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Don Fischer's picture
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How tuff is a buff?

Several years ago I was in Nosler's store in Bend, Ore and watched a couple videos on buff hunting. What I saw was animals going by like dairy cow's while hunter's were looking for them. Next I watched some incredably bad shooting. Then I watched a PH with a nice double gun pass up several opertunities to make easy killing shot's and prevoke an attack. All exciting to view but it makes me wonder what's really going on?

I see a Buff as a huge massive animal that's got some well protected vitals. I also watched a hunter that couldn't hit his own a_s and a PH that appeared to be more intrested in making exciring video's.

I also watched a lion hunt and while there was no dramatic charge, Lousy shooting brutalized a lion laying on the ground befor it was shot and killed. Perhap's to many, maybe better said, some, people really do take more cartridge with them than they can shoot. If it is legal, wouldn't a well placed 275gr 338 bullet be more effective on a buff that a misguided 500gr 45 cal bullet?

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How tuff is a buff?

Unfortunately, all the countries there require a .375 or greater caliber to hunt cape buffalo. I was in Tanzania last year and took two very fine buffalo with my Weatherby .375 H & H , using 300gr soft points and solids. The solid went from the rear of the buffalo (2nd shot) and exited between two ribs. Both had a killing first shot (neck and high shoulder) but the Ph will say to keep shooting until the animal is down to prevent it from getting into really thick brush. Neither ran for more than 25 yards. I think a good .300 magnum with good placement would do the job just fine.

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How tuff is a buff?

Mr Fisher, I suspect the film you were watching was one by Mark Sullivan, and you are right about his passing up an easy kill shot on the Buffalo, in order to get a charge for the film. Those films will teach you one thing, and that that is not the way to handle Cape Buffalo.
As far as the 375 H&H is concerened, the only one shot kills I have on Cape Buffalo have been with a 375H&H, FN Mauser, and a 300 gr Nosler partition. Here I must say I have taken Bufflao with a lot of different ccalibers, and rifle types. Make no mistake, the worse thing that can happen is for a first time Buffalo hunter to get his buffalo easy in a one shot kill, with a small rifle, that goes perfect. The reason I say that is, this leads him to believe the Cape Buffalo is a push over, and leaves him to think a small rifle will do the rick, every time! As I said in regard to my one shot kills, being with a 375H&H, and a soft point bullet. All other Bufflao I have taken have taken at least three shots, regardless of bullet size or rifle type.
Though it isn't legal anyplace in Africa Buffalo cannot be hunted with anything less that a 9.3 caliber, and there is a real reason for that ruling. The 9.3, and 375 are fine on buffalo, if everything goes according to Hoyel. but let the first shot hit an unseen twig, or the bull turn at the same time you fire, and get a little bent up soft point 375 bullet, that now only weighs about 150 grs, hitting him in the flank! The elephant grass can be ten feet tall, and imposible to see through. The blood trail that would have been painting both sides of the grass with blood if a solid, of decent size, had been used, now only leaves a drop or two every ten feet, and you have to go in and sot this buff out!

What I'm trying to say is, anything will kill a Cape Buffalo, if every thing is perfect, but if Mr. Murphy pokes his hand in the bowl, the pudding is likely to get a little thick, before the bowl is cleaned! It is true however, the largest bullet in the world will not take away the effect of poor shooting. Still where a man is depending on the rifle for his very life if something goes south, he should be armed with the largest rifle he can shoot well. Just as there are limits to what a man can handle, there is a lower limit to what will handle a Cape Buffalo, when the s&it hits the fan.

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Location: TEXAS
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How tuff is a buff?

The first time you have a Buff come at you. You will see why a .375 is to small
The first time this happened to me I had a .500 Boswell double. And wished I
had a canon.. It worked out alright I am still hear and the Buff is on my wall.
I was 17 at the time and never felt the .500 go off. the .375HH is a great rifle
But not for something that can kill you.

PS for any dangerous game Go with the biggest cal you can Handel
and the best D.G. Rifles have 2 barrels

Don Fischer's picture
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How tuff is a buff?

After watching those videos on Buffalo hunting, and never having done it, it raised questions in my mind. It's sad that sme people shoot at game as poorly as they did on the video. Sadder still is that anyone would film such goings on. They not only gave an impression that buffs might not be that tuff but cast a very bad light on the profeciency of hunters with their weapons.

