Is an illuminated reticle essential for Cape buffalo hunting?

PARA45

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Let's twist things a bit. How about if you are looking for a wounded buff, and the Buff charges, will an illuminated reticle help in this case?

BTW, very informative post. (y)
 

cpr0312

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Not essential, but sure is helpful! Especially when you are in thick cover and they are in the shade.
 

BeeMaa

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Is it essential, no...but it is nice to have.

I found that I was loosing the crosshairs on my Sable without illumination.
The animal was in the shade making things even more difficult.
I made the shot, but it could have been much easier and quicker.
It was hard to concentrate on the animal and crosshairs at the same time.

I've since switched all my scopes to illuminated reticles.
IMO - better to have it and not need it...than need it and not have it.
If you can afford the step up in price, it could make a difference.
 

C.W. Richter

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I read a number of the previous post on the best scope selection for Cape buffalo. Allot of people understandably recommend scopes with illuminated reticles. I understand the advantagesand illuminated reticle offers a hunter, I haven't researched how long illuminated reticles have been available, but hunter before the availability used a thick posted duplexes. I am yet to hunt a cape buffalo, fingers crossed 2021 this will change, would an excellent German optic in 1.5-6 x42mm in the FFP non illuminated be a good scope selection for a buffalo? on the lowest setting, the scope offers a wide field of view and the 42mm objective lens allows for excellent light transmission
No, but i can tell you from experience (esp. hunting dagga boys in the shadows of the day, as well as the dim sunrise/sunset hours,) that this has worked wonders! (We devout black bear hunters in PA know that lining up on a Black bear in the dim forested swamps with a Black crosshair or open sights isn't an easy feat, and thus favor an illuminated optic and use a Leopold firedot/circular reticle combo for that). (In a herd situation out in the open in daylight, it makes no difference.) Batteries not required. With Q/D rings for any required ultra-close follow-ups in the shady thick...
https://www.trijicon.com/products/details/tr25-c-200083TR25-C-200083_German4_Crosshair.jpg
 

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Velo Dog

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Let's twist things a bit. How about if you are looking for a wounded buff, and the Buff charges, will an illuminated reticle help in this case?

BTW, very informative post. (y)
For this scenario, my preference would be no scope at all.
 

Gareth

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Let's twist things a bit. How about if you are looking for a wounded buff, and the Buff charges, will an illuminated reticle help in this case?

BTW, very informative post. (y)
That and a rock solid PH with a double backing me up!
 

Gareth

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No, but i can tell you from experience (esp. hunting dagga boys in the shadows of the day, as well as the dim sunrise/sunset hours,) that this has worked wonders! (We devout black bear hunters in PA know that lining up on a Black bear in the dim forested swamps with a Black crosshair or open sights isn't an easy feat, and thus favor an illuminated optic and use a Leopold firedot/circular reticle combo for that). (In a herd situation out in the open in daylight, it makes no difference.) Batteries not required. With Q/D rings for any required ultra-close follow-ups in the shady thick...
https://www.trijicon.com/products/details/tr25-c-200083View attachment 367995
Thank you for your insight, I see you have managed to get some nice buffs!
 

Nyati

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Shot mine with and old Zeiss and german #4 reticle, without any problems.

But I have to say that on my last safari I was using a Swarovski with illuminated dot and really liked it, it does make a difference when taking aim at a dark animal such as a sable.
 

C.W. Richter

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Thank you for your insight, I see you have managed to get some nice buffs!
TY. I must say, My Son "cheated." LOL He was using a non-lighted duplex crosshair Leopold 1.75-6x out in the open with 15 min. to last light, using his .375. :p Scope is very accurate-dropped on a tile floor (not by Son) upon pulling out of the box and had previously used it to evaluate various many big bore rifles and handloads for same-once all bugs were worked out, many shot near 1-hole groups using that scope.
 

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I have to admit, I was leery about illuminated reticles myself until I purchased a Trijicon Accupoint 1-6. Its self illuminated and I found it very helpful in low light and thick brush (like the two buff in my avatar!). Highly recommended if you don't like fussing with batteries, turning on/off, or or worrying about reliability. Its always on...
 

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Not essential but a great addition especially if you may be hunting leopard or lion on the same safari....
 

Newboomer

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All my scopes are illuminated. I use them in all conditions, the old eyes not being what they used to be. The red dot or crosshairs make it much easier to pick my spot on dark animals and in shade. A black impala in deep shade is almost totally invisible to the naked eye but showed up quite nicely through an illuminated scope.
 

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If you were talking about hunting leopards, I would definitely recommend an illuminated scope.

Buff hunt you probably don't need it 98 out of 100 times. Is it worth spending the extra money for that chance? That decision is a trade off in money vs opportunity that is up to you.

If you are going to use the same rifle on both leopard and buff, then it makes sense to buy an illuminated scope.

Just my .02.
 

Tanks

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My view is that at the distance one takes a buffalo a scope is not really needed. For my hunt next August I will use a double rifle with iron sights most likely.

However, all my scopes are illuminated and if I were to use one I'd turn it on.
 

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It sounds like your scope will do it. If it's got good glass and works for you then great.
If you have an illuminated you have the option to turn it on if the situation suits.
I have never used one so I would be interested to see.
 

318AE

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I prefer to hunt them with open sights - but that depends a little on the terrain and vegetation. It can force you to pass on shots you could take with a scope, or get closer. Best to talk with your PH about this before booking.

I often put whiteout on the dot of the front sight blade facing me, to make it easier to see over the vee - is that the iron sights version of an illuminated reticle?
 

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Haven’t hunted a buff but if they blend in the shadows like a black bear does, then it would be helpful but not necessary. I like the fiber optic sights on my two 9.3’s as they really stand out against dark backgrounds, but the Leopold with the red dot turned on really brings things into focus. For a double I’d use open sights, bolt rifle a red dot reticle scope.
 

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Screw the technology - what's wrong with open sights? You are not going to be "plinking" at dugga boy at 200yds.
 

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Maybe the right question should have been: Is a scope essential for Cape buffalo hunting ?
When the weather turns stormy, I prefer to have free aim and not waste time trying to put a cross or red dot on a dangerous moving target.
 

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When the weather turns stormy, I prefer to have free aim and not waste time trying to put a cross or red dot on a dangerous moving target.
Valid question. I’ve shot buffalo that could easily have been taken with iron sights. However, I’ve also shot buffalo in the shadows in the brush where a shot with open sights would have been ill advised. You would have to be willing to pass on these opportunities to hunt without a scope. There’s nothing wrong with that if that is what you want to do.
 
 

 

 

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