Is an illuminated reticle essential for Cape buffalo hunting?

Quaticman

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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
I have the Trijicon AccuPoint 1-4x24 with the German #4 reticle on my .458 Win Mag bolt action rifle and absolutely live it.
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
I have the Tijicon AccuPoint 1-4x24 with the German #4 reticle on my .458 Win Mag bolt action rifle and absolutely love it.
 

Philippe

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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.
Dear @WAB ,
It was not a question, but a statement. It's my way of seeing things, I prefer being able to be reactive more quickly. In fact, this may be due to my apprenticeship, in the 70s, we hunted without scope (because of the high cost of this accessory at that time) even on plains game. So I have some habits .
 

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Iron sights are great, and I loved them up until old age caught up with me. Now, either the rear sight, the front sight, or the target is blurry. I had to surrender. A scope or red dot of some sort is essential now. I have a Trijicon accupoint and absolutely love the bright green dot. In low light it does wonders. Just my 2 cents.
 

Philippe

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Iron sights are great, and I loved them up until old age caught up with me. Now, either the rear sight, the front sight, or the target is blurry. I had to surrender. A scope or red dot of some sort is essential now. I have a Trijicon accupoint and absolutely love the bright green dot. In low light it does wonders. Just my 2 cents.
@Smitty
Ah ah ah ! I agree with that. Now , I have scope also on all my rifles except on my 458 and my 500NE. Ah ah ah !
 

Dwight Beagle

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I had a Leupold VX-R on my rifle for my buffalo hunt last year, bought it for the lit reticle, in the moment didnt even think to turn it on.

In my opinion, isn't necessary, doesn't really add any benefit in dim lighting (dusk/dawn) and seems to be more of a distraction than anything. You have to remember to shut off at the end of the day, turn back every morning, and if you run out of batteries mid-day will just frustrate you.

Not worth the extra money/distraction in my opinion....
You believe an IR doesn’t really add anything in dim lighting yet that is when I along with other posters on this thread find them to be the most useful. Maybe you have unusual eyes.

I have a VX-R too. If a person forgets to shut it off at the end of the day it shuts off on its own. Battery life is very long, carrying a spare takes up a minute amount of space, when the battery starts getting weak you receive a warning.

Sounds almost as if we are talking about different scopes.
 

Ridgewalker

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Great info from lots of experiences! Me, at 73 my eyes aren’t what they use to be. As a kid I could shoot the head off a crow at 60 yards with open sights. As an adult I could shoot an antelope with a fixed 4x at over 400 yards. As an older man with not so good of eyesight, I need all the help I can get. I have been moving toward illuminated reticles for years (still need to replace a few). My old eyes are drawn quickly to the red dot in my Leupolds. I believe I can line up my target and eyes much quicker with the red dot at 1x than open sights.
All that said, non-illuminated has obviously worked well for many years just as have open sights. Illuminated is a great assist (especially to older eyes), but not a necessity. JMO&E.
What ever you use enjoy the hunt! It will be an awesome experience I’m certain!
 

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With a scope you have only one point to concentrate on instead of three: crosshairs or dot. With irons you have two sights and target. Old eyes don't work too well in that situation. Add to that dark animals in shade and irons or non illuminated scopes and things can get interesting.
 

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With a scope you have only one point to concentrate on instead of three: crosshairs or dot. With irons you have two sights and target. Old eyes don't work too well in that situation. Add to that dark animals in shade and irons or non illuminated scopes and things can get interesting.
Using the word "interesting" I would say is appropriate.
Made me chuckle.
 

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Maybe the right question should have been: Is a scope essential for Cape buffalo hunting ?
This is an excellent observation/question.

It’s not uncommon to have to follow up a wounded buffalo after the first shot. If there’s any thick stuff around, that’s typically where wounded buffalo like to go.

After my first buffalo hunt - where we were charged by a poorly shot (by me) buffalo - I bought not only a scope with an illuminated reticle to improve my first shot (they actually work better in daylight, like a red dot, as some have suggested) but more importantly, I got detachable mounts for the scope. Having followed up wounded buffalo more than a few times since (though not as badly shot), I can say that you will be next to useless, even with a dangerous game scope (say 1-6 x 24).

Hunters trying to quickly find a dark animal in the shadows through a scope is why PHs carry big guns without scopes.
 

Philippe

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PHs carry big guns without scopes.
(y)(y)(y)
To be effective more quickly, this is the solution.

I have a scope on my 375, but not on my 458.
When in the forest, I am with my 375 and we are in elephant territory (Ele is prohibited here), I remove my scope and put it in my backpack, in case things go wrong (injured, angry animal or other dangerous situation).
No PH's here
 
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