Cape Buffalo Charge

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by AfricaHunting.com, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. AfricaHunting.com

    AfricaHunting.com FOUNDER AH Ambassador

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    A member of AH contacted me to share this disturbing footage of a Cape Buffalo charge... Looking forward to reading your comments!

    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2014
  2. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    To say the least.... WOW! The owner of the operation is one tough hombre. I would have to think very few people in this world could say they've survived something like that.

    Never been buffalo hunting but that video only solidifies my belief that for me if I don't have a good broadside shot or at least mostly broadside I'm not shooting. I guess that's perhaps easy to say from someone with no experience but I really don't like those frontal shots DG or not.
  3. catosilvaje

    catosilvaje AH Member

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    Several people here. One bad shot,one wallered PH,one steady cameraman,one very brave son and last and most a very small coward. Noboby had a handgun. Dangit, where is it when you need it?
  4. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH Legend

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    After thinking about this some more, there is something about this that seems strange. I guess I'm kind of taken back by the son who kept filming this. Clearly you hear him yelling at the client to shoot which he didn't. I think if it had been me and it was my dad, there would have been nothing that would have stopped me from getting the client's rifle and doing what was necessary.

    However, it's an easy thing to play Monday morning quarterback.
  5. johnfox

    johnfox AH Senior Member

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    Brave Heart Safaris......I don't think there is an operation that is more aptly named.

    A lot of bravery and a big, big heart..
  6. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Yes, there is something disturbing about watching your dad, possibly get killed and you are filming it....you think he would have dropped or threw the camera and joined the fight!

    And I agree the first shot angle...would have got a huge pass by me...no way in hell I'm taking that shot! Little margin for error and he would have had to be a lot closer for me to even think of shooting! Beside the huge trophy fee on the line....there is chasing cape buffalo in the brush that is anyone's worst nightmare.

    Oh well! It was terrifying footage and reminds me when things go wrong...most of the time people freeze with fear.
  7. TOM

    TOM AH Elite

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    That is something. I bet the client feels like a horses ass about now....and he should.
  8. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    :praying::praying:Thought I'd pop in here Gentlemen....

    I was at the nation's gunshow at the Dulles Convention Center here in the D.C. metro area this weekend and ran across a couple of booths advertising African Safaris. They were Americans advertising for Molopo Kalahari and Brave Heart Safaris. They take people on hunts to these concessions. Didn't get the particulars of their financial arrangements because I was busy helping a friend choose his first handgun, but took some of the materials and heard their presentations and got their invites to customize a hunting package with them.

    Later I went online to check out Brave Heart and came across this video posted right on the face page. I was stunned watching it, and had to go back several times, rerunning and pausing at particular places, to catch all the nuances of what was going on. Then I went back and listened to the PH recount it again. In the end, I was so moved I had to write the PH. Haven't heard back from him, but I had to tell him I'm glad he's still with us, that I admire both him, for saving the client, and his son for having the nerve to get that close armed only with a knife. I said I cannot afford the trophy fees on such a hunt, and will never likely be able to, but if I could, it would be an privilege to hunt with him.

    I also made a few other observations, including that which catosilvaje referred to.... about how this is why it's good for hunter to have a handgun. A .44 Magnum or such would have come in quite handy! I also stated I could understand if he'd refuse ever to guide that guy again, and if the guy was banned from hunts in Africa from hereon out. It's clear the man had neither the temperment nor intestinal fortitude to be on such a hunt, let alone the shooting skills necessary. I also noted it's easy to be an arm chair general, but there are just some things that are too obvious. I hope to hear from him.

    Meanwhile, I thought I'd send this out to Jerome asking his thoughts and if it would be appropriate to post it if he would do so. Glad to see it was authorized and he has done so.

    I'm laughing a little now because I had all the same thoughts as those you guys have posted above go through my head as I was watching this. That said, not sure if you guys have played it back and listened intently to the son with the video camera. The first thing I thought was, "why is he still filming instead of doing something?" However, he was. He was yelling at the hunter to shoot, and when he didn't he tried grabbing the guy's gun. In case any of you didn't catch it, go back and listen intently. The PH states in his narration that his son on the video camera tried to take the gun from him, but the hunter refused. Then you can see at one point in the video the camera rattles and a scuffle going on for the rifle, and then the son saying "Give Me The _ucking Gun!" Then you can see the man breaking away from him, hanging on for dear life to the rifle, but still refusing to do anything. I was incensed with anger at this gutless wonder. It's bad enough to not act, but to then be so frozen with fear you refuse to relinquish your gun to someone who WILL? Unconscienable!

