Good luck on your hunt, Jim!
Good luck with the upcoming season.
I talked to Kerry a few days ago & he's all pumped up.
Keep the picture/info coming... Best of luck!!
Thom shot scrubber
Day1 morningThom stalked a bedded buff got to 21 yards and double lung shot the buff for a short recovery of 50 yards. We stalked a mid 90s lost in the river. Stalked to 21 yards of 70inch bull. Stalked 22 yards of scrubber busted drawing.
Day2 Tim shot buff. Was a bit of a rodeo from what I heard. I busted my toe. Jake passed young bulls and got to 45 yards of a good bull.
Day 3 was a bit of a slow day. Only shots fired were at a wild dog at 50 yards with a longbow. Got the dog on the bounce but only with the back end.
Day 4 was a full day out from camp. Mission 1 was getting jake a bull. Mission accomplished at 11AM 25 yard quartering away shot hit a touch far back 1 lung only. Thom missed a sub 10 yard shot at a cat that worked down a dry creek right to us. Thom also missed a white dog on a uphill shot around the 20 yard mark shooting low. We thenFished with no luck at the big hole where we had lunch. had a swimsuit the hot springs and road hunted back to camp. Tim and I stalked a bull got busted and I called him into 35 yards no shot taken.
Day 5 stalked to 15 yards of 100 incher no shot through thick cover then got busted. Jake missed short horn bull at 15 yards. Thom arrowed 2 pigs after a long mornings walk. The swamps are dry so pigs will be hard come by this year. Saw 2 big scrub bulls as well one that Dino knows as 4H!
Day 6 was a good one with big plans to go hard it paid off with Mick and Jake taking an old cow at 30 yards and Tim and I getting a buff that should go in the high 90s.
It was a very busy week so my apologies for not being as detailed as I normally am. All up the boys had about 20 stalks each and took home all they wanted.
Day1. Jim and I carried on along the river we spotted a high 80s bull but were busted saw a few cows and another shooter mid 90s bull that the swirling winds notified him we were in the area. On the walk back to the truck we managed to find a sleeping boar in the river the way he was laying in the shade and covered in sand was hard to distinguish where to shoot him Jim hit the shoulder and we didn't recover the boar. That afternoon we stalked 3 bulls. One mid 80s we got to 35 yards on but passed one mid 90s but got spotted and one 100+ incher that we ran out of cover on. Kerry had a very close encounter that morning a shooter 90s class bull at 10 yards but didn't offer a great shot. Saw several other shooters but is looking for a bull that has no brooming. His evening was very slow as the creek they walked turned out to be completely dry. It has not been this dry for as long as Mick has been here like 14 years and what little water we do have is disappearing quick water levels dropped 4-5 inches last week.
Day2 Kerry and I hunted the river hoping to catch bulls coming off the plains to bed in the river the first bull we came across didn't play the game and bedded out on the flats we got busted at 80 yards. A while later I spotted a bull cruising toward the river we moved fast to cut him off. Apparently it was 2 bulls a 75incher and a 90. The 75 stopped at 39 yards looking at us despite being in good cover. The shooter was about 45 and then to 42 Kerry wanted to take the shot but the wind swirled and ended that. Mick and Jim saw about 860,000 cows and calves Jim said. The evening hunt had Kerry and I stalking what looked to be a decent bull we got into about 60 yards when he heard or saw us we had good grass so got low and the bull got curious and approached he was a super cool bull ancient old dude heavy broomed slightly and horns worn smooth torn ears and missing his right eye. He had attitude he came in broadside at 27 yards but we didn't get to draw on him without him turning from broadside to quartering to. He came into 25 and then got a sniff of us and took off. I was disappointed as I really wanted to take this bull he was not a real high scorer but I like age and character more then inches. We also saw 2 giant scrub bulls but Kerry is not interested in bulls so we let them walk. Jim got onto a bull on a waterhole but made a bad shot too far back Mick didn't get a rifle shot and the bull disappeared into the river we will search tomorrow but recovery is unlikely.
