ZIMBABWE: My first Buffalo Hunt A Schoolboy Dream Come True

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Kopskoot, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. Kopskoot

    Kopskoot AH Member

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    Location:
    Pretoria
    Hunted:
    Zim,Botswana,Mozambique,Namibia,
    Country: Zimbabwe
    Area: South Eastern lowveld (bordering Gonarezou)
    Concession: Niavasha
    Outfitter: Chipimbi safaris
    Ph: Lloyd Yeatman
    Rifle:375 H&H, Sako
    ammo: 350 gr Barnes TSX , 300 gr Barnes TSX and 300 Barnes banded solids.

    It was late October 2011,when at a big bore shooting day, a friend mentioned, an end of season buffalo hunt,that was available in Zim. Agitated by the fact,that he asked whether I would be interested(he knew very well I would),I immediately got the ball rolling, and by mid November,I was ready to go.

    At the time, the only dangerous game cartridge I owned, was my trusty 375, which I bought from my father,after admiring it for many years,since primary school.Reloading myself,I experimented with the 350gr TSX's and after testing them on a two occasions ,on wildebeest,I was confident,that they would bring back the trophy!

    27 November,I left Pretoria, full of excitement and pre conceived ideas,of what this adventure ( my greatest schoolboy dream) would deliver. After a full day of driving,combined with a testing border crossing, I drove into the Niavasha camp, where I was met by Lloyed Yeatman,owner of Chipimbi safaris.A 6 foot 5 grey haired Zimbabwean Gentleman,who have ever since,become a friend.

    Hunting in these wilderness areas,pretty much consist of driving,from early morning,visiting waterholes, until fresh tracks are found, which are then assessed by the ph and incredible trackers,from where a decision is then made ,whether to pursue of continue searching.

    Early morning on day 6, of my 10 day hunt, we came across a very promising set of tracks,and immediately started the hunt.The track was of a lone bull,and looked very promising. After a good 3 to 4 hours of tracking, I suddenly heard a loud thump, about 30m to my right the bull emerged from the almost waist high grass,where he was lying down,in the shade.

    As I got the gun to my shoulder,the bull started turning ,with his chest exposed.In what seemed to be a fraction of a second,I placed the bullet into his chest,after which it ran off into the thicket.

    Up to this point,most of my pre conceived ideas about buffalo hunting,proofed to be fairly spot on,but this is where they ended.

    After a 20minute wait,which felt like a decade,we started following the blood track,in soft red sand,through terrifying thicket. After an hour of tracking,with my heart pounding,and the adrenalin flowing freely through my body, we got to the point where the bull crosse the boundary road,into the Gona re zou park, and we first had to drive to Mabalauta, to ask permission,to follow the bull into a national park. 2 hours later, with permission granted, we continued on the bloodspoor.

    From the tracks,we learned that the bullet must have broken its front leg, since he was starting to drag it,and the other spoor was very deep into the red sand, pointing to all weight being concentrated on the fresh leg. Nevertheless,it had gone about a mile,before we found signs of him slowing down,and even lying down once or twice.

    Ever alert,but with the dubious thought of losing my first buff,in the back of my head, we slowly moved through the thicket, spread out about 5 metres apart. Myself on the right flank,tracker with rifle in the middle, Lloyed on the left,another tracker short on our heals and a parks board scout,armed with an ak47, further back.

    After about 45minutes, the tracker suddenly dropped to his knee, pointing at a green bush, about 10 metres ahead of us. I moved forward,but further to the right,when Lloyed fired a shot,at something out of my sight. I ran forward and as I stepped around the green bush, the bull struggled to feet about 6metres away, turning in my direction, when I instinctively aimed and fired for the brain and it dropped to the ground.
    [​IMG]
    The first shot/wound,can be seen,just above the curl of the horn, and the final brainshot,is clear, on its nose
    [​IMG]
    Not totally mature, but measured 45", nonetheless
    [​IMG]
    I was ecstatic, to say the least!!

    It was a fantastic trophy and a hunt, that despite my pre conceived ideas, I wouldn't have wanted any other way.

