KEN PERROTE: Buffalo hunting in South Africa fulfills a lifelong dream | Outside

We first practiced stick shooting, which is customary in Africa. Pieter Taylor, my regular professional hunter, described what a charging buffalo looks like, its head swaying as it dashes forward.

Most hunts don’t end with a charging animal, but things can get serious quickly depending on how far away you are when shooting, the number of bison, the location of the shots, and the behavior of the bison. the animal. Buffalo can be annoying.

“It’s your hunt, sir. I will only shoot if there is imminent danger, ”said Taylor, as he fired a few shots with his heavy .450 Lott side-to-side.

My butt was dragging slightly after three consecutive mornings of several kilometer hikes, following trails in the sands the color of Siena. After the cold daybreaks, temperatures sometimes reached the low 80s in the afternoon. Acacias and other varieties of thorny trees and shrubs sometimes pulled on my hat, sleeves, socks and boots.

A large herd of buffaloes inhabited the vast hunting grounds. Taylor wanted an old “dugga boy” he had seen on a previous hunt. Kudu, impala, gemsbok, ostrich, moose and more froze or bolted as our vehicle rolled.

Each morning we found and followed trails of buffaloes, twice approaching nearly 30 yards once, but unable to shoot. Another encounter occurred after we located two male buffaloes who had been chasing a ranch worker riding an ATV.

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