True hunting distances

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by Dbrown4183, Nov 28, 2018.

  1. Dbrown4183

    Dbrown4183 AH Member

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    I apologize ahead of time for posting a similar question to my earlier one. I have taken your advice and decided to take only one rifle to South Africa in May. My question is what are the real distances i can be expecting to shoot st Eland, Kudu, zebra and Blue Wildebeest? I ask because i would like to take my 416 Rigby as i shoot better and feel more confident with it than my 300 win mag out to 250 yds. If the shots really are expected to be beyond 250 yds however i will have to decide to take the 300 win mag. I will be hinting near Kirkwood in the East Cape
     

  2. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    You should probably be asking your outfitter these questions. If you want to confirm his reply, contact some of the "references" he should have given you and ask them about the shot distances they experienced. A male Eland is a big critter. I took mine with a 404 Jeffery. As far as using a 300 Win Mag goes, have you considered using 200 Gr. bullets instead of 180(s)?
     

  3. Von S.

    Von S. AH Enthusiast

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    Dear Squire Brown,

    I would think that listening to "Shootist" is a good step in the right direction.

    As for me I take only shots that I know I can hit with a high probability of a clean one shot kill and have had nice conversations in the past informing the pH exactly that.

    My opinion on what yo shoot any animal with is simple. Shoot him with the biggest thing you can handle no farther than you can dot the " I".

    Of course, a round should be big enough to get the job done easily.
     

  4. Dbrown4183

    Dbrown4183 AH Member

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    Thank you. I will contact my outfitter. I have not tried the 200 gr in the 300 win mag. I have been using the 175 gr lrx from Barnes. I will give them a try to see if i can tighten up my groups some more. In the 416 i have been loading 400 gr a frames and get quite good accuracy from them out to 200yds the drop just starts picking up after that diatance so i feel less comfortable after 250.
     

  5. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    This is one of those questions where the answer is "it depends." But fortunately, it usually depends on the hunter!

    Outfitters can generally give you average distances for shots on properties they hunt. If these distances seem long to you, then just tell your PH you need/want to get closer. It will often be more work, but if that's what you're comfortable with, by all means insist on it. Most outfitters would tell you, for example, that shots on Vaal Rhebok tend to be a bit longer . . . but @BRICKBURN took one with a bow (obviously at close range). Yes, it takes more work, and yes, it may reduce your odds of connecting, but hunting involves trade-offs. Any PH who won't accommodate you isn't really a PH you need to be hunting with.

    Of course, there are some shots which will almost certainly be long - mountain nyala comes to mind - and here, insisting on close shots may mean very low odds of success.

    Your maximum distance of 250 yards for a .416 Rigby is longer than I'm comfortable taking with mine, but if you're good with it, I think you should be able to get closer than that to just about every animal I can think of in South Africa. Even in relatively open country.

    Trying for closer shots can - and for me usually does - result in a more exciting hunt. More busted stalks for sure, but also a more challenging and fascinating hunt.
     
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  6. Dbrown4183

    Dbrown4183 AH Member

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    Hank 2211 I totally agree with you on the closer you can get to the game the more exciting. I just get nervous when i keep seeing these videos on you tube that seem like every shot is over 350 yds. Not something I would ever dream of attempting with my 416. Dont want to travel all that way and be ill prepared. Firm believer in never ysking a shot that you dont know you can make.
     
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  7. sierraone

    sierraone AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I agree with everything previously written. 200 gr in .300 Win Mag. Or just lots of practice with the Rigby before you go from 100 to 250 yards since that is your max. My max is 200 yards. My son can nail it at 400 everytime with my .416, but that's is too far for me.
     
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  8. Divernhunter

    Divernhunter AH Fanatic

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    The 175gr Barnes will do anything the 200gr other bullet will do----except maybe a Swift A-Frame.
    Going that far I would take both rifles. It is really no more trouble and then you have a choice and/or a back up. Both times I went I took 2 rifles and used them. Use a gun service for a quick trouble free trip thru the stuff you need to do in Africa to get the rifle(s) in and out.
    Use the 416 if you like it better and have the 300 as a spare. Even something lighter will do fine. We used a 257R(120gr A-Frames) and nothing my daughter shot(12+ animals) went anywhere but down. I used a 30-06 with 150gr TTSX with good results on several animals. I used a 257W with 120A-Frames and 100gr TTSX(shot to the same point) on 25+ animals and all was good. I used my 338Wim mag with 225gr A-Frames on both trips and took 30+ animals and only one required a second shot. The 1st was a bit high at a running Gemsbuck.
     