    Upon examining the wound, and the "postmortem" I learned that my first shot,hit the heavy shoulder bone and deflected to end up under the skin,behind the shoulder. The penetration was poor from this 350 gr TSX, and after discussing the situation ,with a number of experts, the conclusion we got to,was that the bullet must have deflected and tumbled, causing the lack of penetration. A phenomenon (apparently) common to "heavy for calibre" bullets
     

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    Last edited: Jul 5, 2015
    CVanderploeg, spike.t, AB2506 and 2 others like this.

  2. Royal27

    Royal27 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats!

    Can't see the pics though?
     

  3. bassasdaindia

    bassasdaindia AH Elite

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    congrats on the buffallo and the hunt .
     

  4. Witold Krzyżanowski

    Witold Krzyżanowski AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Nice trophy. You did have a good hunting. Congrats.
    Witold
     

  5. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Congratulations on your first buff.

    Thanks for sharing the story.
     

  6. bluey

    bluey AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    congratulations on your first buffalo, upsizing is going to take some effort........
     
    Kopskoot and Royal27 like this.

  7. Kevin Davenport

    Kevin Davenport AH Member

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    Congradulations! I hope to have one as nice in a few years.
     

  8. siml

    siml AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Great hunt Ronald.
     

  9. Environ

    Environ AH Veteran

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    That is a great bull , congrats the gonerezhou area holds some monsters
     

  10. Kopskoot

    Kopskoot AH Member

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    My schoolboy dreams. Part two

    The morning after the successful hunt and appropriate celebration thereof, Lloyd decided, we should visit an area, where the they believe, a bunch of dagga boys, often visit and sometimes sleep.

    Loyd still had another buffalo on quota and since it was now early December, offered it to me. I ofcourse, still beaming from the previous day's adrenalin over dose, didn't hesitate for a moment, before taking him up on it.

    By 4:30am, we stopped the vehicle, about 1km away, from where they believed the buffalo could be spending their night. It was still pitch dark, when we started walking ,in single file, through the majestic bush, still alive with nightlife. Some of the bird species were starting to wake up and from time to time, one could hear a lone Hyena's call, in the distance.

    After about 20minutes of slow walking, first light broke, but the denseness of the bush , restricted one's site to a mere 10-15meteres. Suddenly Amon,the main tracker, paused and sat down on one knee with Loyd close on his heels, doing the same. Before I could get down, I heard a thumb, from a buffalo's hoof , struggling to it's feet, and there 15metres in front of me, I saw the large, dark silluette of a buffalo bull , facing me head on. The gun was in my shoulder, in a fraction of a second and when the reticle (cross hair) stopped on the middle of his chest, the thunder from my 375,shook the peacefulness apart.

    Pandemonium broke loose, with the rest of the dagga-bull group, scattering in all directions. One of them passing a mere 3meteres away from me, breaking bushes, branches and anything in its way. We sat down for a few minutes, Lloyd smoking a cigarette, and the rest of us exchanging stories of how close we came to being trampled, when the "bitter sweet" sound of the bull's death bellow, silenced us for a few moments.

    The 300 gr TSX ( I chose, after the poor results from the 350gr) tore the bulls heart to pieces, before finally stopping about 10cm from it's scrotum!

    We found the bull, wedged between two fairly young trees, a mere 60meters away.

    What a privilege!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The two bulls! 45" and 40"
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 6, 2015

  11. Wouter Roets

    Wouter Roets AH Member

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    Ronnie

    As I have said to you before you have been truly blessed with two such beautiful buffalo bulls on your first buffalo trip. Magnificent animals!

    Regards
    Wout
     

  12. Sanglier14

    Sanglier14 AH Member

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    Congradulations.
    Great hunt and beautifull trofee.
     

  13. Upton O. Good

    Upton O. Good AH Enthusiast

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    Well done and congrats!
     

  14. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Congrats a fantastic hunt and two great trophies !
     

  15. redriver

    redriver AH Senior Member

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    great buffalo! seems like bulls like these are getting harder to come by,
    how do you contact your operator I could not find a website for that guy?
     

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