Safari 2018 #43 Buffalo Delivery

by david on September 25, 2019

My buffalo and trusty .416 Rigby My buffalo and trusty .416 Rigby 

 

Johann taking some close up pictures. The tall grass and reeds we were hunting in are visible in the background. Johann taking some close up pictures. The tall grass and reeds we were hunting in are visible in the background.

 

After the herd moved far enough away to risk approaching the bull, we made our way to him.  He was fully grown with hard bosses and his very worn teeth were a good indicator of his advanced age.  Johann’s knowledge and ability as a top rate PH were demonstrated by the animal who lay at our feet. He was exactly the type of buffalo we were looking for.  As we gave him a closer inspection, I figured out my shot was a few inches high. It would have been fatal and he would not have gone far, but he did not have to go far to get to us.  Johann’s follow-up shot had been good and proper. While we were waiting on Jonas to bring the cruiser, we rolled him over and took a few pictures. Even though he was hunted as a food source, he was still a trophy to me and deserved to be treated as such.  One would not think an 1800-pound buffalo would fit in the back of a Toyota Landcruiser pickup, but it did. Now, it was a long slow extremely bumpy ride back to camp to drop the guys off and then on to the village. I should probably explain that it was extremely bumpy.  The whole area floods during the rainy season. With the whole area underwater, the ground is very soft. All of the tracks left by the animals walking through the shallow water while feeding, particularly the elephant and buffalo, leave the ground pockmarked. When the ground dries it rougher than cheese grater crossed with a washboard.  Travel at more than a handful of miles per hour will rattle your teeth. The weight of the buffalo taking the springs and shocks in the back to their limits did not help matters, but we eventually made it to the village.

The buffalo was the first animal brought in for the festival and the excitement quickly built as word spread.  We hung around for a while to watch. The butcher’s unloaded the buffalo and I thought they would hang it up to process it.  Nope. It was placed on its back and the skin peeled away to make a clean surface to work from. These guys know what they were doing and soon were cutting the buff up into large pieces.  While we were watching from the shade of a nearby tree, the chief asked us about the zebra. I was not planning on taking a zebra, but they needed five of them so I agreed to help out. It was still early.  We shot the buff at 6:30 and it was only 8:15 so we went looking for zebra.

Johann uses a specially equipped truck allowing his staff to use the truck's winch to load the buffalo. Note the pulley on the push bar, another on the top of the roll bar, and a custom tailgate allowing the buffalo to be winched into the bed of the Land Cruiser. Johann uses a specially equipped truck allowing his staff to use the truck’s winch to load the buffalo. Note the pulley on the push bar, another on the top of the roll bar, and a custom tailgate allowing the buffalo to be winched into the bed of the Land Cruiser.

 

Almost in Almost in

 

After the buff is most of the way in Jonas (Johann’s right hand man and hunting guide) repositions the cable around the horns and lifts the head and neck further into the truck. After the buff is most of the way in Jonas (Johann’s right hand man and hunting guide) repositions the cable around the horns and lifts the head and neck further into the truck.

 

Almost there. Almost there.

 

Loading complete and tailgate closed. Loading complete and tailgate closed.

Previous post:

Next post: