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Professional Hunters

  

Dallas Safari Club & SCI Nashville

  

It Was Great To See Many Friends At The Conventions.

 

AUSTRALIAN BUFFALO HUNTERS TEAM   Welcome to our crazy life, remote adventures, often living in outback Arnhem Land with a green canvas tent or a canvas swag bedroll as home for the dry season.  Our team offer a great service in remote outback Australia, for both the international hunter, and the landowners.  I will guide the whole dry season.  The other guides are also licensed by the NT Police, and work casual as required by the hunt schedule.  We all have a passion for fine arms, big bore rifles, and thrive on tough, hot and demanding Buffalo hunting in remote wilderness.  We do it right.  Real hunting, Real adventure.  Long term, honest, ethical and professional.

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Dangerous Game Professional Hunter Training

 

PROFESSIONAL HUNTER TRAINING   Since we started, our PH team have regularly completed our company training for various guided hunting scenarios, and fast accurate shooting.  Trophy caping, treatment and documentation for export and taxidermy is always reviewed.  NT Police approved firearms and safety certificate courses as required for our licenses.  Guiding on dangerous game requires specific skills and training - and is not the same as guiding on medium game.  We have stopped many charges, which has saved lives.  Most of our team have hunted in Africa and seen the excellent service and qualifications required by many African professional hunters, so we understand the importance of quality services in all areas.  Australian Buffalo Hunters do it right.  If you hear any negative comments about our business, please let us know.  We are proud to constantly improve and welcome new clients and many repeat hunters and friends. 

  

Our PH Team

 

  

GRAHAM WILLIAMS - OWNER

My life, my work, my passion - is full time hunt planning and guiding on dangerous game, big rifles and exploring.  It began 34 years ago on a Banteng & Buffalo hunt with a friend in NT and the 'guide' carried no rifle!!  At Colin's first shot the Banteng bull spun around and took off, a couple more shots and it cartwheeled over 15 yards to my right.  It stood, turned and charged Colin on my left, who was reloading his 470 NE.  At 8yds I dropped the Banteng bull in front of us with a Silver Tip from the Winchester Express 375 H&H.!  I was now hooked on the excitement of getting up close on large game and hunting with a large bore rifle.  After many Australian and African adventures, I started a safari company 27 years ago, growing a dedicated guiding team, all focused on great service and real hunting in outback Australia.  I am a proud Life member of SCI, a Life member of IPHA (International Professional Hunters Association), a Life member of SSAA, a Member of ADA WA, SWH&C, MSL and Dallas Safari Club.  I have guided on over 650 Buffalo hunts, and my company has completed over 950 Buffalo hunts.

" Buffalo Hunting Is A Disease With No Cure - Only Treatment "

OWNER BACKGROUND   I grew up on our cattle, sheep and grain farm.  My father and older brother taught me honesty, respect, hunting and firearms safety....  To be a shooter I must be a responsible and law-abiding citizen my whole life.  My career then became an Industrial Electrician and Instrumentation technician, which included being a member of the emergency response team at a number of refineries, oil & gas and mine sites.  So, lots of procedures, hundreds of courses, including fire and rescue.  Early on I traveled and hunted in South Africa and remote Zimbabwe, where I saw the professionalism of the adventure tourism and safari hunting industry, which planted the seed for my safari business in Australia. 

 

Starting in 1997 as Outback Expeditions then Australian Buffalo Hunters, for 28 years.  I am very proud to have been the safari guide contractor for the Arnhem Land locally owned Gulin Gulin Buffalo Company for 19 years to 2019, often running 2x safari camps around Bulman, Weemol, Mt Jean, Mt Catt, Bonanza Valley, where we paid for every Buffalo or Scrub bull we ever shot.  My personal hunting has taken me all over Australia, to New Zealand, Mozambique for Cape Buffalo, many South Africa hunting safaris for plains game, and back up on Elephant & Cape Buffalo, the Namibia Caprivi strip after Elephant, Hippo and Crocodile, stunning Kyrgyzstan after Ibex and Marco Polo, plus Hungary, Belgium, France and Spain for Ibex, Stag and Boar.  

 

My passion is all types of wilderness hunting.  This business involves double the hours of a normal job, 5.30am to 11pm for 6 months, and the rest of the year is planning, conventions, schedules, flights, licensing, office work, then sorting supplies, vehicles, servicing, setting camps, trophy cleaning, exports, customer tasks, etc.  About 1/4 of that time is hunting in the field.  It has huge costs, the royalty fees are large, and hopefully a small wage at the end of season, many months away from home.  So its a lifestyle job, apparently.  Crazy, but it is my way of life; my reward is the enjoyment I get from helping international hunters achieve their dreams in another country.  I am proud of our remote product, our service, and our team.  Graham Williams.