Somewhere in the Africa section of Greaybeard, JJ Hack has a photo posted of a Buffalo heart that took a dirrect hit. Pretty big hole but I might have expected more damage. Impressive the hit it took without falling down.

Welcome to the site bearhunter1950. Great bunch of guy's here and not much fighting. Lot's of good advice and discussions also.

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How tuff is a buff?

Welcome to the site bearhunter1950. Great bunch of guy's here and not much fighting. Lot's of good advice and discussions also.

Thanks for the welcome. Glad to be hear

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How tuff is a buff?
Don Fischer wrote:
After watching those videos on Buffalo hunting, and never having done it, it raised questions in my mind. It's sad that sme people shoot at game as poorly as they did on the video. Sadder still is that anyone would film such goings on. They not only gave an impression that buffs might not be that tuff but cast a very bad light on the profeciency of hunters with their weapons.

Somewhere in the Africa section of Greaybeard, JJ Hack has a photo posted of a Buffalo heart that took a dirrect hit. Pretty big hole but I might have expected more damage. Impressive the hit it took without falling down.

Welcome to the site bearhunter1950. Great bunch of guy's here and not much fighting. Lot's of good advice and discussions also.

Don Fisher, The films you are talking about are not the result of poor shooting, but poor judgement, by the PH involved! I say this because a Cape Buffalo rarely goes down to one shot, and some will take 10, or 12 shots with proper nitro express rifles, with the heart shot to tatters, and still make a mile on the run.

Unless the spine or Brain is hit solidly, the buff is simply not going to act very hurt. If he decides to run, which he usually does, he can cover a long distance dead on his feet. Once he goes down, this is the time to walk up, and shoot him in the brain or spine, ending things right now! This is where the PH in question, looses his credability with me.

Here he forces a charge, for the film. This isn't necessary, and IMO, is unethical. Filming the buffalo takeing multiple hits, and staying on his feet, is not irresponcible, because that is the nature of the beast, and people should be made aware of that fact. Asking the film to not show this is a little DISNEYistic, IMO.

The hole JJ showed you would have drained out a BISON from North America, in 100 yds, but the cape buffalo is not a BISON! lol The fact that he keeps on keeping on, is simply fact, most times, not poor shooting! Shame on You!

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Location: South Africa
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How tuff is a buff?

This buffalo went down immediately after one shot from 80 yds with my client's Dakota Arms .375 H&H using 300gr Federal Bearclaw ammo:

The bullet shattered the buff's heart and he had no chance. I believe that the primary reasons for the buff going down as easily as it did were (1) shot placement and (2) because he was totally unaware of us and therefore didn't have adrenaline flowing as happens when they are spooked.

Something similar happened to this Eland - also using a .375 - this time a Sako. The Eland was much bigger than the buff body-wise and it only ran for about 30 yards before expiring.

In both instances the animals were stone cold dead by the time we got to them.

The .375H&H may not be the ideal charge-stopper but it is more than enough gun for clean kills with accurate shot placement.

Happy hunting!

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How tuff is a buff?

Very nice pics, especially the eland.
I'd be just too nervous hunting in South Africa. Not because of the Game, but a woman I went to school with was married and living there, got bitten by a black mamba I beleive and died before she could get help.

I'm just not that brave.

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How tuff is a buff?

i have been to africa twice and have yet to see any snakes at all, in 17 days hunting time. I guess i am lucky, but don't let that fear prevent youfrom having a very enjoyable hunt there.

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How tuff is a buff?

Those are some nice photo's! The problem I had with wondering just how tuff Buffalo really were was the videos I watched. Having never hunted anything in Africa or from Africa, and watching one bad shot after another go into a Buffalo. Then seeing the PH do that stupid create a charge thing and watching as they stood and watched a herd go by, ya gotta wonder. I don't doubt that a Cape Buffalo can be very dangerious. Nor do I doubt that a wounded one get's even more dangerious.

I suspect they are hard to kill but I wonder how much of that is related to the cartridge being used and the user's lack of ability with it? As I said, in the video, you could see the shots hit and they were all bad.

A gut shot with a 375 won't knock a deer off it's feet either. So it doesn't suprize me that gut shot's on the Buffalo didn't take it out. Because of its size, I'd think that one shot kills on animals that large are the exception, not the rule.

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