Ask Doctari

Question:

Some time ago an African PH was mauled by a lion that he claimed was wounded because of the sub-par performance of a .458 Winchester factory load. Is it true these loads sometimes fall way below the factory-published velocities and thus cause a potentially deadly situation, or is this just a bush legend?

—C.S.

Answer:

There certainly was a time when .458 Winchester Magnum ammo was suspect. This resulted in all sorts of horror stories, like measured muzzle velocities below 800 fps and 500-grain solids actually bouncing off elephant or being observed rolling along the ground. This is when the bush legends you mention were created, and they seriously damaged this cartridge’s reputation. Such incidents did indeed occur; I have friends who experienced them--but this was more than two decades ago.

READ MORE
TAGS:

Question:

Where are the most economical buffalo hunts found in Africa today?

—J.D., Flint, MI

Answer:

In my experience, there are two types of buffalo hunts. There are good buffalo hunts, and then there are cheap (or economical) ones. With this in mind, I’m naturally wary when asked to recommend a “good, cheap” buffalo hunt. The current demand for buffalo hunting is so great that such a thing does not in my opinion exist--and if it does, I’m naturally suspicious.

This point was recently brought home to me when a Norwegian booking agent came to visit. Our conversation quickly turned to buffalo and shortly thereafter the embarrassing “what good, cheap hunts can you offer?” question was raised. I told him that a 7-day hunt for a mature bull in Mozambique will currently cost somewhere in the region of $11,000 to $ 12,000.

“But I can get such a hunt elsewhere for $ 6,000,” he said.

“So, what are these hunts like?” I countered.

READ MORE
TAGS:

Question:

I bought a new big-game rifle for my first safari and I know I need to shoot it a lot before I go. Can you recommend a pre-safari practice regimen?

—J. Jenkins, Long Beach, CA

Answer:

Remember, the experienced rifleman shoots quickly, confidently, and accurately. He or she also handles the rifle with total familiarity. These are the traits you need to learn before you go on safari, and to do so is easy.

READ MORE
TAGS: