O N TA R G E T • •
Ready for the hunt?
BEFORE A HUNTING EXPEDITION WE SIT AT A CONCRETE
TABLE AND SHOOT OVER A SAND-BAG. AS SOON AS OUR
GUNS SHOOT A FEW SHOTS IN CLOSE VICINITY OF EACH
OTHER, WE ARE READY FOR THE HUNT - OR ARE WE?
s this not what most of us do
before hunt? Due to a number
of reasons, we don’t manage to
hunt very often. The few times
that you actually manage to
hunt, are therefore very valuable.
Do you really want to use your
valuable time to track wounded
animals? Would it not be better
to spend more time practicing to
There are a few ways of hunting
in South Africa. In the Bushveld
we usually walk. In the Karoo
you usually sit in a hunting chair
and in the open plains of the Free
State you usually shoot from the
back of a bakkie.
A better suggestion to prepare for
your hunting excursion would be
to practice in the way that you are
going to hunt. By merely sighting
in your rifle according to the way
in which you are going to shoot,
will contribute hugely to an easier
hunt. Let’s look at a few addi
tional ‘exercises’ that one can do
before the hunt.
Veld hunting situations: Let’s look
at the four positions you can shoot
from and how you can improve
your accuracy from each position.
To shoot from the prone position
is not something we do every day.
Grass, shrubs, trees and other
objects are usually in the way.
However, if you can, the prone
position is the most stable posi
tion to shoot from. But it must be
practised. Get into a prone posi
tion and decide how you are going
to shoot. Does your gun have a
bi-pod which you can use, or are
you going to twist the sling of the
rifle around your arms and rest on
It is important to use a means of
support for the sitting, kneeling
and standing positions. If you
carry a walking stick, it can be
used to steady the rifle. Should
you use a tree or a shrub for this
purpose, consider how you are
going to push the rifle against the
trunk. Should you not be com
pletely comfortable in this posi
tion and should you be unable to
get up easily, the kneeling position
may be better.
Although an oryx hunt in the
Kalahari will most probably take
place from the back of a bakkie,
the kneeling and standing posi
tion should not be regarded as
unnecessary. Should you shoot
a lung-shot and the wounded
oryx wriggles its backside into a
bush, which cannot be reached
in a vehicle, you unfortunately
have to get off, move close to the
animal and shoot from the knee
ling or standing position. Does
your heart beat so fast that the
crosshair moves all over the place?
Once again, the kneeling position
should be practiced on the range
before the hunt. Do you twist the
rifle sling around your arms and
kneel on your left knee? Or do
you kneel on your right knee.
The standing position is the eas
iest? You push the rifle against
your shoulder and you shoot! Nice
and fast and you don’t have to go
down. You also don’t struggle to
get up again and you can see the
buck when it runs. There are no
bushes in the way and you know
where the animal lies.
Unfortunately the standing posi
tion is the most difficult position.
And definitely the most important
one. Somewhere in your hunt
ing career it will be necessary to
administer a second shot from up
close. And for this shot you will
have no time to sit down, or look
for a tree for support. The animal
is going to jump up quickly and
you want to administer the second
shot as soon as possible. Practice
this position on the range. See
how close you need to be to an
object to be accurate from this
position. Even more important is
to see where your rifle will shoot
at 30m if it is sighted in at 200m.
Hopefully shooting practice will
teach you what you can and can’t
do during a hunt. Hopefully you
will know then when to shoot and
when not to.
SENWES Scenario • JUN/JUL 2017