Newbie Cape Buffalo Question

Mark Biggerstaff

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All this talk about Buff and sizing. I
Whatsapp my Ph for this years hunt and we are going after Buff Bull / cow combo. He said biggest we can get on. There are some 37-43 inchers on property. All the same price. I will be looking for boss mass and drop / curl in horn. Width means nothing to me. If we find a scum cap that would be great to me!!
The older the better
 

wesheltonj

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I am not an expert on Buffalo by any means. However, the old Rowland Scoring system 42" dry was considered the minimum to entry. The new measuring system now includes the Boss. That said, I certainly would pay a premium for a 42"+, but not by the inch. There is no way I would pay a dime more for a 40". Save your 7k and spend it else where.

And another thing, even if you shot a giant, Rowland Ward will not accept most Buffalo from RSA.
 
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Rare Breed

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Hello browens,

With my apology, I have no photo of the buffalo you are curious about.
To answer your question, I agree with Kevin Peacocke on this (and often on other topics for that matter).
I can think of many things I’d rather spend $7,000. on instead of 3” more horn.

Respectfully, I suggest you reconsider looking for an elderly bull, with a heavy, thick boss, chipped and battle worn, one horn broken off, ears split, face scarred and with patches of hair missing.
Also, if you can get a look at his backside you could hope for long crooked scars, showing that he had been attacked by a lion and survived by kicking his way free of the powerful, prehistoric sized cat.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
And so, I fully realize my spin on what makes a fantastic looking buffalo is different than some members, (perhaps many) here.
It is yours and your father’s Safari, not mine.
Therefore, my suggestion is only that.

Parting Shot as it were:
I’m not a tape measure guy whatsoever.
Therefore in my opinion, no matter what any buffalo horns measure up to, (including your mentioned 37” one) provided that the bull is past his breeding prime, it is a very fine buffalo to shoot.

I look forward to your report on the impending hunt.

Best Regards,
Velo Dog.
I am going on first buffalo hunt in July. I want big heavy boss over width any day
 

Neil Molendyk

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. When I went on my one and regrettably only buffalo hunt my PH asked what I was looking for. In my mind I wanted to get a good old buffalo with lots of character and hopefully a challenging hunt. He measured 38" width with 17.5 inch bosses, measured when we got back to camp 8 hours later. Tons of character, tips breaking down, ears mutilated, scars galore and truly wild. He was estimated to be 12 years old plus. There was no price scale, If he would have been 45 inches with all of the rest of it, I would have shot him too but it was the character not the spread that I wanted. Mission accomplished. I wouldn't trade it for any other. I hope your Dads hunt is as much of an adventure. Its the hunt that really matters.


1611525413957.png
 
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Sika98k

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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!
My take on this is in the same vein as others have posted. Your PH is the man going to judge what you do, or do not, shoot. It is his responsibility to select a bull of 37”. If he misjudged the bull and you end up shooting a 38,39,40” bull, not your problem. I would have that made quite clear before starting the hunt.
 
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I’ve only taken one buffalo bull and it was a good time. Personally for $7k I would think you could take a couple of cows for two more fun hunts, or a number of PG for some good trigger action.
What ever you and your dad decide to do, you’re going to have a grand time! And remember, you’ll be going back! Almost impossible not to IMO.
 

fourfive8

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@browens The bulls shown in this thread are a really good yardstick for your query. Yes, a 37" bull can be really good! I see a bunch in here that, IMO, are excellent! Conversely, Ive seen a lot of gallery and internet "trophy" bulls that run in the 40-42" category that are no where near the quality of most of the bulls posted in this thread. A lot of those in the 40-42" size range, either for a reason I've never heard adequately explained or by the nature of many healthy bulls, seem to be fairly young, have soft bosses yet are in that 40-42" range. I just don't know if its' my imagination or it's a normall phenomena?

In studying areas to hunt I think the obsession with spread by many hunters and the sliding scale of pricing by the inch can actually work in your favor... IF your idea of a good bull is about age, a hard boss and "character". If most of the emphasis has been on width, prior hunters have in effect been selecting against (passing up) exactly the type of trophy you may want- the old, beat up dagga boy with hard/chipped/worn boss and maybe worn or chipped and broken tips. My last time on BVC Zimbabwe we were just cruising around the various camps visiting and trying to find some guinea and francolin to hunt. One of the other PHs in an adjoining area popped on the radio saying he was having trouble finding a 40" bull for his client who insisted on that minimum. We hadn't seen any 40 inchers but at the very moment he called we were looking at two old dagga boys at a water hole. One was a whopper! You know the type, lots of drop, heavy hard boss that has that squared appearance across the top. BUT, one side was broomed and the other was missing about 6-8" broken off. So no where close to 40". We told them what we were looking at and the response was, "thanks but nope, not what we are looking for". Oh well?? The last buffalo hunt I was on was also on the BVC. Tracked down three old, beat up dagga boys that may have been passed up by hunters for that same reason- width. One was like a few pictured here in this thread- good, hard boss bull but not near 40"- looked like 36-37". One was a double ugly! :) Shallow sweep w/ no drop, broomed off and almost no boss to speak of. A very old bull but..... The third one had an exceptionally heavy, wide boss and had what looked like a broken tip on one side from long ago that had smoothed off. Obviously not near 40" either. I shot that one without hesitation. The best bull I saw on BVC was during a trip where I wasn't hunting buffalo. He was also in a dagga boy group of three. He had everything including age, body size, square top heavy boss, really good spread, good drop, and heavy all the way out to broomed tips. He may have been 39- 40" but no more. But, IMO, a superior bull in every way.
 
