Learning how to humanely shoot an elephant entails much more than bullet placement. You'll learn all that and run the course at this wildlife college.
In addition to teaching you how to shoot an elephant, if that is your desire, the South Africa Wildlife College educates and trains individuals in a multitude of wildlife management areas, from field ranger training to educating on the reproductive and behavioral biology of various animals, including elephants.
This is a magnificent concept. The school is an educational institution with a conservation and wildlife management focus, a full and varied course curriculum.
But the history and story of the college is for another article. The goal in sharing this video is to highlight just one course that hunters and conservationists can take: a classroom and field course on hunting and harvesting an African elephant.
This course is managed by Dr. Kevin Robertson, instructor at the college and author of the book "The Perfect Shot." There is classroom time for the students, which includes elephant conservation and biology.
"You've got to understand the animal that you're hunting," says Robertson. "You've got to understand all about it. Its ecology, its reproductive cycle, the life cycle. That just makes the hunt more interesting, because you understand you've become one with the animal. You understand it completely. You understand everything about the animal that you're going to take its life. And I think that way you can honor the animal and respect it a lot more if you understand it really well."
Located inside the western boundary of Kruger National Park, the college teaches students that trophy hunting is very selective. Only half of one percent of the population is hunted. "No effect on the numbers, but it has huge financial implications," instructs Robertson.
It must be noted that while elephant poaching is a significant problem throughout much of Africa, in Kruger elephant numbers have soared. The pachyderm population has grown so much in fact, that they are destroying the environment and making the it uninhabitable for other creatures.
"The elephants are literally eating all the other game out of house and home," says SAWC Trainer Pieter Nel.
Culling is necessary, and to that end trophy hunting is an incredibly effective management tool. And this course puts students in as real a true hunting situation as possible. You want to get it right here, because you don't want to make a mistake when really hunting a big game animal that can kill you.
"The loudest sound in Africa is 'click'," says Robertson. "When your rifle goes click and your rifle doesn't go bang."
Like what you see here? You can read more great articles by David Smith at his facebook page, Stumpjack Outdoors.