With a lot of shouting, we slowly backed away, eventually breaking contact. On his first DG hunt, our young videographer provided a marvelously rich and descriptive commentary as we made our way back to the Land Cruiser. It was something of an accident that I was hunting buffalo at all in South Africa. Previously, I had the privilege to hunt them in the Caprivi and twice in Mozambique. I had expected my next buffalo hunt would have been in Zimbabwe or Zambia.
However, two years previously I was sitting at a banquet table at the annual Central Texas Wildlife Legacy gala in Austin. My table mate was Phillip Bronkhorst, and he had donated a cow buffalo hunt to our organization for the evening auction. As it came up, I happened to ask Phillip if the hunt could be upgraded to a bull at the usual trophy rate. It could.
He also said that these were managed herds, not purchased and released animals. I have rarely bid on an auctioned hunt, much preferring the comfort of some research. However, on this evening, the hunt had no bidders, and rather than let a generous donation to our organization go wanting, I raised my hand. It offers easy access to a number of ranches in the area offering a wide variety of game and covering a huge range of biodiversity from sandveld, through bushveld, to the Waterberg. I had hunted high-fenced property with Jamy Traut when he was with Eden in Namibia almost a decade before.
Therefore, I knew large properties with self-sustaining herds could offer an outstanding hunting experience. However, my only buffalo hunting had been in wilderness areas. Late morning found us many kilometres away, the morning coolness having given away to the dry warmth of a typical southern African late fall day. We had found additional tracks crossing the roads and around waterholes, but nothing quite fresh enough to take up pursuit.
Suddenly Josias tapped my forearm and the top of the cruiser — an electric moment everyone recognizes who has experienced an African Safari. As we halted we could pick up several dark shapes moving slowly but steadily through the thick thorn bush. In moments they had disappeared. A quick look at the tracks indicated a couple of large bulls in a small group of animals. We immediately took up the spoor.
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Phillip was convinced they were heading to water, and we possibly might catch them in the open ground around the pan. Like all ethical outfits, Phillip would not allow us to attempt a shot there, but with a bit of luck we would have the opportunity to clearly evaluate the animals. We followed at a forced march over the next four to five kilometres. The breeze had settled for a bit, and we were able to carefully maneuver around one side of the group of bulls.
We could see eight animals ranging from three or four years of age to a couple of large bulls clearly pushing eleven or twelve.
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Either was a very respectable candidate to take back to Texas. I should note that we had no limitations on the size of the bull that we could take. However, the goal was at least an eleven- or twelve-year-old animal. We backed out and found a shady tree where we could unpack the cooler for some lunch and water — we would take up the track again once the animals had left the waterhole. I said to Phillip that both bulls were fabulous, but given a choice, the wider flatter one looked awfully good.
Little did I know at the time, another might have a vote in that decision. Around 2 p. They had apparently joined another group, bringing the total number now to 15 or The late fall light was also telling us we only had so much time.
Up Close And Personal
We had just begun to probe the brush, when again we felt the light breeze touching the backs of our necks. Immediately the main herd began to move off, and in a replay of the morning, a large shape detached itself and began moving purposefully up our scent line. We carefully tried to back away, but our options were limited. Getting into brush so thick that we could only see a few feet would be asking for real trouble.
Fortunately, at about 50 yards, Phillip could see it was the old bull with the huge boss. With our backs to thick thorn we would not be given a choice. The bull staggered off approximately 60 metres, giving me a rear quartering shot which put him down. Although sad, it was a relief to hear the mournful bellow. It seemed as though the big-bossed bull had, in fact, chosen me. However, we were not quite done. As Pieter headed out for the truck, the death bellow caused the original bachelor group to break off from the larger herd and return. Phillip and I backed carefully away while Josias and Rickey scrambled up a nearby tree.
For the next half hour or so, we watched the incredible sight of half a dozen bulls violently hooking their fallen comrade. It was a behavior about which I had read, but never seen. Then the arrival of the truck scared off the other animals, so we were able to take a few pictures in the late afternoon light, and load our massive old prize for the drive back to camp. It can be easy as setting up trail camera on a well-used game or hiking trail.
Or you can hike the hills with quality optics, covering a lot of ground and keeping your eyes open for evidence of wildlife.
Up close and personal with big game animals! | Bigshot
Q: What is the tool of choice, bow or rifle? A: Obviously for effectiveness the more range you have the better. So a rifle is always better for range but personally I like archery because you just get so much closer to the animals. It forces you to study them using stealth and to play the natural landscape features to your advantage.
Getting up close and personal with these animals is a privilege that very few of us are afforded.
And archery is a more traditional hunting practice from a time before hunters had rifles. This year's F1 might also appear to have accelerated too hard by coming out two months ahead of the usual schedule. Ronan Price Nigh-on eight years after Nintendo introduced the 3DS handheld, we could be witnessing its death throes. Persona Q2 appears to be the system's swansong, with no more releases scheduled for the Ronan Price Like a strange interactive planetarium, The Outer Wilds strands the player in a pint-sized solar system to unravel its arcane mysteries.
The exploration of these beautiful but treacherous worlds gains Evolve gets up close and personal with new melee assault hunter - Lennox. Frank Whelan June 23 PM. Hunting Season 2 sees four new hunters and a new monster crashing into combat in Evolve. Hunter - Up Close and Personal Free download.