The Big Five , or the Big African Five , is the traditional name for the five species of mammals that are the most honored trophies of African hunting safaris :
- Elephant ;
- Rhinoceros (both African species - black and white );
- Buffalo ;
Hippopotamus and crocodile , although they are large, thick-skinned animals, do not belong to the "big five".
About a hunter who has obtained at least one representative of each of the species of the "Big Five", it is customary to say that he collected a "big helmet" ( Eng. "Grand Slam" ).
Hunting for representatives of the Big Five is an extremely expensive task, coupled with many organizational difficulties. Not every company that conducts African safaris has the right to hunt for representatives of the "five" - for this, the organizers must receive a special patent issued at the government level.
- 1 Weapons for hunting the "Big Five"
- 1.1 Elephant Hunt
- 1.2 Rhino Hunting
- 1.3 Buffalo Hunt
- 1.4 Leopard Hunt
- 1.5 Lion Hunt
- 2 The cost of hunting for the "Big Five"
- 3 See also
- 4 Literature
- 5 Links
Weapons for hunting the Big Five
In all countries where hunting for the "five" is allowed, the minimum caliber of weapons for this is prescribed by law. Usually it is a .375 N & H Magnum or its German counterpart 9.3 × 64 mm . Such a requirement is dictated by the desire of the African authorities to relieve themselves of responsibility for possible accidents caused by the use of weaker weapons.
But often (and usually for elephant hunting), heavier calibers are used, such as .416 , .458, .470 , .500, .505 Gibbs and occasionally larger ones. Their bullet weight often exceeds 40, or even 50 g, and the recoil when shooting is enormous - the hunter gets a deafening blow, from which a person of average build can not even stand on his feet.
There is even a special category of weapons for hunting large African game - the so-called. African fittings . African fittings, as a rule, have two trunks paired in a horizontal plane. Gauges from 375 H&H to 700 NE, structurally such fittings are performed according to the scheme with two completely separate trigger and trigger mechanisms - this is done so that in case of failure of one of the mechanisms the second continues to work. Usually this is a very expensive weapon, performed by masters of well-known firms on an individual order, richly decorated with carvings and engraving. The price of a good new African fitting is comparable to the cost of a luxury car. Such a weapon sometimes weighs 6-7 kg and its prolonged wearing turns into a serious physical test. Therefore, often a special squire walks after the hunter, supplying a fitting on command. Large-caliber cartridges also have a high price - up to 30-40 dollars apiece and often more.
Elephant hunting is usually in the form of walking pursuits and requires great stamina from the participants. In addition, a lot depends on an experienced tracker who can distinguish a fresh elephant footprint from an old one. Even a half hour difference can already make the pursuit senseless.
This is a rather dangerous hunt - approximately every fourth shot at an elephant leads to an attack by a pachyderm. It is recommended to shoot from such a distance to confidently hit the elephant at the slaughter point (there are actually two of them - between the eye and the ear and on the forehead just above the middle of the imaginary line connecting the eyes). But at the same time, reducing the distance to a minimum is dangerous, as this may not leave time for a second shot in the event of an elephant attack.
As a trophy, a hunter can pick up elephant tusks . The export of other parts of elephant carcasses (heads, skins, etc.) is not permitted everywhere.
It is easier to get a rhinoceros, especially the white one, than an elephant, since this beast does not make long rapid transitions and, accordingly, does not need to be chased on foot for a long time. In addition, he is not afraid of anyone in the savannah and lets a potential enemy close. The first sign of the presence of a rhinoceros nearby is the loud cries of birds constantly accompanying the giant - buffalo weavers . If a rhinoceros is seen, then the approach to it is not difficult, although you need to take into account the direction of the wind and try to make less noise - the rhino has excellent hearing and smell. Shoot better, like on an elephant, from a few tens of meters.
Black rhino sometimes has to be traced. He is more aggressive than white, so the hunter in the event of an unsuccessful shot is at great risk. A rhinoceros counterattack is very fast (the beast rushes at a speed of up to 40 km / h), and sometimes only a good reaction can save a person from a rhino rushing - a beast racing at high speed is not able to make sharp turns, and if the hunter jumps to the side on time, then the rhinoceros by inertia sweeps past and can turn around for a new throw far from immediately. Such a hunt requires a great deal of endurance and presence of mind. Weapons must be taken of the largest caliber, preferably about .470 . It is best to beat in the forehead above the eyes away from the horn. A head with a horn is usually taken as a trophy.
African buffalo is undeniably considered the most dangerous beast of the entire "Big Five". Firstly, he, unlike an elephant and a white rhino, is inclined to attack first, without waiting for a shot, and being wounded - attacks in all cases, without exception. Secondly, the buffalo is cunning and often hides, running a little back and waiting for the pursuers on its own track. It is necessary to approach the herd of buffaloes with great caution - usually several animals monitor the terrain, and if at least one of them feels the danger, the hunt may break.
You can also watch buffaloes in ambush at a watering hole, early in the morning.
The horns are considered a trophy for buffalo - the greater the distance between their ends, the more honorable.
Leopards are most often hunted by witches. The bait is tied to a strong comfortable branch on a tree. As a bait, use the carcass of a small animal, for example, a baboon or an antelope . The ambush is equipped so as to be as close to the bridle as possible, and so that the bridle can be seen against the sunset sky. The beast usually comes in the dark. When approaching, you can sometimes hear the voice of a leopard - a characteristic sound that resembles both a cough and a rattle of a saw. You have to shoot fast and at close range.
Like all cats , the leopard is extremely tenacious. It is considered as dangerous as a buffalo, because it has the habit of hiding in its own tracks and attacking hunters with lightning speed. In addition, a wounded leopard can pretend to be dead. Accidents when pursuing a leopard are far from uncommon. Often a pack of dogs is taken to chase a leopard.
A trophy is the skin of a leopard.
There are many ways to get a lion, but the most common is bait hunting. For bait, it is better to take the carcass of a large animal and strengthen it so that it is inaccessible to smaller predators.
A lion can also be traced by chasing on foot. But such a hunt will be successful only in open areas. In addition, when tracking, the chance is very great to encounter a lion closely, not having the opportunity to shoot.
The trophy is the skin of a lion. The more mane, the higher it is appreciated.
The cost of hunting the Big Five
The hunt for the Big Five is an extremely expensive undertaking. Nowadays, the most expensive of all the representatives of the "Big Five" is the rhino. The cost of its production sometimes exceeds $ 100,000. The price of a license to shoot an elephant and a lion varies depending on many conditions, but, as a rule, there is no less than $ 20,000. Hunting for buffalo and leopard is somewhat cheaper, between $ 5,000-12,000 and $ 4,000-10,000, respectively. .
- Perseverance hunt
- Elman Robert. The complete Book of Hunting. - Gothenburhg, Sweden, 1991.