Wounded Cape Buffalo Charge

Discussion in 'Hunting Videos' started by AfricaHunting.com, Mar 29, 2008.

  1. BC.Pat

    BC.Pat AH Enthusiast

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    Fire and movement is very very difficult to master, I was privileged to work with some very high speed folks and we trained for months and months and expended pallets loads of ammunition. I am not sure how a hunter would obtain such a skill set for a such a situation, arcs of fire need to be established and practiced. Pretty much a impossible task for a PH to have absolute control over his his clients and the game in such a situation. Plus there are a host of autonomic functions that will be in the mix as your body struggles to deal with the situation. Tunnel vision, auditory exclusion etc. It's a tuff place to be without the skill set. Was it pretty..no..Did he protect his client..yup(y)
     
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  2. Arizona Bob

    Arizona Bob New Member

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  3. Foxi

    Foxi AH Elite

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    Arizona Bob,
    normaly its a wise decision when you do that.
    A little story from May this year.

    A good friend was hunting on elephant in Matetsi/Zimbabwe.
    They stalked to an elephant and my friend was wearing ear protectors(I dont know the type).
    Suddenly an other elephant started a charge 100m away (the PH said later ,never saw this from that great distance).
    The PH said "run" and runned away.And the PH meant that he is behind him .
    May friend doesn't hear that and he is always looking to the spotted animal.
    When he noticed the charge ,the elephant was 20m away from him and the Game Scout saved his life, while he gave a magazine of his Kalashnikov
    in/over the face of the animal and the elephant turned.

    Almost killed by elephant,but his ears was protected:whistle:
    Regards
    Foxi
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017
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  4. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    When you’re following up a wounded dangerous animal, everyone has a job to do. The trackers’ job is to keep their eyes on the tracks. The professional hunter’s job is to keep an eye on everything - the trackers, the client, and the situation in general.

    As a client, you need to do what you can from both a positive and a negative perspective. From the negative, don’t wander off on your own. Stay close to the group, and particularly make sure that the PH has you in his sight at all times. Don’t ask a bunch of questions about the tracking, what might happen, where it might be, etc. Now isn’t the time for teaching; there will be time for that later.

    On the positive side, make yourself useful. Keep your rifle ready, but keep your safety on. A rifle sound over your shoulder isn’t any good to anyone. And since you can’t add anything useful to the tracking, keep your eyes open and watching the area around you.

    On my first African hunt, what seems so many years ago now, I was hunting buffalo in Zimbabwe. We had tracked and searched for 8 days, and when we finally crept up on a small group of old dugga boys, I made a terrible shot. The buffalo was wounded - I broke a front leg - but I missed anything that might be quickly fatal.

    After about 10 minutes, we began to track, slowly. After about 200 yards, our trackers and the game scout began a whispered conversation while pointing to the ground. I asked the PH what was going on (violation of one of my own rules!) He said the buff had milled there, and they wanted to make sure they had the right one. As the discussion continued, I was looking around. I nudged my PH and said - what’s that black area in the bush (about 40 yards away)? - at that point the black area became a buffalo charging at us at full speed.

    My Ph had his rifle up and a shot taken into the buffalo’s chest before I had even lifted mine to my shoulder. He was ready for a second shot but the buffalo turned, and with a bit of embarrassment, I gave him one up the rear as he was going away.

    I won’t say I had much to do with how this turned out, but we all knew where we were, and we knew what needed to be done if something happened.

    I’ve heard some people say that their trackers ran when an animal charged. That’s exactly what they’re supposed to do - get out of the way so that someone with a rifle can do something about the situation, without having to worry about shooting a tracker.

    I’ve hunted with that PH many times, and I can say with certainty, we each know our jobs!
     
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  5. Arizona Bob

    Arizona Bob New Member

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    The ESP hearing protection I wear, and there are many others, not only drown out damaging noise but amplify all the lower tones and noises. I would never hunt without them. The have alerted my to numerous game animals I otherwise would not have heard and protected me at the shot.
     
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  6. Arizona Bob

    Arizona Bob New Member

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  7. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Watched video again and can say the PH was lucky!
     
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  8. Umlilo Safaris

    Umlilo Safaris SPONSOR Since 2016 AH Enthusiast

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    Easy to judge, but I think the PH himself would have thought that it was to close for comfort.
    Does not matter how many discussions you have with the client before hand - it can all change in a matter of seconds, especially if its the clients' first DG hunt.
    The PH has no choice than to trust his client at some stage in a situation like this.
    Hindsight and slow motion is not available to a PH on a Big 5 hunt
     
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  9. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    or a rewind button.
     

  10. Dean2

    Dean2 AH Member

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    Never guided Buffalo but have guided for bear. Learned REAL fast when tracking wounded bear either leave the client out of it completely if I thought they were over jumpy or keep him right beside or just slightly ahead of me. No way would I have a client behind me in this situation. I am there to back him up and keep him safe. I only shot if the client couldn't, missed or wouldn't. Better than 20% of clients either froze on a charge or actually ran away. I know PHs in Africa seem to want to be in the lead but I have no idea why. Would love to hear their perspective on why.

    Would have liked to hear the after shot discussions. Camera angle may make it look worse than it was but all in I think everyone involved got very lucky nothing bad happened. Hope they all learned from it.
     

