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Day 8

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

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day 13

Discuss this hunt

Today we were going to hunt a new area, one with light hunting pressure, but as we headed to the area we have been hunting every day I found out that our plans had changed and we were going to hunt the new area this afternoon. That was fine. We spent all morning walking around and looking for tracks. We found a fresh track but lost it by mid-morning.

After lunch the plan had changed. This time we were going to go after two buffalo tracks we had seen earlier. The idea of hunting the other area had been scratched for some reason. Jacques and Jimmy are aware of my growing impatience.

The height of my frustration came this afternoon. When we reached the area to hunt we simply began walking. I had no sense that Coleman was on a buffalo track so I stopped Jacques and asked him what was up. He told me they were going to simply cut through this one large section and meet his dad by the jeep on the opposite road. The goal was to find buffalo? I think. I had very little optimism with this plan. It ended up being a long nature hike; the highlight was when Coleman alerted us to this particular species of bird who makes a call to alarm the forest of either snakes or bees. So Coleman was on alert. As it turned out, there was a giant beehive in a hollow tree trunk. That was cool.

During our hike we had found tracks from the large herd. That was helpful and Jacques decided to see if they could narrow down the area they were in. We had it nailed by 4:45PM but it was very late in the afternoon. The buffalo, if we could find them, would likely be moving. We headed crosswind to see if we could locate them. Sure enough, it worked and we found ourselves amidst the herd. I could clearly hear a buffalo moving around feeding but it was absolutely still - no wind. The buffalo were in thick cover. Coleman motioned quietly for me to move to him. I did it as stealthily as I could, and finally I made it to him. I could not see any buffalo, but they were right over the bushes from me making noise. For the first time all trip. I removed an arrow from my quiver.

But before I could so much as pull up my binoculars I heard the familiar sound of crashing through the thickets. The herd busted. Part of them seemed to go left and the other part right.

We went after them anyway. The chances were low but at least we might get some much-needed video footage. So we tracked them. Not 100 yards away a bull in the thickets busted us. We stopped for only a moment then continued on. I then looked to my right and a nice bull was staring at me some 70 yards away. Jacques took out my camera and shot some footage of the bull.

They wasted no time moving off into the brush but only a single bull had seen us. One thing I’ve noticed is buffalo seem to be torn between what the herd is doing and danger an individual animal may have perceived. We made our way straight to the bull and sure enough I got pretty close – 33 yards to be exact. I had no shot; the big buffalo was facing me. It took him less than 50 seconds to explode from there and take the entire herd with him. Those 10 minutes was the highlight of the last 6 days. I don’t think we had much chance of getting a shot, but at least I got the blood pressure up a bit tonight and for a brief moment, I had buffalo around me.

Watch a video narration of this afternoon's activity (4mb)

I think things may be looking up. We may be figuring them out now. We made mistakes tonight, but so did the buffalo. And we are getting closer. The afternoon capped out what I would consider a low point for me during this hunt and that is unusual. This same thing happened to us last year. We put so much energy and emotion into this hunt, day after day. Sooner or later it wears on you. Jacques has been terrific, very optimistic and always giving 100%. Coleman is probably beginning to check out. Jimmy is a tougher read. I don’t think he had much optimism from the start of this hunt but always has suggestions and has been vitally important to us. This is just a difficult hunt with a lot at stake. I am the only unsuccessful bowhunter they have ever had for buffalo and we’re now going on something like 20 straight days of buffalo hunting without so much as getting to draw back on one.


Next - Day 9

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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