There's Something about Buffalo

Kevin Thomas

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After retiring as a Professional Hunter at the end of 2013 I've been focusing on writing and my books can be seen on my website at www.kevindthomas.com


theres-something-about-buffalo.jpg


There's Something about Buffalo
In his latest book Kevin has invited friends, colleagues and clients (including well known hunting writers John Barsness and Gregor Woods) to share their experiences of hunting African buffalo.

The book is a mix of interesting facts about buffalo and all that is involved when hunting them with some chapters including photographs and diagrams.

Robert Ruark famously wrote in The Horn of Africa that a buffalo ‘looks at you like you owe him money.’ It was perhaps his poetic way of capturing, in few words, the tenacious and brooding nature of this species. Many of the stories and anecdotes in this book expand on that sentiment.

There's Something about Buffalo can be ordered directly from my website at www.KevinThomas.com.


Front cover
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Back cover
theres-something-about-buffalo-back.jpg



About
Kevin Thomas was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) in 1950.

When he was 17 he joined the Rhodesian Department of National Parks and Wildlife Management. Following six years' service and with the escalation of The Rhodesian Bush War, he left the game department and became a charter member of the Selous Scouts. After three years as an operational combat non-commissioned officer, he transferred to the unit's training wing as a counterinsurgency instructor.

Upon leaving the Rhodesian Army he turned to full time professional hunting and safari guiding across most of southern Africa.

At the end of 2013 he retired from the safari industry and he and his wife Brenda relocated to the UK. They currently live on a narrowboat where Kevin continues his writing, photography and painting.
 
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Kevin Thomas

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The book: There's Something about Buffalo
Pages: 300
A Few Chapter Excerpts:

Chapter 1: Early Years by Kevin Thomas
Within days of my arrival I was instructed to sign out a .425 Westley Richards from the station gun safe. I also signed for two boxes of Westley Richards Kynoch cartridges. Due to ammunition shortages for the calibre in question I only got to fire two shots at paper. An old cardboard box placed on the sand in the Lundi River bed. The rifle, nearly back in the white for most of its barrel length from regular usage, had an island front sight and a four-blade folding rear sight.


Caption: The indomitable Shangaan game scout Sgt Hlupo, who taught me the finer skills for hunting buffalo, and in the background tracker Gondo, one of the best trackers I’ve ever hunted with (Photo credit Kevin Thomas).


Chapter 3: Random Thoughts on Buffalo Hunting Calibres by Kevin Thomas
Whilst I certainly don’t want this chapter to read as if it is a treatise on the .375 H&H alone, I’ve always found from my own experiences as a PH, and prior to that, as a government game ranger doing PAC work, that the .375 H&H magnum was adequate for buffalo. I must however, qualify this with the words, if used in open country, and I cannot emphasise these words enough.


Caption: In this photo the 300gr Remington Premier 'A' Frame bullet recovered from a buffalo can be seen to have mushroomed perfectly. It was used by my client Bill Porteous, from the UK. He was using his 1951 pre-64 Winchester .375 H&H wearing a Leupold 1.75 - 6x32. Bill killed his buffalo on the fringe of a dense thicket, hitting the spinal cord immediately forward of the shoulder. The only shot other than a brain shot that is not directly related to wound channel size. Normally, the larger the wound channel the quicker the animal dies, because that's exactly what expanding bullets are designed for. With the brain shot, and the spinal cord shot just forward of the shoulder, death is instantaneous. However, if the spinal cord is missed problems can arise (Photo credit Kevin Thomas).


Chapter 6: Shot Placement & Tracking Buffalo by Kevin Thomas
There are, however, a few things to remember about shot placement on buffalo. The safest and most commonly used shot on buffalo is the side-on heart/lung shot, followed by the neck/spinal shot although the latter shot can be misplaced more easily than the former.


Caption: Action on lost spoor, attach diagram


Chapter 7: The Buffalo Hunt by Kevin Thomas
It is far preferable to anchor your buffalo where he goes down and not allow it to recover, and then pumped full of adrenalin depart the scene. If it has been well hit it certainly isn’t going to go very far, and it’s always a warm and fuzzy feeling to find your buffalo ‘dead’ rather than waiting for you to approach so it can attack you.


