1st shot on a Buffalo a Texas heart shot!?

Hank2211

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Who is he?.....
Mike, apart from a ton of videos online, he won the Weatherby Award a few years back (2013?) so he's done lots of hunting.

I agree that it's easy to get a bit (or a lot) cocky, and that seems to be what's happened here. I also agree with @Philip Glass that it's sometimes easy to point fingers at TV personalities, but frankly, they tend to bring these things on themselves. Showcasing poor hunting practices is never a good idea.

As an aside, I've hunted with some PH's often enough that we can have some pretty honest conversations, and I hear things about certain "TV hunters" that are pretty bad. I was told that most of them have the sense, though, not to show the bad stuff. One example - the "one shot kill" actually took about 3 and the animal was moved from the place it was found to the place the first shot happened to keep the narrative realistic. I don't like that, but at least no one's showing it as the way we ought to do things.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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I have watched and enjoyed many of J Alain Smith's videos and seen him pass up shots. He is definitely not the kind of guy to take pot shots at departing buffalo. I am with the benefit of the doubt group, he is a good hunter and it is indeed likely the camera missed his first shot. Call it poor editing judgement this time. Live and learn.
 

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Mike, apart from a ton of videos online, he won the Weatherby Award a few years back (2013?) so he's done lots of hunting.

I agree that it's easy to get a bit (or a lot) cocky, and that seems to be what's happened here. I also agree with @Philip Glass that it's sometimes easy to point fingers at TV personalities, but frankly, they tend to bring these things on themselves. Showcasing poor hunting practices is never a good idea.

As an aside, I've hunted with some PH's often enough that we can have some pretty honest conversations, and I hear things about certain "TV hunters" that are pretty bad. I was told that most of them have the sense, though, not to show the bad stuff. One example - the "one shot kill" actually took about 3 and the animal was moved from the place it was found to the place the first shot happened to keep the narrative realistic. I don't like that, but at least no one's showing it as the way we ought to do things.

Ok thanks for the info.... :D Beers:
 

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I don't know the man personally. Met him last year in Dallas. He took the time to talk with my sons and take pictures with them. The little I did talk to him he seemed down to earth kind of guy.

All that said, the only person who doesn't mess up is the person that does nothing. Reality is bad shots happen, I have made them not proud of them. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves people on TV are human and they too make mistakes.

Now the way I see it cast the stone or use it as a learning tool to teach others what not to do.

Maybe I'm getting old or I am tired of cancel culture. YMMV
 

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I see he responded to Cal now...

J Alain Smith
2 hours ago
@cal Hard for you to see in the tall grass and with the camera angle I suppose since the camera was not behind me, but first one quartering away behind the ribs, second one in the ass. He went 100 yards and died.
 
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Scott CWO

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I see he responded to Cal now...

J Alain Smith
2 hours ago
@cal Hard for you to see in the tall grass and with the camera angle I suppose since the camera was not behind me, but first one quartering away behind the ribs, second one in the ass. He went 100 yards and died.
Yes, like I said. The camera is not always just over the shoulder of the shooter. An explanation of this should have been offered, however. Poor editing.

In addition, as any PH worth his salt should know, after the initial shot, it’s “any port in a storm” for the follow up shots.

I will also relate the following, although it does not directly correlate to this circumstance and it will take most hunters by surprise: AK guide, Joe Want, held the largest brown bear skull average in Alaska during his illustrious career and was a respected, careful guide with the highest of hunting morals and restraint. Several articles were written from interviews he did and then he also did a seminar on brown bear hunting that has been released on DVD. You can find it on Amazon. Anyway, in his seminar, he outlines one of the most deadly first shots on a brown bear - the so-called Texas heart shot. He states that he believes it to be the best or one of the best at closer ranges. Keep in mind that he and most of us brown bear guides say that 50-150 yards are the best range of shots. Myself, I happen to believe that a perfectly broadside shot through both lungs is the best but I can see how a 50-100 yard shot from directly behind a stationary bear is devastating. This shot angle, at least on bears and perhaps on other species with a larger caliber rifle, has a stigma against it that is sometimes taught as a myth and handed down from hunter to hunter without real world experience. Ask yourself, why is it that a quartering away shot that passed through just one lung is better than a well placed shot from the rear that passes through the digestive tract, diaphragm and chest cavity before exiting or penetrating the neck or head? Ask a surgeon what he would rather try to repair? I think I know the answer.

Another myth or mistake told by many a bloviating outdoor writer or inexperienced guide is that bears should be shot high through the shoulders to “break them down.” This is wrong. A slight miss to the front and you hit no vitals. Slightly too high, you hit the nothing or get lucky and hit the spine. Slightly to the back and it’s high lung. Nope! Give me a shot just behind the shoulder in the heart/lung area or a TX heart shot at close range any day before I go into the alders after a bear! At least I’m betting that the bear is dead when I find it.
 
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Scott CWO

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If that was the case it makes no sense to not mention that fact...turning it then to make as if it was the first shot is....well just stupid. From the footage and what is said I come to the conclusion that it is the first shot...no PH will stand there just putting out the sticks in that terrain especially tall grass, low visibility, how does he know which one is wounded? In that senario(if they were following up a wounded bull) the PH would have his rifle in hand the tracker will have the sticks.......

He shot it in the arse, first shot through the grass, as it is running away, that is the scene.....
With all due respect, most of the footage of him getting on the sticks and walking around with trackers and Adam is staged after the animal is dead and recovered. This is common place editing on ALL TV hunting shows. Would you let a cameraman walk up next to the PH and hunter in plain sight of animals you are trying to shoot? No. Too many animals would get spooked. It is all done later and edited in. Same for most footage of walking up on a downed animal and parts of the stalk. All the out-takes are edited in as well. It’s almost always a fair amount of deception on these shows. Only about half the footage is in real time. On the first shot, the camera is off to the side and the running away shots are definitely follow up shots.
 

Daga Boy

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At 8:15 into the video you see J Alain Smith (hunting with Adam Clement) taking his FIRST shot at a Buffalo. Its running directly away from him! He then takes another shot and then narrates "A going away shot is never good on Buffalo".

One guy calls him out in the comments under the video and J Alain replies "Sometimes you gotta take whatever shot they give you. That’s where Sir Alex comes in handy!" Now I'm not sure what he means by the Sir Alex comment but I'm appalled by this shot, the fact that he chose to upload it onto youtube and the way he defends it.

To give you my thoughts on this I have copied and pasted my reply to his comment "I've enjoyed your videos in the past but I'm sorry I completely disagree. You absolutely do not have to "take whatever shot they give you". You wait or work harder to get into a better position to take an ethical first shot. No exceptions. I've hunted all over Africa, I've hunted 4 buffalo in Moyowosi, I'm no anti hunter. By taking that shot you are giving hunting and hunters a bad name, endangering the lives of the people around you and most importantly not giving the old dagga boy the respect he deserves and a quick clean kill. I'm sure Adam gave you a mouthful after that shot. If he didn't he should have! Very disappointing..."

What do you guys think about this?
Sorry, rant over!
Agreed 100%. It is also a good way to get someone killed
 

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I've been looking at hunting safari videos for months now. Usually from African Sun productions, Buchanan hunts and some others. These I really recommend.
When a video of this RuggedX character came by, I decided to check it out, as production value seemed high. But I was very quickly put off by the main characters' overly gungho style, very bad shooting overall, lack of ethics and way too much plugging of brands. That's when you know the video was made, not about hunting, but as an infomercial to show off products and himself. If I were the outfitter having participated to this, I would not be too pleased with having my name linked to this character.

This was the first video I saw of him, where he was hunting buffalo and then saw a big bushbuck coming out at speed, decided to change targets and shot him running, because it had an impressive trophee... I was appalled. About 2min in.
First a rather impressive (all things considered) shoulder shot on the running animal, which should not have been taken to begin with. Then a miss, and some tracking.

This guy gives hunters a bad name in my humble opinion.
 

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I've been looking at hunting safari videos for months now. Usually from African Sun productions, Buchanan hunts and some others. These I really recommend.
When a video of this RuggedX character came by, I decided to check it out, as production value seemed high. But I was very quickly put off by the main characters' overly gungho style, very bad shooting overall, lack of ethics and way too much plugging of brands. That's when you know the video was made, not about hunting, but as an infomercial to show off products and himself. If I were the outfitter having participated to this, I would not be too pleased with having my name linked to this character.

This was the first video I saw of him, where he was hunting buffalo and then saw a big bushbuck coming out at speed, decided to change targets and shot him running, because it had an impressive trophee... I was appalled. About 2min in.
First a rather impressive (all things considered) shoulder shot on the running animal, which should not have been taken to begin with. Then a miss, and some tracking.

This guy gives hunters a bad name in my humble opinion.
I really don’t see what you see with the bad shooting and lack of ethics? If anything I see he’s an overconfident very good shot, I’ve watched nearly all his hunting videos. I don’t care for the gunwerks advertisements but it’s no more or less than Buchanan hunts and Swift ammo. He has one of the few shows that show wild hunting in wild areas and don’t see why showing that is bad for hunting? There are some seriously bad/kill focused shows on outdoor tv channels in United States that do serious damage to our image. This doesn’t even compare.
On a buffalo no valid reason too much room for error and very tough animal, but question for you. What is difference of shooting a running bushbuck at close range in Africa vs shooting a stag or boar during a driven hunt in Europe? or shooting whitetail deer or bear in driven hunts in the eastern United States? I can’t understand why you are appalled at this? It’s a common accepted hunting practice in many areas.
 

cal

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I see he responded to Cal now...

J Alain Smith
2 hours ago
@cal Hard for you to see in the tall grass and with the camera angle I suppose since the camera was not behind me, but first one quartering away behind the ribs, second one in the ass. He went 100 yards and died.
Thanks DWB, you beat me to it. I much preferred this explanation to the rather gung-ho one he posted earlier. I must say I have enjoyed his other videos (hence me watching this one in the first place) and I have found him to be a good shot in the other videos. He can be a bit much sometimes and the plugs are a bit irritating but as 375 Fox says, most of the hunting shows do the same.
Even with this more recent explanation of his I still do not agree with the first shot taken on a bull running almost directly away in tall grass, no matter what the slight angle was.
Quite a few members have said something along the lines of "everyone makes mistakes" and I completely agree. I am by no means perfect, far from it. But for me the problem I have with this is it was not a honest mistake as in a bad shot at an animal in a good hard worked for position for example, everyone makes those from time to time. It was an over confident, maybe arrogant, decision to take the shot that I feel did not show enough respect to the animal and the people around him. My aim in posting this was not to drag him through the coals or crucify him, I think we can all learn from this as I hope he has by my comment on his video.
I got too casual the other day hunting 'only' an Impala. I had the turret on my scope dialled for a longer shot I took on the range before the hunt and forgot to check. I luckily missed the Impala completely, shooting over its back, and did not wound the animal. I was very disappointed in myself that I had made that mistake and vowed never to take any animal too casually again, its a life you are taking and it needs to be done properly, every time. My mates I was hunting with will never let me forget it either, I had a very strong drink for it at the fines meeting at end of the hunt!
 

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I really don’t see what you see with the bad shooting and lack of ethics? If anything I see he’s an overconfident very good shot, I’ve watched nearly all his hunting videos. I don’t care for the gunwerks advertisements but it’s no more or less than Buchanan hunts and Swift ammo. He has one of the few shows that show wild hunting in wild areas and don’t see why showing that is bad for hunting? There are some seriously bad/kill focused shows on outdoor tv channels in United States that do serious damage to our image. This doesn’t even compare.
On a buffalo no valid reason too much room for error and very tough animal, but question for you. What is difference of shooting a running bushbuck at close range in Africa vs shooting a stag or boar during a driven hunt in Europe? or shooting whitetail deer or bear in driven hunts in the eastern United States? I can’t understand why you are appalled at this? It’s a common accepted hunting practice in many areas.
You are quite right 375Fox, the driven boar, stag and roe deer hunts in Europe would indeed be the same ethically. However, (as I mentioned in other posts) I fully detest those as well. It is exactly the reason why I have not hunted a lot of big game in Europe so far. Only stag and deer, with stalk hunting in Scotland. I actively abstain myself of taking part in such driven hunts, and as this is pretty much the only option in Belgium, I abstain from hunting in my own country...

I cannot stomach shooting myself, or seeing anyone else shoot on a running animal (apart from an already wounded animal, or in the case of varmint control). People who can do it, very impressive and kudos to them, but I always wonder how many wounded animals shot this way, never made it on tape. And I also wonder if this is not more about someone's ego to show off shooting skills, instead of putting everything in your favour to hunt as ethically as possible.

But perhaps I should also be a bit less critical and hold my tongue more. People do make mistakes after all.

V.
 
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375Fox

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You are quite right 375Fox, the driven boar, stag and roe deer hunts in Europe would indeed be the same ethically. However, (as I mentioned in other posts) I fully detest those as well. It is exactly the reason why I have not hunted a lot of big game in Europe so far. Only stag and deer, with stalk hunting in Scotland. I actively abstain myself of taking part in such driven hunts, and as this is pretty much the only option in Belgium, I abstain from hunting in my own country...

I cannot stomach shooting myself, or seeing anyone else shoot on a running animal (apart from an already wounded animal, or in the case of varmint control). People who can do it, very impressive and kudos to them, but I always wonder how many wounded animals shot this way, never made it on tape. And I also wonder if this is not more about someone's ego to show off shooting skills, instead of putting everything in your favour to hunt as ethically as possible.

But perhaps I should also be a bit less critical and hold my tongue more. People do make mistakes after all.

V.
I respect your opinion since you apply it to all hunting, but I’ll give you my perspective on taking running shots, some I will take and others I won’t. I’ve been very lucky, only animal I’ve ever wounded was a pig in New Zealand. I won’t shoot unless I’m very confident in shot, I think I owe it to the animal. At home in Pennsylvania, the distance and dry conditions or snow for tracking play a large part in my decision. In Europe, I’ve always had dogs available, and was really impressed at their ability to recover animals. I have taken shots during monteria in Spain I would consider risky at home without dogs. In Africa, skilled trackers and sometimes dogs, but also having the ability to take a second and third shot. I actually took a bushbuck under very similar conditions last March, we flushed it from a thick patch into the open and I took a running shot successfully. I also took a trotting shot at a black wildebeest, but I knew I had a huge open area to continue shooting should the first shot not be a good one. Some running shots are ethical and others aren’t, these are some of my considerations. I would never try a first shot on a running buffalo though.

My best running shot to date though has been on a poacher’s dogs in Caprivi. I got 3/5 then the other 2 disappeared until one decided to make a break for home. I swung though just like a shotgun and he tumbled at around 100 yards. Tracker in back was yelling “you a snipa, you a snipa” it was a pretty neat experience. Hopefully it scared poacher away for a while. He ran into island/brush with shotgun when we first found them.
 
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