SOUTH AFRICA: Ken Moody Safaris… Yes They Know Buffalo!

Kkon

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After making the rounds on several outfitters who specialize in Buffalo I settled on Ken Moody Safaris (KMS). The price seemed extremely competitive compared to other outfits and certainly on the lower side. I must admit KMS prices were so low at the time I booked that I was concerned. I’d be hunting some sort of genetically inferior bulls but that was certainly not the case! Accommodations, food, location all seemed in line with other companies . On this hunt I was hunting a herd of approximately 250 on 40 square miles of property near the Zimbabwe border. The area itself had a great amount of certain species including Kudu, Eland, Giraffe, Nyala, and Impala to mention a few, and of course a large amount of Buffalo.
I was picked up by Ken and Virginia Moody who have traveled extensively throughout Africa. Ken has hunted dangerous game in most of the African Countries and is a wealth of knowledge, his experiences as an American hunting throughout Africa is positively book worthy! Upon arrival at camp I was met by my PH John Nel a local South African with an intimate knowledge of Buffalo he gained by being raised around them.
As I spoke to John he explained that typically their Buffalo Hunts involve tracking and following Buffalo movements (which they quite honestly already had down pat) and patterning the behavior of a mature bull. Forgive me for repeating information that experienced Buffalo hunters are already well aware of. John Nel further explained that it may take several days to find the bull we want.
Just as John predicted, day 5 did produce the track of a bull that John and Ken agreed would be a bull worthy of tracking. After an hour of tracking we did come up on a herd of Buffalo that did have a mature bull in it. In a “fire drill” of a shot setup that left me with a very manageable shot……..I blew it… I hit a branch….no excuses, plain and simple.
Without so much as a stutter step, we were onto another area looking for more sign. My Ph came across another mature bull track and off we went on another track. To make a long story short, I had another shot opportunity at another bull that didn’t materialize in a Buffalo on the ground. By this time I was feeling pretty low, like I had my opportunities but blew them.
Day 6 of a seven day hunt, I woke feeling like I didn’t deserve another shot. The hunting days had been very hot 95-98 degrees during the afternoon with night time temperatures in the 50’s. The morning sun came up more mellow than the past several days. John Nel my PH found another mature bull track and off we went ultimately ending up crawling on hands and knees to get within 25 yards of a herd of 10 Buffalo, but a herd of Impala scampered across the Buffalo and spooked them out of our morning plans.
The evening of day 6 found us following a track around a large mound of rocks. John determined that the Buffalo had moved around the hill to the far side and that the only way we were going to see them would be to climb to the top of the hill and assess the situation from there. So, off we climbed and climbed some more, myself mindful of the fact that Ken mentioned few days ago that the Black Mambas (exceedingly poisonous snakes) just loved to hide in these same kind of Boulder-like mounds………that’s great! We came up and over and there was in fact another herd of app10 Buffalo and there was a very nice and old hard-bossed mature bull. But, the shot. John starting stripping from the waist up and ended up using all of his clothing as a makeshift rest for my shot down on the herd. John started, “count with me from left to right”, he on his binoculars, me in my 4x scope. “Number 1 all the way to the far left, next #2, next to him #3 is above #2 with head down, number #4, then #5 is facing away from us tail swishing right now, #6 ……………number #6 that’s our guy, keep an eye on him ………do not mix him up”!
I set up the .375 with a 4x scope on the rock on top of John’s underwear…………and waited as the bulls left of #6 moved away slowly, I knew he would also. Sure enough he took a few steps and offered a slightly quartering away shot. Bang! one shot at 130 yards and the Bull was down after lurching 20 yards and after doleful moan I was certain the Bull was down for good.
I don’t write these types of reports often. The main reason I wrote this one was not memorialize my less than ideal shooting skills, nor the fantastic hospitality I was shown from start to finish by every single member of the KMS team. The reason I wrote this, was to acknowledge and thank from the bottom of my heart the KMS team. You see, although every outfitter will tell you that they never give up in a client, it’s only human nature to ask yourself (if your a PH/outfitter) why keep on hunting as hard as we are if this guy (the client) is going to miss a pooch shot. It would have been very easy to say that in the morass of tracks we incessantly examined, there was no mature Buffalo track, but KMS has too much pride and reputation to give up, and thank God they didn’t!
I’ve attached a couple of shots, the second pic is the spot where the Bull fell with the rock outcropping in the background, at the very top of which to the left of the trees is where the shot was taken. The spread on the Bull was measured at 40 and 2/8ths. I have been on other African hunts and Ive been on other North American hunts for big-game. Ken Moody Safaris is the real deal. KMS Buffalo prices tend to be on the more affordable side, but don’t look a gift horse in the mouth. KMS is a quality organization, from the owner, to the PH’s (particularly John Nel), to the chef, skinners and trackers and especially Virginia Moody who does it all, the person behind the scenes making everything run well, from Covid testing on the way back to the States, to shipping material in a tight timeline. A truly fantastic hunt with some great people! Thank you for the opportunity to post on this forum (something we should not take lightly!)

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Sarg

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Thanks for the report & glade it came good for you near the end, you will remember & appreciate it more because of that !
 

Huntndog

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Congrats on a good hunt and a good bull. I too hunted with KMS this year and agree with all you have reported. On my hunt the PH ( Chris) had me rest my rifle on his shoulder for the shot, as we were sitting on the ground under too much brush to put up sticks. That’s commitment!
We had a great time with wonderful hospitality and food, and they really do know buffalo. I would hunt with KMS again in a second.
 

cpr0312

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Congrats and thanks for sharing!
 

Kevin Peacocke

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That is a very nice bull, well done. Good writing too. Maybe post a few more pictures?
 

Tally-Ho HUNTING SAFARIS

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Great stuff and well done
 

Rickmt

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The hardest hunts are the most memorable! Congratulations!
 

gesch

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Thanks for a really interesting report. I hope to get that opportunity some day! Your friend, Brian
 

Nyati

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Congrats for a very nice bull !
 

yhc

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@Kkon It sounds like you had a fantastic hunting experience!! Congrats on your fine bull and perseverance.
 

VertigoBE

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congratulations and thanks for sharing!
 

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