South Africa Hunt 2011
Just returned from my hunt in South Africa a few weeks ago. My dad was supposed to join me on the trip, but had to back out because of some minor health reasons. I had already sent the deposit, so I invited my fishing buddy Paul. Once again, it was an incredible
My main objective was cape buffalo. Plus I needed to try out my new Heym PH 470 nitro on what it was intended for. We started out on a reserve bordering Kruger National Park. I wasn't sure about hunting buff in a high fence. After seeing the condition of the fence it wasn't a problem for me any more. The elephants have pretty much destroyed the fence. Also there were no animals introduced to the reserve.
All of our hunting was done by driving and looking for tracks. The tracker and PH would decide if a track was worth following. Day one and two we saw five bulls, but they were all soft bossed. Day there changed dramatically in the number of buffalo we saw. I was beginning to think the reserve staff had lied about the numbers of animals on the proprty. We checked a water hole and found fresh tracks of three bulls. After about an hour we found them grazing next to a river bed. We were within 15 yards of an old broomed off bull, and he didn't look like he wanted to see us. If he had been wider I would have taken him. Then the wind swirled and the bulls busted out of there sounding like they were breaking every tree down around them. What a rush being that close to such a powerful animal. We let them setlle down for a little while and started tracking them again. Forty-five minutes later we saw two cows and within ten steps realized we were surrounded by the herd. Our biggest problem was the wind swirling and we couldn't figure it out. Walter, my PH, was looking for a good bull when the herd started to move to the right. All of a sudden Walter broke out into a dead run and I was trying to keep up. He had seen a good bull and wanted to cut it off. We found the bull, but he was behind a cow. The herd smelled us and broke off to a huge thicket behind them. After tracking them for a few more hours we found a four bull tracks that we started to follow. We bumped the four bulls five times before we gave up on them. One of the bulls would circle back and wait for us. Every time we got close he would stampede off and push the others farther. After a brief rest in the brush, we radioed for the truck.
After getting some water and loading up on the truck we started looking for new tracks. We had been out since 6:30 and it was close to 5:00 pm when we saw a smaller herd back in the mopane. There were some excellent young bulls with one pushing 43 to 44" wide. We made a decision to come from behind them and it payed off. Our tracker led us straight to a couple of bulls. Walter was looking them over, and was about to pass on them when a big boddied dagga boy came out of the brush 25 yards away. Walter said shoot him, and I didn't think twice. Two. 500 grain 470 N.E. bullets went into his shoulder. He ran about 50 yards and turned to find us. I came around a mopane tree and he was standing broadside about 40 yards. I didn't give him a chance to think about charging and put another one into him. Three 500 grain bullets into his heart and lungs, and he didn't show any signs of being hurt. 50 yards further he had turned again and we were right behind him. He spun around and I put one into his gut quartering away from me. Another 40 yards and he piled up onto a tree. As we walked up to him he tried to get up again. Three more solids and he finally gave his death bellow. I know I didn't need to shoot him that many times, but if he was breathing I was shooting. By far the toughest animal I have ever taken. I knew they were tough, but that was insane. All of the shots were thru the heart and lungs. Close quarters with dangerous game is very addictive. Buffalo hunting is now in my blood.
That evening I was replaying the day and still am amazed at the tracking abilities the trackers have. I tried my best to see what they were seeing but had no clue most of the time. The hunt of the buffalo not the buffalo itself was the most rewarding part of the whole experience. In the end, all of the sweat, heat, bugs and blood was worth every second. I won't hunt buffalo behind a fence again, but it was nothing short of a great hunt. There is talk of removing the fence bordering Kruger. My buff was 40" and weighed 2200 lbs. It broke the tailgate when we loaded it into the truck.
The next morning we loaded up the trucks and headed up north to a farm a few miles from the Zimbabwe border. My freind Paul was on his first trip to the dark continent. I could tell he was eager to get something on the ground. He started the afternoon with a very defined zebra stallion.
Over the next seven days, we took some awesome animals, ate some incredible food, and shared some unforgettable memories. I have become addicted to Africa. I will go back every year for as long as I am able.
Final tally for me was: buffalo, kudu, eland, impala, nyala, zebra, klipspringer, and two duiker.
Paul took two kudu, two impala, gemsbok, and a zebra.
I will post more photos later. Trying to learn my new computer.
Good story and great hard boss buffalo.
eland looks good also
Great story glad you had a good hunt can't wait for the rest of the pics.
Awesome story and can't wait to see some more pics! Who was the outfitter?
Wow, what a hunt! And what a great report, I could almost smell the sweat and taste the dust... Thanks for sharing, and congratulations. I also like and admire you attitude that the hunt is more important than the size of the trophy. Good on yer, mate!
I was hunting hippo some years ago in Mos and I asked the PH how many times should I shoot it and he replied: as many as you like...
Congrats on a fine hunt Pacondentder, thank-you for your entertaining report.
Way to go with the buff.
A good freind of mine says about buff hunting,
"you need to go to war with them".
Sounds like you had your own little personal battle that turned out fine.
What a way to "blood" that new Heym !
Thanks for the hunt report! Nice cape buffalo!
Thanks for sharing your hunt!
Congratulation, Mike, welcome to the Club.
By the way, that Heym is a fine rifle.
Mike, when you are in that close shooting until it stops breathing is just fine with me.
Too many shots.... you keep hitting him and get him down for good.
They are incredibly tough beasts.
Very nice Eland. Look forward to the rest of the story when you work out that new computer training.