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JOE ESTERMANN - Guide

Joe assisted with our first ever Buffalo hunters in 1997.  We hunted the Ramingining swamps in Arnhem Land for the first 3 years, wet feet, swamp mud, zillions of mosquitoes, then getting closer to Buffalo on coastal flood plains, and 70-80kg skull/cape retrievals in the mud.  We now operate INLAND with no mosquitoes or coastal wetlands.   Joe's main career has been in government services and training.  His professional conduct has seen him guide many clients, with a good hunt plan... and not to carry a trophy out in the dark.  At home in the south, he will hunt for wild boar and deer, also an avid fisherman hooked on fly fishing.  He has hunted South Africa, Europe and New Zealand many times, and understands client needs and service.  Joe is a founding member of both South West Hunting and Conservation, and the Western Australian branch of the Australian Deer Association.  He is dedicated to our sports, conservation and hunter/public education into the future.

JOSH RAWLINSON - Guide

A few years ago Josh joined the guide team, and brought his professional skills to enhance Australian Buffalo Hunters.  He has hunted Australia and New Zealand, with a passion for tough hunts, mountain hunts, deer hunting and all types of fishing.  A young gentleman who looks after his fellow hunters, and has added a lot to our Expeditions and Safaris.  He prefers a 416 caliber which has proven adequate to stop huge Buffalo, and follow up on dangerous game.  He enjoys practice and deer hunting trips with some of the other guides and mates outside of Buffalo hunt season.

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SHAUN - Guide

Enthusiastic and a strong lad.  Shaun is a professional hunter and team member who is always lending a hand, and getting everyone loaded up and out hunting on time.  He enjoys using the time proven 404 Jeffery, and will make sure clients have a great dangerous game hunting adventure.  He has hunted most species in Australia, and ventured to NZ and Africa on dangerous game.  In his spare time he is often out hunting and back-packing for Wild hogs, Rusa deer and the large Sambar deer in our southern mountains.  He often uses a 9.3x74 double rifle on Sambar in heavy bush.

ADAM CHRISTO - Guide

Since a child Adam had a love for wilderness, remote places and he dreamed of Africa.  Throw in a passion for classic big game rifles, calibres and constructive conservation, so Adam naturally gravitated to safaris.  With just shy of 20 big game safaris to the remote parts of Zimbabwe and Northern Mozambique, travels through East Africa, and hunting in many other countries, a lot of African dangerous game experience was gained.  As an experienced professional hunter, he will ensure your success in remote Arnhem Land.

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IAN BLEVIN - Guide

Speaking of gentlemen.  Ian has many skills and experiences, from running business and all types or hunting in Zimbabwe, plus his knowledge of birds, botanical etc when running an adventure expeditions business in central Australia.  When called upon to guide Buffalo hunters he is professional, dedicated, a capable tracker and forward thinking.  Ian understands client service and camp management.  He knows how tough Cape Buffalo and Water Buffalo are. Recently an unprovoked charge was stopped with 2x Woodleigh bullets from the 416.

DAN ROSE - Guide

Dan was raised hunting Sambar and Fallow deer in the Victorian alpine region.  This early passion for the outdoors is still the same today, with regular trips to gather venison. His career has been in construction site management, with large projects in all areas.  A love of classic calibers and quality double rifles, has him often hunting Sambar with a double, and years ago led him to the Northern Territory after Buffalo.

Dans hunt ethics, hard work, pride in all areas, and great character has him as a valued team member.  Dan loves the excitement and challenge of remote big game safaris. Dan will ensure your success in remote Arnhem Land.

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BRIAN LARKIN - Assistant

Brian is retired and a great experienced hunt assistant who helps set up camps, assist guides and clients during some of the hunts.  Brian helps get all the vehicles ready, tools, tires, fuel, camp trailers packed, supplies packed, everything set up, and makes sure the season runs smoothly.  Often he is there towards the end of the season, to help pack camps, and return to package and export dry trophies.  He gets back to hunt in NZ a lot, and enjoys hearing our clients tales of adventure.

Wato - Assistant

What does a (semi) retired professional worker and dangerous game hunter do when he's not venturing to Africa.?   Brian Watson has hunted many countries and has a passion for Rigby rifles, owning a lovely 470 Nitro Express double, and a Best Grade bolt action 416 Rigby made to order.  Having hunted our Water Buffalo, and seeing how tough they are, he has joined us as an assistant for some of the tough and demanding jobs around Buffalo camp, such as loading the 4x4, spotting game, catering, testing fine wine, adding ice cubes, and trying to find his GPS.... plus many other useful tasks.  However he is here because of our great friendship, our service and ethics, a desire to explore the wilds... (and his jokes).