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  9. jacques smith

    jacques smith AH Fanatic

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    Beware the man with one gun !!
    Take what you are most comfortable and shoot the best!!
    Know your own personal limitations and hunt accordingly!!
    Best of luck. Jacques
     

  10. Buckdog

    Buckdog AH Enthusiast

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    100% correct fear the man with one well worn gun!!!! Usually he can shoot it very very well and its just like second nature to bring it to hand. And as clint eastwood says a "mans gotta know his limitations" So pick your best gun shoot it often and shoot it well and be confident with it at whatever your max range is, and tell the ph what that range is.
    If you are good with a 416 at 250yds then so be it. But I find it interesting that you cant shoot a 300 better than a 416? 416 is a lot of gun for plains game but if you like it go for it and don't fret over it have fun. And I love the sound of a 416 making contact with the target :Smuggrin:
     

  11. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    What everyone else said, ask your outfitter/PH, take the rifle with which you have the most confidence, don't take a shot you don't feel has a high probability of success and if shots are beyond 300 yards, develop a one moa load for your 300WM.
    Oh, uh, guys, it's beware the man with one bullet! (y)
     

  12. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Some of my distances in Limpopo and Northwest:
    Duiker 20ft
    Cape buffalo 30 yards
    Black wildebeest 170 yards
    Gemsbok 270 yards
    Sable 30 yards
    Crocodile 90 yards
    Blue wildebeest 25 yards
    Jackal attempts 35-200 yards
    Nyala 45 yards
    Civet 15 yards
    Caracal 30 yards
    Eland 135 yards
    Kudu 40 yards
    These are what I can remember. Just to give you an idea of my experiences. Never been to the Eastern Cape, but in my reading and what I have seen reported here, your distances will be greater unless you do lots of stalking. I’d probably take a light rifle as well as a 416 just in case the ranges stretch out. I’m comfortable to 300 yards with my 375 H&H especially when using a 250 grain bullet at over 2,800 FPS.
    Best of luck!
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
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  13. neckdeep

    neckdeep AH Veteran

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    Some very sound advice here for sure, I like the idea of taking both but I have decided on my first two Safari's to keep it simple and just take a 375. As for the distance I think you'll find more shots will be under a hundred yards and if you are comfortable out to 250 with the Rigby you are more than covered, over 250 just get closer. Out of the 23 African animals I have shot to date, only several where much over 100 yard and most all where Impala. The longest was 238 ranged by laser, that's about it for me, it's a long shot.
     

  14. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    A lot of good advice from reliable folks in here...

    My immediate thought before I saw "Kirkwood" was: "Another impossible question to answer!" like "What is the best caliber for antelopes?" Well ... which antelopes? A 10 lbs Duiker or a 1,500 Eland? Because they are both antelopes, but they sure do not require the same caliber... In this case: "Which part of South Africa?" Limpopo dense bush with average shots at 150 yd or less, or Eastern Cape bare mountain slopes with shots commonly pushing 300 yd? It is almost like: "what is the average shooting distance in American hunting?" Well are we talking Pennsylvania woods or Wyoming plains? But even having seen "Kirkwood" a bit of the same reasoning applies: I do not know the Kirkwood area, but I personally hunted the Stormberg Mountains (5,500 to 6,000 ft elevation) near Queenstown (3,200 ft elevation) and the farmland near Stutterheim (2,700 ft elevation) and these were two different ecosystems. In the low grass Stormberg mountains near Queenstown 300 yd was common, and in the luxurious farmland near Stutterheim we would have been hard pressed to shoot much further than 150 yd in most cases.

