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buffybr's picture
Location: Montana, USA
Joined: 11/15/2007
Posts: 358
PH Shooting Client's Animals

I agree that this should be throughly discussed by the client and PH before the hunt.  I also see too many TV hunts where I think the PH shoots too quickly after the client's shot.  It's a judgement call by the PH.  I like the way 458express operates.  Any dangerous game animal coming at you at 15 yds must be stopped immediately.

I also think part of the reason PH's have their clients check the zero on their rifles is so the PH can see how experienced a client is with his rifle. 

I've hunted with about 10 different PH's on plains game hunts, and the only time any of them carried a rifle was the 5th day that we spent trying to find a wounded waterbuck.  In that case it wasn't a matter of a wounded dangerous animal out there, but of a lost wounded animal that the hunter would have to pay for.

When I hunted my cape buffalo in Zimbabwe, my PH carried a .458 Win, but the only time he loaded it was one day when we were stalking a buffalo herd in thick mopane and we saw lion tracks on top of the buffalo tracks.   We were close enough to the buffalo that we could hear them grunting and walking through the brush. 


groovy mike's picture
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Joined: 03/19/2009
Posts: 2539
good PH

Buffybr - it looks to me like you have made an excellent choices in guides

Thumbs up

Location: USA
Joined: 06/04/2006
Posts: 167
PH shooting client's animals

 CVC, I think what you are seeing in many cases is an agreement between the client and the PH that was tendered before the safari starts.  Most of the DVDs show only the rackum and stackum if several different hunters with the same several client/PH pairs. 

  Even when the show is of one client, and one PH the sequinces are rarely in the order they were shot. I have a problem with this because to the unschooled what they see is, to them, what happened, and leaves the viewer thinking he has seen everything as it happened.  This is one thing I like about Bodington's dvds, he includes the dialog between the PH and himself, and also explains what is happening durring the hunt.

Boddington has said on many occasions that he wants the PH to follow-up with a shot on dangerous game if he can't get one off or rus dry before the animal gets into the weeds.    The PH who only shoots if the animal is charging in open terrain, or if the client doesn't follow-up with shots as long as the animal is on his feet, is doing his job, and needs no permission from the client. However even if the shot from the client is well placed,and he can't get off another shot, or can't put tha animal down  before the animal get into the weeds, IMO the PH should send one down range automaticlly.

 Animals are not only very dangerous when charging! Most people killed by Buffalo or lion are killed going into the thick cover with a wounded animal, so preventing him from getting into those weeds is just as much a necessity as shooting one that is charging.      Many clients, especially those form the USA, are basiclly deer hunters, and have a bad habit of fireing one shot and watching the animal escape.

 This is a dumb practice even on deer if he is still on his feet, and heading for cover, but down right stupid with animals like Cape Buffalo, or Lion. In Africa an animal shot and lost must be paid for anyway, and the time spent tracking the animal is wasted time that could be used for hunting another animal.  At a daily rate od anywhere from $900 to $2000 USD per day, and the trophy fee for the lost animal is not cheap. An insurance shot from the PH may look a little better when you are signing thos T-checks for a lost animal, or when hualing someone to the hospital after a mauling in the weeds!   

  People are killed every year because of this staunch ordering of the "PH not to shoot till he is about to hit me, non-sense"!  Gentlemen lets not let our ego be responsible for the death or enjury of a PH or his unarmed tracker, because you wouldn't allow him to shoot after you shot! The PH is required by law to sort out your mistake, but you are not required to join in and you can stay safe in the toyota while the PH, and his tracker take the risk.   Eek!


458express's picture
Joined: 12/02/2010
Posts: 18
PH Shooting Client's Animals

Dugaboy1, agree with you in a way.. the only problem comes if the PH shoots too quick he might kill the animal and when it comes time to square the bill Mr. Client turns around and say the Buff is not for my account the PH killed it, we stop it if it charges and the client pee his pants and cannot/will not shoot. I agree with and anchor shot on Buff and Elephant. Lion and Leopord if it runs away I shoot.

Location: USA
Joined: 06/04/2006
Posts: 167
  458ex, first off if the

  458ex, first off if the client fires the first shot the animal is his if he draws blood,period!