Caption: A buffalo cow lingers to see what all the fuss is about after the herd has been spooked (Photo credit Kevin Thomas).


Chapter 8: Cape Buffalo: An American View by John Barsness
We waited another minute, then followed the blood trail, leading back across the donga to a small clearing where a buffalo bull stood broadside, something shiny covering his shoulder, and three buffalo butts were disappearing into the forest on the other side. I shot the bull three more times before …


Caption: The writer with his Botswana buffalo bull after a long tracking exercise that ended up in a dry streambed (Photo credit John Barsness).


Chapter 9: An Ode to the Dagha Boy by Kevin Thomas
The dagha bull acknowledged the bullet by hunching his huge forequarters and then markedly accelerating across the sandy riverbed with his tail curled up over his rump, a good sign, before entering and then crashing down noisily inside a reedbed on the edge of the riverine bush.


Caption: Buffalo bulls love to wallow and can often be found in the vicinity of mud baths (Photo credit Manfred Lotze).


Chapter 10: Watch Out for the Buddy! by PH Paul Zorn
… suddenly the game scout shouted from way over on the truck ‘Hokoyo yena buya!’ (‘Watch out, it’s coming!’). With a snort the bull accelerated down a small incline and came thundering towards us at a full-on gallop. Lifting my rifle, I shouted for Don and Dan to get out of the way. And then, full of adrenalin, I focused on the fast approaching buffalo, reminding myself I only had time for a maximum of two shots before he’d reach me.


Caption: Don West from Wisconsin with a 40” Omay buffalo in Zimbabwe, shot circa 2004 using PH Paul Zorn’s .416 Rigby (Photo credit Paul Zorn).


Chapter 12: Hunting a Wounded Buffalo by Kevin Thomas
A common error that could become an extremely costly one is if both the client and PH are too hasty when trying for an anchoring shot on a stationary wounded buffalo that is close, but not actually charging. If the buffalo isn’t killed instantly, both client and PH could end up having empty chambers at a critical point during a sudden extremely close, fast, inbound buffalo attack. As an example of what I’ve stated in the above paragraph, I’ll make mention of …


Caption: If at all possible try to account for a wounded buffalo before it gets into dense greened-up in leaf mopane thickets, trying to account for a wounded buffalo in that stuff can be a lot worse than hunting in the proverbial jesse thickets. There’s nothing wrong with the buffalo in this photo, I’m just trying to show how dense mopane thickets can be (Photo credit Katrina Leatham).


Chapter 14: Some Buffalo Hunter’s Tales
PH Craig Robinson’s Close Call

… I thought of shooting for the brain when he was 10 yards away … but held back, 5 yards … but held back, and then because he hadn’t dropped his head, I let him have it straight in the face at about 2 yards, and then leapt to my right – the bull tried to hook me but missed, brushing me aside, and knocking me off my feet with his shoulder. As I was recovering …


Caption: PH Craig Robinson and his client Dave Merkel, with Dave’s buffalo after their close quarter joust, Craig was lucky to have come out of it unscathed (Photo credit Craig Robinson).


Chapter 16: Buffalo Can Be Mean! by Kevin Thomas
After being viciously hooked in the stomach by the buffalo’s one horn Alistair was thrown upwards with tremendous force. Crashing back to earth, he clutched his exposed intestines and in immense pain and shock rolled into the riverbed. Meantime, the buffalo turned its rage on Bellingham the architect of its grief, and despite his imposing physical presence it killed him outright within moments before …


Caption: Botswana safari operator Mike Gunn after his buffalo ordeal (Photo credit Mike Gunn).


Chapter 17: The Trackers – Unsung Heroes by Kevin Thomas
No book on hunting African dangerous game would be complete without a chapter dedicated to the all-important role of the trackers. Without them, the hunt wouldn’t succeed, it’s as simple as that.


Caption: On the big safari concessions across much of Africa now, the trackers are invariably in the forefront of the ongoing war against elephant and rhino poachers, and often pay with their lives. This sad epitaph bears testimony to one such man, Nguenha ‘Ngwenya’ Jose Mareau who was shot and killed in a confrontation with ivory poachers on Mokore Safari’s Mozambique Concession. When information had been received of the presence of an elephant poaching gang, he’d willingly joined the police follow-up and in the ensuing gun battle was tragically killed. All of us who venture out into the hunting fields of Africa, can only salute such men – without their courage and dedication there wouldn’t be much to hunt. (Mokore Safaris)
 

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I just ordered a copy!
 

