Both PHs and trackers are usually masters at planning and orchestrating stalks and at observing them using terrain and cover. Working the wind is part of the fun of any safari.
Most stalks begin with the sighting of a distant animal that appears “promising,” but few stalks commence with the certainty of a shot if one is possible. Instead, most stalks are conducted at least initially to get a better look at an animal. So, don’t assume a shot is likely to happen, and always wait for the go-ahead!
Depending on terrain, distance, and circumstances, a stalk at first may be at a rapid pace to cover ground. But at some point, the PH and trackers will slow down, and movement must become stealthier and quieter. Follow your PH’s lead, and when things slow down, concentrate on stepping as quietly as possible. This is usually the point when it’s time to chamber a round, but never hesitate to ask your PH, using signals and motions if you think this step may have been overlooked.
When the animal is visual and in range, the sticks will usually go up, and your job is to get into shooting position slowly and quietly. This is generally not your cue to shoot—not yet—unless you have been so instructed. Usually, the PH wants you ready but will want to make a last-minute confirmation of horn size, sex, and/or age at a closer range, so don’t release the safety until you have a firm go-ahead.