The best way to prepare for first African hunt....

Matt_WY

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After booking my first african hunt for 2020 in Tanzania, I soon came to realize that I had a lot of preparation to do. Training, guns, ammunition, clothing, shot placement, etc.

I decided it would be best to take a stone-cold logical approach to the issue. If I wanted to prepare for a marathon, I'd go running. If I wanted to prepare for writing computer code, I'd write computer code.

Thus, I deduce that the most appropriate way to prepare for an African hunt is to go on an earlier African hunt!

Headed to Namibia in August! Woo Hoo!


:E Dancing:
 

BRICKBURN

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That should do it.
 

CAustin

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After booking my first african hunt for 2020 in Tanzania, I soon came to realize that I had a lot of preparation to do. Training, guns, ammunition, clothing, shot placement, etc.

I decided it would be best to take a stone-cold logical approach to the issue. If I wanted to prepare for a marathon, I'd go running. If I wanted to prepare for writing computer code, I'd write computer code.

Thus, I deduce that the most appropriate way to prepare for an African hunt is to go on an earlier African hunt!

Headed to Namibia in August! Woo Hoo!


:E Dancing:

I like your highly dedicated and detailed approach to this problem!
 

Ridgewalker

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I’m jealous! I really like your preparation style!
Get a mini copy of “The Perfect Shot”.
Practice shooting off sticks! Try to get yourself to a 4-5 second count mounting and shooting accurately to what ever your maximum distance is.
Namibia will most likely need a lot further shots than Tanzania, but check with your outfitter what distances you need to be ready for.
Best of luck! You’re going to have a grand adventure!
 

Matt_WY

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I’m jealous! I really like your preparation style!
Get a mini copy of “The Perfect Shot”.
Practice shooting off sticks! Try to get yourself to a 4-5 second count mounting and shooting accurately to what ever your maximum distance is.
Namibia will most likely need a lot further shots than Tanzania, but check with your outfitter what distances you need to be ready for.
Best of luck! You’re going to have a grand adventure!

Thanks!

I built a pair of sticks last week to practice from -- haven't tried them yet as it's been freakin' cold, but hopefully in the next week or two. Even took the most important step and spray painted them camo.

I'm figuring shots will be longer as well; decided I'll swap out the 416 for the 300 win on this trip and that should do me.
 

Black Fly

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Anticipation is part of the fun. Getting in shape makes the hunt more fun when you get there.
The Perfect Shot is a great suggestion. Study it! I had a good neck shot on a gemsbok that I only made because I had studied. The spine isn't where you would expect it to be.
Practice three quick shots at a time off the sticks. My PH said he was surprised by how many folks fire a shot then put the gun down without putting another round in the chamber. I caught myself doing it on my first animal. Now I practice three or four quick shots in succession.
Get excited and enjoy yourself.
Bfly
 

BC.Pat

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Get a mini copy of “The Perfect Shot”.
Practice shooting off sticks! Try to get yourself to a 4-5 second count mounting and shooting accurately to what ever your maximum distance is.
Namibia will most likely need a lot further shots than Tanzania, but check with your outfitter what distances you need to be ready for.

Rock solid Advice X2 (y)
And don't forget the post hunt report..:)

Good Luck !
 

Ridgewalker

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Oh yes...Hunt report! Hunt report! Hunt report! At least I can hunt by reading others!
 

Matt_WY

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Oh yes...Hunt report! Hunt report! Hunt report! At least I can hunt by reading others!
I can't wait to do the hunt report! Things I am hoping not to include:
  • bags getting delayed / guns not getting there
  • explosive diarrhea
  • thorns through the foot
  • snakebite
  • bot flies
  • finally shot at an animal....and missed
 

Gemsbok Gangsta

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Well that will take care of that!!! Not everybody makes the first hunt Tanzania. Namibia be forewarned :) Good luck and shoot straight!!!
 

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One of the best pieces of advise I got from my PH was to aim to take out at least one shoulder in the bullet path. Then if need to track it is much easier. He also told me that it is hard to understand why Americans will shoot then admire their shot instead of cycling in another round and be ready to shoot if needed. He said if they are not down keep shooting and if they are down be ready in case they get up. He noted that both my daughter and I did not have that problem and we both always aimed to take out a shoulder. We did not have to chase any game down.
 

