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Cape buffalo
one of us
Picture of Pieter Kriel

The day started very early as we had some travelling to do and Denise had to pack supplies to last hungry troops for at least daylight hours. The obvious happened and we got lost on the way there costing us about an hour. Then we got lost again that cost us another 25 minutes and by that time I was slightly annoyed.

Fortunately the owner of the property is one of those people who seem to smile even when going down in a mudpool. This brightened our day sincerely until he asked about calibers and experience. At this point in time I knew something was cooking but did not yet know what. So I asked him why all the questions and then only did the fog disappear before the sun: the specific buffalo he wanted taken out was one that put three of his staff in hospital in as many months and he felt it best to have the bull hunted.
That was terribly reassuring and made the cream from my coffee somewhat sour instantaneously. So we started hunting.

Spot-and-stalk on large properties is how we do it. Soon as we cut fresh sign we would dismount and cut the tracks until we found what was at the end of those tracks.

We never told Jurgen about the hospital guys until way after the hunt. Maybe we felt living in denial would make the hunt safer? we inspected some older sign and dismissed it as not worth tracking.

About an hour and a half into the hunt we saw the lone bull walking in the road and that was when things really happened fast. Firstly I forgot to use my ghillie suit as there was not enough time to get it on. Jurgen and I dashed across a side road and entered the very thick brush to align ourselves with the oncoming buffalo. We merely had about 5 seconds to settle before the bull would walk right past us at about 12 yards. Perfect shooting distance for the 80 lb Hoyt bow. A 28,25″ draw lenght and an Easton FMJ DG arrow with a velocity of 222,8 fps and a KE of 81,53 we were sure the penetration of the German kinetic arrow head would be sufficient to cause damage upon entry.

We had a very narrow window to have the arrow fly true so when I thought the buffalo would stop right in the window I spoke up and of course he stopped about 6″ away from having the perfect shot. Jurgen leaned slightly forward and placed the arrow very well although a tad too far back which was not his fault. The buffalo ran about 50 yeards and stopped completely broadside to us. We waited about 15 minutes and followed up thinking he was not feeling well. We approached cautiously to 35 yards when the second arrow flew slightly wayward allowing the buffalo to trot away from us.

Mistake number three was to follow up immediately as it was an open area and we could see the old timer clearly. Approaching to within about 40 yards the buffalo lifted his nose towards us and decided to charge full on. There are many stories on how to react when a buffalo charges but somehow most of the advice is forgotten when something like this happens. I did remember to have a 500 gr Barnes X handloaded to 2 250 fps in my 458 Lott and I did remember to disengage the safety catch. The first shot missed the brain (as usual in my case) at about 35 yards. The shot grazed the facial skin, penetrated the ear where it joins the bulky head, entered the inside of the right shoulder, broke two ribs and lodged under the skin.

Unbeknown to me Jurgen released another arrow just as the buffalo charged by us. A great shot at a moving target!

By this time I realized that if something drastically did not change to the positive side we would be in the kind of danger we all prefer to avoid. I kneeld down and took aim at the center of the chest and put a 500 gr Federal Premium wadcutter solid into his engine room. This made the buffalo veer away from us and ran about eight yards past us. Chambering the third round I knew I could not miss a target the size of a buffalo at that distance so another 500 gr Barnes X did severe damage to the lungs.

This stopped the buffalo about 20 yards from us so I called to Jurgen to shoot an arrow. Just as he released the buffalo fell down and the arrow passed over the colossus. We circled round some shrub from where another two arrows were placed inside the boiler room. These two shots finished the old timer.

All in all the buffalo took four great shots from the bow and three from the Lott. Both Jurgen and I now have wonderful memories and some great momentos from the hunt. If you want to hunt dangerous game make sure your equipment is up to the job at hand. The Barnes X performed admirably once again with one projectile recovered about four feet on the other side of the buffalo. A complete pass-through shedding enough energy on the way through to attain maximum performance.

We checked the reflexes and did the customary handshake thing (heck, we hugged after all that excitement).

The Hoyt bow in combination with the Easton FMJ DG arrow and German kinetics broadhead were a great combination. So if you were wondering which bow and arrows to use for bowhunting Cape buffalo, the mentioned equipment was field tested and found to work very well.

We headed home and consumed copious quantities of diet cola and a few bottles of water. No, not really. We had beer. More beer and then some amber liquid from my Scottish girlfriend.

Full hunt report at http://huntinginafricasafaris....uffalo-south-africa/

Mkulu African Hunting Safaris
Posts: 210 | Location: Pretoria | Registered: 08 April 2010Reply With Quote
one of us
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Imagine if you didn't have the Lott as a backup. Great story about a great adventure.


Hunting buff is better than sex!
Posts: 2205 | Registered: 29 December 2015Reply With Quote
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Awesome hunt a great adventure. Glad that Lott is keeping you safe and in one piece
Chris M
Posts: 169 | Location: Vero Beach Florida | Registered: 23 March 2006Reply With Quote
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Well done mate.

"As a rule, nothing does an arrow so much good as to shoot it, and nothing so much harm as to have it lie inactive and crowded in the quiver..." Saxton Pope
Posts: 19 | Location: QLD, Australia. | Registered: 19 June 2015Reply With Quote
one of us
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Congratulations. Thanks for sharing.
Posts: 735 | Location: Australia  | Registered: 31 October 2012Reply With Quote
one of us
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Thanks for sharing and nice bull.

NRA Patron member
Posts: 2526 | Location: Minnesota | Registered: 08 December 2006Reply With Quote
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Good post, thanks.

Posts: 208 | Location: S.W. Wyoming | Registered: 31 May 2006Reply With Quote
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