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    Internet google search, came out with few offers on Texas ranches.

    However, I first learned of gaur hunts, on this forum, thus made the question of LEGAL hunt possibilities, world wide.

    Many species threatened in their native range have been introduced somewhere, and are possible to hunt, legally in new habitats where introduced.
    Gaur is obviusly dangerous game, DG, thus to me very appealing.

    IUCN status, vunlnerable, numbers decreasing.
    Numbers (6.000 - 21.000) - are defined in very wide margin, basically, real numbers look uncertain to me.
    BTW - IUCN states "possibly extint in Bangladesh". On this point our forum members, @Major Khan and other may comment on that as well.
    https://www.iucnredlist.org/species/2891/46363646#geographic-range


    GAUR.jpg
     

  16. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    I looked up Mr. Tom Bolack ( Former Governor of New Mexico). He was an interesting character. Mainly a rancher near Farmington who got into politics. Conservative politics in New Mexico probably hasn’t happened since his era.
     
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  17. kurpfalzjäger

    kurpfalzjäger AH Enthusiast

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    Legal hunting for very endangered species would be conceivable. There are always problem animals or very old animals that can be released for shooting. This is controversial , but could bring in money that could in turn serve to protect nature.

    A good example is the Wisent in eastern Europe where animals are released for shooting each year. The difference is that we are in Europe , the habitat has been preserved , the population of Wisent are under very strict control and the poaching is almost zero. The situation is different in south and southeast Asia where neither the habitat nor the animal population can be under strict control. There is also poaching , which is very difficult to combat. Therefore , there is only the possibility to try to preserve the wild populations through absolute protection and strictly laws , and thus an absolute ban on hunting.
     
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  18. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Poton, this was another excellent article, I'm looking forward to the remaining segments. Off topic a bit, Kawshik mentioned that you might be going after another crocodile, what is happening in that regard?
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2020

  19. kurpfalzjäger

    kurpfalzjäger AH Enthusiast

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    One should enjoy the historical value of the good articles of our members from Bangladesh. These times are unfortunately over and cannot be revived.

    As far as hunting is concerned , we must try to do the best with what we have left and not trying to do uncertain things without a future.
     

  20. IvW

    IvW AH Legend

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    How can the heart shot be higher than the double lung shot?
     
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