    Yes, I understand it's easy to say so from the comforts of my office, and I noted such to the PH in my email, BUT.... I know I would never have done such a thing. I've had enough experiences with dangerous situations -- as a cop and volunteer firefighter years ago, as well as a pilot in bad weather and a scuba diver in a cave -- to know that you MUST overcome the tendacy to panic and do the right thing, or at least SOME thing, when in a life threatening situation. I've cheated death on several occasions, through a combination of keeping my cool and God's watching out for me.... in at least two cases, I am convinced I had a guardian angel watching over me and God answered my on-the-spot prayers to help me keep my head. That said, I might not have done exactly the right thing in this situation, but I know myself well enough to be sure I would NEVER have frozen up like this guy did. I doubt any of you guys would do so either, simply because it appears we all are the types to plan, think things through, and at least have some idea how we might want to conduct ourselves in such an event.

    That's the most important thing. Be conscience of the chance of being attacked and have some idea how to react. Clearly, this man never did any of those things. He went out without mentally preparing himself for the possibilities of a charge. Had he done so, I doubt he would have frozen up like he did. Then again. Maybe he did, but is just one of those kinds of people who simply cannot keep his head about him in an emergency.

    This said, what struck me when I first saw the video was the tree between the animal with the PH on the ground, and the video camera and hunter. As the video was going, and you could hear the PH screaming for someone to shoot the buffalo, it immediately struck me, "Use the tree as cover, run up on the animal to point blank range then pop out from behind it and shoot the bastard in the spine / neck!

    The other hunter was trying to help, putting four .470 NE rounds into him. BUT... as the PH noted, he was shooting him in the stomach. It was prudent for him to avoid the head because of it being to dangerous a shot for the PH... BUT... I thought why not shoot him in the spine? If he was shaking too much from all the adrenaline in him, which I could certainly understand, then run up behind the buff and get so close you CAN'T MISS! The key here is, the animal was so focused in crushing the PH, he wouldn't have noticed anyone coming in from behind him and one blast with that .470 in or just under the spine anywhere on the animal's back should have dropped him, if not dead, then paralyzed.

    Again, I fully acknowledge it's easy to say this without being there and having all that adrenaline coursing through my veins, but I know that one's reactions in an emergency situation, whatever it might be -- from armed felons holed up in a restaurant with the potential for hostages to be taken, to explosions and collapsing ceilings coming down around you in a burning building, to getting caught in a sudden dust storm while in flying a small plane to silt outs in an underwater cave -- mainly depends on how prepared ahead of time you are, mentally, to deal with a potential problem. I know because I've been there in all these circumstances. Each time I was scared out of my wits with my heart up in my throat, but managed to pull myself together by 1) having had some idea of what I thought I should do if such and such a situation arose, and 2) taking a deep breath and actively trying to suppress the "flight" part of the "fight or flight" reaction, long enough to quickly think through and/or react to extracate myself (and, in some cases, others) from a potentially deadly situation. (Believe me, I shook like a leaf after each of these incidents for about 30 minutes before recomposing myself. I'm just grateful that little voice in my head helped me through the situations as they occured.) :praying:

    Granted, even with all such planning, there is no guarantee one will react the correct way and survive. But proper planning gives you odds. I'm an Eagle Scout and have always lived by the scout's motto, "Be Prepared." I think that's what's necessary in any kind of potentially dangerous situation.

    Finally....

    PHOENIX PHIL. You mentioned not liking the frontal shot. Initeresting. I was speaking to my hunter safety instructor pal last night, after sending him this video link, about this. He noted something about the cape buffalo supposedly having a calloused spot on the chest, which he said almost acts like a plate of armor. He said he read it's extremely difficult to penetrate properly if you hit it. Anyone know about this or have any observations? I don't really know all that much about the cape buffalo, other than he's an ornery and dangerous fellow.

