Newbie Cape Buffalo Question

TOBY458

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I have taken 4 Water Buffalo in Australia and 2 Cape Buffalo in Africa. In all cases I never really cared about anything other than the experience and taking a hard bossed/mature bull. Both of my Cape Buffalo were around 37", both were mature, and I had a blast hunting them.
 

Kevin Peacocke

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What would happen if you happened to shoot one that was bigger than 37? How the heck do they know the exact size until you get them on the ground?

Are they microchipped or have a number on their ear tag to know the size? Let me scan this buff quick to see if it falls under the 40 inch premium....

Three inches does not seem much. I wouldn't pay a bunch more for a bit bigger either. I agree an d beat up scarred bull , smaller horns or not, would be the best trophy. For myself anyways.

I have only one hunt so far. Buffalo next year I hope as well. My. PH on my first hunt pushed for the biggest animals the whole hunt, and got me in a position to take beauties. Never once did he say, wait a.minute, that one is a couple inches too big you must pay more. That would have soured the whole hunt .

I hope your dad gets a bull of his dreams!



I think about buff every day.

Craig
We stalked on seven herds before we found a non-trophy - now it was down to the second last day. The stalk got us to about 130 metres, then open ground so that was it. The four bulls milled around under their shade tree, we thought the one was sub 36", but my PH wasnt certain He just wouldn't look straight at us for a good gauge on the ears. Then thet lay down and went to sleep. Still we stood behind that little bush waiting and waiting. "What happens if I shoot him and he is just over 36"? I asked. "Then it is 8 grand", he replied. Not him you understand, but the concession owner was strict he said. So we waited some more and just before I stiffened totally they stood up. Mine looked straight at us, the PH did his thing through his Swaros and said "shoot". The buff heard, wheeled to his left and was about to take off, and I fired. All hell broke loose, but I had buggared up the shot, damn, and it would be tomorrow and plenty of heart pounding before this encounter would end... That is another story.
So in summary Machinistbutler, a PH can gauge pretty accurately and, yes, you pay if you misjudge!
 

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I don’t necessarily know how to answer your question other than “shoot what you like”. Scenario plays a lot into it. For reference, here is a 37 I took after hunting for 6 days straight. Is it a mega trophy? No. Was it my first Buff and was I happier than a pig in shit? Absolutely! My guess is that he was a 10yr old. Was a solo find not near a herd and had what I “needed” at the time to pull the trigger. Best of luck on your hunt - save your $7k, don’t worry about width and put the savings towards a second buff!

IMG_4029.jpg
 

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Mekaniks

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7k will go along way towards a second bull, or a good cow, or plains game. You could get a lot of hunting time for other critters for that 3" of horn......
 

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I don’t necessarily know how to answer your question other than “shoot what you like”. Scenario plays a lot into it. For reference, here is a 37 I took after hunting for 6 days straight. Is it a mega trophy? No. Was it my first Buff and was I happier than a pig in shit? Absolutely! My guess is that he was a 10yr old. Was a solo find not near a herd and had what I “needed” at the time to pull the trigger. Best of luck on your hunt - save your $7k, don’t worry about width and put the savings towards a second buff!

View attachment 385540
That buff is very nice, but holy smokes what a rifle with it! Very nice picture.
 

cls

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I agree with the comments here, it's all about the experience not the size of the horns. I have only taken one bull and he is around 38" never seen a tape. But shooting him at 15m in thick heavy bush after a long stalk is what it was all about for me. A 36" bull is just as contankerous and can stomp your ass into a bloody pulp as fast as a 40" bull! Enjoy the hunt.
 

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Hey guys, I've searched the site to try and find the answer but haven't quite found a picture of what im looking for.. I read the judging cape buffalo thread and learned a lot about it but my question is basically is a 37 inch cape buffalo a small bull? Average? I ask because on our upcoming trip my dad has a buffalo hunt for a 37 inch bull and can upgrade but I believe it's about $7000 to go from a 37 to a 40 inch bull. Ive come to understand that width doesn't equate to a trophy especially when the bull is young and his boss isn't hardened and wide but width is obviously impressive. So I guess after all the rambling I am hoping someone has a pic of a 37 inch bull for me to see vs a 40? Would it be worth $7000 to get an extra 3 inches? Are there 37 inch bulls that are still impressive trophies to take home? Thanks for any help and sorry if this has come up before!
I think width is way over-rated when it comes to judging Cape Buffalo, and I suspect many others here will agree.

