20 replies [Last post]
Location: South Africa
Joined: 10/31/2005
Posts: 27
My son where are you aiming at?
Don Fischer wrote:
You are right of course about a well placed 125 gr bullet better than a miss-placed 180gr bullet. No reflection on you but I find it hard to believe that his dad didn't help him with what I'd think would be a better selection in cartridge and ammunition.

I though about this a good deal after reading about it, were I that recoil shy, what would I choose. I'd like to run some ideas past you:

6.5x55 or 260 Rem with 140gr premium bullet's
7x57 or 7mm-08 with150gr or 160gr premium bullet's
300 Savage or 308 win with 150gr or 165gr premium bullet's

It seem's to me that here somewhere should be a load someone like Fred could use in comfort. It also is a testimony to the attitude of some of us that it is our right to hunt even if we're not properly prepared. If a guy is to out of shape, he can sit on a log somewhere but if he is inadequate with a weapon he sure shouldn't be off slinging bullet's around the country, Africa or anywhere else!

I take it you don't run into this to much? I think I'd have to send them off. I have little patience for those that take the killing of animals that lightly.

Hi Don, thanks for your input. Fortunately I do not run into this much and this was my first experience of this nature. I'm not familiar with the 300 Savage or the 260 Rem but am with the other calibers mentioned and believe they would have been better choices.

I do want to make it clear though that I have no issue with Fred or his Dad. His Dad is a very keen hunter and sportsman who have hunted Africa several times already. When Fred displayed an interest in his Dad's passion, his Dad jumped at the opportunity to share the experience with him - something I appreciate and admire him for. And although the way I brought the story across might have created the impression that Fred was taking the killing if animals lightly I assure you that that was not the case.

As the saying goes: "any day with lessons learnt is a day not wasted". I certainly learnt a few lessons during this hunt.

Good hunting!

Location: North Louisiana
Joined: 12/08/2006
Posts: 120
Missed shots!


The first CLUE.....that would have made me flinch upon seeing the son's equipment would have been the 125 gr. ammo! I wouldn't have considered using anything under 180 gr. for purposes of adequate penetration on African game animals; especially stuff akin to Kudu, etc.!

Reminds me of 4 guys that elk hunted in Colorado with a friend that owns an outfitter service up there. All these guys were 70 years of age or older, couldn't walk, and apparently couldn't hit the broad side of a barn from 50 yards. One missed bull elk 3 times from that distance and on top of that.....the first morning out on the way to the hunt area while in the outfitter's jeep.....a rifle fired accidentally while IN THE JEEP! Brick Wall,) Shame on You! That hunt....would have been over right then and there! But.....I Iay as much blame upon the outfitter for this incident because he should have cautioned all hunters to not have anything in their firearms prior to entering the jeep! He was probably thinking that anyone should have ENOUGH COMMONSENSE to know that but when one is working with 'dudes'.... Brick Wall,) Brick Wall,) ...one cannot take anything for granted and certainly this theory should apply to all folks coming to Africa to make a hunt!

If I were in your shoes RifleandReel.....I'd be VERY WARY of anyone coming to Africa as a client as to their knowledge of firearms and shooting ability! Cry eye roll

GOD BLESS! Thumbs up Thumbs up

Location: texas
Joined: 04/23/2006
Posts: 441
My son where are you aiming at?

I think we need a fifth rule of gun safety, that applies to guides, PHs, etc:

Don't assume the client knows anything about firearms until after you have seen him/her shoot at the range and in the field. Shame on You!

Location: Canada
Joined: 12/26/2006
Posts: 313
My son where are you aiming at?

I have read this whole thread with great interest and i do not even know where to begin. There are a lot of issues here and it would make for a decent sized article to address it all.

After 30 years of guiding big game hunters I can tell you that abilities at the range have nothing to do with how they will ultimately perform in the field.
I have hunters miss or botch up shots that should be duck soup every year.

In Africa I did notice a tendency for North American hunters to shoot too high and too far back on African game.

Don Fischer's picture
Location: Antelope, Ore
Joined: 03/24/2005
Posts: 3206
My son where are you aiming at?

I talked with RifleandReel a good deal thru PM's and believe me, he got one between the eye's. Hearing everything I gotta think he did a good job. If you want to hear the whole story, he'll have to tell you. Believe me there's more to it.

Location: USA
Joined: 06/04/2006
Posts: 167
My son where are you aiming at?
RifleandReel wrote:
Fred did indeed bring 125gr ammo for recoil reasons. I had no problem letting him use this ammo on the smaller animals (impala, blesbok etc.) but when he told me he wanted to hunt kudu after killing the blesbok I decided to let him use 180gr ammo.

I personally sighted the rifle in with the new ammo and didn't let him shoot the rifle from the bench because I didn't want him to become gunshy.

As you would know, recoil is something that isn't felt (within reason of course) when shooting in the field. This was affirmed when I let Fred use my .375H&H to dispatch of the blesbok and asking him how it felt afterwards he said he didn't feel any kick.