    BTW, I also said to the PH in my email... "I admire your son Jen's self control. Had I been him, I would have clobbered the hunter over the head with the video camera (or kicked him in the gonades) to get that rifle away from him and shoot that buffalo." I admitted that would probably NOT be good for business ... assaulting a client wouldn't be good advertising... LOL! But hey? With someone, anyone, in imminent danger of being killed by an animal like that, there's no time to be polite. I admit, I would have become quite violent with the guy if necessary to get that gun from him. I probably wouldn't make a good PH. ; )
  9. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    That thing about the callous on the buff chest is pure baloney! Aint no such thing. I personally found this footage much less disturbing than the Swede being eaten by lions recently shown on here. That was bothersome. It looks like many mistakes were made during the buff hunt but stuff happens. I would also note that no one knows for sure how they will react to a given situation until it arises. Its simply not possible to suppose how we will do during such extreme panic conditions. I most pity the hunter who would not or could not shoot. He probably feels awful and will likely never forgive himself for a moment of folly.
  10. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    I will say this...there are a lot of people out there that would have froze with fear. We have been so removed from nature and doing things for ourself, that a lot of people would have froze. Just because you have the money to hunt cape buffalo doesn't mean you have the guts to do it. Those are two different things.

    I don't think I would have run up to the cape buffalo and shot point blank into his spine either. But I would have moved to the side And shot into the heart- lung area....and that just me. I have had to finish off half shot game before at short range and managed to get the job done. But then again, I grew up on a farm milking cows and raising beef among other things.

    For the record, I think bow hunters are a little better at this than others...because you have to be pretty focused and attentive to detail to be a sucessful bowhunter.
  11. Nyati

    Nyati AH Legend

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    Impressive footage.

    When hunting DG, things can go wrong, if that happens it s good to have some guys with brass b...s along, as shown in the video.
  12. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Impressive footage for certain. They are called Dangerous Game for a reason and this certainly brings the point straight home. They are and were all fortunate.

    Some things I learned immediately:

    1. Stay between the bulls horns if the unthinkable happens, good advice. (Fortunate thing the buffs horn tips were very high and were not worn off or the PH might have had it much worse)

    2. You had better have some very brave people with you if something does go wrong.

    3. Jerome you had better add a couple of Dots to that Shot placement diagram. (spine shot from above might be one suggestion.)
  13. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    sestoppelman...

    My friend wasn't sure, he just read about this callous on the chest thing. He was the first to say he didn't have any first hand knowledge, but read about it a few times. Looks like more urban legend then. Thanks for the information.

    Regarding it's not possible to supposed how we'd react... I agree. But it's also true that the more one has thought things through in an attempt to prepare themselves in mindset, the less likely one will freeze up in any kind of emergency. This is taught in law enforcement academies, in the military, etc. It is human nature to freeze up. However, the mere act of thinking about such things, and coming up with a rough plan of action, will vastly decrease one's odds of doing so. Again, as I said, I might not do the best thing or even a "correct" thing in such a situation, but I could never see myself freezing up. RUN LIKE HELL in the face of danger? Possibly. But to freeze up and do nothing? The only time I'd freeze and do nothing is if I thought that the best plan of action at the moment.

    As for how this guy feels. You're probably right. But what really gets me is his being so petrefied and confused that he refused to allow the camera man to take his gun and shoot. That added insult to injury. It simply demonstrates to me that he really never took the possibility of a charge seriously, even as they went into the bush after this animal and he was warned of the likelihood of such a thing by the PH.
  14. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    And enysse is exactly right about how many people would likely have froze herein. I will use this as a segway into a film I saw some years ago, a documentary about survivers of disasters, and why so many people died in those events while some people, right next to them, survived.

    Perhaps someone else here has seen it and remembers the name of the program. I cannot at the moment. But one tragedy therein that stuck in my mind was the sinking of a ferry boat in the Baltic Sea. This one survivor is being interviewed and he said, point blank, that most people simply froze in fear when the alert sounded and the captain directed people to equip themselves with life preservers.

    The incident occurred in 1994 on an Estonian ferry which I believe was heading to Finland. As I recall the story, something went wrong with the bow doors and they opened, flooding the vessel. The captain declared an emergency and directed everyone to put the life preservers on and abandon ship. Many people simply froze, and in the end, only 25 of the 867 people aboard were rescued.

