When Not To Shoot
Africa's Bowhunter|August 2016

Don’t shoot if you are not sure of the sex of the animal.

Cleve Cheney

I know what it’s like. You have been looking forward to and preparing for your hunt for months on end. Finally you are out in the bush hunting. Your trigger finger is itching and there is the temptation to take the first shot that presents itself. The temptation may be more pronounced if the opportunities for a shot are few and far between and frustration levels begin to rise. However, there are, times when you should NOT take a shot and when self-control should be exercised over that finger itching to squeeze the trigger or to release the bowstring. Lack of self discipline at this point could be costly. Here are some situations where it would be wise to pass up the shot.

Don’t shoot if you are not sure of the sex of the animal. Some antelope are easy to identify as male or female because only the male has horns (e.g. impala, bushbuck, nyala and kudu). In other species both sexes have horns (e.g. gemsbok, sable, roan, eland, red hartebeest, tsessebe, springbok, blesbok etc.) and it can be a lot more difficult establishing whether the animal you are aiming at is male or female. If you have paid to shoot a male animal and then shoot a female (or vice versa) you may end up paying more than you bargained for or break the law by shooting an animal for which you do not have a permit. If you are not sure about the sex of the animal you are aiming at, DON’T take the shot! 

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