Friday 2 December 2011

Follow up shots

As a goat guide....mountain goats are considered one of the hardest animals to anchor and can take tons of bullet punishment before throwing in the towel....I have witnessed hunters staring in disbelief as a "well placed" bullet seemed to have no effect on the goat looking right back at them. By the time the hunter is even considers a follow up shot, typically the goat is already on the move and that can have disastrous results.
My two chosen guiding tag lines....."take'm".....followed by...."reload & hold". For the first command, I like to ensure the client is happy with the representative of the particular species that is about to find itself in his cross hairs. The second command follows right after the first shot is matter the shot placement or the reaction of the animal. Reloading & holding is like an insurance policy for the hunt! Estimates have shown as high as 10%  loss of big game due to wounding; and although the wounding of an animal is not the outcome any ethical hunter worth his salt is looking for, imagine saving for 5 years and watching your dream trophy make it to cover and not being able to recover it. Up here in the north country the chances of survival of the animal is extremely slim....cold winter weather and predators will see to that. As with any good outfit, we want to ensure the client is good with the first shot, but be also be prepared for the follow up.....if an animal is wounded and not will result in a cut tag. As guides, we must know distances (use a range finder when at all possible), know where to place the bullet and communicate that to the client. At that time it is up to the client to quickly and efficiently reload his rifle and prepare for a follow up shot. I would stress to clients preparing at home at the range, shoot your target and reload and hold on the target. I know for those that are accustomed to that movement, they will experience a lot less of the gut pains felt to wounded and lost game. Practice, Practice, Practice.......the only thing that will come of that is more experience and confidence. Our northern game can be hard to anchor for good, come prepared to "RELOAD & HOLD"!

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