First timer's questions about Cape Buffalo

Brian

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like some of you, I like hunting cows. ( It's the cranky and clever one standing beside the bull.) And I only take out old, worn out animals. I killed two bulls a few years ago, and then switched to cows. More bang for the buck and often more challanging. I am not a trophy kind of guy. I have killed 7 cows using 375HH, .577 NE and 50-110 Winchester.

For me it's all about getting within 50 yds of a buffalo and using the best bullet.
Besides TSX, look at Swift A -Frame. We hand loaders have great bullets to choose from. I am into NorthFork and Cutting Edge Bullets. I shoot a solid first. (those NF cup point solids are excellent.) All NF and CEB solids give deep straight pennitration.

Last hunt, I used CEB Raptors and they were very impressive. ( They will not go through brush but they really kill buffalo. I have had three cape buffalo "dead right there" With CEB Raptors.)

Also that Peregrine Bush Master is a super bullet. ( Made in Pretoria.)
 

tarbe

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Donnachaidh, as meigsbucks posted, a place to start would be the BVC in Zimbabwe. They have a very large population of buffalo and may offer reduced fee non-trophy buffalo. Check with Mazunga Safaris who administers the hunts there. Several PHs operate on BVC and it is an excellent!!! area.

IIRC the fee for a non-trophy bull in the BVC is $3,950 vs $6k for a trophy bull, but you are still on the hook for 10 days at $1,400 day fees...so not a cheap hunt.

But, the BVC is reputed to be quite a fine place to chase game. I will give you my first-hand opinion after I return in late August!
 
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KMG Hunting Safaris

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I never understand why many PH’s want solids for backup on buff when we have the TSX which is a beast of a bullet. From my experience solids are only good for elephant. Nice to hear of your hunt.

Because on a wounded Buff, standing with his head in a bush, and possibly only having an available shot from the rear, a TSX wont have the penetration to punch through the rumps, rumen and reach from tail to chest on a Cape Buffalo. That is why we ask hunters to bring a few solids.
 

KMG Hunting Safaris

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@Donnachaidh, there has been some good advice given here, and some that I simply dont agree with.
First of all, you get Buffalo hunts, and you get Buffalo hunts.
Many people have shot Cape Buffalo, but how many has hunted them?
One of the most important points I would like to raise, is what I request from all guests that hunt Cape Buffalo with us. It is merely a request, and certainly not a rule with oyr hunters. You can take my advice or not, but I am offering this simply from the experience I have gained over countless Cape Buffalo hunts.
Move to a bullet like a Swift A Frame, Woodleigh or such and rather leave the TSX's behind. I have nothing against Barnes, I think they are excellent bullets, but they are not ideal for Cape Buffalo. Cape Buffalo are often hunted in herds or Bachelor herds, and often bunch up. Moving to a lead core bullet, you can be sure that you wont have a pass through. The same can't be said for a TSX. Their whole selling point, is penetration.
I have had hunters shoot Buff from 375's to 505 Gibbs, none giving a pass through with lead core bullets. This is why you often see hunters shooting at Buff in herds on hunting shows. With the correct setup, this can be done with confidence. On a Cape Buffalo bull, this can be done, however does not hold water when hunting a cow. They simply dont have the width in the body for the bullet to stay inside.
You simply never know what is standing behind the bushes, behind the animal you are pursuing. Making this mistake on an lets say an Impala has less consequences to it happening on nature's debt collector, and rent is due.
 
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CBH Australia

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When you find the right deal let me know.
Im paying off my PG cull hunt. First big hunt.
But if i get to go back i will be looking for something a little more lively! Even if its avmanagement hunt.
 

Bushpig4Ever

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IIRC the fee for a non-trophy bull in the BVC is $3,950 vs $6k for a trophy bull, but you are still on the hook for 10 days at $1,400 day fees...so not a cheap hunt. But, the BVC is reputed to be quite a fine place to chase game. I will give you my first-hand opinion after I return in late August!

No need waiting till late August because I gonna hunt there end of April into May... :)
 

johnnyblues

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Ok lots of good advise here and you should take it all in. The buffalo in my avitar was taken in the Timbavati area of Limpopo with KMG Safaris. We hunted a 6,000 acre ranch and I can tell you it was 4 frustrating days of chasing buffalo. Lions had come thru the “fence” and the buffalo were extremely skittish. I took mine with a 375 Ruger guide rifle shooting 300grain Swift A frames backed by Northfork solids. One well placed shot pretty much did him in running 30 yards and dropping. Of course I placed an insurance shot in him as requested but it was not necessary. The A frames were devastating. Find a hunt that meets your budget or possibly stretch it a bit and go have fun.
 

tarbe

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Move to a bullet like a Swift A Frame, Woodleigh or such and rather leave the TSX's behind. I have nothing against Barnes, I think they are excellent bullets, but they are not ideal for Cape Buffalo. Cape Buffalo are often hunted in herds or Bachelor herds, and often bunch up. Moving to a lead core bullet, you can be sure that you wont have a pass through. The same can't be said for a TSX. Their whole selling point, is penetration.

This is EXACTLY the advice I was given by John Sharp, as we delved into the details of our up-coming hunt together.

At first (being somewhat foolish, I might add) I resisted. Surely John is just not up on the latest bullet technology, right? lol

After several "challenges" from my side, John finally said something like "Fine, you use whatever bullet you want...but when you get a pass-through and wound a second buffalo, your hunt is going to change in ways you hadn't planned for".

It finally sunk in through my thick skull that his first-hand experience counted for a whole lot more than all my theory.

I have A-Frames for the 450/400 and some North Fork flat point solids for those potential raking shots Marius mentioned above (recommended by John, as well).

If you hot-rod your loads (in cartridges where it is safe to exceed factory specs...such as the 450/400 in the No. 1 or in a 505 Rimless Magnum) you probably want to stick with A-Frames. Woodleigh works as designed, at the recommended impact velocity.

If I take my 450 Dakota for Buffalo, I would be temtped to load the 550gr Woodleigh, just being careful not to exceed the velocity recommendation. Hmmmm...I think I'll ask John for his opinion!


Tim
 
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Ridgewalker

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Got to add a bit. I’ve only taken one Cape Buffalo, so I’m quite an expert! I asked my PH what bullet to use out of my 375 H&H and he made a suggestion which I took to heart and used. Worked for me. It was a nice bull and I had it euro mounted.
Now I am thinking of my second buffalo and am thinking seriously of a cow. Half the price of a bull with similar excitement, IMO. It too will be a euro mount next to the bull.

I’ll bet you thought I was going to add to all the answers you got here?:whistle: Nope other than I’d suggest you talk to your PH and find out his bullet/cartridge recommendation. We all have an opinion, but you really should listen to who ever you chose to cover your rear if you error in your shot placement.;)
 

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I have used A-Frames and Bearclaws with great results. I used Hornady DGX once, a mistake I won’t repeat. On this years hunt in Dande North, I am using bearclaws in my .458 Lott and loading A-Frames in my 9.3x62 for my wife.
 

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Mine was shot with a Bearclaw, in the neck, so I suppose it makes little difference as to the bullet used.

But I mostly use AFrames in my .338WM with excellent results on plainsgame of any size.
 

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