SSGBIV

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Africa Safari July 2017
Limpopo Province
Day 1

Met Andre van der Walt, my P.H. Looking for Cape Buffalo. Drove up on a massive lone Dugga Boy, wide horns with a slight curl – very angry looking, 40 yards away. He slipped away and we dismounted and chased him into a ravine and up the other side. Got one good look at him sneaking from thicket to thicket. Amazing how something so big can disappear so easily.

Afternoon saw a bachelor group of Tsessebe. Lined up the scope of the .338 Winchester on the lower chest of the biggest bull, just above the front leg. 120 yard shot, nice double lung. He ran about 100 yards. Beautiful, brindle, tan, brown. Coat looks like velvet. This is the fastest antelope on the African plain, and Andre’s favorite. It’s got beautiful horns and thick bosses, let’s make it a shoulder mount.

3711F772-B152-4FF8-A32B-BB328DF37B97.jpeg
 
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Mekaniks

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Welcome to AH. Thank You for starting your two year old report. What took so long....
 

gesch

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Thanks for the report. Looking forward to all the details.
 

SSGBIV

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SSGBIV

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SSGBIV

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Africa Safari July 2017
NB Safaris, Limpopo Province

Day 2

Looking for a big lone Buff bull. Stalked up and across a big koppie at Mountain Loop. Huge rocks and boulders strewn across the top reminded me of how difficult a time the British Army had dislodging the Boers from koppies like this one during the Boer Wars. Fresh sign of a very big Cape Buffalo. Still-hunted across a saddle and down a steep draw. Kept seeing fresh sign. Sent Lukas, our tracker and driver, for the bakkie. As he was walking back up the hill, the big bull snorted and charged toward him. He called on the radio and we raced up the hill to within 50 yards of the old bull. He made a fake charge toward me and I ran toward him as well. I knelt and shot him with my Marlin 45-70 low in the chest as he was quartering toward me from uphill. I quickly followed up with a second shot as he bolted, landing another 540 grain Garret Hammerhead in his left shoulder. Andre later swore he only heard one shot, so fast was the little lever gun. Chased the beast while reloading 2 shells into the tubular magazine. Saw him enter a big green bush from right to left while eyeing us. Guns at the ready, we waited for him to charge out of the bush straight at us, or exit to the left. Instead, the clever, sneaky brute slunk away downhill, using the bush for cover. We followed hard on his trail, blood and tracks providing plentiful spoor. We saw interspersed dark and bright red blood, telling us that both shots had been effective. We continued close on him downhill through the rocky slope and thick brush, finding lots of blood on the bushes chest high. Neil finally raised comm with us and called us off the chase. Too dangerous, he said after listening to the situation report. Come in for lunch and regroup.

After lunch we went up in force to continue the trail. This time, we armed Lucas with Andre’s Brunell ZKK602 .375 loaded with Barnes TSX 270 grain rounds. Andre was packing his big .450 Watts with a V-sight and 500 grain Hornady’s. Neil carried a .500 Nitro Double with Peregrine 570 grain solids. I was loaded with my Marlin lever-action, equipped with Skinner Alaskan iron peep sight and 5 540 grain Garret Hammerhead solids.

We tracked the buffalo down to the edge of the thick marsh. The reeds were thick and 15 feet tall. The blood trail entered the reeds, and so did we. The bull was moving slowly and we were close on his heels. We lost the trail a couple of times, he could be anywhere – intense! Crashes close by in the reeds caused us to have guns at the ready. We heard the bull in the reeds running out on the other side of the marsh. We followed him out and stayed on his wet trail until we lost the light at the end of the day.
 

fourfive8

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Classic, not so veiled, multiple attempts at damage control. This one with a strategic pause to add drama! The “wires” between RSA and US have been hummin’
 

Hank2211

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Classic, not so veiled, multiple attempts at damage control. This one with a strategic pause to add drama! The “wires” between RSA and US have been hummin’
Likely correct, but so long as it's true, is there anything wrong with this? It's a good story so far, and I for one won't argue with drama!
 

cls

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Well, been waiting to hear the rest of the story...
 

SSGBIV

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Africa Safari July 2017
NB Safaris, Limpopo Province

Day 3

Back to the cold trail. The buffalo has stopped bleeding, and we have lost the track. We noticed that he had not left any manure on his trail, unusual for a Cape Buffalo. The implication is that he’s hurt badly. We drove the dirt roads in the surrounding blocks to where we had last seen his spoor to check the dirt for tracks – has he left the area? Saw lots of Kudu, cows and young bulls mostly, but a couple of real nice big mature bulls. If I had been looking to add a trophy Kudu to the bag, this would have been a good morning. Saw plenty of Nyala as well, a few Waterbuck, and Impala everywhere, mostly ewes and young rams. Passed by Warthog sows with young, Blesbok, Blue Wildebeest, and a couple of stunning Golden Wildebeest. Beautiful Giraffe were striding liquidly across the plains – a couple of big cows and at least one young bull.