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Dangerous Game Rifles

 

GUIDE & CLIENT DANGEROUS GAME RIFLES   The following information is my personal opinion only, and we all have different gear, ideas and thoughts.  Thick skinned dangerous game hunted on foot requires a heavy caliber, these rifles have heavy recoil, so select the biggest dangerous game rifle cartridge that you can shoot accurately, and can carry all day.  In our safari camp we have these rifles available; Blaser R8, Whitworth Express and CZ custom rifles in 375 H&H, and Heym Express 404 Jeffery & 416 Rigby calibers.  All have good express sights, and most fitted with quality optics in quick detachable (QD) mounts.  I have used both double and bolt action rifles, either choice is fantastic, as long as they function 100% reliably and the hunter is very familiar to be fast and accurate with their weapon.  Over the years and over 800 Buffalo hunts, we have seen nearly all the big calibers in use.  Personally, I have carried and used the following; 375 H&H, 404 Jeffery, 416 Rigby, 435 PH Express (my own invention), Boswell 450/400 double, 458 WM, 458 Lott, Holland and Holland 465 Express double rifle (stopped 3 charges), a few 500 Jeffery (a favorite hard hitter), and I once carried a rare #8 Holland and Holland 600 NE Royal for a short time (damn heavy and a monster to shoot).  I now generally guide with a 404 or 416, an easier carry weight, 4 rounds of Woodleigh Hydro's in the magazine, capable of the full body penetration occasionally required on a fast departing 2000lb bull Buffalo.  If a charge occurs, to stop someone being smashed, I need 100% shot placement to destroy the brain.   Graham Williams PH.

 

DOUBLE RIFLES   The classic double rifle looks stunning, has two immediate shots, it shoulders fast, feels lighter and fantastic in your hands.  Pictured above are some nice Heym, Rigby, Watson, Evans and Holland and Holland double rifles.  Personally, I like the calibers of; 375 Flanged, 375 H&H, 450/400 NE, 500/416 NE, new 416 Rigby #2 rimmed, and 450 NE.  All have manageable recoil for accurate shooting, and a reasonable carry weight, important for trekking under a blazing sun.  Such rifles are stocked for quick iron sight shooting, so get a huge buffalo size target, and practice at 50m, BUT, please also fire a few shots at 100m and 150m, (yes it will happen) a offhand 2 shots group of 10-20cm (4-10") is just fine.  WHY, because sometimes animals turn and run, and fast shots are required.  A few hunters with ageing eyes cannot see express front sights anymore, especially at dusk with low light and in shadows, this is where a large white front sight and a white triangle in the rear sight is brilliant.  But another solution, for example on a 450/400 NE, is a detachable scope with long eye relief.  A scope in QD mounts can be carried in the backpack, and mounted on the rifle if needed.  Moving up to the 470 NE, 500 NE & 577 NE these are ideal for Elephant and Buffalo.  Recoil is harsh to some people, and tolerable for a big rugby player or a practiced large bore shooter.  No scope on a .450, .470 or .500 for me, as expecting a scope cut in the head can ruin my trigger control and accuracy.  Before you order or buy at Buffalo rifle, I recommend you try or borrow a big caliber rifle.  Fire 6 or so rounds (not just 2), from a rest, offhand and kneeling, 50m & 100m, simulate what you will be doing in the field.  An ethical hunter's responsibility is to shoot well, and take his trophy or game cleanly.  Then practice with small and large rifles, field shooting positions, quick reloading, and offhand.

 

THE BOLT ACTION   Calibers for Buffalo include the 9.3x62, 375 H&H, 416 RM, 400 H&H, 416 Rigby, 404 Jeffery, 458 WM, 458 Lott, 500 Jeffery and 505 Gibbs.  Also the 378, 416 & 460 Weatherby Magnums excelling in their caliber class.  One of the best things about a bolt rifle, is its magazine capacity, and 4 or 5 rounds gives me much comfort in the field.  I might also mention Hearing Protection, many clients start out with ear muffs that get discarded after day 1, and foam plugs which get forgotten.. So.. most hunters WILL end up with some permanent hearing loss from large bores and magnums.  I keep the low cost $20-$40 Sonic Valve 11 ear plugs in my top pocket, love em. Only 5 or 6 seconds to pop them in during the final stalk, and I can still hear easily, yet the blast is stopped (also called Acu-Life ear plugs).  ALL GUIDES & HUNTERS SHOULD TRY THESE, excellent for hunting.  The diaphragm system blocks the blast sound wave, (but not suitable at a gun range where multiple sound waves bounce off other objects).  Specialist bullet makers like Barnes, Swift, Rhino, Nosler, Woodleigh etc, produce very tough projectiles with controlled expansion and all perfect for thick skinned game.  A 375 H&H is a good caliber to practice with, and hunters can use their 375 safari rifle for general shooting of antelope, deer, wild boar etc.  Again a detachable scope makes a big bore rifle very versatile, and scopes around 1x-6x or 2x-10x magnification range are most suitable for both close up and longer shots.  A scope mounted on a 416 Rigby or 458 Lott must have long eye relief and be mounted forward.  Have I mentioned I hate muzzle brakes on safari rifles... in fact on any rifles.  Ear drum damage its permanent.  Deafness is permanent.  Rifle reliability and shot placement is most import, and all the above calibers will do the job, but be sure you can shoot your rifle well.  Practice.

