View Full Version : Elephant Hunting

August 25, 2006, 11:05 PM
What countries still allow it?

Has poaching been brought under control or have I just not heard anything about it lately?

"Dangerous Game"- The Elephant Episode is just starting on The OLN Channel. In about 25min they will show the craziest hunting footage ever filmed. It's really fairly impressive.

What's the standard modern equipment for the sport?

August 26, 2006, 04:00 AM
Modern equipment for elephants ?LOL At least 375 H&H, also 416 Rigby, 458 Win,470 and similar.Either a bolt action or double rifle .I've seen the OLN show about the charging elephant it's great !!

August 26, 2006, 04:30 AM
458 Lott, Nitro Express, 450 N2.

August 26, 2006, 08:12 AM
Leave the poor elephants alone. They have enough problems with loss of habitat and poachers. If you want a challenge, go for animals that fight back. Try wild boar for example. Besides, you can always eat the meat afterwards. Their tusks are a lot smaller though.

August 26, 2006, 12:28 PM
If you think elephants don't fight back, you need to check out this "dangerous game" episode we were talking about. Those guys came within two yards of being stomped into red goo by a very angy beast.

If it can be done in an environmentally responsible manner, why not?

Do elephants taste good? I don't shoot anything unless I am going to eat it.

August 26, 2006, 05:55 PM
They have enough problems with loss of habitat and poachers.

They'd have even more problems if people quit hunting them. Without license fees from hunters there would quickly be no elephants. This has been true for a long time.

The foreign money brought into these countries by hunters gives the goverments motivation to curb poaching and prevent further loss of habitat.

Peter Capstick wrote a very informative chapter in his book "Death in the Long Grass" about elephants "fighting back". You should read it. Elephants seem to enjoy a variety of methods of ruining your day, all graphically described. I particularily liked his description of the "Stomp and Stick" technique.

I also believe the meat is rarely wasted.

I'm sure you'll hear more on this subject from people more knowlegeable than I.

Good Luck :D

August 26, 2006, 06:14 PM
I agree with Stephen, shooting a poor elephant is akin to depth-charging blue whales. Leave the poor things alone, and go poacher hunting instead.

August 26, 2006, 08:27 PM
.378 Weatherby and one hell of a lot of money... :D

August 27, 2006, 01:54 AM
the biggest animal i will ever have the chance to hunt is buffalo (the american bison type) although i do want to hunt (or be hunted by?:confused: ) a big kitty.:D but if i had that kind of cash to spend id probably just buy more guns, cars, or maybe acquire a trophy wife.

August 27, 2006, 02:21 AM
Ahh, that's the irony. Elephants are smart, procreate fast enough to eat everything in Africa, if not limited by us, since they really have no natural enemies, other then lions, when they are small.

Still, it worked well, before humans became the dominant group.

Best thing you could do to protect elephants is hunt people. PLENTY of poachers I'd rather see shot then elephants. That said, the only thing protecting these animals is their marketability as tourist attractions, and hunting fees.

Aids: the greatest hope for African game. You want to help Elephants? Advocate we don't send aids drugs to Africa.
People or animals? My choice is animals. We have enough people, and, animals don't have as much free choice, and options. They can't wear condoms, and no one makes elephant size condoms anyway.

Harsh? Yes, but I'm old, and really sick of people destroying things, because they can't put the planet before their sex urge... and or, use birth control.


August 27, 2006, 10:32 PM
Socrates, I hear Earth First and PETA are looking for new members.

August 27, 2006, 10:38 PM
What is going on here? Two posters are posting stuff based on emotion and not fact, IMO:

1. As pointed out, it is ONE and only one thing saving the elephants in several countries over there - hunting and the money that comes from it, from well-off foreign hunters. This money can compete with the money that comes from the corrupt .gov officials allowing their buddies to break the rules and poach them for ivory, in the countries that severly restrict sport hunting. When you have corrupt governments, as you do over there, then it's only a matter of who brings in more money (assuming sport hunting is allowed/controlled) - and thankfully in some countries, it's the hunters with more money than the prices fetched for the poachers.

2. Some parts of some countries over there are overrun with the animals, in my understanding, and very much need sport hunting (or poaching, granted), in order to control their numbers, or the elephants would completely strip out and kill all the vegetation there, greatly disrupting the ecosystems. They are voracious eaters (of course, look at them!), and are quite successful if the habitat is right; like most game, they need to be controlled, both for the good of the health of their own species, and more importantly, for the ecosystems as a whole.

