The hunting-based shooting exercises is shot on realistic animal targets with hunting type firearms from a variety of shooting positions imitating different hunting scenarios e.g., bushveld as opposed to plains hunting. These exercises are designed to improve shot placement and reduce potential incidents of wounding animals while on the hunt.
All training, especially shooting training, at SA Hunters branches is mentor-based and takes place on the shooting range. With more than 100 shooting ranges managed by SA Hunters branches across South Africa, members have access to a shooting range at every branch where formal and informal shooting is done. With more than 700 official branch shooting days per annum, opportunities for basic shooting training on request at the branches are available.
Competent sport shooters at branch, regional and national levels are available for advice and training as needed by new sport shooters.
At branch shooting events the aim is for everyone to have fun on condition that the safety rules are adhered to. The hunting exercises can be shot without the rule restrictions, e.g., using shooting sticks where normally not allowed, coaching a person, shooting with a smaller calibre than required for the exercise, and shooting the exercise more than once. However, the score cannot be recorded, and members will not qualify for shooting badges.
When members are aiming to qualify for gold, silver, or bronze shooting badges the rules for the shooting exercises should be strictly adhered to.
Cloth shooting badges in gold, silver, or bronze are available as an acknowledgement in every standard shooting exercise. The qualifying criteria for shooting badges are included in the rules of every shooting exercise. Shottists can order the badge at a nominal fee from Inyathi Park through the branch office.
There are two exceptions where shooting badges are not applicable, i.e., the shooting tests for dedicated hunter status, and for any new shooting disciplines that are introduced on a trial basis.
SA Hunters’ Big 5 shooting award applies to all hunting-based shooting exercises in which shottists can earn a shooting badge. The shooting tests for dedicated hunter status where competent or not yet competent are the only indications that are not considered for this award. Members who win a gold award in five or more of the qualifying shooting exercises are considered recipients of the Big 5 Shooting Award. The branch chairperson must verify the shottist’s achievement in writing on the relevant application form and submit it to the national office that will issue the Big 5 certificate and badge. There is a cost of R90 per badge.
The qualifying shottist must declare that the score accurately reflects the score he achieved during his first attempt at each of the shooting exercises on the specific dates and that the shooting exercise was conducted according to the rules of SA Hunters and in the spirit of that specific shooting exercises.
The hunting-based shooting competitions create the opportunity for members to compete at regional and national levels with hunting firearms on realistic animal targets and hunting scenarios. Regional rankings are created for each one of these competitions on the SA Hunters member administration system. Members who qualify for the national competitions participate annually to determine the top shottists in each discipline.
Both competitions consist of simulated plains and bushveld hunting exercises that are held at a regional level. Individual shottists compete at the President Shooting Competition, while teams compete at the Interbranch Team Shooting Competition.
These competitions are held at regional and national level as two individual competitions:
Regional and national colours are available for both the President and the Inter Branch Team Shooting competitions and depend on the following qualifying criteria:
The total score for both these shooting exercises is 720. The minimum score to qualify for a Platinum award which can only be earned at a regional or national President shoot is a combined minimum score of 610 points (85%) from a total of 720 for the two shooting exercises on condition that at least 290 (80%) points are achieved for each shooting exercise.
The total score for both the shooting exercises for a team of four shottists is 2 880. The minimum score to qualify for the Wild Dog award (awarded to each of the shottists) which can only be earned at a regional or national Interbranch shooting competition is a total of 2 590 points (90%) from the total of 2 880 points for both the shooting exercises. Further, the team has to score 1 225 points (85%) from 1 440 for each of the two shooting exercises.