OK, before anyone piles on, a proper buffalo is what the client prefers. As long as it is mature, heavy, wide, deep drops or shallow, scrum or dugga boy, a trophy is in the eye of the beholder. With that said please read on and feel free to comment!
Word via email and a photo of a forty-six inch buff arrived at eight thirty this morning. They found him again, near dark last evening, and a hasty photo was snapped. A thirty-seven inch hard bossed buffalo was taken, also a hippo, and the search for jumbo continued. Herds of buff over four hundred strong were sighted, along with multiple herds of zebra numbering many times that of the buff. Thirty-seven separate lions were sighted, along with three males that would give the MGM cat a contest for the best hairdresser award. Unfortunately the cats were all on the Botswana side of the river. Game was everywhere and in good variety.
The morning progressed through the usual chores, lunch, the afternoon nap, and then around five we went out to check the solar panels about fifteen kilometers from camp near the park border. We never made it. Less than six hundred meters from camp we ran smack into a gang of buffalo over one hundred and forty strong. They were strung out, feeding over nearly half a kilometer.
They were also the dumbest buff I’ve ever seen. Standing politely in the dusty haze generated by their movements, they posed like dairy cattle from twenty to forty meters away. As we proceeded driving through the herd, the reaction was the same, stand and stare. No monsters here, but some really good hard bossed bulls from thirty-seven to forty inches found in groups. One particular bull, about thirty-eight wide, I would’ve shot in a heart beat if I was able. Deep drops, big hooks, and oh, such a boss! The boss was easily eighteen inches plus, and the horns nice and tight in the middle. All is not width in buff hunting, but like the old idiom states, “You pays your money, you takes your choice,” it is up to each hunter what constitutes a ‘dream’ bull.
Today we are again looking at a herd of about forty-five buffalo, including one great bull. He has everything, big hard boss, deep curls, good spread of forty inches plus. The hunter from forty yards away elects to pass. We continue on to find a half-dozen dugga boys resting in the shade, another half dozen on the edge of a swampy area full of hippo. Some very good bulls, but again nothing to excite the hunter.
Elephant are everywhere, ditto hippo and kudu, lechwe, impala, and more warthogs than I have ever encountered in one place. Herds of the porcine critters numbering 10 – 18 were present in nearly every patch of new green grass from the recent fires. Tomorrow would bring the final day’s attempt at finding a buff to suit this hunter.
The morning began inauspiciously enough, a short drive on the tar road, then an arduous bump and grind across burnt reeds pocked with the cement hard footprints marking the passing of a thousand elephants, for over thirty minutes.
A herd of buff sixty strong is sighted and he is there. Forty-five inches of glorious buff. The hunter nods his approval and a short stalk to within eighty yards begins, and the hunt is then over.
Bye the bye, Omujeve Hunting Safaris (not an advertisement, just the truth here guys) has now taken 7 bulls exceeding forty inches in this still young season. 40.5, 41, 42, 2 @ 43, 45, and the new Namibian record at 47 inches. One of the 43’s had a true 18+” boss and drops to die for with long rear sweeping tips, he will measure very well.