How you hunt him, how you take him, who you hunt with and where, how old he is, mass, character....all much more important to me.

Width, by itself, might be number 8 on the list!

My $0.02.
 

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IMG_8688.jpeg


No one has ever asked me about his spread. At DSC convention in 2020 I had several PH's take my phone from me to look at it closer. Your cape buffalo is going to be your cape buffalo. It will comprise many memories both good and bad. It will include many emotions from sweaty palm nervousness, to the calm as your plan unfolds, to absolute terror, and the thrill of victory. Have fun! If you want to save money don't go on the safari.:A Thumbs Up:
 

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He just got put up in the new house. Once Princess Bride determined where it was going to hang on the wall, it was a breeze putting it up.:A Banana:

IMG_2503.jpeg
 

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Hi Browens, in Zimbabwe the cross over point from non-trophy to trophy is usually 36inches, so your dad seems to be getting a good deal. I am no expert and have one buff bull to my credit, but I studied the subject long and hard before my hunt. To me the shape, and therefore the character is far more important than the width alone. In fact some very wide bulls can look out of proportion and 'odd', As it happens an older bull may actually wear to be quite narrow, but boy does he look good! Here is my trophy, he is 35 inches and I think he looks great. I believe this guy was about 11 years old, hence the whitening too.
View attachment 385531
That is an amazing buff. :A Thumbs Up:
 

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I concur with the advice of others here, age is more important than width. For me an old scrum cap is a more desirable trophy than a soft bossed bull of any size. The bull Kevin posted a pic of is a great example of a good hard bossed bull and an excellent trophy.
 

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View attachment 385563

No one has ever asked me about his spread. At DSC convention in 2020 I had several PH's take my phone from me to look at it closer. Your cape buffalo is going to be your cape buffalo. It will comprise many memories both good and bad. It will include many emotions from sweaty palm nervousness, to the calm as your plan unfolds, to absolute terror, and the thrill of victory. Have fun! If you want to save money don't go on the safari.:A Thumbs Up:
I always like seeing photos of scrum cap bulls that have been hunted because I think it spreads the message about hunting post-breeding bulls better than any words can, but I always have to wonder what percentage of hunters would actually take a scrum cap bull on a trophy hunt? I think it would be very few. I’d be very happy with an ancient worn down 32/33 inch bull with a grey battle scarred face, but i still need a classic horn shape to be happy with the trophy.
 

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I’d preferentially go after a scrum cap but I’ve got no more room for
Buffalo trophies. If someone is going for a once in a lifetime buffalo hunt, it is perfectly understandable that they may prefer to take something with a bit of horn left.
 

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Thanks for all the replies guys. I was definitely thinking along the same lines as most of you and thought the 7k for 3 inches seemed crazy. I guess I'm too used to the scoring of elk and deer and wanted to make sure shooting a 37 inch bull wasn't like shooting a 300 inch elk vs a 40 inch bull being a 350 inch elk etc. If it was a bigger issue he may pay some extra since this is most likely the only time my dad will get to go. We will ask the outfit how its all setup and make sure to confirm exactly how they handle it and how strict they are on the inches side of things. I do know the ranch is tens of thousands of acres so im not worried about it being a canned hunt inside a small fence. Ill keep you updated on how it all turns out. Thanks again for all the replies!
 

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I’d preferentially go after a scrum cap but I’ve got no more room for
Buffalo trophies. If someone is going for a once in a lifetime buffalo hunt, it is perfectly understandable that they may prefer to take something with a bit of horn left.
Looks like Uganda might be the place to go for scrum cap bulls. This is a long video but a good one, they take several scrum cap bulls. There is an article in the current issue of sports afield about this hunt also.
 

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