While searching the low, sandy area next to the marshy reeds, as Debbie Barnard was flying air cover and searching for our bull from her small plane, we saw a nice Warthog boar at 50 yards. I quickly shouldered the Marlin, but he was off before I could acquire a sight picture. I chased him, running and crashing through the thicket and donga until losing him completely. So much for 110% concentration on the wounded Buffalo bull! Later that morning, Neil had gotten word from Debbie about a big, lone bull high up on a ridge area. We four (Neil, Andre, Lucas and myself) went out, armed as before. Debbie went along with us, but stayed in the bakkie. After receiving a Wife’s Blessing, we set out on foot up the hillside. We closed to within 30 yards of the reclusive bull before determining that he was not our man.

Just before sunset, we saw the first Sable of the hunt. He was a beautiful big mature bull, but when the second bull stepped out from concealment, he was even more breathtaking. I sighted on him from a supported position at 80 yards with my Weatherby .338 and placed a shot broadside just above his front leg, one-third of the way up his body. The 250 grain Winchester Silvertip went through his heart. He staggered 30 yards, knelt gracefully, and lay down. The beautiful, elegant, graceful creature submitted quietly, unlike the ugly, angry, unruly, and dangerous beast that we were still chasing. We took the time to savor the moment, and take photos by the last rays of sunlight.

Once loaded onto the bakkie, we headed to the skinning shed, feeling pretty pleased with ourselves. On the way, below the dam in the low reeds, we saw a nice Common Reedbuck ram. We stopped to take photos until he ran off. When he paused to look over his shoulder, I put down the camera and picked up the 45-70. He was facing almost completely away at 60 yards, but presented just enough of his right flank to slip a slug in just behind the ribcage and exit his front chest between the shoulders. It was a nice hit, but I quickly cycled the lever to send three more shots his way. One of them hit his rear hip as he was turning, lodging inside the skin at the opposite hip, and giving me my first look at this 540 grain lead solid after hitting bone. The chunk taken out of the bullet left me feeling less than optimistic about it’s performance in the big Buffalo…
 

Hank2211

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I'm a little surprised that you're chasing other animals while there's a wounded buffalo out there somewhere . . . hasn't someone there got a dog (one of the best things about hunting RSA)? I have personal experience with what a wounded buffalo can do, and it's not an experience I'm anxious to repeat.
 

SSGBIV

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AF4DF102-459C-4052-A8DF-5412A44A6591.jpeg
7CB933DB-9997-4308-8CDC-E0A863C6C785.jpeg
DA20230F-10FE-4AEA-A471-A9E192F5B477.jpeg

I'm a little surprised that you're chasing other animals while there's a wounded buffalo out there somewhere . . . hasn't someone there got a dog (one of the best things about hunting RSA)? I have personal experience with what a wounded buffalo can do, and it's not an experience I'm anxious to repeat.
I hear you LC. Wasn’t exactly chasing them; just targets of opportunity. Believe me, I was plenty anxious.
 
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SSGBIV

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Africa Safari July 2017
NB Safaris, Limpopo Province

Day 4

We must return to the thickets of the last blocks where we had seen the Buffalo. Andre, Lucas, and I, each armed to the teeth, resolved together to criss-cross the thickets, covering every yard. We were looking for a dangerous, wounded, massive, angry beast. Would we withstand a charge, find his trail, or find him dead?

Andre took the lead with his big 450 Watts, Lucas with Andre’s .375 followed, and I brought up the rear with my Marlin 45-70. If a charge came from the front, Lucas would step left and I would step right and we would face him in a line. There were other buffalo in the thickets to deal with, one herd of six was very close. Would our loner bull attempt to join them, or would he stay close to them and use them for cover and security? We didn’t know. At one point, directly through the thick trees, within 20 yards, came heavy snorting and thunderous hoofbeats. The huge beasts circled away, then came charging back into the dense thicket. We stood, shoulder to shoulder with rifles ready for anything that would emerge from that dark, impenetrable bush less than 10 yards away. None of us flinched.
 

Hank2211

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Starting to sound like Allan Quartermain!
 

jeff

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Keep it coming!!
 

sestoppelman

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Where is the pic of the Tsessebe?
 

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