Hunting Cape Buffalo at Night

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by WALKINGPREY2, Jul 17, 2014.

  1. WALKINGPREY2

    WALKINGPREY2 AH Senior Member

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    Can any of you outfitters tell me if it is legal to hunt Cape Buffalo at night in South Africa? I was encouraged to do so by the land owner on this current safari hunt in the Eastern Cape. Thank you for your help.
  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Think this should answer your question:

    prohibitions.jpg
  3. WALKINGPREY2

    WALKINGPREY2 AH Senior Member

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    Yes, someone just sent me that info. But another reputable PH also stated this: " If the property in question is currently adequately enclosed for buffalo and registered as such with the department of enviromental affairs it would be deemed lawful to conduct such hunt at night with a artificial light." What is considered "adequately enclosed"? I am being informed by my PH, Louie Bodill of Starr & Bodill that Louw Pieterse informed him that the buff has now magically disappeared and moved on to another farm. It was Louw that was the PH on the buff hunt.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2014
  4. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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  5. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    This may be a polite method of saying it is no longer available.
  6. WALKINGPREY2

    WALKINGPREY2 AH Senior Member

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    No...I was told just after I posted this that the buff had been found. I had an opportunity to talk to Louw Pieterse about my concerns this evening and how I personally felt having wounded an animal. He has violated no laws and has all the proper licenses and certifications. I was never his client, but I have heard nothing but incredible things about his outfit. I would never personally hunt an animal such as a Cape Buff at dusk again. But I am sure that there are more qualified hunters who would be able. Lessons learned the hard way for me. I carry the guilt of having wounded an animal and not taking him down properly. The buff must now be put down by the PH for fear he will injure others, because I leave tomorrow. The client has an obligation to also educate themselves as much as possible on the animal they are hunting.
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  7. Frederik

    Frederik AH Enthusiast

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    The information you give is a bit vague, could you maybe elaborate why you were encouraged to hunt in this manner ?
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  8. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Wounded critters change the game quite a bit. Obligations under the law for safety is a big priority for the PH.

    Glad the animal has been found.

    Sorry to hear the sour side of the hunt. I am sure they will find the Buffalo.
    Too bad you can not stay an extra couple of days and follow up yourself.

    Hind sight always provides a different picture.

    Stay safe.
  9. billc

    billc SILVER SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Seems like night hunting a buff is not the norm for sure.Just does not seem safe but glad it worked out and no one was hurt.When they found it was your shot a killing shot over time.Did this all happen over days or you shoot it one night and they found it the next day.
  10. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

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    The info is a bit vague but it sounds like there is some stress involved so we need to be understanding and wait for the whole story. But for now it sounds to me like they were hunting buffalo and it got late in the day and she made a shot right at dusk that required follow up.... As it got dark, light would be required and perhaps Prey questioned the practice? I suspect she was under stress and having communicated in the past with her, I take her to be a person who would be completely conscious of "doing the right thing and following the law". So I think this is extenuating circumstances and it would seem appropriate to take whatever means necessary to finish the job. Sounds like that is what the PH was proposing, and to use light and do it at night was probably his only recourse to attempt to get his hunter involved in the final kill while still in camp.
    Sounds to me like a case of everyone doing what they thought was "right" and at worst suffering a communication breakdown or an unclear understanding of intent, circumstance, personal view of ethics and simple reality.
    Hopefully it all works out and to Walkingprey2, all the best and hope the rest of your hunt went well. These things are why it is hunting and not just shooting... Stuff happens.[/QUOTE]
  11. WALKINGPREY2

    WALKINGPREY2 AH Senior Member

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    Thank you, Bob. Very well put. I was being told that because the animal was hunted at dusk....that if I received any part of the trophy that I could possibly fall under violation with the Lacey Act by others. This is why it is so important to know the laws regarding hunting a particular animal, especially in a foreign country.....as much as possible. Hunting the Cape Buff was a last minute decision. I will not be so hasty in the future.
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  12. ActionBob

    ActionBob AH Enthusiast

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    Hey I think any of us can understand getting your blood up and making last minute decisions. Heck, "in the moment" decisions are a normal and big part of hunting.