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Spear Safaris

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What you should probably keep in mind is that your Outfitter probably said that you can shoot a Bull of up to 37", not a Bull of 37". So be prepared for quite a bit smaller than the max of 37" as your PH will most likely have to make that call, and I'm pretty sure that if he thinks it 37", he'll be hesitant to make that call and let you pass, but if he finds one of 34" he will be pretty sure and give you the go ahead. Either way if its a great "Hunt" why worry, you got it very cheaply I presume.
 

TSALA HUNTING SAFARIS

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Good Day Browens

Good luck with your your upcoming trip.Hunting buffalo is always a great experience.

Here is a pic of a 40" for your reference.

In my opinion the PH should always have the last say in judging animals but keep in mind it's not an exact science.So with us if we shoot something bigger it's no issue and you pay for what you wanted and agreed on.

Also keep in mind that SA game farmers have done very well in breeding back the bigger animals that might have been around years ago.Those genes are available on more and more hunting areas and if you take good care of them by not always shooting the biggest animal but let them mature naturally these genes are past on.I can promise you that there are very good properties in SA that will give a you a great buff hunting experience.

I will also add a pic of a bull on our 10 000 acres property that we estimate to be above 47".He is not totally hard and we will not hunt him until then.Looks like he is walking with few cows and hopefully passing on his genes until he gets pushed out by another stronger bull.

b9b6516f-9301-4ca1-b164-5132705f6139.jpeg


IMG_2569.jpeg


Regards

Rouan
 

Bos en Dal SAFARIS

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@browens

If i were you i would not worry too much about the extra 3 inches. Communicate with your Outfitter or PH and make sure it is hard bossed matured bulls you are hunting. For $7k extra it sounds like he sold you a soft boss bull that is seen as a cull animal.

Open communication is key in our industry for both Client and Outfitter it is the only way to ensure you get what you are expecting and know for what you are paying for.

Enjoy the hunt and let them bullets fly straight

My personal best
Gerrit
 

Jfet

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Thanks Jfet. Yours is truly amazing. What double is that?
It is a Verney Carrion 470NE. It was quite a year in learning how to shoot that rifle but the all the trips to the rifle range and several bruised cheek bones are part of the marvelous experience of that hunt. :A Thumbs Up:
 

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Hello browens,

With my apology, I have no photo of the buffalo you are curious about.
To answer your question, I agree with Kevin Peacocke on this (and often on other topics for that matter).
I can think of many things I’d rather spend $7,000. on instead of 3” more horn.

Respectfully, I suggest you reconsider looking for an elderly bull, with a heavy, thick boss, chipped and battle worn, one horn broken off, ears split, face scarred and with patches of hair missing.
Also, if you can get a look at his backside you could hope for long crooked scars, showing that he had been attacked by a lion and survived by kicking his way free of the powerful, prehistoric sized cat.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
And so, I fully realize my spin on what makes a fantastic looking buffalo is different than some members, (perhaps many) here.
It is yours and your father’s Safari, not mine.
Therefore, my suggestion is only that.

Parting Shot as it were:
I’m not a tape measure guy whatsoever.
Therefore in my opinion, no matter what any buffalo horns measure up to, (including your mentioned 37” one) provided that the bull is past his breeding prime, it is a very fine buffalo to shoot.

I look forward to your report on the impending hunt.

Best Regards,
Velo Dog.
totally agree with @Velo Dog and @Kevin Peacocke - haven't been yet, but I want an OLD character bull. i'd even be fine with one that only had a scrum cap. I want an old warrior who has earned, as the Spartans used to say, a good death.

same as velo dog, this is what would be beautiful to me. YMMV.

scrum cap bulls
1611602407433.png


1611602428069.png
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Exactly, this is a red flag to me. I would not a hunt a "pay by the inch", but if i did that number better be quoted by the ph when its still alive. If says its 38 and it turns out to be 41, I better be paying the 38. And then you run into trust issues if the operation / ph isn't on the up and up.

You better find out in writing how this is calculated.

I could not agree more with this post, take heed!
 

Adam Stevens

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I went for the experience and wanted to hunt Buff the right way. Tracking old dugga boys in the thick stuff.

All I wanted was a good solid boss and a good representative bull. I had my chances at 40inchers + but they went wide and up. No good drop and curl.

also had a chance at a scrum cap, but it just worked out after tracking 5 days to pull the trigger on mine.
Think it’s 37.5” just for your reference.
If I shoot another, I dream these days of tight tight bosses. Width won’t matter. I say all that, but in the moment I’m sure I’ll be happy with whatever opportunity lies a front.
 

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