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Close Encounters

DANGEROUS GAME    Yes they can charge.  Following are a few of our more exciting experiences.  The hunter must place their shot perfectly in the vitals to kill the animal.  For many years we have been overly cautious on approach, with additional spine or brain shots, so rarely do things go wrong.  However guides, clients and I have stopped over 20 charges of Water Buffalo, Scrub bull and Banteng coming fast to smash us.  Plus a few angry wild boar as well.  Hunters must shoot fast and accurate, reloading quickly and smoothly.  The professional hunters job is to guide, let you shoot your own animal, and back up if required.  Remember on a dangerous game hunt your shooting may also be required to save someones life.  Practice lots, before such a hunt!!

Shoot Straight To Stay Alive!!

Missed By An Inch


THE DEAD ONES CAN GET YOU   A few years ago a Bull with huge horns of 51" spread was down and out.  As we approached it suddenly stood up turning fast and charged us at 15m, the hunter's brain shot with a 375 H&H solid knocked the Buffalo down 5m from me (out of frame).  For 10 seconds or so, with the bull finally down for keeps, we hesitated to catch our breath.... but all of a sudden the Bull came to life again and quickly moved to raise to his feet (that 375 bullet was apparently a touch low and only stunned the bull).  We both reacted and again fired the Kimber Caprivi 375 H&H and 465 NE H&H double rifle.  This time Malte's brain shot was perfect, and my shot a half second after his.  In Germany Malte was a well practiced shot at driven fast running Wild Boar, however this precise "target" was much smaller.  The experienced European and African hunter and his partner nervously sat and admired his trophy for some time.  Two excellent bulls in 2 days.  We all learnt some valuable lessons that day.

.... 3 shillings in sixpence...rammed in the barrel as the Buffalo charged......

by Sir Samuel White Baker, before 1853 Ceylon

(Sorry for this long excerpt, but relevant with some typical water buffalo behavior, GW)

As we approached the herd they ranged up in a compact body, presenting a very regular line in front. From this line seven large bulls stepped forth, and from their vicious appearance seemed disposed to show fight. In the meantime we were running up, and were soon within thirty paces of them. At this distance the main body of the herd suddenly wheeled round and thundered across the plain in full retreat. One of the bulls at the same moment charged straight at us, but when within twenty paces of the guns he turned to one side, and instantly received two balls in the shoulder, B. and I having fired at the same moment. As luck would have it, his blade-bone was thus broken, and he fell upon his knees, but recovering himself in an instant, he retreated on three legs to the water.

We now received assistance from an unexpected quarter. One of the large bulls, his companion, charged after him with great fury, and soon overtaking the wounded beast, he struck him full in the side, throwing him over with a great shock on the muddy border of the lake. Here the wounded animal lay unable to rise, and his conqueror commenced a slow retreat across the plain.

Leaving B. to extinguish the wounded buffalo, I gave chase to the retreating bull. At an easy canter he would gain a hundred paces and then, turning, he would face me; throwing his nose up, and turning his head to one side with a short grunt, he would advance quickly for a few paces, and then again retreat as I continued to approach.

In this manner he led me a chase of about a mile along the banks of the lake, but he appeared determined not to bring the fight to an issue at close quarters. Cursing his cowardice, I fired a long shot at him, and reloading my last spare ball I continued the chase, led on by ignorance and excitement.

The lake in one part stretched in a narrow creek into the plain, and the bull now directed his course into the angle formed by this turn. I thought that I lead him in a corner, and, redoubling my exertions, I gained upon him considerably. He retreated slowly to the very edge of the creek, and I had gained so fast upon him that I was not thirty paces distant, when he plunged into the water and commenced swimming across the creek. This was not more than sixty yards in breadth, and I knew that I could now bring him to action.

Running round the borders of the creek as fast as I could, I arrived at the opposite side on his intended landing-place just as his black form reared from the deep water and gained the shallows, into which I had waded knee-deep to meet him. I now experienced that pleasure as he stood sullenly eyeing me within fifteen paces. Poor stupid fellow! I would willingly, in my ignorance, have betted ten to one upon the shot, so certain was I of his death in another instant.

I took a quick but steady aim at his chest, at the point of connection with the throat. The smoke of the barrel passed to one side;—there he stood—he had not flinched; he literally had not moved a muscle. The only change that had taken place was in his eye; this, which had hitherto been merely sullen, was now beaming with fury; but his form was as motionless as a statue. A stream of blood poured from a wound within an inch of the spot at which I had aimed; had it not been for this fact, I should not have believed him struck.

Annoyed at the failure of the shot, I tried him with the left-hand barrel at the same hole. The report of the gun echoed over the lake, but there he stood as though he bore a charmed life;—an increased flow of blood from the wound and additional lustre in his eye were the only signs of his being struck.

