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African Hunter Launches Shot Placement Pocket Field Guide
spfg_buff_spread.jpg - 18kb
Over the years there has been considerable interest in the shot placement diagrams used in the African Hunter to illustrate how-to articles on hunting various species. Out of this has grown our own shot placement wall planners and two reference works on the subject. Still at the various shows when speaking to hunters and in the safari camps when talking to both clients and the PH’s there has been considerable demand for a field guide to shot placement that can be easily carried.

Now available, the African Hunter Shot Placement Field Guide is A6 in size (147mm x 105mm: approx 5.7" x 4.1") and contains shot placement drawings for the 16 most commonly hunted big game and plains game species with additional digital overlays of the vitals for Buffalo, Elephant and Lion. Included for each species are notes on size and weight of typical specimens, the current Rowland Ward and SCI No.1 ranked animals and their relevant measuring systems, minimum and recommended calibers and brief notes on shot placement and useful hunting tips.

Blank note pages for personal information, observations and firearms details are included as is a condensed version of WWF(Zimbabwe) and Charl Grobelaar’s work on comparing and converting SCI and Rowland Ward systems of trophy measurement. Over 70 pages in total, printed in full colour on the highest quality art paper, and sturdily bound to survive years of field wear, the Shot Placement Field Guide is an absolute must for any African hunter.

Priced at US$20 per copy including shipping, the booklet covers the following species: Elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, crocodile , hippo, gemsbok (oryx), giraffe, kudu, impala, blesbok, sable, warthog, wildebeest, zebra and springbok.
spfg_gemsbok_flat.jpg - 26kb From the top:
Common and Latin name on the left, with typical size and weight for male and female on the right.

Rowland Ward and SCI No. 1 records including trophy measurements and geographical location.

Minimum and recommended calibres followed by notes on hunting and shot placement.

Our world famous vital schematic, and foot print detail sketch.

The 2002/3 African Hunter Wall Planner has also been redesigned to incorporate much of the same information contained in the pocket guide. This will compliment the pocket guide by providing a large format, wallhanging visual guide for the safari operators and hunting enthusiasts worldwide.

spfg_cover.jpg - 18kb Item: Shot Placement Pocket Field Guide
Price: $20.00 USD
Shipping: FREE
Size: 147mm x 105mm (A6): approx 5.7" x 4.1"
  • Shot placement for Elephant, buffalo, lion, leopard, crocodile , hippo, gemsbok (oryx), giraffe, kudu, impala, blesbok, sable, warthog, wildebeest, zebra and springbok.
  • Additional Buffalo, Elephant and Lion pages.
  • Size and weight of typical specimens.
  • Rowland Ward and SCI No.1 ranked animals and their relevant measuring systems.
  • Minimum and recommended calibers.
  • Additional placement and hunting tips for individual species.
  • Blank note pages for personal observations.
  • Condensed works on comparing and converting SCI and Rowland Ward systems of trophy measurement.
  • 70 + full colour pages printed on highest quality art paper and sturdily bound to survive years of field use

An Honest Critique
Steve Hiraoka ~ Webmaster

When Alan and I went to Zim (September 2001), we hunted at Senuko, one of the River Lodges of Africa in the Savé Valley Conservancy. It was here that we first got to use the Shot Placement Pocket Field Guides (Mag-set had received their first printed copies days before we arrived).

Aside from the species data and anatomical sketches, we were very pleased to see some things we didn't expect. In the front is two pages for personal, emergency and firearms information - the kind of data your PH usually needs. Following the personal information section is an introduction by EIC Anthony Williams. The introduction explains the limitations of static diagrams as compared to environmental variations in the field.

The two pages after the introduction is Trophy Handling in the Field. Since Gordon Duncan, our PH at Senuko, the trackers and expert skinners took care of loading and skinning our trophies, I found the nine points on trophy handling helpful only as information on what happens with a trophy, and not immediately helpful as a how-to guide.

There are two pages of metric conversions (thank you very much!) which were endlessly useful, followed by a page that reminds us of one of the most important lessons of the field: It's the dead ones that will kill you. The 46 pages of species details are remarkably concise and to-the-point. For Mag-set to have distilled the wealth of information available on each species down to exactly what's needed in the field is an indication of their knowledge, experience and dedication to big game hunters. However, I was a bit disappointed that Rhino was not included.

I realize that inclusion of shot placement on the Rhino is and will continue to be a matter for debate. On one side you have the desire to round out a book which presents the most complete, concise shot placement and field information on African big game, against which Mag-set must weigh whether to include two pages of shot placement on an animal that is not hunted, or dedicate those two pages to additional shot placement on other game.

The species data pages are followed by a chart to track personal trophies taken by date, species, location, length, circumference, weight and tip-to-tip/length of horns across forehead. This section at least reminds us that it is important to measure a trophy as soon as possible because of shrinkage over time. Seven blank, lined notes pages complete the book, which I would have found exceptionally useful had I not brought a pocket-sized notebook with me.

Use in the Field
Gordon, Alan and I found the field guide especially useful when hunting. PH's often discuss shot placement and field variables in the bush, and having the diagrams available to look at while discussing strategy was the most practical thing I could imagine.

I was shooting video of Alan's buff hunt, and filming the use of the field guide would be premium promotional footage, but I caught Gordon and Alan hunched over the book several times discussing shot placement as a matter of course for the hunt, giving no mind to the promotional opportunity - they were focussed on the hunt. I actually had to interrupt them and tell them to start over so I could get them on video using the guide. To me, this is a testimony to the simple practicality of the guide as a field tool.

A final note: The pocket-sized guide is printed on heavier paper with a laminated cover to endure wear and tear, but the corners of the cover get bashed a good bit and begin to separate from the laminate. Mag-set has noticed this as well and has begun printing the books with rounded corners. However, the initial stock will have squared corners. If you receive a field guide with squared corners, you may wish to round the corners off yourself, or reinforce the corners of the cover with photo mounts or tape.

Personally, I'm looking forward to the boxed gift set which is expected to include the guide in a leather slip cover nested in Mopane wood shavings and delivered in a locally crafted gift box of handmade paper!

Allow 8 to 10 weeks for shipment to arrive from Zimbabwe. If you suspect a shipping error, please contact us so we may correct the problem.
You might be a big game hunter if your idea of a family vacation is a safari to Africa instead of a trip to Disneyland. ~ Tom Miller
Shot Placement Pocket Field Guide
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