This past July I took my three sons, Robert (17), Michael (16) and Coleman (14) on a 21 day safari in Tanzania, Africa. Obviously a trip of this magnitude required a great deal of thought and preparation. Since it was our first safari, I talked to many of my friends that had been on safaris and one theme that kept coming up over and over was “shot placement”. For two reasons shot placement becomes critical on a safari, one is that you don't want to spend much of your precious hunting time following up wounded game and two; you don't want to be put in a dangerous situation with an initial poor shot placement. Although my boys and I have been hunting nearly all of our lives and are all pretty decent shots, I felt the situations that we might encounter in Africa would be slightly different than our Texas White Tailed Deer hunts or Colorado Elk hunts. While shopping at Cabela's one day I came across an individual who told me about Monty Kalogeras and his Safari Shooting School located in Mason , Texas . I gave Monty a call and after talking with him for a few minutes, it became quite apparent that I felt our family could learn a great deal from Monty by virtue of his multiple personal experiences in African and his background as a gun buyer for Cabela's. Therefore, I took my boys to his 1 & 1/2 day program and experience real life hunting situations, including a charging Cape Buffalo, long distance shooting, firearm and gear selection, travel preparations in addition to a classroom video designed for shot placement on numerous animals. When we left on Sunday afternoon I felt that we were fully prepared for the trip ahead. On our safari, we took 42 animals that included 4 cape buffalo, 1 huge leopard, 2 Greater Kudu, 1 Lesser Kudu, 6” duiker and numerous other animals. With the exception of one buffalo, a bushpig and a couple of plains game animals each animal was killed with one shot. Unfortunately my buffalo was in tall grass and took three 375 H&H rounds and three 500 nitro rounds to stop on a head on charge. Although my shot was dead on in the lungs, it barely missed the heart thus precipitating the charge. This one incident alone made me realize that the initial shot is extremely critical when you are dealing with deadly game.
We had an outstanding trip and everyone shot “lights out”. We only had one follow up tracking that lasted several hours and I felt that was extremely fortunate considering we had 4 people hunting for 21 days and that we killed 42 animals. I felt that our family was totally prepared from the beginning with the right ammo, rifles, gear, travel plans and a complete understanding of the shot placement on African game. Although it is you that actually pulls the trigger in a split decision, the preparation that goes in to that decision was greatly enhanced by Monty's shooting school. I highly recommend Monty's school to anyone who is planning a safari to Africa or to anyone who wants to become a better shot.