    Have a safe trip home and post the positive stories when you get a chance!
  13. CT Safaris

    CT Safaris AH Enthusiast

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    I believe it was Kevin Robertson (author of "The Perfect Shot") who said:

    You hunt Lion with your heart,
    Leopard with your mind,
    Elephant with your feet,
    And Cape Buffalo with your guts...

    To many a Cape Buffalo hunt is the epitome of a hunt in Africa. It has all the elements of a perfect dangerous game hunt:

    • you (mostly) have to work hard for it,
    • spend hours (if not days) on foot after it and
    • when you get close to it you need the nerves not become overwhelmed by the fact that you're about to shoot a 2,000 Lbs animal that has the ability (and tendency) to hurt you in a big way if you don't do your job right...
    • In my opinion this is the "right" way to hunt Cape Buffalo
    Whether you bag a 34" or 44" Cape Buffalo bull hunted the "right way" and whether you do so on a million acres or a thousand is in my opinion irrelevant. A Cape Buffalo is equally dangerous on a thousand acres as what it is on a million. So if done the right way any hunter can and should be proud of standing up to the challenge...

    A trophy that is shot at, wounded and lost always leaves a bad taste in the mouth but if that animal was hunted in an ethical and correct manner and the hunter did everything humanly possible to recover the wounded animal at least the hunter can console himself by the fact that he/she had hunted ethically.

    In my humble opinion, shooting a Cape Buffalo at night with the aid of a shooting lamp (whether legal or not) is not only irresponsible - due to the risk of wounding and losing an expensive animal - but is also not the "epitome" of African hunting. I simply don't see the thrill and the danger in doing something like that?

    Some hunters has the financial means to hunt several Cape Buffalo, Elephant, Lion and Leopard during their lifetimes - others spend a lifetime saving up for a 7 day plains game hunt...

    And in my opinion it is an Outfitter and PH's responsibility to - when they conduct any hunt - ensure that they offer the experience to their clients that they've been looking forward to and have been expecting.

    Walking Prey, I am not having a go at you with my post. I'm sure that you did what you were told and believed was right at the time. I only feel sorry that you did not experience the thrill and excitement of a real Cape Buffalo hunt. What a terrible way to lose a trophy!

    I'm holding thumbs that your trophy will be recovered!

    Best,
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  14. matt85

    matt85 BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Enthusiast

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    not getting an animal is better then getting one in a way you weren't comfortable with. your trophy just becomes a reminder of a bad experience rather then an achievement.

    -matt
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  15. WALKINGPREY2

    WALKINGPREY2 AH Senior Member

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    Matt....I totally agree. As I have said, I pay for the hunt. If my only interest were in some trophy.....I could easily purchase one at any hunting convention. I truly regret pulling the trigger on an animal when I was not fully comfortable with the situation and repeatedly voiced how I felt to my PH. But I was told and led to believe that everything was under control and the method used was fine. I felt foolish questioning their expertise. So when they told me to take the shot....I did. I made it fully clear to the landowner after wounding the animal that I took responsibility for my part (it was still my choice) and proved it by making full payment. My anger comes in the fact that my PH, in my opinion, did not do everything he could have to recover that animal. Don't get me wrong....there was a hard core search for the wounded buff that next day. But that was it. No other time was spent searching for the bull (outside of checking the trail cam and alfalfa pellets left to bait them), and I still had five days left after that initial search to look for the buff before I left on Friday. I didn't care if it was one tracker, my PH and me alone out there, at least we were doing all we could to find the animal. Instead, I was put off by my PH, told it was a waste of time to search in such thick bush for, and then told the buff had simply disappeared. One former PH suggested getting a "microlight in the air. They are pretty cheap per hr to rent (with pilot) and have the pilot and the PH/Land Owner go up with him and fly grids on the farm - just needs to take a two way radio with. They may be able to spot him from the air (they can fly pretty slow and low) especially if he is down somewhere in bush or has backed himself in somewhere with head down. If they spot him they can radio the coordinates to the PH on the ground and get you over there asap." This was never an option offered to me, which I would have highly considered if I had known about it, and there was an airport located near to the Outfitter's lodge where we stayed.

