What traits have you picked up from your Professional Hunter?

KMG Hunting Safaris

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Whether you have only visited Africa once, or as a seasoned African hunter, what traits or local sayings have you picked up from your Professional Hunter that you still use at home today?

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DmacD

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I learned to walk softly, or at least softer than I did before visiting. Slowly, heel to toe, watching where I place my steps. He was such a nice guy, I could see him cringe in front of me several times, so I asked him to show me. Great lesson learned there.
 

Fabnosh

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Sarcasm and irony - to a level that I felt compelled to make him an honourary Brit.......and the much used saying 'lets make a plan'......which seems to be applicable to every human endeavour and which I have unwittingly found myself uttering from time to time.

...and a huge amount of general fieldcraft.

FN
 

chashardy

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Learned how to flank the animal in a wide circle to get the wind right and to just kick the dust up to check the wind direction. Also, working with my PH and a second PH and tracker to set up an ambush on a wounded buffalo. We had been tracking the wounded bull for hours and the PH knew he was headed for the thickest bush near the Limpopo river. My PH and I jumped on the truck and drove around the area to get in front of the bull and set up near a spot where the game trails either side of us led toward the river. The other PH and tracker walked through the block and pushed the bull toward us and as predicted he came out on the game trail about 90 yards away and I put two rounds into him. Mission accomplished.
 

Uintaelkhunter

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Bliksem, never really understood the word but when hunting with two PHs and one has a mullet rest assured you will hear the other ph say it a lot. Especially when there are trophy bushbuck involved. Would like to know the definition
 
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Newboomer

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Shot placement. African animals are built differently from North American game. I had to adjust my thinking. Judging horn size and configuration.
 

Strausser

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No idea if it’s correct,but here’s one explanation;
Bliksem, never really understood the word but when hunting with two PHs and one has a mullet rest assured you will hear the other ph say it a lot. Especially when there are trophy bushbuck involved. Would like to know the definition
 

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TimoJ

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In Limpopo looking up after seeing a big leopards track. What is go-away bird, after 3 days ruined gnu hunting. Giraffes are shaky, can cause panic in a second and then return to see nothing happened. Most important, learned that a good laugh can make cloudy days better.
My 2c
TimoJ
 

Happy Myles

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Have learned over the decades to relax before the shot, follow through and hit the SOB (the animal, not the PH). I have been very lucky over scores of years hunting only had one really bad guide. And it was my fault, I should not have bailed him out of a Canadian jail at beginning of hunt.
 

BeeMaa

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I always take off my hat when I shake hands with someone, learned that from our PH. Classy touch and I see several PH's do the same.

I learned this before going to Africa, but my PH was very appreciative...Carrying my rifle barrel forward and pointing up on my weak side shoulder. The weak hand controls the barrel and where it points. Binos slung from weak shoulder to strong side hip and if necessary controlled by the strong side hand. Neither my wife or I will carry a rifle "African style".

Also our PH taught us a hell of a lot about judging African game animals. He took the time to show the the little things that a PH looks for in specific species.
 

Tanks

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...Binos slung from weak shoulder to strong side hip and if necessary controlled by the strong side hand...

The binos can get in the way as you are shouldering the rifle. All the PHs I have seen carry the binos on the weak side hip. That way they can pull it up with the strong hand while maintaining the rifle barrel with the weak hand.
 

BeeMaa

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The binos can get in the way as you are shouldering the rifle. All the PHs I have seen carry the binos on the weak side hip. That way they can pull it up with the strong hand while maintaining the rifle barrel with the weak hand.
I keep the binos on my right hip so I can grab them with my right hand, while the left hand is still in control of the barrel. To get in a shooting position on sticks my left hand grips the forend to slack the sling and remove it from my left shoulder. Right hand grabs the grip and pulls the butt into my shoulder. No bino strap on my right shoulder to interfere with the rifle butt. Binos are slung around to my back a little bit.

EDIT - Carrying the rifle "African style" will make carrying binos on your weak side hip much easier. Which is why I suspect PH's carry their binos there. Although I view this as not the best way to carry a rifle, do concede that it is safe for the lead person in the group to do. If I carry my rifle like this, I will be sweeping someone with the barrel of my rifle. I prefer a little more control of my firearms for everyones safety. Did I mention how much our PH appreciated our safety conscious attitude?
 
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VertigoBE

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Bliksem, never really understood the word but when hunting with two PHs and one has a mullet rest assured you will hear the other ph say it a lot. Especially when there are trophy bushbuck involved. Would like to know the definition
Bliksem is Dutch (and I suppose Afrikaans) for Lightning. In old Dutch and I suppose in Afrikaans it can be used as an expletive, or a way of showing astonishment or that something is not working out the way it should.
 

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When there are multiple animals, PH: "The second one on the right, now he's the third, now he's behind the second one on the right". Me: "The biggest one"? PH: "No the other right".

Then you pull the trigger on the wrong one. PH: "Oh shit". BTDT.
 

VertigoBE

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"Let's go for a walk" and "Let's have a look". Usually means you'll be on your way for a few hours, with sweat coming out of your eye balls :D

The "let's make a plan" which usually only lasts for all of 5 minutes was a fun one too.

And always staying a few more minutes longer than you would normally have done.

I'd like to have a future PH take more time to teach me about judging animals. Especially to determine age from a distance. Each species has different markers I suppose. But as a "tourist" I felt I was a bit too much dependent on what my PH judged a good mature animal, instead of being able to be more critical myself. I took a black wildebeest that had a very respectable set of horns, but was definitely not old enough, I regret not having had the knowledge to be able to have said "no, let's look for another one"
 

Justin.

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After all the reports on here I’ve read, I can’t believe I haven’t seen anything mentioning how surprised people are to find out that the direct Afrikaans translation for “to stalk an animal while hunting” is “get those boots off and let’s see how many thorns we can find” . Love all the insightful comments, but with nothing worthy to add as still planning first trip, I thought I’d be a little cheeky to cover up my rookie LOL!
 

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