Discussion in 'Hunting Videos' started by Pheroze, Feb 1, 2019.
Not meant to be a critic. I don't like the pointy end of a Buffalo pointing at me.
thats because if they had to reflect on what went wrong and why...they would have to accept responsibility for the goat rope that occurred. that might reflect poorly on the intrepid hunters and their street cred.
Nothing like hunts Capstick detailed. If I saw that before reading Death in the Long Grass I likely would have no interest in Africa.
Ironic, that would give them credibility in my eyes.
I think that I was the one who first speculated (page 2) that the bull was wounded:
Let me clarify that I do not KNOW anything about the story or people involved other than looking at the video.
Apologies if I confused folks about the possibility of it being filmed from a drone (pretty common place nowadays, virtually ALL camera pros have one) as opposed to from a ridge; my point was that it was filmed from a higher perspective. As to .458 lott or .458 3", I do not know, 1dirthawker, but I am pretty confident, as previously stated, that the case is too long to be .458 Win Mag. But all of these are details...
Onto the main point:
The reason I speculated that the bull is wounded is that, like IvW, with whom I totally agree, I cannot fathom why the PH would do what he did if that bull was not wounded. Since I tend to be a little less direct that IvW, I used the euphemism of "Unless the PH has a death wish (unlikely!)" but now that we are at the stage where we call a spade a spade, I will re-phrase to say that someone would have to be "out of his f!@#$%^ing mind" to play cat and mouse with a buff (and one that has already been annoyed for a while on top of that!) without an absolute imperative reason....
If the imperative reason is a buff with a crossbow bolt in the guts, it is sad, but part of the job. If the "imperative" is some TV show drama, that is sadder............ (full support for everything said about this by all others).
I am not sure that I totally subscribe to the bullet discussion, i.e. another bullet could have produced another result. The PH, for whatever reason (camera? hunter ego?) apparently does everything he can to NOT shoot the buff himself (this is, I guess, the only rationale I can think of for him not shooting earlier and trying to duck again behind the bush), and by the time he NEEDS to shoot, i.e. the buff charges, he visibly lets the buff come close (which I understand is the right thing to do to increase the chances of an accurate shot) and I am not sure that a solid of different construction would make any real difference in the practical world.
At this stage the PH either brains the buff or not, which in this case he failed to do by apparently shooting too high. About any bullet - short maybe (?) of a butter-soft, soft point, will go up the nose into the brain pan, but that is about the only place it needs to be placed for what I understand. Having never done it myself makes all this hypothetical of course, but a lot of folks who have done it many times have written about these things in painstaking details ...
Again, I agree with IvW. I personally know a camera pro in RSA who specializes in safari videos, and he can't stop lamenting about how many animals are wounded, crippled, tracked for hours, lost, etc. by "pretend snipers" shooting way too far...
I know I can be a bit direct in some of my responses but that is the way I am, straight forward instead of beating around the bush(excuse the pun).
Let me try and explain.
When hunting and viewer numbers and sponsors come into play you can be assured that in most cases rules get broken and things can fall apart.
Allow me to elaborate some on this incident, which by the way was totally avoidable if some simple principles where followed.
This area is very open with very few brush bush areas, which in my opinion is not typical buffalo habitat. Seeing as they also hunted what appears to be a liger, my guess is that this hunt took place in the Freestate and that Cape buffalo never naturally occurred in this area. I may be wrong but that is my opinion.
The last thing a PH or a DG foot safari guide wants is to get into or allow anybody he or she is guiding is to get into a charge situation, no matter how exciting it sounds or seems like when reading about such.
Avoid it at all cost.
One of the things I was vigorously taught when training as a DG foot safari guide and PH, is to understand the difference between a real charge and a mock charge.
All wild animals poses the fight or flight mode.
Dangerous game animals are the most likely to go into fight mode, wounded or not. Each individual animal also has it's own temper and "attitude" if we can call it that. Therefore the guide needs to take this into consideration, when approaching or being confronted by DG animals.
Terrain is also a important factor, just as wind direction is.
Assessment of the animal as well as the condition and body language of the animal is important when making decisions. Let's take as an example. You are guiding a group on a foot safari in a DG area. You come across a single bull elephant, you would like to take the group closer for a good viewing opportunity. You need to access first of all constant and stable wind direction, age of the bull, body language and condition of the bull(is he calm and feeding or purposefully walking etc.). If you determine that the bull is in Must, it would be a bad idea to try and take the group closer, simple if you follow the rules. Likewise with a cow herd that have small calves at foot, bad idea to try and get a group close in, simple.
Each animal has it's own fight or flight perimeters. The size of this perimeter differs not only from each individual animal but also from species to species. The ability of the guide or PH to determine this perimeter goes a long way to distinguish experienced from in experienced and good from bad.
Depending on each animal if you keep harassing or following a certain DG animal this changes the dynamics and greatly increases the chance of that animal to either turn a mock charge into a real one or just go into fight mode, period. You need to be able to interpret this and deal with it accordingly.