Gentlemen there was diffinently some balls dropped here, and the first one was dropped by the client, in even considering 125 gr .308 bullets in a 30-06 for anything in Africa. The second was not doing a lot of stump shooting before he left home, from hunting positions, with the proper ammo to start with!

Then the other mistake was made by the PH! the quote above in red, is a real zinger, if the rifle was equipt with a scope sight! This is because no man can properly zero a scope in for another man, and expect that rifle to shoot properly for the other man. This rifle should have been shot from the bench, by the client,after the re-adjusting of the scope, to make sure it was on for him, and I'd bet the price of my next Safari, it wasn't! I think this, and the client's fear of his rifle, along with his inexperience at shooting game, combined to install disaster into this safari! Too bad, because a man's first safari should elicit better memories, for the PH as well as the client! eye roll

Location: Carlsbad, New Mexico
Joined: 03/12/2008
Posts: 6
Learning from those that know

It has been said that professional hunters always use too much gun while hunting. I firmly believe that what is goon enough for the pros is good enough for the amatuers. Always use more gun than you need. But I hunt elk, muley and whitetail deer with a .338 mag. Never had to look for a wounded deer in the brush either.

Joined: 03/11/2008
Posts: 4
My son where are you aiming at?

hey don, i'm going to nmibia in july for the first time. i'm shooting nothing but plains game i.e kudu blessbok, zebra, warthog etc. my question is is a 270 good enough to use ? i shoot lights out with and i really want to bring it . if so what loads should i bring. i can pop a quarter @ 200 yrds consistintly with it and have shot tons of deer and moose with it. i'm also bringing my 30.06 , which is the best loads for both.

thanx lou horn

Location: Montana
Joined: 10/24/2006
Posts: 449
My son where are you aiming at?

We have had the same issues guiding in the states as was suggested already in the thread, Im not entirely sure there is a absoloute fix.

We to require, that clients fire on paper targets before taken out for same reasons given here in the thread. Often times equipment is banged around and what not and can cause missed shots. Many times and probably more so I have found people, even dedicated hunters ARENT dedicated shooters and is where much of the the problem is.
I have good friends that i preach off season shooting to and time and time again have seen missed shots or bad shots., to the point with one who is a dear friend , that I refuse to hunt with him or guide for him. It has caused some heated discussions.

Its a rare thing that a client carries the same or more powerful caliber then I and am often asked be said client "why so powerful, I seen you shoot your a excellent shot". My reasoning is I want to take advantage of my shooting abilities AND exsploit the shot.

When i was a kid, and it still happenes today, we did alot of antelope guiding and most of the clients we had brought .223, .243 ect even a clean vital shot the antelope oten would run up to a mile away, not a good thing to anyone who has eaten pronghorn antelope. I learned young to use much harder hitting cailber AND make the shot clean. Drop them where they stand as best one can.

I am also a firm beleiver that there is 2 kinds of recoil, real recoil, actual energy being transfered from firearm and preceived recoil , with proper shooting skills very very few people should have any trouble putting ANY caliber on target AND should just need to do it ONCE. For instance another friend who is a dedicated hunter complains that is PORTED .270 hurts his shoulder. I went out, shot it several times then handed him a ultra light 300 win mag and said hit the bulleye ONE time. He did , for him the recoil was crazy hard but i noticed his shooting position sucked,regaurdless he hit the center mass of the target and promplty said " I wouldnt want to soot it 3 times" where i returned" look at the target and exsplain to me why youd HAVE to" that same year he went out and bought a caliber better suited for elk and shoots a bit more then once a year. Recoil is no exscuse for a miss.

Add poor shooting skills, people coming out of shape and under equiped makes for a miserable time to all quite often, All things that we as outfitters do exsplain in detail,over and over. Just this last year the words came from my mouth to a client
"I told you this aint no kansas cornfield"
Don, its more then apparent you are very knowledgable about your hunting and shooting and Id like to take the chance to say i greatly enjoy your posts.
Like Don said there is likely much more to the story like there always is. A outfitter can only do so much and it truelly is up to the CLIENT to come prepared.
RifleandReel Thanks for the post, posts like this may make our jobs as guides and outfitters a little easier.
Bbarnes, all i can say is, you must be a carpenter because you hit the nail on the head.

We are blessed as sportsman to have the chance to hunt and fish and enjoy our outdoors and its a great responsibility in my opinion to take the harvesting of game seriously and give the game the respect they so deserve, to always make clean quick kills and never leave a wounded one behind.

Joined: 04/22/2008
Posts: 2
My son where are you aiming at?

I am a fairly experience N.A. hunter (Whitetail, muledeer, elk, pronghorn, mountain goat, black bear). The lungs of most of these animals are significantly more posterior than african antelop, if my copy of "the perfect shot" can be trusted. With the exception of bear. I am going on a plainsgame hunt next june (09) and I am trying to develop a "front third, lower third" mentality.

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