Day3 Jim spent the morning looking for his buff to no avail unfortunately. Kerry and I spent the better part of 2 hours working a giant broomed bull that was missing a good portion on his left side a real character bull we got between him and his wallows and he fed right to us to 50 yards and stopped to look at the surroundings as they always do sometimes they will look for hours before making that final 50 yard walk to water where they become vulnerable this was like every other situation we just had to wait him out. The sun became too much for Kerry and he repositioned his feet snapping a loud stick and the gig was up. We attempted another challenging stalk on a 90s class bull but never got inside 60 yards. The evening hunt Jim saw all cows and calves in a new area we had not explored before Kerry and I had a quick stalk from the truck on a bul that was in the water we got to 33 yards but he never gave us a shot before busting he was a young bull anyway but did have a broken foot and would have taken him as a cull had I saw it. saw 4 shooter bulls the first was a low 100s class but he was on the move into the wind and we could not do much to make a play. The second bull was a mid 90s in a perfect situation feeding heavy into the wind with the sun at his back we approached quick from behind stopping whenever he would quarter too much or pick up his head I last ranged him at 59 yards and was going to close this gap to 30-35 no problem judging by the bulls demeanour. The bull quartered I stopped now at 55 and for some reason Kerry leaned out from behind me to range the bull. That's a big no no. They don't like lateral movement it was game over. We stalked 2 more mid-high 80s bulls but things didn't pan out. I was slightly frustrated after we lost the opportunity on the mid 90s bull as this is the exact scenario I have killed several bulls on at the exact location. Tomorrow's another day!
Day4 was to be a full day out with packed lunch we hit the road early doing some road hunting. We saw several bulls but nothing in a great stalkable location so we kept on until we got near the green swamp there was a bull and his cows in a waterhole that didn't look like an ideal situation but figured was worth a try. Kerry and I started down the creek and 5 minutes later the buff were fast approaching us I ranged the bull at 40 as he approached head on. I told Kerry to draw his bow down low as we were below the buff in a dry creek bed. I was anticipating a sub 10 yard frontal shot but the cows broke to our right at about 25 yards. The bull stopped and looked at the cows for 30 seconds then turned broadside and walked by us at 25 yards. Kerry released the shot hit far back I let the bull run 100 yards he stopped and looked I knew it was a gut shot but gave every chance for blood to appear out the nose the bull took off again and I popped him with the .375. He was a great old bull heavy with lots of brooming. The rest of the day was spent looking over some other bulls, fishin, swimming and exploring new country that didn't pay off.
Day 5 morning the plan was for Jim and I to hunt 1 section of the river and Mick and Kerry would drive further and hunt another section. approaching our drop off point Jim spotted a nice boar trotting along a creek. The boar had seen the truck and was keeping a good pace. So I floored it across the flood plain up the creek to get in front of the boar then killed the truck and sent the boys running into the creek. Luck would have it that the boar dropped into the creek in front of Kerry and lay in a waterhole at 40 yards. Kerry made no mistake and arrowed the boar as he wallowed it was a steep quartering away shot along with the pig laying in mud it was hard to tell where to put the arrow. The hit was decent getting the offside lung the boar ran out 100 yards into the open and stopped. As this unfolded Mick and I still in the cruiser Mick says to me we better get over there before this boar has a go at Kerry he's looking for a fight now. I hesitated to grab the rifle as we don't shoot pigs if poor shots are made. We talked with Kerry and told him he would have to shoot him again. Mick flanked the boar holding his attention and keeping him broadside to Kerry. Mick 60 yards to my right Kerry 40 yards to my left and 30 yards from the boar what could go wrong. Shoot him good and it's all over. Watching through the binos the arrow flys low hitting low in the front leg. The boar turns to Kerry and starts chopping his jaws Mick yells run Kerry! Get outta there Kerry turns and falls flat on his face. The boar is at full stride now and sub 20 yards. I chuck my binos into their case and grab the loaded .375 and drop the boar about 5-10 yards from Kerry! It was one heck of a rodeo and a great laugh after the fact that nobody was hurt. I don't think it's a moment any of us will forget! Jim and I hunted a great mid 90s bull all morning first attempt we ambushed him but his cows busted us in the river. We then relocated him and sat on him for an hour and a half waiting for him to bed we were 200 yards away when the wind swirled and that ended that I can't recall what Kerry saw that morning or perhaps he was too busy cleaning his