A Great Old Warrior
After two trips to Namibia for plainsgame and a leopard, I decided that I wanted to hunt one of the old dugga boy bulls that I had heard about for so long. This time, my wife and 12 year old son came with me to make a family vacation out of it. I started looking in Zimbabwe for the hunt but did not find anything with enough activities for my non-hunting wife. With that-I ended up booking the hunt with Harloo Safaris in Kwa-Zulu Natal of South Africa. Before our hunt we flew to Victoria Falls for two nights at The Hide in Hwange National Park and two more nights at Victoria Falls for some relaxation and activities.
Even though my son and I took various plainsgame while hunting with Harloo, I'm only going to be talking about the buffalo hunt on this report. On the second day of our hunt we were checking an area on foot for a Warthog or Impala for my son. During our walk, we began to see fresh buffalo dung. Brian, our PH and I relizing that neither of us were carrying a rifle sent Eric, our tracker back to the vehicle to fetch them for us. About a half mile further Brian spotted a group of three buffalo on a distant hillside approximately a mile away. Brian radioed the truck to advise them of our plans as we started off towards the buffalo.
About half-way to the buffalo, Brian spots a lone bull walk out of the brush only about 300 yards above us. After a quick look through the binoculars, we decide that we want to get a closer look. Brian and I discuss if my son Jack should come along or stay behind. It is decided that since the area is fairly open, Jack would come along with instruction to get behind Brian if things start getting hairy. With that our group of five, Brian, me, Jack, Eric & Jahen the videographer begin our stalk from one tree to another. We get about 40 yards from the bull (still feeding) where we stop to look him over. He is an old mature bull with average spread but good drop and boss. Brian asked me what I thought and I tell him even though it's early in the hunt, I want the bull as he is what I'm looking for. With that Brian puts the shooting sticks up. As I put the rifle, a Harloo loaner .375 H&H with 250 grains Barnes X-bullets on to the sticks the bull turn and faces us. As the bull advances towards us shaking his head back and forth, Brian tells me to take him in the chest. My shot at 30 yards knocks the bull down but he gets right back up. As the bull staggers, I expect him to fall again, he doesn't. I shoot a second time, breaking his left shoulder. He walks away and I shoot again, behind the left shoulder, about 6" further back than I wanted to. The bull continues to walk away from us, stopping to feed a little. I shake my head not believing how tough these buffalo are.
We move our position and I shoot the buffalo for the fourth time, breaking his right shoulder. He refuses to go down so I put another bullet into his right shoulder. Still on his feet, the bull turn towards us, advances, and falls after a couple of steps. As we move to the side to finish the job, he somehow gets to his feet, trying to get to us. At the sixth shot, he again drops to never get up again. After the seventh and final shot the bull lets out three death bellows as his life ends.
A GREAT OLD WARRIOR
As we shake hands and discuss this fine old warrior, I see Eric smile and points towards some brush. When we look in that direction we see seven buffalo bulls coming towrds us. Brain and Eric step forward and yell at the bulls as I quickly reload. One bull leaves but the six others continue to adance until they are only about 20 yards away. For the next five minutes (seemed like 30) the bulls again and again move back about 40 yards, then advance. We start walking backwards looking to put some distance and trees between us but they just advance to close the gap back up. During this time I look to see if my son is OK and staying behind Brian. He had such a big smile on his face, loving this whole experience. After about five minutes of this Brian took his pistol out and fired three rounds into the ground and the bulls finally walked off.
But they didn't leave, instead walking over to their fallen comrade and leader. All six of them surround the downed bull trying to encourage him to get up. When this doesn't work they try to lift him to his feet with their heads. After seeing the bulls were not going to leave, Brian radios the truck requesting his three Jack Russell Terriers. Rigby, Roxie & Ruger come to our rescue and go after the bulls. They harassed the bulls for nearly 15 minutes, nipping at their heals and such before they finally wandered off for good.
I had heard of how hard these bulls were to kill once the adrenalin has kicked in but this old bull far surpassed what I had expected. Not once, did this bull try to run away, instead always advancing, letting us know that we were intruding. Eric told me that he was very happy that this bull never made it to the thick brush as he would have been very dangerous. It was so amazing and enlightning to watch the six other bulls come to the aid of their buddy and then try to get him to his feet. Brian explained that they did this as the bull I had shot had been the group's leader and they wanted him to take them away. What an experience, I was so fortunate to be able to share it with my son. No matter how many buffalo I may hunt in the future, I expect this one will never be repeated. The respect I've gained for the Cape Buffalo is great.
I've seen the unedited video of the hunt and it is amazing! After watching it, my wife wasn't too pleased with her son being present but later turned her concern to the buffalo. I can't wait to get the final edited DVD. Later, I'll do a report on the rest of our trip & hunt. My son shot an Impala and Blesbuck, his first big game animals ever! I was able to take a Nyala, Eland, Bushpig and Bushbuck.
Someday is right. That smile says it all.
Sharing the hunt video with mom is always a bit of an issue.
Hope there were enough other activities to distract her. :)
3 in the chest and he stops for a feed thats tuff as ,
and the young bloke there as well thats great he will treasure every moment for all eternity,and took a couple of critters .can tell by the smile he is hooked !!!!
thanks for the in sight on the cape buffalo im gunna seriuosly look towards on of them next august
cant wait for the rest of this grand tale
thanks navada white rump
Great safari with a nice C buffalo to come home with....
I just bet your son has stories to tell his friends...
thank you for sharing...
Congrats and thanks for sharing,
I too will someday hunt this African Goliath. :sharpshooter:
Congratulations and thanks for sharing!
Congrats for an unforgivable experience, and thanks for sharing !
Congrats, that is a really nice cape buffalo! Love the dropped horns.
Now Nyati, I understand that I took the life of a very nobel creature and maybe the shooting wasn't perfect, but to label the experience as "unforgivable" is rather harsh. ;)
Originally Posted by Nyati
I actually believe (hope) that you meant to say unforgettable.
Congrats, thats a nice Buff
Nice buff. I bet your son is hooked too.
Congrats on a great buffalo hunt, How wonderful must this be as your first buff and to share it with your son, I am sure he will be begging you to take him back for his own buff soon.
Look forward to report from the rest of your adventure.
I can't believe how tuff that old fella was. Nice story. Glad you were able to share the experience with your son.