After spotting the huge bull the stalk was on
Last day. We woke early and headed for a river called the Tollawalla which is also called Piggy Piggy. We spotted several buffalo on the way there but none were shooters for us. As we got closer to the river Mick spotted a bull in the trees. One look through the binoculars told us it wasn’t just any bull. This one would go 105 Mick estimated. To put that into perspective, a 100” buffalo is like a 375 bull elk or a 180 inch whitetail. So we were pretty focused. Unfortunately, he also spotted us. We waited for him to calm down a bit then we eased in toward him. We followed this monster for several hundred yards but when he moved into the thick stuff he vanished. We poked around trying to spot him but glassing was all but useless. It was too thick in there. We abandoned our search for the buffalo and headed east back to the river.
The bull had given us the slip. But we would meet again. . .
We had walked about 2 kilometers when we spotted a scrub bull. I was not interested in taking a scrub bull but as we got closer to it we noticed it was very frail and sick. I decided to put him out of his misery. I slowly moved toward him and he simply fell down. It was very sad. I took a 30 yard shot at him while he was bedded and the shot looked perfect but the bull hardly reacted to it. He turned to face me and I took a 2nd, frontal shot at 20 yards.
The bull was too weak to run away. It was a pure mercy killing. I put this old bull out of his misery with a frontal shot
The arrow disappeared in him and the old boy dropped immediately. There was absolutely no joy in it. A simple humane act is all it was. I will tell you that this was my first frontal shot in 250 big game animals and it was on a 1000 pound animal. Very impressive - but there’s also a big difference between threading the needle on a sickly old scrub bull vs. a screaming bull elk.
We continued along that system until we were ready for lunch and headed back to the truck. We rested a bit before taking a long hike up the river system. We saw nothing on the jaunt up the east side of the river. When we crossed over the west side things started happening. We came upon two cows and three calves wallowing in a mud hole. A bit further downstream we dropped to our knees and a little bull calf walked past. He had an attitude when Mick started messing with him and calf calls. He ran off.
Pat is well camouflaged in predator spring green camo. Can you spot him? Click to expand.
A little further down the river I spotted what appeared to be the face of a buffalo through the trees. Mick didn’t see it yet but one confirmation with my binoculars confirmed it. I made a sound to get Mick’s attention and he confirmed it too. It was the giant bull we had lost in the trees this morning. And now that I had a good look at him I could see why Mick was so excited. Just like this morning, the bull was onto us before we were onto him. We had a standoff for 30 minutes before he seemed to get comfortable. Mick and I slipped off our shoes and eased in closer. We could only get within 80 yards before he walked off and vanished for the 2nd, and last time. There’s a reason they are big.
We spotted several buffalo the rest of the afternoon but no shooters until we were just two flood plains away from camp. We spotted a shooter bull that would go in the low 90’s. We stalked him through the tall grass until we were only 80 yards away. I couldn’t believe our good fortune. Then a herd of cows raced out into the plain straight at him and he turned to greet him. The cows continued past him and ran right up to us â€“ I mean 10 yards away- then they busted. We were so close!
This cow walked right up to us and blew the entire stalk
We wrapped up a fantastic trip by eating freshwater prawns caught at the falls and topped off with a dinner of Corned beef. It was a great final day. This was my first adventure in Australia and it was beyond all of our expectations. This will certainly not be my last.