Water Buffalo Hunting On A Budget

blacks

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Dingo Creek Outfitters
Big Country Safaris

Be worth hitting those two up for a deal. Note I haven't hunted with either so cannot personally vouch for them. But they seem to have some good prices for basic hunts and get good results.
 

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You're being unrealistic. You're attempting to shoot a half dozen animals for $10,000. The price you got on your last trip was exceptional. I'd contact that outfitter again.
I would if he was still in business. My thoughts are if I'm going to pay $10,000 for one buffalo, I may as well shoot a Cape buffalo in Africa. Then I can tack on any number of PG animals for a relatively small amount of money. I never knew that the locals couldn't hunt buff without an outfitter up there. So I guess everyone has to pay big $.
 

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Water buffalo are like our feral hogs, ie, no one wants them because of their destruction, but everyone wants to charge a lot to hunt them. It doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense IMO.
 

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True Wild Outfitters offer a 'Bush Camp' basic package on Conways Station for A$5.5k. Be a fun hunt I'd imagine.
 

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check out Ty's Wild Endeavors. He has some very good prices and some great trophy photos. I dont know anything about the area.
 

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Water buffalo are like our feral hogs, ie, no one wants them because of their destruction, but everyone wants to charge a lot to hunt them.

And that annoys the crap out of a lot of us here in Aus when the water buffalo are equated with the Cape Buffalo and as a feral nuisance command way over the top prices because they are big. They are not and never will be on the same footing as Africa`s bulls.
Toby is correct in that for the money asked he may as well go back to Africa to hunt a buff.
 

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I think the deals that Blacks mentioned are more appropriate, affordable and accessible for Australians. I remember guys hiring a van in Darwin and driving out there.

But when I think of the costs involved in the more remote parts (don’t get me wrong, Conways is remote and wild and magnificent - you can just reach it yourself fairly easily) I wonder if the double price tag is due to logistics and other fees involved for operating there?
 

blacks

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Yes no doubt there are high operating costs in those wilderness areas, and plenty with their fingers in the pie.

My biggest pet hate is being quoted in $USD for a hunt in Australia or New Zealand and I simply won't come at it.
 

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I think NZ has the best setup in the world. All the species they have can be hunted by anyone unguided if they like or if they are unable or unwilling there is the option to be guided.

The thing I have always found hard to swallow is that one aussie is forced to pay $5k to shoot one buff but the next aussie can shoot hundreds if they like for free. I'm probably just too used to how things operate down here in vic where the nz type system is essentially what we have. More the idea that every aussie has the same huntinh opportunity as you do in nz.

I spent a while back and forthing with the nt govt talking about this stuff and pushing for a ballot similar to hog deer in the least. The bird I ended up dealing with was good but went nowhere.
 

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I think NZ has the best setup in the world. All the species they have can be hunted by anyone unguided if they like or if they are unable or unwilling there is the option to be guided.

The thing I have always found hard to swallow is that one aussie is forced to pay $5k to shoot one buff but the next aussie can shoot hundreds if they like for free. I'm probably just too used to how things operate down here in vic where the nz type system is essentially what we have. More the idea that every aussie has the same huntinh opportunity as you do in nz.

I spent a while back and forthing with the nt govt talking about this stuff and pushing for a ballot similar to hog deer in the least. The bird I ended up dealing with was good but went nowhere.

Yes but that's just an access thing, we always want what we can't have by nature. Thousands of people pay good money to hunt red and fallow deer, yet I can do it for free. Not unlike a well connected Territorian on buff. I can guarantee there are NT based hunters who are jealous of the deer hunting down south. It's all relative. (y)
 

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Yes but that's just an access thing, we always want what we can't have by nature. Thousands of people pay good money to hunt red and fallow deer, yet I can do it for free. Not unlike a well connected Territorian on buff. I can guarantee there are NT based hunters who are jealous of the deer hunting down south. It's all relative. (y)
Yeah but my point is that down here anyone can hunt public land reds, fallow, sambar and hog deer. It's not a token gesture either I've taken stags (and a buck) of each species on public land.

I must admit I did once see a good buffalo deal, it was a diy bow hunt for two blokes and you could take 2 bulls for $2500 each. Mind you that was probably 5 years ago.
 

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My thoughts are if I'm going to pay $10,000 for one buffalo, I may as well shoot a Cape buffalo in Africa. Then I can tack on any number of PG animals for a relatively small amount of money.

bingo. thats what i cant understand. i shot 8 african plains game animals, 7 taxied, for less than one aussie pest species??