shorts. The evening hunt Jim and I worked one of my favourite creeks we watched a 100 class bull appear at the opposite side of the plain he was on a mission to get to water we were at that water. As the bull approached it was apparent he had broken 6-8 inches off his left side from fighting. It didn't matter he was a good bull. As the bull approached our location he stopped dead in his tracks. Swirling winds had done us again. We continued to work the creek seeing a couple smaller bulls and a couple 90 inch bulls that saw us on our approach we were nearing the end of the creek when bam bull number 1 was 150 yards in front of us and coming into the creek again we had just walked over a major trail so backed up and waited for him he was coming in on a string when he divided the main trail was not his route tonight and veered into the creek 60 yards away. Jim Made a quick dash but not quick enough the bull crossed the creek and knowing This would be the only chance I stopped him hoping Jim could draw and shoot he was 32 yards away but the bull busted him and that was it
The final morning was fairly uneventful both guys saw a bull in the low 100 class Kerry actually saw 2 but nothing materialised of either situation. With him and I getting busted at 140 yards and Kerry busted at 60.
The second buff was way my fault, just hit him right in the guts when he took a step forward. Just rushed the whole thing.
Continuing on my Australian adventure with mick. We have moved southeast for another 5 days of Axis deer hunting. But they call them Chital, same but different, like a lot of things here in Australia ;)
Jim, what was your setup? Sounds like a bum deal hitting the rib that way. Good luck on the remainder of your trip!
Now go kill an axis!
Arm feeling any better?
Hoyt RX-3 74.5 lbs @ 28”. Easton FmJ DG at 960grains (total) tipped with iron will broadheads.
960 grains at 74.5 lbs, one would think is plenty. Obviously not. Sucks, but I shot an elk one time at 7 yards with a 500 grain arrow and didn't break a rib to get in the vitals. Well placed arrows can do some crazy things.
Day 1 we didn't walk 10 minutes from the truck and found a single bull and cow feeding. With light winds and 2 sets of eyes I decided to wait them out. They fed apart from each other and we closed the gap on the bull a mid 90s class heavy straight wide bull with slight brooming. We got to 60 but a bit too late as he fed into open area we continued to dog him trying to get into bow range when a second bull appeared they sized each other up became buddies and started to feed together into the wind with the smaller of the 2 leading the way. We got to 37 he was quartering away I told Scott to shoot if he was comfortable but the bull turned to steep and took 3 more steps now at 42 yards was too far. We let the bull cross the open area into reasonable cover again this time I felt we would get inside 30. We got to 33 when the smaller bull spotted us. It was his alert posture that set out bull off and the gig was up. Afternoon was very slow apart from spotting a big boar bedded near a water hole but a quick change in wind direction had him explode from his bed
Day2 we spotted a few buff and a scrub bull nick named 4H from the cruiser on the way to where I wanted to park to begin the morning hunt. We began walking and not long after spotted some cows. We looked them over for a bull but didn't see one however there was a great 90+ inch cow in the mob that was old and dry Scott was keen to try and take her so the stalk started we had good wind and great cover and quickly closed into 40 yards. I pushed in closer and closer 32 26 22 16. No we need her to turn broadside as we were directly behind her. She continued to feed away and I continued to maintain a distance of no more then 25 yards. She finally turned at 23 yards Scott drew and released the hit was a bit back but she was quartering away so the off side lung was taken out. She ran out to 46 yards Scott drew and let fly. With the cow quartering to the arrow dropped into the front of the chest and hit the pump house she made another 20 yards and was down in sight. We did the photos and continued our morning hunt. An hour later I spotted a group of buff we closed in and there was a great 98-100 class bull in the group. As we watched the bull closed in we moved to him and put us at 40 yards the bull closed to 32 I told Scott to move up the bank and shoot but he was hesitant thinking the bull would move closer. Minutes later the wind swirled and ended it. We headed back towards the truck and I swore I heard a pig squeal a few hundred yards to the left so I took a buff trail in that direction not really sure of what I heard when 30 seconds later this boar comes running up the trail right to us. Scott uses a hip quiver and struggled to get an arrow out fast the boar stopped at 15 Scott got busted drawing then took a 35 yard running shot but never connected. We started late on the evening hunt as we dealt with the buffalo all afternoon so decided to do a bit of road hunting we saw plenty of buff about 60 total with 6-8 shooter bulls. One that was scratching over the 100 mark but couldn't close the deal on him as he was on the move.