I was unloaded, and had not a single ball remaining. It was now his turn. I dared not turn to retreat, as I knew he would immediately charge, and we stared each other out of countenance.

With a short grunt he suddenly sprang forward, but fortunately, as I did not move, he halted; he had, however, decreased his distance, and we now gazed at each other within ten paces. I began to think buffalo-shooting somewhat dangerous, and I would have given something to have been a mile away, but ten times as much to have had my four-ounce rifle in my hand. Oh, how I longed for that rifle in this moment of suspense! Unloaded, without the power of defence, with the absolute certainty of a charge from an overpowering brute, my hand instinctively found the handle of my hunting-knife, a useless weapon against such a foe.

Knowing that B. was not aware of my situation at the distance which separated us (about a mile), without taking my eyes from the figure before me, I raised my hand to my mouth and gave a long and loud whistle; this was a signal that I knew would be soon answered if heard.

With a stealthy step and another short grunt, the bull again advanced a couple of paces towards me. He seemed aware of my helplessness, and he was the picture of rage and fury, pawing the water and stamping violently with his forefeet.

This was very pleasant! I gave myself up for lost, but putting as fierce an expression into my features as I could possibly assume, I stared hopelessly at my maddened antagonist.

Suddenly a bright thought flashed through my mind. Without taking my eyes off the animal before me, I put a double charge of powder down the right-hand barrel, and tearing off a piece of my shirt, I took all the money from my pouch, three shillings in six penny pieces, and two anna pieces, which I luckily had with me in this small coin for paying coolies. Quickly making them into a rouleau with the piece of rag, I rammed them down the barrel, and they were hardly well home before the bull again sprang forward. So quick was it that I had no time to replace the ramrod, and I threw it in the water, bringing my gun on full cock in the same instant. However, he again halted, being now within about seven paces from me, and we again gazed fixedly at each other, but with altered feelings on my part. I had faced him hopelessly with an empty gun,, which seemed a century. I now had a charge in my gun, which I knew if reserved till he was within a foot of the muzzle would certainly floor him, and I awaited his onset with comparative carelessness, still keeping my eyes opposed to his gaze.

At this time I heard a splashing in the water behind me, accompanied by the hard breathing of something evidently distressed. The next moment I heard B.'s voice. He could hardly speak for want of breath, having run the whole way to my rescue, but I could understand that he had only one barrel loaded, and no bullets left. I dared not turn my face from the buffalo, but I cautioned B. to reserve his fire till the bull should be close into me, and then to aim at the head.

The words were hardly uttered, when, with the concentrated rage of the last twenty minutes, he rushed straight at me! It was the work of an instant. B. fired without effect. The horns were lowered, their points were on either side of me, and the muzzle of the gun barely touched his forehead when I pulled the trigger, and three shillings' worth of small change rattled into his hard head. Down he went, and rolled over with the suddenly checked momentum of his charge. Away went B. and I as fast as our heels would carry us, through the water and over the plain, knowing that he was not dead but only stunned. There was a large fallen tree about half a mile from us, whose whitened branches, rising high above the ground, offered a tempting asylum. To this we directed our flying steps, and, after a run of a hundred yards, we turned and looked behind us. He had regained his feet and was following us slowly. We now experienced the difference of feeling between hunting and being hunted, and fine sport we must have afforded him.

On he came, but fortunately so stunned by the collision with her Majesty's features upon the coin which he had dared to oppose that he could only reel forward at a slow canter. By degrees even this pace slackened, and he fell. We were only too glad to be able to reduce our speed likewise, but we had no sooner stopped to breathe, than he was again up and after us. At length, however, we gained the tree, and we beheld him with satisfaction stretched powerless upon the ground, but not dead, within two hundred yards of us.

We retreated under cover of the forest to the spot at which we had left the horses, fortunately meeting no opposition from wild animals, and we shortly arrived at the village at which we took up our quarters, vowing vengeance on the following morning for the defeat that we had sustained.

excerpt from Project Gutenberg's Title: The Rifle and The Hound in Ceylon,

Author: Sir Samuel White Baker, 1853... via


Come And Visit

BOOKING YOUR HUNT    Thanks for reading our website.  Sorry if it is too much information, but every time I try to slim it, I tend to add more.  As you have seen, this is not a hobby or a second job, this is my life, and our company provides important income to the aboriginal land owners of these vast wild hunt areas, from the Buffalo as a sustainable resource.  You are the next important part, we hope you will come and visit Darwin and the Northern Territory of Australia.  You can also experience some great blue water ocean fishing or river Barramundi fishing, and perhaps visit the East coast before or after your hunt for a few days at Cairns, and the Great Barrier Reef... or maybe take a bigger journey and travel down the East coast from Cairns or Brisbane to Sydney or Melbourne. 

Any information you need, please ask.   See you in the bush.   Regards, Graham Williams PH.

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