And that annoys the crap out of a lot of us here in Aus when the water buffalo are equated with the Cape Buffalo and as a feral nuisance command way over the top prices because they are big. They are not and never will be on the same footing as Africa`s bulls.
Toby is correct in that for the money asked he may as well go back to Africa to hunt a buff.

yep, Ill be back in Africa again before I even entertain the idea of a Buff, at those prices

My biggest pet hate is being quoted in $USD for a hunt in Australia or New Zealand and I simply won't come at it.

yep, definitely
 

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Wow you guys.

Before I get started, I do know where you can get reasonably priced but certainly NOT free.
Contact me via p.m.

I don't know too many outfitters that are waiting around to smash their vehicles to bits every two years, spend thousands of dollars on getting building materials transported to remote areas and then spend countless hours so that they can build a hunting camp with, blow thousands of dollars on public liability insurance for an activity involving "dangerous game" in a remote area which contains snakes, crocodiles, buffalo and other dangerous animals, pay over $2.50 per litre of diesel to drive you around with AND their time AND THEN spend two or even more days taking care of your trophy preparing it so that you can preserve it for life for a hunt cost of $5000 and mind you I have left A LOT of other operating costs out of this equation because I simply couldn't be bothered typing them out.

Notwithstanding that this guide deserves to make an income that would equate to a fraction of what most "City" folks would expect.

Yes, the buffalo are a feral pest often culled by the Government at cost.

If you begrudge paying for a hunt then pony up your own hard won, hire a vehicle or smash your own up, drive the thousands of kilometres (on N.T fuel prices that is) that it will take you to cover some country and take your chances of finding and shooting something that just stopped drinking from its mother and call it done.
 

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Wow you guys.

Before I get started, I do know where you can get reasonably priced but certainly NOT free.
Contact me via p.m.

I don't know too many outfitters that are waiting around to smash their vehicles to bits every two years, spend thousands of dollars on getting building materials transported to remote areas and then spend countless hours so that they can build a hunting camp with, blow thousands of dollars on public liability insurance for an activity involving "dangerous game" in a remote area which contains snakes, crocodiles, buffalo and other dangerous animals, pay over $2.50 per litre of diesel to drive you around with AND their time AND THEN spend two or even more days taking care of your trophy preparing it so that you can preserve it for life for a hunt cost of $5000 and mind you I have left A LOT of other operating costs out of this equation because I simply couldn't be bothered typing them out.

Notwithstanding that this guide deserves to make an income that would equate to a fraction of what most "City" folks would expect.

Yes, the buffalo are a feral pest often culled by the Government at cost.

If you begrudge paying for a hunt then pony up your own hard won, hire a vehicle or smash your own up, drive the thousands of kilometres (on N.T fuel prices that is) that it will take you to cover some country and take your chances of finding and shooting something that just stopped drinking from its mother and call it done.

I appreciate your view, but firstly African PHs run the same - if not MORE of a risk, to themselves and their clients, when hunting African DG: lion, elephant, leopard, hippo etc (that DO kill people each year), so their overheads may be quite a bit more than that by Australian standards.

The lethailty of game aside, Australian Guides don't face the same problems of logistics that African PHs do. True, setting up a remote camp may engender the same challenges, but they also have to deal with fickle (and contradictory) governments and officials that can be unbelievably obfuscatory; the scarcity of fuel and vehicle spare parts etc that usually have to be imported and transported thousands of miles from the nearest port - and most likely through different countries - and then taxed (my mate in Zim recently paid US$700.00 per 44gal drum of fuel).

African PHs also don't have the ready availability of associated hunting equipment (cleaning gear, scopes etc) that we enjoy in Australia, either. Again, I regularly send supplies to my mate, as they're near impossible to get in Zim. They also face stringent restrictions on the amount of ammunition they can possess over a calendar year (let alone availability!) whereas we don't. Which impacts on ignition and accuracy. They too, face similar risks of vehicle damage from the terrain, game (and "mombies") and yet - despite all these hurdles - the cost of a cape buffalo hunt is not that much different from a NT water buffalo hunt.

Dont get me wrong, I've enjoyed my NT buffalo hunts. But, dollar for dollar I prefer going for cape buffalo: a truly dangerous game animal (and acknowledged killer) with the added benefits of experiencing a different country, people, culture, food, environment and game. (y)
 

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Timbo, even if I do think that for certain reasons Cape buffalo may have the edge in aggression, only quick shooting has saved Paul’s hide many a time. I’ve had to be quick and accurate, too. Every time I go into the bush (or out to the bin at nighttime) I feel that fear.

The Australian buffalo hunting operations you and I are familiar with are remote and awesome and spectacular, but they’re a different kettle of fish in terms of access, infrastructure and logistics compared to the guys further east. Out there, experiencing that truly remote and inaccessible country comes at a cost. And they have to pass along all or most of the trophy fee. The fact that prices for the big three cattle property hunts were comparable to the Arnhemland hunts is interesting. To me that indicates the guys way out are being pretty competitive.