465 Express
435 PH Express
465 Express
404 Jeffery, RJ Harvey
Double up
Rifles take a break
Parrot Creek NT
456 Express

 

BUFFALO SHOT PLACEMENT & APPROACH   We are hunting the strong and heavy 700-900kg older Buffalo bulls, which have double the mass in skin, muscle and bone structure than young water buffalo bulls or buffalo cows of 300-500kg.  The brain is small, protected and moving, so ideally your first shot should be with a quality expanding bullet placed accurately to kill the animal with maximum damage to the vitals.  Through the heart and lungs is best, and a shoulder taken out as-well is good.  However on rare occasions, tough animals can regain their footing and gallop away, or occasionally charge.  Be prepared for such circumstance with a Solid or FMJ or Hydro bullet/s in your magazine, and be able to shoot accurately on running game, and achieve maximum penetration.  Fire again until the Buffalo is down, and then another spine or shoulder shot to be sure.  Approach with caution and hold your rifle tight with both hands, (so a horn flick doesn't send your rifle flying or your AD shot back at others), butt on your shoulder, and looking over your sights.  Once the Buffalo is confirmed dead, barrels up and in a safe direction.... then... all hunters are to safely clear your rifle chambers.  Practice.

To Stop A Charge

STOPPING 100%    It is very rare, but it does happen.  A Buffalo might get back up, can ambush and come from the side or behind, or just straight through heavy bush.  We have heard of rare and unusual instances of Cape Buffalo in Africa, with multiple shots from a 416, 458 and 470 through the vitals, yet still coming and driven on by adrenaline.  Trust me, it is the same here.  If this happens to you, the only one shot placement that will STOP the charge is a brain shot (size of an orange), or a spine shot (size of a thick rope), miss that and the animal can be on top of you.  On our Water Buffalo the position of the brain is exactly between the horns, whether the head is up and coming, facing you, or down to smash or hook you..  (on Cape Buffalo the brain position is slightly different).  We keep a water buffalo skull in camp/s, so you can see for yourself.

 

SOFTS OR SOLIDS   Premium Softs for the first shot/s and the most damage to vitals will kill your Buffalo.  The skull; our Water Buffalo bulls have flatter and thicker solid skull bone structures than a Cape Buffalo bull which has many hollow cavities under the boss... yes we have studied and dissected mature age skulls of both species.  We have seen rare SP ammo skid off an angled Water Buffalo skulls, and no penetration, even close up, because of solid bone thickness and shot angle factors.  So we require our guides to use Solids (preferably Hydros) for back up, final approach, and to stop a charge.!!

Woodleigh Bullets

 

WOODLEIGH BULLETS   The Australian made Woodleigh bullets by Geoff McDonald and his team are available worldwide, they are time proven on dangerous game, and have a traditional construction of RNSP (Weldcore) and round nose FMJ.  Designed so both regulate very well in most double rifles.  However a few years back along came the new Hydrostatically Stabilized solid bullet.  Many call it "the Hydro", it is a monolithic brass alloy solid bullet with a depressed nose or cup point.  The penetration of these is almost the same massive distance as a RN FMJ, yet the cup nose creates an outward blast of tissue, which makes a wound channel as it travels through the animal.  Basically a Soft Point wound channel yet the bullet remains a deep penetrating solid.  Excellent results on our Buffalo, Scrub bull and Banteng.  However this bullet, like all solids, can follow through to animals standing behind.  So CAUTION must be taken, as always.  Andrew Hepner and myself recently saw them work perfect on Hippo's then plains game in the Caprivi while hunting with Byron Hart African Safaris.  We saw perfect wound channels on hippo, zebra, wildebeest, and smaller warthog, crocodile and duiker.  We were all impressed to see an incredibly tough bullet, give a proper wound channel on every size animal!

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