Elephant-mock charges are not uncommon and usually you will be given a few pointers by the elephant which will indicate if it is the real thing or not. Cows with calves are much more prone to quickly go into a full charge. Bulls unless in Must
Lion-mock charges are not uncommon and they will also give you pointers to determine the urgency of their intentions. Male lions, un-wounded rarely push a charge through, lionesses with cubs may give you a chance but if you do not move off, backwards she may push through.
Buffalo on the other hand wounded or not wounded 9.9 out of 10 will push a charge through when they are approached too close or you continue to push them.
We can visualize these distances from animals as circles around them.
Lets make the furthest circle the green circle. You are far enough away and most likely the animal is not aware of your presence and minding it's own business. So the wind direction is in your favor you have time to decide your next move. You may now have to get in closer if you are hunting in order to get into position for a shot.
This now might bring you into, let's call it the orange zone. The animal may still be unaware of your presence, which is ideal because you are now close in and can place your shot accurately. However if the animal becomes aware of your presence it may do a couple of things that you should anticipate and be prepared for. It may do nothing but look at you. What you then do next may well determine what the animal will do. If you stay perfectly still and have some cover it may well ignore you and go about it's business. It may take flight and disappear into the green zone and not stop or it may decide to go into the fight mode.
If it disappears or runs off you need to determine if it is worthwhile following it and trying again which will become more difficult and dangerous the more you do this to the same animal.
The attack or fight zone. This is when you come too close to the animal and YOU give it the only option to fight, which means it will now put in a determined charge, a scenario you want to avoid at all costs. This now dependent on which member of the DG you have pushed too far, will require precise shot placement, correct bullet selection and adequate caliber for the task, in order to avoid injury or death, it is you or the animal you have pushed too far.
Back to the incident.
Non typical habitat, with very little cover for the bull to avoid or evade the hunters.
Numerous times followed up and pushed, forcing the bull to go into fight mode.
Wounded or un-wounded makes no real difference at this point.
The hunting party are off to the left and are in the orange zone, the bull is well aware of their presence but has a bigger threat to deal with.
The PH who willfully puts himself into the red zone, trying to achieve something that only they will know because it sure as shi...was not to kill the bull.
The PH handles the situation he has put himself into incorrectly. He does not shoot when he has the opportunity, even after the charge has started(which he at this time should have realized because it is a buffalo as well as the preceding events), would be a real charge), after aiming the rifle he moves to the right, in so doing depriving himself the opportunity of more than one shot and effectively at least doubling his chances of getting killed, the speed of the charge is unexpected and he botches the one shot he has of saving his ass. Luckily for him the bull veered off probably as a result of the bullet that struck the right horn.
Extremely lucky but totally avoidable.
The qualification is Professional Hunter or Professional DG foot safari guide, unfortunately the first part is often lost somewhere along the way.
At the end of the day there is no substitute for experience and good bush skills, and yes the only way to gain that experience is to be out there doing the job but, somewhere along the way there is a gift we all have that needs to be used never mind the level of experience and that is common sense.
The unpredictability and reactions of wild animals as well as the natural factors out there need to be taken into consideration constantly by Professional hunters and guides every time they go out and they can change in a fraction of a second and when all else fails they need to be able to stop the situation from becoming detrimental to the health or even fatal to those involved.
Sadly the timelines, objective of the reason they wanted to kill a buffalo with a crossbow blurred all of this out and they pushed the limits too far and it could have resulted in the unfortunate death of somebody, they where extremely fortunate to walk away from this one.
"Lucky to be alive" indeed but totally avoidable in this case and very un-professional.
Thank you IvW. You explained in great detail what I saw. I DO NOT HAVE THE EXPERIENCE or training to judge the events, actions, intentions of the this hunt. But, I do have extensive experience in the field hunting and I have an abundance of common sense. Nothing in this video suggests common sense, let alone professional judgment. I would not deal with any game in this manner, and certainly not DG. Hopefully those on the video will become aware of this discussion and can explain the events. I know from experience that conclusions made with partial information are by definition biased. It does not mean they are wrong however. From what I see: 1- they never should have been in that position in the first place, 2-once the charge started the PH handled it poorly. If he was moving to his right to get back into the camera frame before shooting, then he got what he deserved for not placing professional principals above interests of a video producer.
I really can't stomach watching more than a few seconds of this type "hunting" video, ever since we were blessed with the hallmark of such via MS's junk. Seems like those involved got exactly what they were wanting- their "15 minutes of fame" on youtube and a lot of net exposure. As to the PH involved... in the last few seconds of the clip- no way anyone will ever know what actually was going through his mind. But IF he knew that buff was hit by the "stunt hunter's" bolt- why in the world stand there and have the stare down waiting for the charge. I think I'd be shooting and trying to stop the action before it really got started!--- but then again I wasn't there.
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