Once you have spotted the selected animal, it is now the moment you have been dreaming of!
Now, as you line up for the moment of truth, the most important factor is to squeeze your trigger only when you are perfectly happy and confident with your shot – always remember the old saying: There’s only room for one finger on your trigger! Don’t ever feel pressurized in taking a shot that you do not feel comfortable with.
To know your quarry’s anatomy helps a great deal in selecting the best target under different hunting conditions. Despite your efforts, you will quite often find yourself in a position that offers you an unexpected, less than perfect opportunity on that dream trophy. Quick thinking and equally quick shooting is then essential.
One should always be prepared for the unexpected and try to visualize your quarry in every possible way he may present himself,
The lung/shoulder shot is your best and easiest shot to attempt under normal, hunting conditions. It not only presents you with the largest target, but is also a sure, killing shot
Head-and-neck shots, from a trophy hunter’s point of view, are for obvious reasons a bad choice. There are certain exceptions though, such as brain-shooting an Elephant.
However, body-shots are by far the preferred choice and most-used under normal hunting conditions.
When you are faced with a frontal shot, aim for the middle of the chest, at the base of the neck. When offered only a shot-from-behind, in the case of a retreating, wounded animal, aim at the root of the tail or try to break one of the hips.
Once you have successfully bagged your trophy and all the formalities such as photo taking have been completed, the skinners will take care of it.
Field preparation of your trophies is an essential part of your hunt. It will be expertly skinned, treated and tagged. After your safari it will be taken to a taxidermist who will then either complete the mounting for you or have it sent to the taxidermist of your choice.
It is important to note that certain species are listed under CITES (Convention in the Trade of Endangered Species and Wildlife). This means that for certain animals you will have to apply to your own authorities for the import permit into your country of domicile, prior to your Safari. Due to the ever-changing status of Africa’s wildlife, is it advisable that one should check regularly to ensure that you are aware of these changes.
"What rifles should I bring?"
This is one of the most commonly asked questions by the prospective African Hunter. The ideal is to select one or two rifles that can be used successfully on a wide variety of species. Not only do you travel lighter but due to the constant handling and use, you will be able to apply it to greater effect.
When selecting a rifle for Dangerous Game, you need a caliber that shoots a heavy, large-diameter bullet traveling at 2100- 2400 fps that is essential for deep penetration and knockdown. Consider the following caliber as they have proven themselves over and over as being adequate and reliable:
- 375 H&H Mag .
- 404 Jefferies .
- 416 Remington Mag.
- 416 Rigby .
- 458 Win. Mag.
- 458 LOTT
- 460 Weatherby Mag.
- 500 Jefferies.
- 505 Gibbs.
All the large-bore, Nitro-Express caliber such as .450, .465, .470, 500 and .577 are also excellent choices.
Having a low-powered, variable telescope (1.5-4x) fitted in quick-detachable mounts to your Dangerous Game Rifle, makes a very good combination.
For soft-skinned, antelope hunting, a scope-sighted rifle in the following, or similar caliber, will be a good choice:
- 270 Winchester.
- 7mm Mauser.
- 7×64 Brenneke.
- 7mm Rem. Mag.
- 30-06 Springfield.
- any of the .300 Magnums.
- 338 Win. Mag.
When hunting Lion and Leopard, some of the caliber mentioned above can be used.
There is a wide variety of premium quality bullets available today – not only for the hand loader but also as ready-to-use, factory-loaded ammunition. The following are some of the better choices: Woodleigh; Barnes X; Nosler Partition and “Accu-Bond” and the various bonded-core expanding bullets, ex. Trophy Bonded and Swift.
The better solids are Woodleigh and Barnes Super Solids. There are also solid bullets now available for the smaller caliber and these are handy for shooting small, lightweight animals to minimize pelt-damage.
Bring 60 rounds for each plains game – caliber. This should be sufficient for a normal 10-14 day hunt. For your heavy rifle, 30 solids and 30 soft-point rounds will be enough.
Sight your rifle in prior to your hunt as this will save time and valuable ammunition on your safaris.
Handling and shooting your rifle often, especially your heavy caliber will make you more accustomed and comfortable with it and enable you to handle the recoil better. It is essential though, to remember that bullet-placement is far more important than bullet energy!
It is difficult, due to individual requirements and style, to give a complete, specific list of "Personal items". However, there are a number of items which we regard as essential for every hunt:
Three changes of clothing which should be as comfortable as possible. Khakis and denims are good choices. Neutral colors are the best.
- A warm jacket (Early mornings and evenings can be cold).
- A pair of comfortable, ankle-high boots or shoes for hunting.
- Comfortable footwear for in-and-around camp.
- Six pairs of high quality socks (cotton).
- One hat.
- One sweater.
- A pair of gloves.
- Clothes for casual wear before and after your Safari.
- Sun protection lotion.
- One set of good Binoculars.
- A small flashlight.
- A hunting- or pocket knife.
Camera equipment: Video cameras are a great asset on Safari and a wonderful way of recalling those unforgettable moments. Remember extra film-cassettes and spare batteries (it can be charged almost anywhere). A good 35mm camera with a flash and lots of spare film is a must. Make sure that all your Cameras are kept in good, dust proof bags.
Personal items such as Medical prescriptions, shaving or cosmetic kits, an insect repellent and all similar item is up to your own discretion.
Remember, this is just a broad guideline as to the more important items you should bring on Safari. You are more than welcome however, to bring along whatever you deem necessary for added comfort and pleasure on your Safari.
Most hunting takes place during the cooler months, April to August. Early mornings and evenings are in general cold and a jacket is then necessary. Gloves can also be also be worn in the mornings.
Temperatures can range from 5-10 Centigrade (40-50 Fahrenheit) in the mornings and evenings and may rise to 21-29 Centigrade (70-85 Fahrenheit) during midday. It is unusual to rain during these months and the days are in general cloudless and sunny.