Monday, 30 March 2020

BUFFALO HUNT, PART 4

HUNTING BUFFALO IN THE EASTERN CAPE.

After all the customary pictures were take the two trackers left Devan and I, to organise the transportation of the buffalo back to the skinning shed and refrigerated storage.  They were to walk back to the truck, then drive to the farm where extra manpower and a tractor could be obtained.  Devan and I now just sat and talked, I related my story from twenty one years ago, I had shot my first bull kudu and in a similar set of circumstances I was left on a hill side with my trophy, while the PH and the tracker organised the extraction of the animal.  I sat alone next to my kudu, and my emotions were running high, it was my first trip to Africa and possibly my last, this one being partly funded by the compensation from the handing in of my hand guns after the government ban.  I did not know if I had just fulfilled the high point of my hunting carrier, I though about my family and friends and the influence that they had all imparted on me over the years, and a lump formed in my throat.  A second later tears ran down my face, the moment, the setting, the significance and the over whelming feeling of respect for the animal were for a few moments too much.

It was while I was telling this story to Devan, that the lump suddenly returned to my throat, I did have someone to talk to this time, and while I was trying to explain to Devan, that had my father been alive, he would have been the first person I would have wanted to have told about this hunt, again those tears ran down my face.  He was a cantankerous old fool at times, but cant we all be,  but he was also Dad, the man who taught me how to shoot and fish.  I make no apologies' for getting a little emotional after shooting my first kudu and my first buffalo, I am not a cold blooded killer, I love to hunt and will continue to do so, for as long as I can, and if my emotions catch up with me again on another hillside, then so be it.    

   Transporting the buffalo.

The tractor and three extra men turned up after about an hour and a half, and the buffalo was rolled onto the fork's of a front end loader, then held in place with ratchet straps.  Devan and I made our way back to the truck with Pololo and enjoyed a cool drink, before setting off back to the skinning shed at the farm.  The tractor made good time and  on arrival the buffalo was prepared to be hung up for skinning.  With three skinners working together it didn't take long to remove hide, the first bullet fired was recovered from under the skin of the opposite shoulder, it was a 300 grain Rhino bullet, that I weighed on my return home to find it still had a retained weight of 264 grains.


Rhino 300 grain bullet, after passing through a buffalo.


Devan and I were invited for lunch with our hosts, we had a lovely meal and a cool drink, before making the two and a half hour journey back to just outside of Fort Beaufort.  It had been a day that I would never forget, a lifetimes ambition had been realised.  That evening we had a few drinks, but due to the early start and the strenuous day I found myself falling asleep, so soon after finishing my evening meal, I called it a day and retired to my bed, as tomorrow was another day.


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