  11. Sika98k

    Sika98k AH Veteran

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    That made me cringe ! I have no practical experience of tracking wounded buffalo but plenty of being in the company of others carrying loaded firearms. That made me cringe.
     

  12. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    because there would be a lot of dead or injured clients on follow ups of wounded Dg animals .. . You can see how thick the bush can be and there is very little time to react.....the pH has hopefully got the training and experience to sort the situation out instantly ...but unfortunately that's not always the case even with some of the best and most experienced of them and they suffer the consequences.........so a client with no or limited experience wouldn't have a chance in reality.....a leopard can be 10 feet away and you wouldn't see it till it decided to come.....if the terrain /bush is nice and open and allows it then side by side would be fine, but meandering through thick bush trying to follow the animal last thing needed is someone taking a different path around or through the thick bush.. ..and finding themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time......
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 15, 2018
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  13. Newboomer

    Newboomer AH Veteran

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    That video gave me the creeps. Not so much the charge but the client so close to the PH. I can see following behind but get a little off to one side so you can see by the PH a little better. It's a wonder the client didn't hit the PH with the muzzle of the rifle. That was the perspective I got from the video. When I follow wounded game with my PH I revert to my military training. Behind but a little to one side so I can see what's ahead and not get in the way of my PH. That gives both of us maneuvering room. When I took my buff last year I had 2 PHs close behind and off to each side of me. Luckily, the buff turned 90 degrees and ran. It was a perfect head on shot but you never know. A very tense few minutes after that while we tracked him. It was fairly open country so we could see pretty well. We used the military V formation, me in the lead and a PH slightly behind and off to my left, the other slightly behind and off to the right. We all had clear fields of fire with no danger of shooting one of us. We found the dugga boy stone dead about 80 yards away. Insurance shot just in case.
     
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  14. Charles de Ribeau

    Charles de Ribeau AH Senior Member

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    Why do African PHs insist on following up on obviously well-hit, badly wounded game (all kinds) rather than giving them a few minutes to bleed out? My first African animal was a blue wildebeest. I made a solid lung shot. Following it, you could see lung blood and even pieces of lung. There was no way that the animal was going to survive long or go very far, but my PH insisted on pressing it and shooting it two more times. It was the same with other animals on that trip. (Since then, my proficiency on sticks has improved.) Why?
     
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  15. Hank2211

    Hank2211 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Not all PHs do this, in my experience. If they are happy with the shot - and frothy blood and lung tissue would be a pretty good indication of a good shot (!) - then many are happy to wait, especially with dangerous game. On my first buffalo, we waited a reasonable amount of time - enough for the trackers to get in some cigarettes - before we began to follow the blood.

    If there is a lesson to be learned from this though, it's that discussions with your PH are always the best way forward. I get this was your first African animal, so you - and most of us (me included) - would have just done what you were told. But if you want to wait a bit, then all you should have to do is say so. Your PH may have a reason why he wants to follow up, and if he does, he should share that with you. But subject to safety issues, the decision should be yours (note, though, that you are hiring and paying this person for their expertise).

    It bears repeating, it's your hunt. You should wait until you are comfortable following up (subject to those safety issues).
     
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  16. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    In fact, they (all) don't charge ahead/in.

    Makes me think your PH's last client might have lost an animal.
     

  17. WAB

    WAB AH Fanatic

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    I have been on three follow-ups, some of my own doing, others not. Know your job, constantly think about how you can move into a clear shot in the event of a charge. Never take a shot from behind!!! 2 Ph’s I watched in a follow up thought this way and tried to keep all guns in position to bear on the target. The third did not, he was laser focused on the target and did not think to keep the guns in position to bear. Thankfully the guns were experienced and knew how to position without direction.
     

  18. Eric Anderson

    Eric Anderson AH Veteran

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    My first and only DG was with a PH that I had hunted with 2x before. That helps a lot. Confidence in each other is key. So is knowing your teammates tendencies.
    I think it also helped me being former USMC and a combat tour veteran. Those endless hours of fireteam formation practice helped a lot. The PH and I talked about what would happen the night before, and during the hunt. If we had gotten into a charge situation, I knew exactly what I was doing (sliding left) and I knew he was sliding right, thus clearing our fields of fire.


    As always, the situation may force the plan to change, but what is important is to have a plan to base off of BEFORE the shit hits the fan. You do not want to be making stuff up as you go along. In this case, I knew I was never to slide right, even though that is my stronger side. It is also my PH’s, and since he is the more experienced shooter, I am supporting him at that point.


    Some side notes:
    My natural inclination is to advance as I fire, not a really positive thing in terms of game hunting but a relic of my training (advance and fire through an ambush) You do not rise to the occasion, but fall to your training, my PH and I had several discussions about this.

    My Buffalo took three shots, one was an insurance shot to the spine because his tail twitched. In any case, the Buffalo never moved, first shot knocked him down, I shot him again before he could get up. IF we had lost sight of him, the plan was for me to be the backup, the PH is the lead shooter from then on out. Blah Blah Blah, whatever, swallow your pride, the PH has done this before, he is going to be the better shot, if there is only space/angles for one shooter, he takes it if the animal is charging or trying to charge. The ideal situation is for both of you to be putting fire down, but if only one can shoot, play the percentages.
     
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