The Animal Moved

Bullet Safaris

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The animal moved just as my client fired his shot. The tracker and I agreed that the bull was hit. Shouldn’t be a big problem the buffalo were close, it was a clear shot. We immediately followed the dust and blood into the thick brush of the nearby korongo. It was the end of August and we had shot many buffalo. The Tanzania season had been in full swing for weeks now so this was nothing out of the ordinary. Last week we had a similar situation when a wounded buffalo that was left overnight stood up right next to us in damn near impenetrable bush, 11 shells later it was all over – here we go again.

I checked my gun and gear as I walked with my tracker – the client and rest of the crew was a few steps behind. Behind me I heard the metallic sound of a .375 being lifted by the claw of a Mauser action; that caused me to pause. My client could use another round in his gun so I asked him to reload his magazine and instructed him to stay close to me. Furthermore I instructed the government scout to unload his gun, the sound I had heard was him getting ready for battle. He was not ready - and wouldn’t be for years – too young and inexperienced. We all start someplace but it was obvious that he was just out of the gate; a loaded gun behind us was almost as dangerous as what was in front.

The herd escaped to our left. There was a ditch in front of us running away at an angle. Visibility was less than 30 yards. We heard a sick type of grunt to the right and the blood indicated that was the direction we should go. Seconds later another grunt and the trackers spotted movement; they pointed out the head of a buffalo standing 27 yards away next to a large tree. The animal was nearly impossible to see but he was there; I checked it with my binoculars to see the body position. I whispered to the client “that’s your bull but you will never make it out in time – I need to shoot him.” With that I raised my .470 and sent it to him. Immediately I emptied the other barrel into the same dark space. Both bullets hit. The buffalo bucked then picked an elevation line to skirt the creek and headed directly for us. I was reloading my gun when I heard my last remaining tracker say “he’s coming - he’s coming - HE’S COMING!” He was on the way and was less than 5 steps when the client (who stood firm during the charge) and I fired; four bullets hit the bull in mid-stride. He shuttered from the impact of the large caliber bullets; the buffalo stumbled to our side and went down. It was over seconds after it started.

The bull was hit in the boss, horn and near each eye on the charge as you can see on the pictures below.

Selous Game Reserve

buffalo-hunt-3.jpg
buffalo-hunt-2.jpg
buffalo-hunt-1.jpg
 

BRICKBURN

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That big boss certainly absorbed some abuse.

Glad you got the job done without any further "excitement".
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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Wow!
 

rinehart0050

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Cool story! I bet there were some brown-stained shorts after that- intense!
 

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Nicely done. Sounds like a very professional approach to a difficult situation!
 

bluey

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sounds exciting.......
 

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Wow!
 

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So the season hasn't been boring I see.
 

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Amazing Nathan! Congrats to you and the client
 

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Yours is a story that I just want to read about. Were both you and your client were using double barreled rifles? I concur with the previous comment about the "brown stained shorts." Taking a charge from a wounded Buffalo beginning 27 yards with you having to reload and fire with your client firing two shots as well means that both of you have a "pair."

I think this is the most exciting and or best hunting story I've read on AH since joining a year and a half ago.

My hat is off to both of you.
 

PARA45

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Wow, well done, and kudos to you and your client for standing his ground and helping you out. Great story!!!!
 

Bullet Safaris

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Nicely done. Sounds like a very professional approach to a difficult situation!
thanks for the comment - that is a nice compliment. we have a lot of experience with dangerous game but in these situations anything can happen, we were lucky. it has been one of those years!
 

Bullet Safaris

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Yours is a story that I just want to read about. Were both you and your client were using double barreled rifles? I concur with the previous comment about the "brown stained shorts." Taking a charge from a wounded Buffalo beginning 27 yards with you having to reload and fire with your client firing two shots as well means that both of you have a "pair."

I think this is the most exciting and or best hunting story I've read on AH since joining a year and a half ago.

My hat is off to both of you.
thanks - it has been a very adventurous year...well 15 years I guess! We have taken many buffalo this season and we have had two problems similar to this with buffalo.
Fortunately we have not had any trouble out of the cats this season...check the attached video.
 

Bullet Safaris

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Bullet Safaris

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glad you had a client that stayed put and did what he was supposed to do.
Thanks - the client was excellent (I have been blessed with really good folks as clients over the years). He held tight waited for it to be close and shot it in the head.
He had a rough go of it in Mozambique several years ago; then he decided to hunt with us in TZ and it went great. he shot a second buffalo and several Plains Game - we were basically finished with the hunting after 5 days!
 
 

 

 

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