What is a good Buffalo

ActionBob

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The bufflalo in my avatar is not a huge, he is my first and came on day 11 of a 12 day hunt. Granted elephant was the first priority but we spent a lot of time on buffalo as well... All wild free roaming animals and stalking through the thick bush when a bull, any buffalo bull, jumps up 10 feet from you is a special kind of hair raising moment.... all the bs about guns and calibers and shooting Technic goes away as you shoulder what you have and point it through the little hole in the bush at the snorting black gob!

My bull was spotted by the trackers from a big hilltop, relayed to the PH who told me to grab my gun and run to the riverbank as he ran in the opposite direction to get shooting stick and his double...... Trying to pick out the bull while lungs were heaving and then finishing him is the thick stuff.. That and the oppressive heat is why my face is red in that picture... Priceless experience.

On the other hand I've hunted a very large but fenced concession in RSA with lots of buffalo.... And shot a mud caked smoothed off ancient old bull.... Good hunt and great experience, but can't compare to a real wild hunt. I'll possibly do it again when I can't do something more but my heart does not yearn for that like it does to get back out into the real wild and hunt those remote regions where you just don't know what might happen.
 

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.............. all the bs about guns and calibers and shooting Technic goes away as you shoulder what you have and point it through the little hole in the bush at the snorting black gob!
...........

That about says it.
 

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Any truly old free-range bull. I have no desire to hunt one under European conditions where they are raised behind a fence and trophy fee is based upon size. A couple of RSA operators post pictures of actual bulls on their property and respective trophy fees. Not my kind of thing.
 

thi9elsp

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I second the adventure and experience of the hunt as others have mentioned. My buff is only 36 and a bit soft in front (probably communication mistake with me and the PH). But, one shot kill and only went 40 yards. We hunted hard in the Zambezi Valley with long days stalking - pretty much all morning and afternoon walking with a break in the bush for lunch and a siesta mid-day. I'm off to Mozambique in 2 months for buffalo, sable, etc. I expect a similar experience, long days with a lot of walking. Whatever buffalo I get will be a trophy.
 

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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. As long as the animal is a mature bull and you hunt him fair chase it is a trophy. My experience is the more challenging the hunt the more I value the animal.

We are in my humble opinion seeking the hunt, the challenge, the total experience. Trophy size is nice, but not a measure of the quality of the experience of hunting.
 

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I also think the quality of the hunt is the most critical factor. The buffalo in my avatar was only 36" but he was a mature dagga boy, hunted in open area, on foot, with skilled trackers leading the way. Getting to walk among several buffalo, hearing them step on twigs as they fed and trying not to be detected before backing out again and again. Finally taking your shot, following up, and hearing a death bellow if you are lucky.
That is what makes a great buffalo. Not merely size.
Enjoy your hunt. No other experience can compare.
 

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I liked number six Wayne! But to be honest I would shoot any that you shared.
 

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An old ,free bull is a good bull.
Gentlemen,on a word, but a bull inside the fences of South Africa is an other species.They are protected babies.
They grew up without lions,leopards,hyenas,will feeded with hay in the dry season,get vaccinations against mouth and foot desease and other things,because they are expensive animals for the farmer.The RSA Trophy bulls should been jugded other than the wild ones.
Don't close your eyes and don't compare this hunt and life of the buffs with the hard life in other african countries they have.
A "friend" of mine want to go to RSA.
The operator sent him two pictures of his best bulls !!!!!!!! and wrote "to plan one day hunt for every Big Game species."
A african hunter can only laugh about this.
But one is true:
they can be very dangerous also.Sure.
But a lot of money costs both,wild and fenced.
I would take the wild variant.
Here a wild,old one in the jungle of a river bank,shy,clever,impressive and defently not a record for the book,but for us hunter.
And not to get in a day.
Sorry for OT
Just my two cents
Foxi

I don't say a lot on here, and certainly don't want to step on toes.

But please do not make my hunting experiences cheap or less worthy.

Yes, there are areas in SA where what you say is true, but there are also plenty areas, albeit fenced where the buffalo can be considered real!

I was privileged to hunt a bull and then a cow in one of these areas where we bumped into wild lions on the first morning on the perimeter fence and I found lion/leopard kills (dead and eaten buffalo) in places where people don't go on these farms, yes we call them farms, that is the normal name for fenced properties in SA. You will be surprised of how many old bulls are seen in some of these farms that have never been seen in years that only now come out in this severe drought.

It is nice to see pictures of animals on the farms before you go, but have you ever tried hunting a specific animal that lives alone or in a herd? Believe me, it is a whole other ballgame.

Just stick to the simple rule of if it has a name or number, don't shoot it.

But all of SA is not as bad as you make it sound.

There should be a reasonable expectation of the duration of the hunt, because time is money, but if you are guaranteed to hunt the animal within a day for example, then it probably has a name or number or a rope around it's neck! Then it should be an easy option to pass by.
 

Foxi

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Please apologize my possible hurtful comments about DG hunt in SA.
Its a big, great country and sure, there is a lot of good hunt also.
But not easy for us foreign hunter to find such places.
When Im visiting the huntingmesses,no operator gives me such a success guarantee like the Southafricans for their game.
My shoes made countless kilometers in the african bush and I've always a healthy mistrust when a good trophy is guaranteed.
When I'm in Southernly Africa,I love to read your "Farmers Weekly".
The advertises are offering not hundreds heads of game,no, thousands- every week !
And a lot of breeding cape buffs also.
What shall a hunter think about that ?
Maybe I've always seen the wrong places .
No hard feelings.
Foxi
 
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DWB

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Apologies accepted, and also my apologies for coming over strongly.

We have a saying here that not everyone in the game industry are thieves, but all the thieves are in the game industry.