    In general, having been in both Limpopo and Eastern Cape, I would say be prepared to shoot routinely to 150/200 yd in Limpopo and routinely to 300 yd in Eastern Cape, and in both case you can probably get closer. Long shots are often either a poor substitute for hunting skills, or, lately, a 'fashionable' (?) "hunter play sniper" trend, which I personally disapprove of. Some PH specialize in 600 yd antelope sniping, but do not believe that because you see it on YouTube, this is the way it has to be. Never mind the number of missed shots, and (worse!) crippling shots you do not see you YouTube... Beside, sniping at game at such range robs you of the best part: the hunt...

    My speculation, Kirkwood being essentially at see level (300 ft elevation) , is that you will likely be hunting in a fairly closely vegetated environment, so I would speculate (?) that most of your shooting will be inside of 200 yd. But as previously mentioned by others, there is not better source of information than your outfitter...

    Yes, beware the one-rifle man, but he is SOL if anything goes wrong with his rifle, or scope, or mount, or stock, etc... 8,000 miles away from home after a few airline gorillas handling his rifle case. For my money, I go to Africa with two guns, if only to have a back up. It does not cost a penny more. So, in your case, I would say .416 on Eland and .300 on Kudu, Zebra and Wildebeest, and in this case, 180 gr premium (Partition, A Frame, TTSX, etc.) is plenty good in a .300. If either gun/scope has an issue the other one can do the job in a pinch.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2018
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  15. Ryan

    Ryan AH Enthusiast

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    Start with @Shootist43 advice and go from there. Personally I've hunted Namibia twice and the East Cape of RSA once. There's is lot of variety in terrain in both places, so saying the East Cape will be longer shots seems odd to me as most of the land I hunted was brushy and my eland there was at 70-ish yards where as my black wildebeest in Namibia in some wide open flats was 200 or so and that's after a lot iof work since they loved to bust and run at 400+ in the area I hunted. So, it depends. Typical shot I have had were under 150 except that black wildebeest. I used one rifle for eight out of ten animals in Namibia, a 30-06 using 168 grain Barnes TTSX. The East Cape had me using a 300 WM with 180 grain PMP ammo on the eland and bushbuck and a 308 on a duiker. Another gent in the East Cape hunt took a kudu at I believe the 200 yard range on a more open area. He used a 270 Weatherby. While I think it's heavy for the species mentioned, if you're comfortable a 416 to 200 yards, it will work well.
     
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  16. One Day...

    One Day... GOLD SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    Perfect illustration of the point I was trying to make. Eastern Cape is really a diverse place where within 150 miles you will experience West Virginia farm country, Texas brush country, and Arizona mountains (replace cactus with acacia at lower altitudes, although there ARE cactus in Eastern Cape mountains, then same type shrubs/grassland at higher altitudes) . It seems to me elevation and distance from the sea (i.e. moisture) are likely the two critical factors...
     

  17. Dbrown4183

    Dbrown4183 AH Member

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    Thank you everyone for the great information you have provided. It really helps me. This truly is a great site and community
     
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  18. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Ok all good advise. I will say though taking one gun on any hunting trip away from home unnerves me. Things happen..I would much rather shoot a gun I am familiar with then a rental from my PH. Again nothing wrong with those that prefer to do that but you'll be spending a lot of money so for me shooting my own weapon makes me much more comfortable. Ranges on game...I ve shot Val rhebok at just over 300 yds and zebra at the same. Cape buff at 40 yds and just about everything else I ve taken in between. Your PH can kind of give you an idea of "possible ranges" but be prepared to shoot out there if your comfortable.
     
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  19. YancyW

    YancyW GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I also shoot a 175g LRX in a 300wm, you can easily get that round to over 3100fps, there isn't a single thing you are going to be hunting that you can't take with that round. Also, sighted in at 200, you are 1" high at 100 and only 6" low at 300. For everything 300 and under, it is just point and shoot.

    Having said that, I would take both rifles, it isn't anymore work to take two than just one.
     

  20. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Veteran

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    I've hunted the Eastern Cape the last two years and the areas we hunted were wide open like the desert of SW USA. There were some mountainous places with limited visibility, but for the most part quite open. PG shots ranged from 50 to 350 yards. On my first safari I had great success with a 7mm Rem Mag and Barnes TSX 160 g. Take what you shoot best with a load that will reach out if you should need it. I took my 375HH the second time and collected a good dugga boy with a 350 g Barnes TSX and several pg with Barnes 235 g TSX.
     

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