Great read and great bull! I especially like the picture with the double on his neck, just where that rifle was made to be. Thanks for the story, I bet there's more.....On the afternoon of day 3 we spot a couple Kudu off the trail, off to the left in the shadow of the mopane materializes two buffalo! We move around to try and get a better look at them as they start moving into the thick bush.
As the bulls are going up a hill out of the river bottom we can see horn on either side of his big old belly and an ass the size of Michelle Obama’s, this guy might be the one! We follow them until dark but never get a good frontal look at the bulls. We backed out as the wind was swirling down between the Kopjes and we were afraid of blowing the bulls out of the country! I went to bed excited to try to find the two bulls tracks in the morning.
We took up the tracks in the morning but the wind was in our face one minute and on the back of our necks the next. We had followed the bulls up onto a kopje where we located a hidden drinking hole in the rock formation, smart old buggers had themselves a secret water hole that kept them from leaving tracks around the pans! Dave decided that we climb another kopje adjacent to where the bulls had gone to see if maybe we could lay eyes on them from above and to keep the wind from spoiling our game. As we were climbing, I expected to see bighorn sheep or mountain goats at any moment as we neared the top! What a view we had from up there! The bottom of the valley was full of game, giraffes, wildebeest, zebra and a Kudu bull that Dave estimates at 57” and was still not yet completely turned out! What a dream bull he will make for someone next year! The top of the kopje had spoor from a bunch of animals as well, bushpig, hyena and leopard all seemed to favor the lovely view as well from up there.
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We climbed down off the far end of the kopje and walked to a pan that we had visited that morning to check tracks and sure enough the two bulls had visited in between us checking it and our mountaineering exercise! Praying for the wind to hold for us, we take up the tracks. The bulls walked their random pattern between mopane and thorn as they fed, we moved very slowly and carefully as we followed them, Dave and the trackers knew we were going to bump into them and I was getting excited, I just knew that the Obama bull was going to be awesome just from the way Dave acted the night before. We had looked at quite a few buffalo by this point and Dave had not gotten excited about anything yet, he really wanted a good look at this bull from last night though. I knew I was probably going to get my chance to kill a buffalo if we could get on these guys! Everyone stops Doobi and Thomas spot the buffalo ahead of us and they are still feeding and unaware of our presence. Dave and I start closing the distance between at a snails pace, every damn thing under my Courtney’s seems to be amplified and I’m waiting for that look from the PH that silently says quit making so much noise dumb ass! One bull is to our left and looks at us, he is not our bull. As the bull puts his head back down to feed Dave moved us into what I’m sure was the only open lane to shoot in that whole area and whispers that the other bull will join his buddy and wait for him to come out. Just like Dave said our bull walked out and looked dead at us, I’m on the sticks, ivory bead on the shoulder settled perfectly in the shallow V-notch of the Express sight, this bull was old and nasty! I quit looking at his head and went back to the sights waiting for Dave to say the word. “When you are ready, shoot him”. I let the bull put his leg forward to take a step and pulled the front trigger, the bull ran my left barrel cut down trees as I sent the round while swinging on the running bull in the thick bush! Reload and then we heard the death bellow! Over 30 years I have waited for that sound! We circle around to come in from behind the motionless bull, Dave has me put one from each barrel between the shoulder blades for insurance. Our bull is dead and I was for once in my life pretty damn speechless!
This bull had everything I have ever dreamed about and we hunted him the way it was meant to be done! Took awhile for it to all soak in!
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The mass on this bull really made his width hard to judge, I was honestly thinking 37-38”
Dave later measured him to be 41-1/4” with 16” bosses! If I die tomorrow my last thought will not be that I never took a great buffalo!
We radioed in the shots and location to headquarters and immediately heard from John and Tim with congratulations.
Dave went and got the truck as the guys started clearing trail from the nearest road.
About then I noticed that my grip on the rifle may have been less than tight. Lol
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That's awesome Tim! As you know I have been skunked many times by those buggers. Next time though for sure! Full body mount for that or a rug?Ok - so day 1 was an adjustment day (and praying for 450 Dakota ammo...or the patience to wait for it!).
Day 2 John and I warmed up on a Zebra. Flawless stalk, no drama, quickly dead Zebra with one shot from the borrowed rifle.
We think the ammo will show up at BVC Headquarters on day 3...but we aren't sure when. So we figure on doing some recon in the AM, keeping tabs on deliveries so we can blast up to HQ to get the Dakotas once they are in.
Dave Langerman was gracious enough to lend me his nice .375, which I had zeroed on day 1, just in case. But John was pretty adamant...he wanted me to hunt Buffalo with the rifle I had been training with. I did not fight him on that (I have made a habit of not fighting John...would probably not end well for me).
Besides, we booked for 12 days, not the usual 10. The extra two days were for eventualities just like this. I was feeling pretty good about having those two extra days in the bank about this time!
So we really weren't feeling too much pressure here in the am of day 3. It was another nice, cool, somewhat cloudy day. The kind of day Southern Africans hate for hunting, but guys who grew up in Montana and Wisconsin love!
So John, Jessie (John's Foxie) and I are in front, Isaac, Lovemore and Gift are up top in back and we are doing John's usual 50kph on the dirt roads when we hear a tap on the roof.
Of course, John and I go into scan overdrive and what do you know...we haven't put out Zebra for bait, but we had a Hyena running parallel to the road and about 100 yards to our left.
So I'm staring out the window, enjoying the sighting and John is yelling at me to get out, grab a rifle and hunt that sucker!
By the time I snap out of it, that Hyena is in Fimbiri camp. So we resume tooling down the road and lo and behold, there he is again, paralleling the road.
John reasons at this point that the Hyena really wants across, so we stop, bail, grap the sticks and the 300 and jog down the road in the direction the Hyena was moving. We went as far as we dared - we didn't want to get too close and change his mind on crossing.
No sooner than we get the 300 on the sticks, here comes Mr Hyena. Except the dummy hit the brakes right on the edge of the track. I let fly and heard that beautiful sound of bullet hitting critter.
John had shouted to hold on the top of his back and that is what I tried to do...but I hit him in the spine. Either I allowed for too much drop or I pulled it. Either way, we got to him as fast as we could and put in a finisher.
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Turned out to be a male...and the good news for Cody? He just inherited an entire Zebra worth of bait!
By the time we dropped the Hyena off at the skinning shed, it was time to go retrieve the 450 Dakota ammo from HQ.
After a few shots to verify the hole still went all the way through the barrel, it was time to hunt buffalo!