    The real tragedy is it wasn't at all necessary for so many people to die. They did because, as the guy being interviewed said, most people absolutely panicked and completely failed to follow instructions. The most poignant thing in the whole interview was his relating how many people, especially women, simply sat at the tables crying. In one case, a crewmember was frantically trying to get this older woman to put on a lifejacket and was trying to help her into it, yet she refused to cooperate and sat at her table crying and screaming, "This can't be happening! This can't be happening!" She died.

    As I recall, this survivor had immediately donned a vest and then tried to help the crew help others, but many people refused to be helped, and refused to do anything to save themselves. Anyone who knows anything about ships and sinking knows you want to get off and AWAY from the ship -- the bigger the ship, the farther you need to get away -- BEFORE it goes under, or it will suck you under with it. I was impressed with the scene in the movie TITANIC where Leonardo Di Caprio's character Jack told Kate Winslet's Rose to take a deep breath and hold it as they were going to be sucked under as the stern sank. That's very true!

    The captain of this ferry was trying to get people off and away from the boat, but so many people were so afraid of jumping and of the cold water, they simply refused and wound up sinking with the ferry boat. I do believe most of the crew survived, but again, over 800 people died. This survivor noted most people just didn't seem to exhibit an instinct to do anything necessary to live. They simply sat and allowed themselves to drown. He was astounded by the whole thing and saddened, but couldn't understand how people could NOT act to save themselves.

    This case, and others, were used and the survivors backgrounds analyzed to try to find a common thread. They didn't have any particularly important backgrounds or experiences that saved them. The film just noted that the only common thread in them was a very strong sense of self-preservation and the ability to overcome panic, if not fear, and at least think and react to instructions. I can't overstate enough the impressions I got from this documentary. Included were these people who not only had a sense of survival, but many tried to help others to calm down and get them out of the situation only for these people to fight them. Finally, the survivors abandoned them to their fate. The common theme in their interviews was they weren't about to die along with these people who refused to try to save themselves.

    While it's true we don't know how we'll react in any given situation unless we're in it, I can again give you odds. The more you develop a mindset of facing and reacting to dangerous situations, the more likely you'll be to react. The reason for this is, when faced with mortal danger, the adrenaline rush can be so overwhelming it completely inhibits your ability to think rationally. This is why training/execises are so important for emergency personnel, military, etc. At that point, where you're filled with fear, you must rely on your training to take over. Or in this case, you're survival / reaction plans. It's a matter of instinct. If you've already thought about a scenario, you will at least not be caught off guard and be left utterly clueless about what to do. Your memory will kick in and you'll do. This is why I say, I might not do exactly the right thing, but I won't freeze up.

    BTW, I won't shoot anybody either. Kudos on the second hunter for having enough congnitive abilites during the event to make a conscious decision to NOT shoot at the animal's head or neck due to the proximity of the PH and instead went for the belly. Again, it wasn't the right decision, but at least the guy was doing something. If you heard in the video, the PH said he had a 470 Nitro Express double, fired two rounds, reloaded, fired two more rounds, and was reloading again when his son came in with the knife. I think we can agree that perhaps those four round to the gut helped save the son's life as he stabbed the animal with his OSS knife. I think it likely that it was a combination of the four .470 caliber holes and the shock of being hit along with the three large gashes into his lungs with the knife that took him down.

    I would likely have ran right up to the animal and put a .470 NE or .375 H&H round into his spine. But I am pretty certain I would NOT have had the kahuna's to get that close armed only with a knife. The kid had guts!
  15. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    I think I can agree with pretty much all of that. I have not faced a buffalo charge, but my first buff did stand his ground at 50 yards after my first shot failed to fell him. My PH and I both also stood our ground and each placed a 300 gr bullet directly into the front of his chest and the buff collapsed, DRT! But each situation is different. There is video out there of a PH facing a lion charge by sitting down and taking the time to place one perfect shot, braining the lion. Serious cajones he has!!
  16. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    I wonder if that's the same video I saw on YouTube. If it is, you're right! SERIOUS CAJONES!

    In the video I saw the guy shot as the lion leaped and was in the act of pouncing on him. In the slow motion rerun you could see the lion's eyes close and his body go limp in mid-air. He then slammed into the hunter, knocking the latter back on his butt, and fell over dead. It appears he was killed instantly and it was his dead body that landed in the hunter's lap. That is as close as you can get and still walk away without injury. Closer than I would ever want to get! As a friend said once, "That's too much excitement for my taste."