3. If ever there was an animal that can and does fight back, it's the elephant, esp. when wounded. They can kill a man almost instantly, unlike a boar, by crushing him/her, which is how they do it. IIRC, there is only one animal among the Big 5 that kill more people than the elephants, and that is the hippo. Actually, I believe that crocs kill more people than even hippos, but they're not one of the Big 5, so crocs get overlooked in the stats. Elephants are many many times more dangerous than the meanest of wild boar.

4. I assume that the meat is eaten; of course it should be; if the meat is not eaten, the in my book, it is an unethical hunt. A slob hunter is a slob hunter is a slob hunter, regardless of continent or game pursued. Kill it AND grill it - as the Nuge(s) tell ya!

I agree, poachers should be shot. In the leg, and then strung up by their privates. That would be cool, wouldn't it? If the countries that allow sport hunting and actually crack down on poachers, were to declare a season on poachers in adjacent countries whose governments do not control them. No bag limit either! :)

August 27, 2006, 10:58 PM
Guess I qualify for peta and earth first, because I'd like to see African game animals around for another hundred years, rather then killed off by the Mugabes of Africa.,, and over population.

Only reason rhinos are still around is their value as game animals. Yes, those organizations do do some good things.
The Ivory ban has made it difficult for the Mugabe's to sell their poached ivory, and, it's reduced the amount of ele poaching.

When they can get 25k for an elephant, or lion tag, and 125k for a rhino, all of a sudden those animals are VALUABLE. Not to mention the high prices paid into poverty level countries, by visting rich folks, to go hunting.

I guess I'm the only Peta and Earth First person that advocates the continuation of big game hunting in Africa.:rolleyes:

Over population is a great threat to all the game animals in Africa. Without habitat, they will either be killed for crop raiding, or die off.

The good news is Africa has had the same problems for thousands of years, and, so far, Africa has adapted, and, solved it's own problems. Hope it continues.


Art Eatman
August 28, 2006, 08:23 AM
this might help, and save some bandwidth:


Yes, the meat is eaten.
Yes, some of the money from license fees is distributed to villagers, giving them a vested interest in reducing poaching. (I disremember which country, but it one of them it's 1/2 the $30,000 fee.)
Yes, there are areas of overpopulation.


Big Mac
August 28, 2006, 08:24 AM
It'd be sweet to go Harpooning like the Melville days! I'm gonna form a company where we sail out Olde Schoole style and Stabbeth some Thees. Sperm whales aren't extinct, are they? Depth Charing blue whales sounds like fun.

They're animals. They're dirty, ugly, retarded, smelly, and lazy animals. We are better evolved and adapted so it's our right as the master race to enjoy the other races as we see fit. It's how the world works. It's the Jungle's Law. And they do make condoms for Hippos, I'm sure an Elephant size one could be feasible.

August 28, 2006, 08:37 AM
The part about Zim really caught me by surprise. I know that's THE place to go, because of cost, but, it's hard to believe, since Mugabe was famous for having his people poaching, and, his get rid of white land owners, and business policies.

Good to hear they are hunting successfully, and, it continues to be a huge income source for the African people.


August 28, 2006, 11:10 AM
Wow! I guess hunting does help conservation for elephants. I was under the impression that their numbers were pretty low but I guess that is only in certain areas. I still don't think I would hunt elephants, but if it is controlled and helps conservation, go right ahead. I personally, would prefer to hunt the poachers. :barf:

Art Eatman
August 28, 2006, 12:41 PM
The thing to remember is that any animal which has monetary value will be protected. If hunting of some species is permanently barred, it has no further value to those who would hunt--and they are the primary sources of funds to protect a population against such things as poaching.

No "game" species has ever had its population reduced to endangerment by hunters who are within the parameters of game laws. To speak of such things as the Passenger Pigeon or the American Bison as having been depleted by hunters is irrelevant to anything in today's world.

Another point is that it is the hunting fraternity which has worked the hardest to institute laws about the taking of game, and which has created various sorts of financial systems to control it.

(Granted that politicians get involved and do somestimes manage to screw things up.)

Google for Dingell/Johnson and Pittman/Robinson laws for the excise taxes on sporting goods, and the allocations to the various states. These laws were instigated by hunters.

Check into such groups as the Safari Club International, the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, Ducks Unlimited and Quail Unlimited. I think DU is now above $100 million in wetlands acquisition for protection of nesting areas for ducks; it was above $50 million some twenty years back.

The relatively new (20 years, roughly) Texas Wildlife Associates is a coordinating, educating and lobbying group for Texas hunting. I've been a member since near its inception; very worthwhile.


