Boddington’s Adventures

A good hunting partner or guide who can spot for you, and talk you through the shot, is invaluable.

By Craig Boddington

Sometimes the easiest part of shooting is squeezing the trigger. There’s a reason our military snipers operate in two-man teams, one in the role of shooter and the other in the role of spotter. In terms of training, both team members are equally familiar with each role. Some teams trade off spotting and shooting, just like you and your hunting buddy. Other teams come to rely on individual strengths. The two skill sets are quite different, but some people are simply better at the almost mystical art of calling wind.

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Hunting from a stand is not easy or particularly exciting—but it can be very effective.

By Craig Boddington

The old adage in the Eastern deer woods goes something like, “He who sits the longest gets the deer.” There is nothing easy about sitting on a deer stand and trying to concentrate—especially when it’s cold—but there are a number of species and situations where playing the waiting game is by far the best option, and our good old white-tailed deer is just one of them.

Let's make sure we understand our terms. When I say “sitting still” I’m talking about stand hunting, sitting as quietly and as motionless as possible, preferably in a well-scouted and well-sited location, and hoping the game’s natural movement will bring it to you. Or, in areas with hunting pressure (like our Eastern whitetail woods), hoping you can outlast the competition and the movement of other hunters will push deer your way.

 

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When you’re hunting dangerous game, do you want your guide to back you up?

By Craig Boddington

So, you shoot a buffalo or a hippo or an elephant—something potentially dangerous. It isn’t about to run over you, but it is about to vanish into thick, nasty bush. Should your guide or professional hunter shoot, or hold his fire? Next to tipping, this is one of the most sensitive subjects in the hunting world, but it shouldn’t be. The question applies primarily to dangerous game. It doesn’t apply in all jurisdictions, as there are some Western states and Canadian provinces where guides are legally forbidden to carry firearms—even for bear hunting.

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Any mature kudu bull is a trophy to be proud of.

By Craig Boddington

The greater kudu is perhaps the most recognizable of Africa’s antelopes, certainly one of the most impressive, and for most first-time African hunters, near the top of the wish list. Today the “plains game safari” is the most common African hunt, and the majority of plains game safaris are conducted in Namibia and South Africa. Despite his reputation as the “gray ghost” the greater kudu is the most plentiful and most widespread large antelope in southern Africa, so most hunters will get a chance at a greater kudu during the course of their safari.

However, their chances of actually getting that long-dreamed of kudu are much better if their expectations are realistic. In this terribly trophy-conscious world of ours, too many hunters are running around with measuring tapes in their pockets and their heads filled full of particular dimensions. This seems to apply more to some animals than others, and it certainly applies to the greater kudu.

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Misses are embarrassing, but they happen to everyone . . . eventually.

By Craig Boddington

Over the years I have noticed that I am among the few gun/hunting journalists who admit to a missed shot. Fortunately it doesn’t happen very often, so only occasionally do I have to ’fess up. Every time I do, I get the same comments, probably from the same people (or types of people). They usually start with criticism of me as a poor hunter and worse shot, and always end with the statement that this person has never, ever missed a shot.

This used to bother me. It no longer does. I’d rather be honest about my foibles than try to cover them up. While wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age, experience does. My experience (which includes decades of observation) tells me this: The person who claims he or she has never missed has one of just two scenarios: either an extremely selective memory, or a lack of experience.

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