For me it is shameful to see what our fellow "hunters" sometimes do to visiting guests.

And that damages SA's image.

But I promise you, there is good hunting to be had in South Africa.

As we are mainly meat hunters, or as I like to think of myself as a trophy meat hunter :) there are often times when we go home empty handed.

But for me nothing beats time in the bush.

It has unfortunately become a money game, but I plead to all to apply common sense and to also not condone or take part in these acts, as this will help to remove these things from what we love to do.
 

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not everyone in the game industry are thieves, but all the thieves are in the game industry.
.
(y)
write well.
A worst hunt is in every country,but the good also.
Foxi
 

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As @DWB said, not all of SA is the same.

I hunted my buff in a 40.000 ha, that is 98.840 acres Private Game Reserve, where I saw the big 5 plus hippo and croc. Took me three and a half days to find the right bull.
A friend of mine shot an eland there which was deeply scarred by lion.

You also have the APNR, farms bordering the Kruger National Park, with NO fence between them and Kruger. And many other large properties where you can enjoy a fair chase hunt.

And yes, if you pay for it, you can shoot any animal of any size you wish in a small enclosure, but that´s what some people want, the trophy, not the hunting experience.

It´s a question of making your choice.
 

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To me the buff you want as a hunter is the right one. Some want the hard hunt and any buff will do. Yet others may not want to walk all day but want a giant buff. Is one better then the other if we support all legal hunting.

I have found it is human nature to think something we do is better for what ever reason we want to make. Some think a buff in 5000 acres is easy and it can be on certain areas and can be harder then hunting 100,000 acres also.

I can find reason for both but most give only the reason why fenced buff are easy. I have friends in this very thread who will tell you fenced buff is a walk in the park. But they also don't look at the facts of why a so called free range hunt is no better for other reason.

If the hunting of buff around man made waterholes is better I don't know why. Yes the waterholes get built to help all wildlife but lets not kid ourselves and think it is not to get animals out to were they can be hunted by clients.It to me is just like a fence and made to keep them in a certain area. Now you may not take your buff around the water but it does keep them in the areas.Yes could a buff roam the 100,000 acres around it for sure. Will it hell no because most of that land could not support them with feed and water. The very buff will circle the area just like one behind fence and use a core area which is for sure not the 100,000's of acres it could use. This is my thoughts and each area could be different but my point is no matter how big a place all the land will not support buff but it sure sounds good when you say unfenced free range in 100,000 acres .

Then we have the very buff that come out of the parks guys wait for. If you hunt them in SA in an apnr is it less of a buff because it was shot on one side of the river over another. Because it crossed the river in to zim now it is a free range buff that came out of a SA park. You think that buff knows which country he is in. He is a better buff because you pay more in day fees and need to rough it more because the country does not have the same lodging and ease of getting around of SA. All hogwash IMO but everyone has what they want and I support anyone who wants to hunt they way they want.

I myself would be proud of any buff I would ever take and hope to one day hunt one. Yes money will decide which kind of hunt I do but there will be no one telling me mine is less then there because of how or were they hunted it.

Now for if a 36" buff is a trophy? You bet it is and I would be proud and take the chance on hunting one in a heartbeat.
 
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Scott Slough

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A good buffalo is a dead buffalo ... when you decide to pull the trigger, what all of us thinks won't matter at all! He will be YOUR buffalo and that makes him good!
 

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A good buffalo is a dead buffalo ... when you decide to pull the trigger, what all of us thinks won't matter at all! He will be YOUR buffalo and that makes him good!

No Sir, sorry to disagree.
 

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My Buff: 35.5" and very proud of it!

Buffel 1.jpg
 
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Upton O. Good

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I don't ever measure any of the horns/antlers of my trophies. To me, it is disrespectful to the animal.

A few weeks ago, a couple of guys were trimming a big tree in my yard. One of the guys had a trophy whitetail buck tattoo on his shoulder so our talk quickly went to hunting. He told me about his big buck and and apologized that he hadn't had it "scored" yet. I explained my thoughts on measuring and he looked at me a bit quizzically.

I asked him to tell me about his hunt and what it was like hunting in his area, what it was like when His big buck stepped out, and all of the details of that hunt.

As he told his story, he went right back in time and reexperienced that hunt. He was so amazed that he had been blessed with that beautiful animal.

That was when I asked him how would he put a tape on that experience?

I really don't care how many inches any trophy measures. I want to hear about the hunt in great detail and go with as you hunt that animal again.
 

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"What is a good buffalo"? The answer is different for different people. For me it is totally about the hunt. Finding tracks either crossing the road or starting at a water point, watching the trackers sort them out, figuring out how many, and likelihood of a good bull being in the mix. Deciding if you are going to invest time and boot leather in following the tracks. If the answer is yes; watching the trackers "work" the tracks following them through different types of terrain. Losing the tracks then finding them again, the trackers talking with the PH saying they have tracked this bull before because they recognize the shape and marks on his right front hoof. Having the wind shift and blowing up your stalk and starting all over again. That is buffalo hunting! The moment of truth: I want to take a mature/old, hard bossed bull after tracking him down. I like the deep drop curl look but am not that concerned so much about width. In all reality the PH is going to get you in position to take the shot. Are you not going to shoot when he points out the buffalo you have been tracking for the last 5 hours? Some maybe....most will shoot. So maybe the most important part is picking the PH to hunt buffalo with (using a Brickburn type vetting system to make your choice). I guess my final answer to what is a good buffalo....is the one you decide to shoot.
 

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Reading this post I almost regret my upcoming buffalo hunt in Limpopo. Yes it's under a fence and the property is 8000 acres. I could have swung for a few more dollars on a "wild hunt" but I also wanted to add more plains game to the hunt. I had to stay within some sort of budget. I hope it goes well and I have to earn him.
 

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