August 28, 2006, 12:56 PM
Elephants, IIRC, eat 150 pounds of hay, or food, a day, each.
Trees are like toys, and up rooting, and eating them play time
for them. As migratory eating machines, they preform important functions in Africa's ecology. However, they will eat everything in their path, and, while good for Africa, that's not good for farmers.

I'd really like to know what impact the drastic reduction in elephants, and cape buffalo, not to mention lion, has had on Africa as a whole.

Surely reducing elephants and buffalo from herds of millions, to thousands, must have had a huge impact...


August 28, 2006, 09:46 PM
I watched the Dangerous Game episode on Elephants last night. What an amazing hunt. Personally I do not have the money, time, or the inclination to go to Africa. I definatley see how the hunting is vital for them. If you watch the afore mentioned show you will see they take a management bull. They manage their Elephant herds the same way we manege our Elk and other game here in the states.

And to Big Mac: I seriously hope that was meant to be a joke, even though in bad taste. ;)

August 29, 2006, 08:36 AM
The Big Five are Lion, Leopard, Cape Buffalo, Elephant, and Rhino. I do not remember if it is the black or white rhino that is a big five.

In the middle 1970's I got to tour Tsavo game park in Kenya. There were lots of elephants. That was right after Kenya banned all big game hunting. I have not returned, but have read where there are few elephants left.

I am sure that in a continant as protein poor as Africa a village or two will have elephant stew for a week or so when one is killed.

If a person has the means and desire to hunt an elephant good for him. I hope there will always be elephants to hunt.

I hope to hunt South Africa in two years. Just a bunch of those antelopes they grow over there.

I think hippo hunting is interesting. You shoot him dead and then wait for him to bloat and float to recover your trophy. Pity the poor bugger doing the envisceration.

August 30, 2006, 12:09 AM
I saw 2 episodes of that show where they were hunting (if that's what you want to call it) elephants. I'm not quite sure if I would have the cojones to be able to make a good headshot with a huge bull charging at me. I'm sorry if this makes some people mad, but I don't consider elephant hunting a sport. It is nothing more than a firing squad it seems. At least though none of the meat is wasted at all. I'm sure the villagers are more than happy to accept the huge ammount of harvested elephant meat.

August 30, 2006, 04:49 AM
Elephants aren't that easy to hunt. They can go where you can't, they move very quickly, they have a form of long range communication, highly developed family system, and, they can form, coordinate, and follow out a plan of attack, on a certain target. However, since they don't eat their enemies, they would rather avoid, then kill. None the less, enter their area, and, they are the number one animal, and piss em off, and they can, might, will, kill you.

I don't much like the idea of killing an animal that is easily as smart as most of the kids I teach, and, lives to be
older then I will.

Not my idea of fun.


August 30, 2006, 07:28 AM
BTW a hunter puts far more money into Africa than an eco-tourist !!

Jack O'Conner
August 30, 2006, 08:14 AM
I can not recall the source now. But I read somewhere that Kenya employs gov't hunters using .308 full auto rifles to thin elephant populations.

Too bad that Kenya stopped the hunting in the late 1970's. At one time, Kenya had well-managed big game, and poachers who feared law enforcement officers.

August 30, 2006, 09:28 AM
I doubt I'll ever go elephant hunting... It might be interesting...but it's somewhere near 'orbiting then landing on the moon' in regard to $ feasibility...

However, I also can't imagine 'gutting and cleaning and skinning an elephant'. My little buck knife is tough - but I think an elephant would absolutely gross me out ! :eek:

Art Eatman
August 30, 2006, 09:43 AM
Maser, from what I read, ethical hunts include scouting to see which particular elephant in an area is worth shooting. Then you gotta go back and find him again, which isn't necessarily all that easy. That can take many miles of walking and dodging critters that can and will stomp you or eat you.

You gotta get close. That means you have to be quiet, and have to have the wind in your favor. While you're doing that, you're dealing with thorns and vines and underbrush and all that hostile stuff.

What you don't do is drive out, say, "Oh, looky there!" and shoot.

DDIG, from what I read, when you kill an elephant you quickly find yourself surrounded by Eager Eaters who will happily skin and butcher the critter. Read some of Ruark's and Capstick's descriptions of the aftermath of an elephant kill.


August 30, 2006, 09:46 PM
Maser, from what I read, ethical hunts include scouting to see which particular elephant in an area is worth shooting. Then you gotta go back and find him again, which isn't necessarily all that easy. That can take many miles of walking and dodging critters that can and will stomp you or eat you.

You gotta get close. That means you have to be quiet, and have to have the wind in your favor. While you're doing that, you're dealing with thorns and vines and underbrush and all that hostile stuff.

What you don't do is drive out, say, "Oh, looky there!" and shoot.