    I'd like to think but am not at all sure if I'd have the guts to stand still in the face of a DG charge and shoot. But one thing is certain. I would NOT do nothing. I might run, but I won't stand there with my thumb up my rear! ; )

    Like I mentioned earlier, as a volunteer firefighter I had a place come down around me after a series of explosions -- the fire had hit the electrical box for the escalators of this building just overhead and the force blew out the support beams. The only reason I'm still here is my guardian angel was looking out for me that day. The whole place in my immediate area came down around me. I ducked, tucking into a fetal position, held on to my helmet, thought "_HIT! This is it!" Then, "God! Please help me!" Then BAM! I heard crashing all around me and was waiting for that crushing blow from a beam, when everything went silent. Then all I heard was the crackling of flames. I looked up, saw the entire area around me strewn with ceiling, overhead beams, pieces of floor from above, etc. The ONLY spot that didn't get hit was this five foot diameter horse shoe in which I just happened to be at the middle. I'm surprised to this day I didn't soil my britches! I WAS scared out of my wits. I had been on my hands and knees crawling in under the smoke trying to get to the captain I was supposed to back up on the 2 1/2 inch hose, but on the way found this fire had crossed the hose and was burning through it. I was trying to find a way passed this block when this happened. At that point I scrambled out of there like a rat and got help. I was able to react, save myself, and tried to organize an alternative rescue, but I'll tell you what. It was scary. There's more to it, but in the end, the captain had seen what happened from his side when his line went dead -- the fire had cut through it and he lost pressure. So, he smashed out a window and climbed out. Five minutes later I was almost crushed again on the rescue attempt when the rest of the place collapsed. This time I had this little voice in my head saying "Get out! GET OUT!" I tried to overcome it by taking deep breaths and telling myself it was just fear, get over it, but I couldn't. I was standing in the doorway trying to readjust my breathing apparatus at the time -- the face mask wasn't sealing right -- when this happened. Finally the fear got so overwhelming I ran out of the building yanking the mask off. As soon as I did it was like a light switch, the fear stopped. I was perfectly fine, no more panicking. I couldn't understand how that could be. I then cursed myself for being a coward, and put my mask back on, telling myself I had to get back in there. At that moment, just as I was adjusting the straps I heard WHAM! Looked over and saw the place I had just been standing was buried in rubble. The escalators gave way and the whole entrance collapsed. Had I NOT moved I would have been crushed. I've had other such experiences, but nothing was quite so close a call. And NOTHING has scared the hell out of me quite as much as that event. But the point is, moments later I was back at it again. You simply drive through the fear and do what you're supposed to do. There were 127 firefighters and over a dozen engines from five departments, including Chicago, on that fire. Others had just as harrowing experiences, with 13 being trapped for a time up on the fourth floor when the stairs gave way. Everyone had to repel out the windows using the pompier belts and lines they took with them. No one panicked, and we call came out alive. Thank goodness.

    Different subject than hunting, but my attitude is, a dangerous game hunt -- or even a plains game hunt if it's at all possible you might run into a DG -- should include preparation by thinking through what to do. The most important part being discussing the matter with the PH and listening carefully to what he tells you. (Me.)

    This charging animal subject reminds me of a hunting joke a friend told me. It was something about two guys out hunting and they come across this grizzly bear. Don't recall the exact run up to the punch line, but it was something about the one hunter was running past the other as he tried to escape the charging bear, with the one guy saying, "What good will that do you, you can't outrun a bear!" and the other guy responding, "I don't have to out run him. I only have to outrun YOU!" :laughing:
  17. James.Grage

    James.Grage GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The thing about arm chair quarterback is the fact that they were not in the game. And the decisions that they make will not affect the games outcome.

    I have been second guessed the past 33 years in business and sometimes you get it right and some times you don't. This is an everyday deal in business.

    Now growing up on the ranch you did not make the same mistakes twice, you learned your lessons from the time you were small by being chased by geese, the farm rooster or being run over by pigs, sheep cattle and horses while you were out doing something stupid. You either made better choices or you went to the hospital to be patched up. Now that is called experience, which most individuals never get.

    Same difference here.

