Mathews Inc.'s Live Bowhunting Adventure

Day 12

Join Pat Lefemine in the Northwest, and Limpopo Provinces of South Africa for a Buffalo and Lion Bowhunt

day 1

day 2

day 3

day 4

day 5

day 6

day 7

day 8

day 9

day 10

day 11

day 12

day 13

day 14

day 15

day 16

Discuss this hunt

The new day brought promise. We cut the buffalo’s track early but then got completely confused, turned around and scratching our heads. Eventually we got it sorted out and tracked the buffalo to a new area, one he had not been found in before. It was a smaller, longer bluegum plantation but not quite as thick. We circled it with the truck and Big Simone spotted the bull bedded down. He was in a semi-thick area and only 50 yards from the road. Jacques and I removed our shoes and slipped into the trees wearing only our socks. Jacques glassed him first, all he could see was his back. We really wanted to see the horns but Simone told us his head was down and he was sleeping. We moved around the front and the wind shifted. I'd been here before and again I cringed, but nothing happened. I told Jacques, “you sure that’s him?” He replied no. We went back to the truck to discuss it with Simone. He made the sign of the cross and told us he would swear on the cross that was our buffalo. They moved in on him without me to get a better look. It was a charred stump that did look a lot like a buffalo. As good as my Muzzy Phantoms are penetrating, I doubt they’d do very well on that stump.

The "buffalo" is 40 yards from Jacques and 50 yards from me. It turned out to be an old dugga stump.

So back to the track we went. The party is shrinking. I opted to leave the camera behind. There was too much risk for Linda and we had too many people on the stalk. We took up the track and since Big Simone knew this area well he joined us. He was not that much help. We moved along the track and suddenly little Simone gestured wildly while smiling. With his hands, he made it clear to us that the bull was just ahead of us with his head down sleeping. Perfect! This is what we’ve bee waiting for. Each time we stalked him he saw us before we saw him. Now it was finally going to happen. Then Big Simone stood up to get a better look at the bull and when he did his foot snapped a twig. That buffalo must have broken trees 10 inches in diameter running out of there. I was pissed! Not only did he snap the twig, but he was also wearing a neon green Rugby shirt. He might as well have been wearing Christmas lights. The bull never left the thicket, so we backed off quietly and left for brunch. We wanted him to settle down then we’d move in again.

First we lost the camera then we lost the shoes. Do you think we were we serious yet?

After brunch we were right back on the track. It was 1:30PM and we started to get confused. This time, all of us had our shoes off, the black trackers in bare feet.

Before we could spot the bull, the wind changed and he tore out of those trees. Jimmy and Linda, sitting in the truck a ¼ mile away, saw him run across a mile long meadow and head for the bluegum trees. We hopped in the truck and confirmed where the bull had entered. This was getting old.

Linda shot this video of the bull running across the meadow. He headed for the bluegums as usual.

Jacques and I huddled off to the side. We made a decision to go in there after him again. The bull has shown no aggression during the many times we’ve jumped him and my best chance for killing him will be in there. Jimmy, who was the most cautious, did not object. It would be only myself, Jacques, and little Simone – no one else.

Jacques, Little Simone and me heading into the bluegums.

We moved in from the downwind side and inched our way quietly in our socks. Every stump looked like a buffalo. We glassed carefully in all directions, took two steps, then glassed some more. Little Simone would lay on his stomach and watch beneath the bushes for a leg or some other part of a buffalo. The tracks led us right out of the bluegums before we realized we were on the wrong tracks. So we headed in again. The bull was there and we bumped him. He left our bluegum rectangle and ran into the next section. So an hour later we tracked him in there – and pushed him out again. Finally, Jacques and I decided I would station myself at an exit route rather than constantly coming up on his back trail. It worked. While Simone and Jacques tracked the bull, I waited by a major trail leading out of the thicket. Fifteen minutes later I heard the bull crashing toward me, I pulled up my bow and readied for the shot. But he turned 20 yards from the edge and ran parallel to the dirt road. I could clearly see his legs moving within the thicket. The crashing stopped and we knew where the bull was standing. We tried it again, but this time with me on the upwind edge of one of his main trails. When he busted I could hear him coming, but realized he was taking the trail above me. Still in my socks, I ran as quickly as I could toward the buffalo as he emerged from the bluegums. I was on a collision course but was 30 yards short. I stopped in the road and almost drew as the bull ran in front of me. I tried my whitetail Psssst! to stop him. It didn’t work. Let me tell you, there is something entirely wrong about running at a cape buffalo.

Running up the hill as fast as I could I watched him cross the meadow and head toward the mountain. Simone knew where he was going and we raced across the ranch in his truck. Jacques and I set up on a main trail near a waterhole. It was getting quite dark by now and I could barely see my pins, but it was still ok to shoot. We didn’t wait long. Jacques said – he’s coming are you ready? My response was - are you kidding me? How that setup worked is amazing to me. We were a mile away and Simone knew exactly where that bull would head. It was a main trail heading toward a natural water source.

We had no cover at all. We were like two big lumps of grass in the meadow. The dark form was getting more defined and Jacques said, this is not good. He is heading straight toward us. There was no cover and this bull was going to be in our laps! At 30 yards and quartering to, the bull stopped and stared us down. This is the first time we’ve had him in the open without intervention. There was no way I could shoot a buffalo from this angle. If he charged us, there was nothing we could do but hope Jacques hit his mark. After five long seconds, the bull ran out 50 yards and looked back at us again. He grunted then headed to the trees.

I’ll never forget that bull walking directly at us in the open. That was beyond adrenaline!

Jacques and I discussed this hunt over drinks by the fire. We are both so caught up in this buffalo that we can’t imagine anyone else hunting him. This hunt is riveting and frustrating both. My time is terribly short now but we remain optimistic. All he needs to do is make one mistake and that can happen at any time.

Best Camo for Africa?

Africa terrain is unlike anything in North America. The closest thing would be the Southwest Texas brush country. My whitetail patterns are too dark for the bright tans and greens of Africa. So for this trip I chose the new MAX-1 Open Terrain camo pattern by Realtree. I knew it would work well, but I did not anticipate how perfect it was for the African bush.

But take a look for yourself. In this first photo I am standing next to my PH Jacques in the wide open 10 yards from any cover. This photo is not doctored in any way. It was taken from a video clip on Day 12's hunt. Pay attention to the bright pattern and the similarity in color.

In this next photo I am right on the edge of the bluegums. I challenge you to find me in this photo. I am no further than 8 inches inside the edge of these trees and the pattern simply melts into the surroundings.

Jacques, Jimmy and Linda were so impressed with the MAX-1 pattern that they put in a request for booking agent Jeff Frey, a partner with Keystone Country Store, to bring a batch of MAX-1 clothing with him when he returns to Africa this season.






This Bowhunting Adventure is sponsored by these fine companies..






Next - Day 13

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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