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I like your style!

Practice shooting off sticks but also practice off hand. I set targets every 25 yards from 25 to 100 and practiced shooting random targets first then sometimes I would shoot the rest of them off sticks or off hand or a combination of both. If I had a buddy with me I would let him call the targets and I would make the shot as quickly as possible. I shot most of my shots with the scope but I would try to always remove the scope and shoot a few with the iron sights also. I would always end my session with three deliberate off hand shots at an 8" steel gong at 100 yards, if I didn't hit all three shots I would repeat the process until I did.
 

Matt_WY

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Thanks @BobT. All good suggestions. I do similar things for my defensive handgun shooting drills and it makes sense to apply the same logic to the rifle practice.
 

curtism1234

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He also told me that it is hard to understand why Americans will shoot then admire their shot instead of cycling in another round and be ready to shoot if needed.

I think people who run/work in safaris (ie ph's) see animals as an endless commodity. If you shoot an animal in the ass and the bullet runs through the guts, they are not going to be the ones eating it.

Americans shooting whitetail see 35-70 pounds of meat at best and it costs them close to $150 to take it to the processor. From a monetary and practical standpoint, you don't shoot again if you feel like you made a good shot because if you hit again you probably lost another 5 pounds of meat and it was probably going to fall over dead another 50 yards anyway. From a technical point, I think it is far better to keep an eye on a wounded deer and clearly mark where you last saw it than it is to shoot up a storm (which you probably have a 10% chance of hitting it again) and having no idea where to look for the thing.

In America, you are on your own when you shoot. In Africa, someone else is there with you looking. You can shoot and shoot and shoot and someone will be there who knows where the animal ran to.

Africa = trophy hunting with teamwork
American = meat hunting hunting by yourself
 

Divernhunter

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^^^^ That is not to say you should not cycle the action and be ready IF needed. I agree with him on that point. It is up to you if you shoot again. But consider that in the USA, even when meat hunting, if you wound one and do not find it MANY people will just keep hunting until they do get one in the freezer. This tends not to happen on a guided hunt but does far to often when it is not a guided hunt. I have seen it in action. That is a waste.....Far more than another shot would be.
 

Charles de Ribeau

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  • Start with a .22 bolt action rifle with a scope. (The reason for practicing with a .22 is two fold. First, it's cheap. More important, you won't teach yourself to flinch like you may do with a heavier caliber.)
  • Go to the range and practice, practice, practice. For most people, shooting on sticks is a foreign concept and requires a lot of practice. Sure practice without sticks as well, but you will probably need the most improvement with sticks.
  • Try to see how fast you can fire, cycle the bolt and get back on target for another shot. I like trying to see how tight of a group I can get as I run through a clip as fast as I can.
  • Another exercise is to running in place to elevate your heart rate and then start shooting.
Don't forget physical conditioning. You could end up walking several miles each day - or not. Be prepared in case you do.
 

Matt_WY

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Less days to departure than I have fingers and toes! That means I can start my countdown!

Still shooting. Still hiking. Still going to gym. Starting to load the final rounds for hunting. Doing the clothing permethrin spray next week and then I can start actually packing!
 

curtism1234

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If possible/practical, I would consider renting a car and drive to the airport leaving the US (Atlanta for instance). Get there the night before and spend a night in a hotel in case you get car problems or something.

This would ensure it's one less thing for the airline's luggage crew to screw up (though they can certainly goof on a direct flight).
 

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Without reading all of the post I don't know if anyone covered it but you may now even have to worry about shooting off of sticks depending on where and what you are hunting.

On my safari I only had one animal that I shot off of the sticks. It was a impala, my PH had set up the Bog Pod sticks for a sitting shot using the Bog Pod for a rest but there was too much brush in the way when I sat down. So I stood up and used it for a 90 yard shot on the animal. All my other shots at animals were from a sitting position using the Bog Pod as a rest.

The best thing to do is to talk to your outfitter and find out what type of country you will be hunting and if shooting off of sticks is the norm or the exception. If you are in a bushy area or a area with tall grass where your shots will be standing to get above it for the shot then by all means get used to shooting off of sticks.
 

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