While hunting “Black Death” in Africa, your mind is racing with everything that can go wrong. The cape buffalo was starting his stalk on the hunters at 30 yards.
Three days before, a father and son team decided a cape buff would be a challenge of a lifetime, so the hunt was on. Word came of an old bull running with a cow buffalo in the Limpopo providence and had been spotted. They knew the pair because the cow buff was even more dangerous than the bull for charging people for no reason.
The first week in April, Africa had record amounts of rain to let the African bush explode with foliage and turn green to close in any view to a few yards at a time.
Cobus Van Vuurn had great concern for his clients, so they practiced every scenario possible to take that buff down as soon as possible.
The dad would take the top of the shooting sticks while the son would kneel and use one leg of the sticks to sturdy his shot. It is critical the first shot counts and you don’t stop throwing lead until he is down.
The first day was fruitless from driving and scouting for miles looking for this pair’s tracks. The word came the next morning that a tracker followed the pair of buffs up into the hill country for miles and was back to an extremely thick section of bush to take a break from grazing and the hot African sun.
As Tajaart yelled “Get your guns” and he grabbed the shooting sticks, Zack was loading his rifle. We had two professional hunters to back us up because of the crazy cow’s reputation. As Cobus said, everything will come down in a matter of minutes or seconds.
The shooting sticks stood less than 30 yards from the huge animals with the dad setting his rifle in the sticks; son couldn’t set up from the thick brush as the bull slowly stood and started his stalk on the intruders.
At 22 yards, the bull had his head down starting his charge when he felt the bullet from the .375-caliber rifle enter the center of his chest to drop him to his knees. In split seconds, he stood to retreat, going about 50 yards to go down with brush around him. The PHs with father and son approached with the most danger in their lives 20 feet in front of them. The son automatically fired his weapon to keep the bull down forever.
They all stood guard for eternity waiting for the crazy cow’s return to avenge her mate’s death bellow.
The team effort produced a 36-inch Cape Buffalo bull that weighed more than 2,000 pounds with a major trophy on his head.
Kudu, the gray ghost of Africa is one of the most elusive animals in Africa, blending into the African bush so well the best trackers will overlook them. A Kudu bull was on the list of a young man’s dream while he was scouting for miles and days.
After spotting several cows in groups, a lone bull — keeping to himself in thick bush — was spotted and the stalk was on. The PH and young hunter stalked up within 50 yards and when the perfect shot was placed, he stood for a few seconds to go straight down, not taking another step.
The horns will measure up to 50 inches long. The young man glowed with pride. During this eight-day hunt the son took a trophy kudu and dad took a blessbuck, gemsbuck and waterbuck.
Words can’t describe the pride a father has for his son at a time like this. Seth Bayless, I’m proud you’re my boy!
Kenny Bayless can be reached by email at email@example.com.