Sunday, April 6, 2014

Safari Rifle Match AAR, Part 2: Stages I and II

Well, folks with far more audio/visual technical savvy than I have graciously volunteered to take, edit, and upload images and video for the blog so that you, dear reader, can enjoy the sights and sounds.  Let's see how many pictures and videos I can add before I break this.

The first stage consisted of a timed run at various plains game.  Each kill (defined as a hit in the brain, heart or lungs) gave positive points, each miss was zero points, and each wound was negative points.  Total up your points and subtract your time to find your score.  Thus, it was imperative to shoot quickly and accurately.  There were five targets, each engaged from a different location.  Shooting sticks were allowed, and even encouraged, because you had to shoot standing due to the 'high grass'.  The last two targets were close enough (approximately 10-15 yards) that I didn't feel I needed the shooting sticks and could gain some time shooting them offhand.  That nearly came back to bite me, as I had a bit of El Snatcho on the second-to-last target.  On the upside, it was enough of a snatch that I shot clean under the animal, resulting in a miss rather than a wound.

Shooting stick technique
The field
Close-up of the kudu
Close-up of the wildebeest

Photos by Kehau Chrisman

The second stage was shot from four of the same positions, using the second set of targets, and also on the clock with the same type of scoring.  These were big game, though: elephant, rhino, buffalo, and hippo.  Here you can see one of the competitors engaging the big boys with a .450 Black Powder Express double.  
Getting settled in on the sticks

 And here the results:

A solid brain shot on the mostly submerged hippo with a .450 BPE.

A .450 BPE through the vitals!
  Photos by Kehau Chrisman

This stage resulted in a scope-whack on the brim of my pith helmet, knocking it clean off my head.  I pressed on and finished the stage, came back and retrieved it, and stowed it for the rest of the match, instead going back to my tried-and-true soft boonie hat and earmuffs.  Hey, half of why I do this is to fine-tune my gear selections, and if it doesn't work, it gets modified or replaced.

Next time, we'll go to the next two stages, where things really start to get interesting:  Leopard Blind and Charging Buffalo!

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