Mathews Inc.'s Live Bowhunting Adventure

Day 5

Join Pat Lefemine in the Limpopo Province of South Africa for a traditional spot and stalk Buffalo Bowhunt

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Discuss this hunt

We cut a very fresh track early but the wind was wrong. So we drove a few miles to another section of the property and found two more tracks. En route we passed by an enormous Baobab tree and snapped some photos. It was an incredible specimen that was estimated at 2000 years old. It’s hard to comprehend a tree that may have been alive when Jesus walked the earth.

This was an area that held a lot of buffalo. It followed a river system and that system was surrounded by 9-foot tall long grass. The owner was not particularly keen on us bowhunting here. And I tended to agree with him. Any bow-shot buffalo would run into the long grass and that situation was far worse than our blue-gum mess from last year. You literally can’t see 3 feet in any direction in that grass and it is always moving. By the time you figure out that you are being charged, it’s already over. But we decided to give it a go anyway.

Rather than work the roads, Coleman took us still-hunting through the banks of the river. We had only walked 200 yards when he spotted the buffalo. They were bedded in unbelievably think brush and I knew in a second that my chance of getting off a bow shot undetected here were zero. It made no difference, we walked less than 20 yards quietly and the entire herd crashed down into the long grass. I captured the entire 4 minute hunt on video. What you will see is the very moment Coleman first spotted the buffalo, then you will see a nice bull but you’ll have to look hard. Finally, our 20’ stalk and the last frame is basically just audio of buffalo crashing through the brush. A note about the videos you are watching. I filmed everything. So what you are seeing is 100% real. There is no recreation or acting. When you see Coleman first spot the buffalo – that is the real deal.

Video of this mornings' stalk(5mb, 2 min)

We left that area and spent the rest of the morning in the truck working the roads to narrow down tracks. Unlike the farm I hunted last year, the road system here is more widely dispersed and there can be miles of open brush between them. So narrowing down individual animals becomes more difficult.

We decided not to take any more tracks before lunch. The wind was not right. The forecast called for a strong NW wind at 20 knots after 1PM so we picked out the best track to take up after brunch.

During lunch, I asked Rocco what waterhole he would wait at for a buffalo. He knew where I was going with this and seemed pleased that I might be coming around to an alternative method. He does not have suitable blinds at his waterholes, his entire property is pretty much geared to spot and stalk gun hunters. And while he has had a handful of successful bowhunters here, they had all used alfalfa. I was growing more fond of the idea of a waterhole but only if the conditions were not conducive to a successful stalk. After lunch, we checked out the waterholes and narrowed them down to two. Jacques, Coleman and I would need to construct a blind but hell, that’s half the fun of it and Rocco gave us permission to build what we wanted.

On the way to one of our tracks, we found very fresh buffalo dung lying in the road. Coleman said it was 2 hours old. Bingo! This is what we needed, and he seemed to be headed into the wind that had picked up as predicted. So we left Jimmy at the truck and headed off on foot for what would be 4 hours of intense tracking.

The Bull led us through a maze of thickets. We unraveled his every move, such as when he moved beds with the sun’s changing position, where he urinated and where he rubbed his horns on trees. We found where he laid his horns in the sand to sleep and with each pile of dung the elapsed time grew shorter until we were finding piles that still glistened in the sun.

Coleman was as amazing as the many other trackers I have experienced. All seem to have that gift of a sixth sense when it comes to their ability to track a specific animal. But we made one fatal move right at the end. Sunlight was fading as we got to a section surrounded by a road. Rather than stay on the track, we took the road to see if we could cut some time. If the bull had crossed the road, we would still be able to catch up to him. If he had not, we knew right where he was. As we completed the loop we found no tracks – so he was in the thick patch of brush we had just left. Jacques wanted to go back to the spore and take up the track, but Coleman knew about where the bull would be. I don’t think the outcome would have changed, because with the setting sun came diminished winds. We might as well been wearing cattle bells again around our necks. The leaves underfoot crunched with each softly placed step. It was impossible to stay quiet. Coleman stopped in mid-stride. The bull was standing in the thick brush looking at us. I barely had enough time to pull my camera up before he crashed off never to be seen again. Another day down. This hunt is very difficult.

I was videoing coleman the minute he had seen the buffalo

Watch the video of this afternoon's stalk narrated by Pat Lefemine (7mb, 2mins)




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Next - Day 6

Our Professional Hunters for this safari is: Madiakgama Safaris
P.O. Box 138
Republic of South Africa
International Phone: 011-27-82-684222

USA Agent - Jeff Frey
Bowhunters Select Outfitters

[email protected]

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