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Joined: 05/25/2008
Posts: 2
First time hunter in Africa

Guys, first of apologies for the stupid questions but I have a problem and I need some advice.

I've dreamt of hunting in Africa for the last ten years and finally I bit the bullet and booked my father and myself a five day plains game hunt in the Free State province in South Africa in October. I've already paid my deposit.

Problem: I live in Bangladesh and hunting is banned here. I have never hunted anything in my life bigger than birds which I shot with an air gun.

It is also very difficult to get gun licenses. I am expecting my license in the next few weeks and will buy a side by side shot gun.

I am assuming the best preparation I can take for my hunt is to practice shooting with the shot gun.

My question, to what range do I have to be accurate to have a chance of bagging something in Africa?

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Location: Cheyenne, WY
Joined: 12/25/2007
Posts: 106
First time hunter in Africa

A shotgun would not be good for hunting in Africa. If you used slugs range is limited to about 100 yards. I would recommend a rifle along the lines of a 7X7 Mauser or .30/06.

I realize guns are hard to obtain in Bangladesh and you will want your shotgun for hunting birds in the future. Just about any hunting outfit in Africa can arrange a rental rifle for you for a modest fee. Do you know anyone who owns a rifle you could use to practise & get used to the recoil? This would make using a rented rifle much easier.

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Joined: 05/25/2008
Posts: 2
First time hunter in Africa

Hi Joe, thanks for your reply. I was thinking of using the shotgun just to get used to the recoil and improve my aim. The PH I've booked with is arranging the rifles. But there's no way to get my hands on any rifles in Bangladesh for practice. Apart from 0.22 calibres but that wouldn't help getting me used to the recoil right?

WyoJoe wrote:
A shotgun would not be good for hunting in Africa. If you used slugs range is limited to about 100 yards. I would recommend a rifle along the lines of a 7X7 Mauser or .30/06.

I realize guns are hard to obtain in Bangladesh and you will want your shotgun for hunting birds in the future. Just about any hunting outfit in Africa can arrange a rental rifle for you for a modest fee. Do you know anyone who owns a rifle you could use to practise & get used to the recoil? This would make using a rented rifle much easier.

CVC
CVC's picture
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Grand Slam Challenge Winner!
Location: Kansas
Joined: 03/04/2006
Posts: 3586
First time hunter in Africa

If I had to choose between the .22 and the shotgun for preparing to shoot the rifle in Africa, I would pick the .22. Aiming and firing a rifle is different than firing a shotgun. Yes, there is no recoil with the .22, but that is an advantage as you can practice proper form and shooting techniques.

The shotgun with its recoil my cause you develop a flinch.

I would go with using the .22. I have a .30-06 and a .375 H&H and the recoil of these rifles is mild compared to my shotgun. I don't think shooting the shotgun will be of much benefit other than making you sore.

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Joined: 05/26/2008
Posts: 1
First time hunter in Africa

I agree with the .22 sentiment. If you shoot well with a .22, you should shoot just as well with any other rifle. The skills (sight picture, trigger squeeze, breath control, etc.) are all the same. The recoil may take a little getting used to, but shouldn't be too much of a problem. You can always use a recoil pad, or padded hunting shirt to minimize this.

Colin

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Location: new brunswick
Joined: 03/09/2007
Posts: 164
First time hunter in Africa

You said something about killing birds with an air rifle I assume you own one if so don't worry about getting a .22, just practice breath control, proper sight picture and trigger squeeze while shooting the air rifle.
Practice with the shotgun too on sporting clays and see about possiblity of doing some bird hunting in africa, the dark continent has some excellent wingshooting.

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Moderator
Location: texas
Joined: 04/23/2006
Posts: 484
First time hunter in Africa

i agree with cvc about the shotgun/rifle difference. i think my 12 gauge kicks worse than my .375, .376 and almost as bad as the .458 lott. you can shoot a lot of .22 and get a handle on rifle shooting. another thing to consider is that while actually shooting at game, you do not feel the recoil much. also, when hunting you will often shoot from sticks, where recoil is felt less than while shooting from a bench rest. good luck on your hunt.

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Location: Pa.
Joined: 06/15/2008
Posts: 45
Your first safari

I would agree with the others that practicing with the .22 would be more beneficial than using a shotgun. From my experience guiding hunters one of the biggest problems i've seen with hunters is finding game through a scope quickly. Practice target acquisition at small objects to help with that. Practicing on your breathing, trigger pull and follow through are also very important and should not be overlooked.
I would practice as much as you can with small caliber then when you arrive in Africa, practice a day or at least a few hours, starting out at 50 yards and moving back at 50 yard increments to establish what your limitations are with that particular rifle. When your shots begin to go outside a 4" circle, stop there. The last thing you want to do is wound game. Espessially since whatever game you wound and don't recover your still paying for as that is the norm at most places in Africa.

One thing that you can practice is your stalking abd posting abilities. Being able to remain still, move at the proper times and being able to sneak is essential anywhere you hunt. My furthest shot in Africa is 340 yards but I take great pride in being able to get close to game and when doing some video work I was able to get extremely close to some of the most wary animals there.

One of the most important things you should do is let your PH know what your limitations are so that he can adjust his hunting tactics and plans that will allow you the best chances of success. If you need to be closer to get clean kills then employing archery tactics may be more suited for the best chances of success.

Never be ashamed to address your limitations and never push a bad shot. If you don't feel its right and you don't feel comfortable with it. Don't take it.

Location: Cotswolds, UK
Joined: 07/29/2008
Posts: 33
First time hunter in Africa

Hi all, here's my thoughts.

the .22 will be fine for practising stance, style, breathing, gun mount and so on and your outfitter should be able to provide a rifle and ammo when you get there - but check in advance!

Shotguns - great for the anticipated weight of the rifle and it will help if you are practising mounting the gun and sweeping to focus on moving targets, especially if your .22 is anything like mine!

My .22 is very light and great fun, but it's not a safari rifle and shouldn't be confused as such - recoil - well, guns do have a habit of doing that, but how many shots do you think you'll be taking?

Lets put it this way - if you are looking to shoot 5 species and take 2 shots at each trophy, that's still only half a box of ammunition and the effects of recoil spread over the corse of your trip will be negligable (said the man with scope scars on his forehead - lol)

Distances - well, in June I had an American hunter shot a Red Hartebeest at 1150 yds - is this hunting or target practise, I'm not sure, but it was a splendid shot! in the same month I saw a PH take a baboon at 625 yards with an 8x86 = headshot and another American guy shoot another at over 350 yds.

Personally, I like to get much closer than that and the maximum distance I've taken game at in Africa is generally less than 100 yds - in fact, much more like 25-50 yds! Certainly, it depends what you're after and how close you want / need to get, but your PH will be on hand to provide help and assistance, not to mention a fair bit of advice and guidence, afterall, he wants you to have a great time because he wants to see you and your friends again next year!

Don't forget to post your pictures!

Cheers

Roo

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