Day 3 morning started as usual spotting several buff from the vehicle nothing worth chasing. We parked and started our way into an area that normally holds a real big bull. We spotted a bunch of buff and moved in and around to get the wind better. Most were cows and 1big red scrub bull. We moved in closer when the big bull I was hoping to find appeared chasing a younger bull off. With lots of eyes it was a low percentage chance. We started to move in but could only go so far as cows and calves were in the way. The scrub bull now bedded only 60 yards away looked to be our best option. We closed to 40 and had good cover to 25 but he busted us before we got in tight. I think he heard the crunchy leaves. He moved off nervously but not too spooked. We carried on looking for the bull at a slow pace with al the other buff around. When he re appeared to our right and was closing. We got as close as 48 but his cow sensed us and he walked off nervously into the river not to be seen again. On the walk back to the truck we ran into another nice young low 90s type bull but once again got done by the swirling mid day wind.
That evening we hunted a bull mixed in with 20-30 cows and calves in an area that had zero cover somehow it nearly came together we got into 45 and I was thinking we had pulled it off but with no wind and crunchy conditions the bull ended up hearing us.
Day 4. Found us heading to an Un hunted piece through a gap in the escarpment that normally holds a bit of everything. Dinos brother Dale shot a great 94 inch cow here 2 years ago Neil Summers shot an 87 inch bull here last year so I had high hopes we immediately ran into a big group of cows with 3 cows being shooters but all bearing young calves. There was 1 shooter bull in the group but early morning swirling winds ended what little chance we had at a stalk. We carried on hunting seeing a few other cows and calves then finally Scott spotted a boar working the trail right to us. Scott got ready I ranged he was 24 but closing I told Scott to wait he hit 17 I said wait the boar hit 12 yards and I said brain him. Whack!!! The boar hit the deck I quickly grabbed my knife and bled him out Scott was on a high! We took photos and carried on. We found a nice bull and cows on the flood plain and set up an ambush where I thought they would come. They came but the bull passed us further then expected and at a fast pace. We let them move off when 2 bulls showed up chasing each other in our direction we chose the winner and speed stalked into 27 yards he offered a good shot but Scott got busted drawing he was a low 90s bull with real tight curl a real unique bull. As we neared the truck we spotted the Scub bull known as 4H. This bull was nicknamed by Dino and his bro. He is an old bull that has outsmarted us many many times. With this years extreme drought and 4H 20plus years of life he was on the downhill slide to death in poor condition and not bothered by much which was unusual. We got into 27 yards and Scott made no mistake and punched one through the boiler room. To put in perspective how big this animal is a 29 inch long arrow completely disappeared inside this brutes chest on a dead broadside shot. The arrow didn't pass through but was completely inside the beast. As much as I loved chasing this bull seasons past it is bittersweet knowing he is now going to reside in Michigan.
