Video shows two men trying to sneak up on the animals in the Nakabolelwa Conservancy in Namibia.
The gunmen are seen aiming a the beasts from a distance as one tells the other "hit it between the eyes".
Both fire and seem to hit one of the bulls causing it to stumble to the ground.
But they are then forced to make a run for it after the herd turns on them and charges.
A huge trumpet erupts from one of the elephants as the hunters become the hunted.
According to Namibia-based big-game hunter Corné Kruger the video was shot three or four years ago.
He added: "I don't know why it only surfaced now."
Kruger said elephant hunting was a sensitive issue but a "legal and sustainable" practice in Namibia.
He told News24:"There is a small quota of elephants in the area and we only hunt two elephants a year."
The hunter, who owns Omujeve Hunting Safaris, said hunting had "hugely" financially benefited the communities around the Nakabolelwa Conservancy.
Kruger said: "We employ 12 people from the community, some of them as game guards.
"The funds go to conservation and fund anti-poaching units."
Hunting becomes poaching when legal permission is not obtained.
According to the World Wide Fund for Nature, there are approximately 415 000 African elephants in the wild and the number is sharply declining due to the international ivory trade.
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