    WE have taken many city-slickers hunting and found most to be marginal to poor shotgun and rifle shots. They could not hit the broad side of a barn if they were standing inside the barn with the doors closed. Now that dismal and most PH'S will support this story after story.

    I am thankful that the PH is healed up and ready to go and is able to talk about it.
  18. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    So true. The man and his son with the knife, both are seriously couragous people. I am confident in saying I couldn't have done what either of them did.

    Funny about the being chased by geese. My experience as a kid on vacation actually, was being chased by a very angry and nasty swan. Hissed like a snake and came after us. My dad kept telling my mother to move, but she just continued along slowly. My brother and I moved quick, but my mom ticked my dad off by not listening and simply walking slowly because she was afraid if she moved any quicker it would chase her. Didn't seem to dawn on her that it was ALREADY chasing her! He finally went back to his mate. My father later explained that swans can be very dangerous, can even break bones if they hit you with their flapping wings. Who'd have known?

    Most people from the city who go hunting can't shoot because they don't shoot. They seldom practice, which is understandable in many ways, BUT.... I think it's incumbant upon us to practice up for a hunt. I have hunted and have hit almost everthing I've shot at with a quick kill. But I'm going to be doing a lot more practicing, and with the very guns I intend to bring, before going to Africa. As several PHs have counseled... need to practice from the sticks and freehand from various postions (sitting, kneeing, standing) and whatever else. Makes sense, especially if you're going to spend the kind of money a trip to Africa requires. It's not easy for me to get out in the country where I can shoot, but I will be doing so on my buddy's property.

    I'm also very thankful the PH is well and has shared this. I was so impressed I wrote him and thanked him for the video and the details behind it. I see it as a real 'teaching moment' to borrow a phrase.
  19. Uncompahgre

    Uncompahgre AH Member

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    Don't be upset toward the son videoing the event. He tried to get the other hunter's gun from him. Go back and play the video again. You hear him yelling "give me the f*&ing gun!". Give him credit for trying to do two things at once. I'll bet you a box of donuts that if the hunter would have given up his gun the camera would have been on the ground and you would have heard gunshots. This situation could have been much worse and I am thankful that the PH survived the ordeal. I agree with the comments made earlier that unfortunately the vast majority of today's hunters (and society as a whole) have been so far removed from nature that people don't know how to react or freeze with fear. It is a shame.
  20. ILCAPO

    ILCAPO AH Veteran

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    Agreed. The son on the camera was PISSED. As I noted earlier, he kept himself under control. I would likely have clobbered the guy with the camera or kneed him in the nuts to force him to hand over the rifle. The guy simply wouldn't let go. He wouldn't use it, but wouldn't give it up either. For the life of me I don't know what was going through his head to act that way.

    Society as a whole has become very passive. In a way, it's a testiment as to how safe people feel. It's a positive reflection on the state of the country. I'd apply this to the USA and Canada. Europe is similar, depending on where you are. My wife is from Italy -- northern Italy. As far as Europe goes, northern Italy is safe, yet she's said she feels more safe here in most places than she does there. The down side is, people have become so used to being secure, their self-preservation mechanism is dulled and they simply aren't prepared to deal with dangerous situations. Some of us, due to our lines of work, have had our alert mechanism turned back on, out of necessity.

    Again, I think it's a positive thing in a way. BUT... if you're going to go out in the wilderness, you're in another environment. It's like those people who jog in the woods in national parks like out in California and Wyoming. Yo! There are mountain lions and bears out there folks! And now there is even the repopulation of wolves happening. I will not go out there without a pistol on my hip. This wasn't even legal to do until recently. But fortunately, clearer heads prevailed and now national parks are no longer off limits to guns. It was common, when I lived there, for instance, for people out in Colorado to carry a handgun while out up in the mountains. There were a few attacks on joggers by cougars, there as well as in California. It's rare, but you only have to have it happen to you once!

    Even here in Virginia we do. My buddy and I go out to his 800 acres in the mountains to clear the roads of debris, repair and refill feeders in the off season, etc. At least one of us is armed, due to it being heavily traveled by big black bears. While blacks are not usually aggressive with humans and will run if they see you, it's that odd time he ain't that you have to be concerned about. My buddy brings a shotgun, or he and I carry .357 Magnum revolvers. Rather be safe than sorry.

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