The roads are awful. I’m not going to say they’re worse than Africa, because I’m not experienced. But I’d put money on them being no better. They wreck the toughest of four-wheel-drives.

I don’t envy the hard work Australian professionals do with either no team to help them or a very small team at best. Cooking, cleaning, trophy preparation. Labour is cheap in Africa.

I am curious about the insurance and fees to governing bodies. I’m not sure how they compare.

From what I remember about Africa food and beer are cheap.

An experience out east is comparable in my opinion to the most remote parts of Mozambique or Tanzania in terms vastness, challenge getting there, and unspoilt wilderness.
 

Timbo

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Timbo, even if I do think that for certain reasons Cape buffalo may have the edge in aggression, only quick shooting has saved Paul’s hide many a time. I’ve had to be quick and accurate, too. Every time I go into the bush (or out to the bin at nighttime) I feel that fear.

The Australian buffalo hunting operations you and I are familiar with are remote and awesome and spectacular, but they’re a different kettle of fish in terms of access, infrastructure and logistics compared to the guys further east. Out there, experiencing that truly remote and inaccessible country comes at a cost. And they have to pass along all or most of the trophy fee. The fact that prices for the big three cattle property hunts were comparable to the Arnhemland hunts is interesting. To me that indicates the guys way out are being pretty competitive.

The roads are awful. I’m not going to say they’re worse than Africa, because I’m not experienced. But I’d put money on them being no better. They wreck the toughest of four-wheel-drives.

I don’t envy the hard work Australian professionals do with either no team to help them or a very small team at best. Cooking, cleaning, trophy preparation. Labour is cheap in Africa.

I am curious about the insurance and fees to governing bodies. I’m not sure how they compare.

From what I remember about Africa food and beer are cheap.

An experience out east is comparable in my opinion to the most remote parts of Mozambique or Tanzania in terms vastness, challenge getting there, and unspoilt wilderness.

Hi Ben. You've basically identified the very same points and conditions I've raised, without detracting from what burdens exchange rates, governments, international borders that burden African PHs in order to field hunts in remote areas: and yes, PHs pass those costs along to the client, in the same way Aussie Guides do. And yet, the cost of a cape buffalo remains very competitive compared to water buff here.

However I don't agree that the water buffalo is in the same class as cape buffalo, elephant or lion. I've discussed this, on and off, over the last 30yrs with a number of hunters who've hunted both species - and including a mate, Frank (an ex-professional buffalo shooter in the 70s and 80s) - with the general consensus being that it's "big" game, but not "dangerous" game.

The reason might lie in the fact that cape buffalo are the main prey of lions. Therefore they're hunted 24/7 by them, which in turn would make the cape buffalo, temperamentally, a more naturally very aggressive animal, if only to ensure it's own survival - whereas Australian water buffalo simply don't have any such natural predators continually hunting them. (As an aside, remember too, that when hunting cape buffalo you must keep an eye out, as you are also hunting in the same area as those lions!!).

But the water buffalo does make for a very nice trophy, but whichever way you view it they are still a domesticated, introduced, animal gone feral. Still today in many asian countries, it's used as a beast of burden and, to plough paddy fields. True, when provoked they can get angry, and it's prudent to hunt with caution - and that goes for wild boar too - but it must be said, that even a dog will bite if provoked, so I'm not one that puts water buffalo in the same class as lion, cape buffalo or elephant. And despite accurate, quick shooting, many clients and experienced PHs have been killed by "the widow-maker". Earlier this year, notice was put on this site of a SA PH being gored. Then during my buffalo hunt in 2013 we got a radio call notifying my PH's mate was gored and killed while guiding his client. Also, a buff that gored Ian Gibson took 21 rounds, and then another 2 on it's way in before successfully goring him. I've never heard, or read, of such killings, or such incredible tenacity, shown by water buff.

People may not like my views, but that's their issue, as the differences between the species just can't be ignored. I remember many years ago, one of my first experiences in hunting cape buffalo that'll indicate their cunning. Firstly, the buffalo would leap clear across the dirt roads so not to leave visible tracks for us to follow. Second, we later bumped a crafty buff that once it realised it was being hunted, started circling back over his own tracks in order to confuse the trackers - and to ambush us!! Now, that truly was a hair raising experience!! Then last year the companion to the buff I'd dropped hung around to almost charge, but decided against it and ran off.

But I agree hunting in remote areas, either here, the US, Canada or the Himalayas is one of the real charms that draws us to these places as hunters, but the resources, supplies and equipment available to Aussie Guides are more readily available, cheaper and have less bureaucratic obfuscation than faced by PHs in Africa.
 
 

 

 

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