  What we are discussing here is not plains game because if you will notice you never see the PH shoot a head of plains game but will be urging the client to shoot again,if the animal is not down, or is about to escape the concession. Many PHs giuding in areas like RSA where no dangerous game exists, may not, as others have said, evey carry a rifle at all. This is because it is not required by law, and on plains game it is not needed.

  I think where you see the PH shooting right behind the client will always be on dangerous game. This is usually by prior agreement between the PH and client.  There are two very good reasons for this agreement, for both sides.  If the shooting takes place in tight cover, or if the place is very close to the edge of the consession,where he cant be followed, or the distinct possibility of haveing to go into tight cover to sort out a very dangerous animal. Then the loss of a day or two of very expensive daily rates for dangerous game hunting, and the loss of the chance of the client getting another animal on license. 

  You will never see a PH without his rifle in the final stalk on a dangerous animal in Africa, because he is leagley responsible for anyone getting hurt or killed on safari, or allowing a wounded dangerous animal escape,and is responsible for sorting him out.

  Ego can be a death warrant where dangerous game is concerned.  One can say what  can say what ever he wants while sitting in front of a keyboard where he and everyone around him are safe, but it is a zebra of a different stripe when his and other lives are at stake.

  The tack is to discuss this with your PH before the hunt begins, but be advised, the PH is not only risking his license, but his own life and that of others including the client if he allows an animal to hurt or kill ANYONE, and with that in mind be prepared for his shot should he deem it necessary!eye roll

ndemiter's picture
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Location: lawrence, KS
Joined: 05/17/2007
Posts: 647
if it were me, i'd be highly

if it were me, i'd be highly irritated if my guide shot my animal without there being a good reason (i.e. a charge or potential mauling)

as a matter of fact, i don't want anybody to put a hole in my animal. in a situation where there is no threat, boy, i would have a problem keeping my composure after that.

it's quite unfortunate, but having guided many hunters across the country myself, most of my clients shot poorly and a good percentage of them had just bought their rifle and havn't had the necesary time to practice (but man those $5000 rifle sure look slick!)

i started braking clients into categories based upon if they brought a new unscratched rifle or an old, battle worn thunder-stick. as you can imagine, a guy who shows up with a well used rifle has developed a mastery of how it performs. i tried much harder to get within 100-150 yds when i saw that new rifle coming out of the box.

once, i got a guy two shots on an antelope buck at 175 yds (prone) with a 30-06. he took 1 shot at that goat running at 250 ish and killed another goat at 240 yds (prone) with 2 shots. it's all about the practice.

arrowflipper's picture
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Joined: 01/03/2011
Posts: 578
great thread

What a great thread on African hunting.  There are a lot of well thought out responses on here and I have enjoyed reading them all.  I was pleased to see a PH actually respond as well.

On my African hunt, my PH didn't carry a rifle.  He carried a set of shooting sticks.  We were hunting plains game and nothing dangerous.  I think it would be a totally different story had we been after buffalo, lion or some other dangerous game.  I believe he would then have carried his rifle.  And to be honest, I would have been glad he had it.

I would guess the main reason PH's carry rifles and/or use them is the safety issue.  It wouldn't look all that good for a client to be killed while a PH stood by and watched.  Most of these dangerous game animals are very unpredictable and can be downright mean.  I would like the idea of a backup by a guy who's used to these situations.  I can say how I'd react if charged by an animal but saying and doing are often quite different.

Now if a PH shot one of my plains game animals, I might just tell him to keep it.  "You shot it; you keep it".  I don't see any reason why a PH would shoot a plains game animal, no matter how bad my shot was.


Location: texas
Joined: 04/23/2006
Posts: 441
thank you all for your

thank you all for your reasoned comments. i think another thought that might influence a PH to shoot is this:

in namibia,  the game animal is utilized for meat for the staff or to be made into meat products, which are then sold.  losing a wounded animal is thus a loss of revenue for its meat value, and may affect , if a lot of tracking is required, the potential loss of another trophy fee and meat revenue, if another animal cannot be taken due to the lost time.  i never saw anything wasted in namibia.  imagine how much meat a giraffe would produce, for example.  i bet the farmer/PH there makes a fair amount on the sale of meat products in addition to the daily rates and trophy fees.

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