I respect everything you have said, but I have to stick with my oppinion on what I said before. Just look at the comparison on deer hunting and elephant hunting. When you deer hunt you are usually by yourself or with a buddy. When you elephant hunt (from what I have seen on TV shows) you got guides following you with kalashnikovs which are most likely full auto. I don't call that "real" hunting. I understand the whole point of harvesting the large bulls to keep the elephant polulation alive and well, but to call that hunting.......sorry, but it really is not in my oppinion.

August 30, 2006, 10:24 PM
a little off topic but its not worth a new thread. yesterday a made a little trip to the gun store. the owner hunts elephant with a friend in Africa. he was telling me a story of a trip his friend had made to hunt lion. he went out with the guides in the middle of the night to a spot where the guides said a huge male lion was hanging out. sure enough the lion was in the tree. he continues to shoot the lion, and the guides say its time to back to camp because it was not wise to track a wounded lion at night. well they go back to camp. the restless hunter keeps thinking that he had made a good shot and the lion is dead. he gets his rifle and "borrows" a jeep, and proceeds to drive to the spot where the lion was shot. sure enough the lion was still in the tree. he decides that he will get it out of the tree himself and take it back to camp. he climbs up into the tree and grabs the lion. then he realizes that something isn't right. the lion was frozen!!!! apparently the guides were leaving it in the tree th let it thaw overnight. i know that he reported the guides to the government (apparently it was concreted poaching) and had his money refunded, but nothing else about the end of the story.

August 30, 2006, 11:05 PM
Check out "Death in the Long Grass" (http://www.amazon.com/Death-Long-Grass-Peter/dp/0312186134/sr=8-1/qid=1156994220/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-1385356-0247351?ie=UTF8) at Amazon. Search inside the book for elephant. I think you'll agree after reading some of the descriptions that there is much more to hunting elephants than just blasting one with a full auto.

Your guide will more than likely be carrying a double rifle in a caliber beginning with 5, not a "kalashnikov". Before its over, you might be glad he's there. Believe it or not, an elephants brain is a very small target in a very large animal.

If you wound a deer, it won't normally grab you with its trunk and beat you to a pulp against the nearest tree or anthill. Deer won't usually put a foot on your chest and tear off your arms and legs or just use their foreheads and tusks to grind you into a grease spot. You don't even have to wound an elephant to get this treatment. All you have to do is get upwind when the elephant is having a bad day.

There are some epic stories of elephant hunts. You should read some of them and then form an opinion. TV is not always the best reference.

Everyone has the right to their own opinion and I respect yours. I would respect it more if it was better informed.

August 30, 2006, 11:22 PM
When you elephant hunt (from what I have seen on TV shows) you got guides following you with kalashnikovs which are most likely full auto.If someone in a hunting party is carrying an AK, it's for protection from CRIMINALS, not elephants! Ivory poachers tend to be a very unpleasant bunch.

Guides for elephant hunters carry guns, but not military style weapons.

BTW, it may look easy when it's done right, but the brain isn't all that big a target, it's behind many, MANY inches of skullbone, and if you miss it or your bullet is deflected or doesn't penetrate enough, things will get hairy in a hurry.

August 30, 2006, 11:50 PM
I have seen a few shows where Elephant were the main hunt and I have never seen a guide or tracker carrying ANY military style rifle. The only AKs I have seen in the shows are when they are talking about poachers. I have seen some hefty bolt and double rifles though. All the hunts I've seen have been very ethical as well. None of the meat or anything goes to waste from what I've seen. I'm no expert by any means, I have never been to Africa nor do I plan to ever go, but I'm pretty sure we have hunting to thank for these animals still being in a lot of the places where they are.

Jack O'Conner
August 31, 2006, 07:51 AM

That was an interesting tale. Am I to understand that this lion was frozen solid in Africa? Or was this somewhere in North Dakota? :rolleyes:


Art Eatman
August 31, 2006, 09:07 AM
Maser, you oughta know by now that TV as a sole source for information isn't the best basis for opinion. :)

Just like the box-blind and feeder deer hunts on the Outdoor Channel: I don't doubt that there are folks who think that's the way hunting is done, and I don't doubt that for some, that's all there is. From my experience and observation over some forty years, however, that's a small percentage of all hunts.

Ask some of the guys who've posted here about their own hunting experiences in Africa, and also over at http://www.thehighroad.org There are a fair number of folks who can tell first-hand of what it's like, of how it's done.

I don't recall any of them ever relating anything that substantiates your view.


August 31, 2006, 04:45 PM
it was frozen in africa. they had killed the lion (or found it dead) and just put it in a walk-in freezer.