    In the end, would I recommend the Outfitter I used.....no, because I have hunted with better. Though my PH did hunt hard for the two animals I did take and those were very positive experiences. There were things done on this buff hunt that were just plain wrong. Things that no way ever involved the landowner. He had his own clients to tend to and I truly appreciate the help he was able to provide. If the head and cape are ever recovered, they will serve only as a reminder of lessons learned.
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  16. Frederik

    Frederik AH Enthusiast

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    WalkingPrey, somethings don't add up do you have positive proof and are 100% sure you wounded the buffalo ?
    Pack of dogs would have cost you $250-$400 per day to track down your buffalo except for the Microlight idea you heard about later. Pellets to attract and bait them ??? I'm sorry to say but it seems you have been taking in.

    Please note I am only giving my thought on all the information that has been put on above and as always there is two sides of a story. But my gut says something is not right from the details written above.
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  17. WALKINGPREY2

    WALKINGPREY2 AH Senior Member

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    Yes. I know for a fact the buffalo is wounded. There were spots of blood left where I shot him. I saw them myself. And there was a blood trail, but with minimal amounts of blood. Literally, only droplets. But I was told that didn't mean he wasn't bleeding internally. The day after I wounded the buff, I stayed with Louw Pieterse the next day when he, his partner, his trackers, and dogs did an all out search for the buff. We searched from dawn until the sun went down. But the buff's trail was lost. The buff was also not showing his usual pattern of behavior. For instance, he and his younger male companion usually used a lower watering hole where there is a spring to drink from. Instead, the cape buff chose to drink water from a water pond higher up on the mountain that I was told was easier for him to get to. There were no other traces of blood after this day. But the trail cam they have set up did show that the two buffs showed up later that night (around 7 p.m. and then again at 2 a.m.) to feed on the alfalfa they leave out for buffs. I saw the photos myself on the trail cam. Unfortunately, what they have not been able to determine is where my bullet hit the old buff. The fact the old buff was eating was a good sign. They (my PH, Louie Bodill and Louw) took me back out the following night to try another shot at getting the buffalo. This time using a night scope. The buffs had fallen back into their usual pattern of eating the alfalfa between 5-6 p.m. I had a clear broadside shot at one of the buffs, but unfortunately, they could not tell me if the was the older or younger buff, and I was not about to take a risk of injuring the younger bull. I can honestly say, I would never hunt a Cape Buffalo in this fashion ever again. And I wanted (almost begged) my PH, Louie Bodill, to please take me back out to hunt the wounded buff, to finish what I started. But he refused. I was then told by Louie that there was no traces of the two buffalo on Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week and, therefore, a waste of time in hunting for him. Louw had an obligation to his own clients. I honored my part as a client and paid for the buff. I spoke to Louw on Wednesday night. He relayed his concerns to me that the possible injury might mean a slower more painful death for the buff, and the risk of injury to other hunters with an injured buff in the area. He felt he had no choice but to put the buff down. I agreed. I can now only wait to hear what happens.
  18. garyleach

    garyleach AH Veteran

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    I feel for u walking prey, i hit and lost a buff on my last day this June, need less to say, i am very disappointed on the outcome, but the hunt was still a great experience... I am still waiting to hear if they have recovered my buff and we did all that we could in the short time i had left to recover the bull... I took the shoot and i owned up to a poor shot and a rushed shot, it was my call, as they say shi#! happens, its hunting not shooting... I should know in the next week or so, as they are back at the property this week. When i finally get it all straightened out, i will send out a hunting report amd some pics!
  19. WALKINGPREY2

    WALKINGPREY2 AH Senior Member

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    Thank you for sharing, Gary. Then you know how sick I feel about all this. It has been an incredible learning experience. I appreciate Louw letting me ride his heals and watching the entire process of how they track an animal. They would point out the evidence of the bull's behavior, educating me, as we tracked him. But I will add this, the trackers are good, the dogs they use as well. But those two components alone do not equal Louw's skills. I have a true appreciation for his gift and experience.
  20. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    What was the presentation of the Cape buffalo when you shot? Did you have a steady rest? Was the shot rushed? Any brush in the way? Did you think the bullet hit where you aimed?

    Sorry to hear about your hunt :(.

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