Kevin Thomas

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I just ordered a copy!
Indeed you did, thanks very much and it's on its way, having been airmailed last week.
 

Steve.

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Kev,

The book arrived this afternoon and I can’t put it down. Thank you for your prompt service and the speed it was sent.

Cheers mate,

Steve
 

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I also just now ordered a copy.
 

Kevin Thomas

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Kev,

The book arrived this afternoon and I can’t put it down. Thank you for your prompt service and the speed it was sent.

Cheers mate,

Steve
Great Steve - Thanks for letting me know and I'm glad you're enjoying the read. Go well and good hunting. Kev.
 

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My book finally made it here after struggling through a Canada Post strike. Brilliant read, covering the hunt from arrival in hunting camp, bullet placement to, heaven forbid, following up on a wounded buff.
Veritable manual on buffalo hunt, easy writing style, and hard to put down.
Kevin obviously knows his stuff. A must read for both first time buff hunter, and the blooded hunter.
Good on you, Kevin, keep them coming.
 

mark-hunter

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Dear Kevin,

I just received your book, ordered through Amazon.
Now, I look forward to good time reading it!
 

Kevin Thomas

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My book finally made it here after struggling through a Canada Post strike. Brilliant read, covering the hunt from arrival in hunting camp, bullet placement to, heaven forbid, following up on a wounded buff.
Veritable manual on buffalo hunt, easy writing style, and hard to put down.
Kevin obviously knows his stuff. A must read for both first time buff hunter, and the blooded hunter.
Good on you, Kevin, keep them coming.
Thanks for the positive review and kind words, I really do appreciate your post but more importantly, I'm glad you finally got your book and enjoyed the read!
 

Kevin Thomas

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Bullthrower338

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Great read Kevin! Well done. On to the next of the three you sent.
Cheers,
Cody
 

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I finished it about a week ago. It was a very good read and hard to put down. Time to order another one!
 

Kevin Thomas

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Kevin Thomas

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I finished it about a week ago. It was a very good read and hard to put down. Time to order another one!
Sounds good!
 

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I had some trouble finding "There's Something About Buffalo" on Amazon using the standard search mechanism. It didn't come up with Kevin's other books on Amazon. I ended-up emailing Kevin directly who was able to point me in the right direction at Amazon US rather than shipping the book from the UK. Thought I'd pass the direct Amazon link along to everyone. Great book. The best $13 you'll spend today!

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0620800615
 

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I found it on amazon.uk.
 

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Managed to buy this book and others from Kevin during my recent trip to England.
I have finished reading the " There's something about Buffalo" book... FANTASTIC read and down to earth stuff about buff hunting.
A MUST read for newbie buff hunters and old hands alike!!
Thanks Kevin.....
 

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I just finished reading There’s something about buffalo again. It is even better the second time especially after going to the BVC to hunt buff.
One quote out of the book that I particularly enjoy is from the last paragraph in Chapter 8 when John Barnes’s talks about hunters life beginning all over again when hunting Africa. “Maybe there is a fountain of youth, located in the heart of wild Africa, and from the spring at its source flows a herd of Cape Buffalo.” I believe this may be true!
 
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Kevin Thomas

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I just finished reading There’s something about buffalo again. It is even better the second time especially after going to the BVC to hunt buff.
One quote out of the book that I particularly enjoy is from the last paragraph in Chapter 8 when John Barnes’s talks about hunters life beginning all over again when hunting Africa. “Maybe there is a fountain of youth, located in the heart of wild Africa, and from the spring at its source flows a herd of Cape Buffalo.” I believe this may be true!
I'm a bit late with this response, however, I've been otherwise distracted of recent. Getting old and the health issues that go with it isn't for sissies! Important though is that you got to hunt a buffalo on the BVC, and I certainly hope the hunt lived up to all your expectations. And yes, John's quote says it all! Good Hunting!
 
 

 

 

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