Shot placement for Big Game Hunting

Shot placement is one of the most important factors to consider when hunting African game. Well placed shots will not only greatly aid in finding your trophy, it will also ensure a humane and ethical hunt. In this short article, we will discuss everything you need to know.

The first thing to consider when it comes to shot placement is the anatomy of the animal you are hunting. The anatomy of African species differ somewhat from that of Northern hemisphere species as the lungs are smaller due to the differences in climate. Africa is a lot warmer than the typical hunting areas in the northern hemisphere. The placement of the vital organs within the animal also differ slightly from species to species and so does the bone structure.  Damage to any organ will lead to death BUT shots hitting the brain, heart, lungs and spine will ensure a quick and humane kill. We also know the heart and lungs forms the largest cluster of vital organs and hunters are well advised to focus on this “cluster” when hunting African Big Game. The shape of this cluster of organs is similar in all species, just remember that the size differ according to the size of your target animal. Another important factor to consider is the angle of the shot. Shots at animals facing the hunter be it at an angle or straight on, is more difficult than shots from broadside on or quartering away. The primary reason for this is the fact that heavy bone protects the vitals from a frontal angle while broadside and shots angled in from behind avoids heavy bone. This is particularly important for bow hunters as their equipment is not ideally suited to deal with and reliably penetrate heavy bone.  

The question begs, is there a simple solution to all of this? The good news is yes, there is! When you consider the typical triangular shape of the heart-lung cluster; you will find that one point is positioned at the bottom and the other two above. It is almost as if the so called “death triangle” is balanced on this point. This “bottom point” represents the bottom point of the heart. In fact, the heart basically makes up the bottom third of the “Death triangle” while the top to thirds are made up by the lungs (See the diagram). Logically the ideal place to aim your shot would be the centre of the “death triangle” as this would give you the best chance of humanely harvesting your trophy, leaving you with almost six inches room for error in any direction on even an animal as small as a Springbuck. So, great we now know we need to aim at the centre of the death-triangle or top of the heart but when you look at the animal, where is this point? The simple wat to explain is to go straight up the front leg, and one third up into the body of an animal standing perfectly broadside on (see photograph). On animals quartering away the shot can be aimed “in the crease” and one third up (from the belly line), while shots on animals quartering on should be aimed on the point of the shoulder or just in front of the closes front leg and one third up the body. Quartering on shots should ONLY be considered with heavy caliber rifles loaded with premium bullets and should NEVER be attempted with a bow!

While preparing for your African hunting adventure, remember to practice shooting with your chosen caliber and bullet, if you will be using your guide’s rifle use something similar. This goes a long way in making sure you will be comfortable and confident with your equipment. Also practice shooting from “shooting sticks” from the standing, kneeling and sitting positions. Finally, it’s important to be patient and wait for the right opportunity to take your shot. Rushing a shot or taking a risky shot can result in a wounded and lost trophy.

In conclusion, shot placement is a critical aspect of big game hunting in Africa. Marksmanship and good understanding the anatomy of the animal you are hunting will ensure a memorable hunt.

Walk and Stalk Hunting in Africa

An Unforgettable Experience

Africa is a continent that is renowned for its vast and diverse wildlife. From majestic elephants to agile antelopes, the continent boasts an array of wildlife that is unparalleled anywhere in the world. One of the most exciting ways to experience the beauty of African wildlife is through walk and stalk hunting.

Walk and stalk hunting, also known as spot-and-stalk hunting, is a technique that involves spotting game from a distance and then stalking them on foot. This hunting method is particularly popular in Africa, where it allows hunters to experience the beauty of the continent’s landscape up close and personal.

Walking and stalking hunting in Africa offers an adventure that is unlike any other. It allows hunters to explore the wilderness of the African Savannah, where they can witness firsthand the beauty of the wildlife and the environment. It requires a high level of skill and patience, as hunters must be able to spot game from a distance and then approach them stealthily on foot.

In addition to the thrill of the hunt, walking and stalking hunting in Africa also offers a unique opportunity to connect with nature. It allows hunters to experience the African landscape up close and personal, and to immerse themselves in the environment. Walking and stalking hunting is a truly authentic way to experience the beauty of Africa and its wildlife.

When embarking on a walking and stalking hunting trip in Africa, it is important to work with a reputable outfitter. A good outfitter will not only provide hunters with the necessary equipment and guide services, but they will also ensure that the hunt is conducted in an ethical and sustainable manner. Many African countries have strict regulations on hunting, and it is important to follow these rules to ensure the conservation of wildlife.

Walking and stalking hunting in Africa can be a truly unforgettable experience. It offers the opportunity to connect with nature, witness the beauty of African wildlife up close, and experience the thrill of the hunt. With the guidance of an experienced outfitter, hunters can embark on an adventure that will create memories that will last a lifetime.

In conclusion, walking and stalking hunting in Africa is a unique and thrilling adventure that offers hunters the opportunity to experience the beauty of African wildlife up close and personal. With the help of a reputable outfitter, hunters can embark on a sustainable and ethical hunt that will create unforgettable memories. Whether you are an experienced hunter or a first-time visitor to Africa, walking and stalking hunting is an experience that should not be missed.