Day5 we re hunted an area I had hunted the week previous played cat and mouse with a bull I know well he has a bottom lip that hangs down and scores around the 100 mark despite being a younger bull. We never closed the gap got busted at 45 when he heard a rock roll on our approach. We had another encounter with a low 90s bull but failed to get inside 70 yards. We were driving along the river toward camp when I spotted a lone bull feeding to the river. We bailed out of the cruiser dropped in the river and got in front of him. He looked to be an old bull in the low 90s and was headed to us. We had a big sand bank between us the bull disappeared behind the bank and didn't re appear there was a smal water hole just to the left of where he dropped down we crept up and over the sand bank for a 33 yard broadside shot. Whack the arrow hit its mark but penetration was only half the shaft. The bull ran out to the open plains at 61 yards Scott sent another the bull moved and the arrow hit leg. The bull moved off 100 yards and stopped and faced back then continued walking. We followed and he found shade we watched him until an hour before dark and were forced to make a move. With zero cover and no trees for safety it was a less then ideal situation. Wounded buffalo are nearly impossible to get a second arrow in we got to 80 and he hit the after burners and bolted. The .375 put a stop to that. Just like Jims situation there was no error on Scotts part just penetration issues. Buffalo will live days on 1 lung and if we were to have left that bull until the next day recovery chances become very unlikely.
With Scott more then happy with his animals we relaxed the last day and I caught up on some camp duties.
Would love to see what most guys do with their trophies! I know that you take some of the meat and grind burger mainly... are most guys doing euro mounts and shipping back to the states? Any pics of euro buff skulls you could post up?
Thanks for the write up! It's an adventure I would love to do someday. Pete
Day 1 we drove out from camp and spotted a boar crossing the flood plain we followed him on foot keeping him inside 50 yards the boar had a sore front right leg it was the boar Jim had arrowed 2 weeks prior. He just kept moving and we honestly got tired of following him, we tried to be aggressive and make something happen and got busted drawing at 40. We had 2 great stalks on low 90 class bulls 1 we got to 42 yards on and the wind got us the next was a classic bedded bull situation. we got in to 22 and the bull happened to pick his head up before we made our final move and shot. we held off for 5 minutes hoping he would put his head back down when he finally got a little sniff of us and he smoke trailed out of there. It was a great morning hunt with lots of animals spotted. Evening hunt had us back in the same area we watched masses of cows and calves return to the flats to feed. We spotted a great mid 90s bull feeding on the outside of the group in our direction we got into position and he closed the gap to 40. The wind swirled and ended it. Short while later we saw a great scrubber but Bruce is just here for buff, hogs, and dogs so we passed by him. The weather has changed dramatically from Last week it's much hotter which tends to bring inconsistent winds as we struggled with today. On the walk back to camp Bruce stalked 2 sows feeding on a buff carcass from week 1. he got into 30 and decided to push the limits and go for a 25 yard or closer shot when the wind gave him up again. Despite the funny winds today it was one of the best days I have had out this season opportunity wise we nearly closed the deal on several bulls and hogs.
Day2 Morning started by spotting some cows and calves ended up getting the cows attention and had her come into 21 yards and give us every shot angle in the book which we passed on. We let them Move on and we carried on. I spotted some more cows and was letting them move off when a nice bull approached on our left we made a quick move to get into position but he passed by at 34 yards. Bruce's setup is on the light side so we are keeping shots close. We later spotted a boar bedded in a creek got to 17 yards and as Bruce shot the boar had moved slightly he hit further back than was hoping but hit still looked good. We waited 30 mins and took up the blood trail. Blood trail was great on the off side we think he got 1 lung followed it for 4-600 yards and lost it unfortunately. Spotted another nice scrub bull on the walk back to the truck but left him to be hunted another day. That evening we went to the area Pizzaman shot his bull a couple years ago I knew there were a few bulls around that area but we found more then I had hoped for. About 10-15 bulls and 20-30 cows along with 10 scrub cattle. Made it tough to move really. We hunted the brush line but never did make much happen. On dark a bull buff emerged that was an absolute monster estimated in the 110+ range we enjoyed watching him push the cows around until dark.
Day3. Morning hunt yielded a lot of cows and calves. We spotted a group of pigs feeding on shellfish in a section of river. Turned out to be 4 sows and a boar. We had plenty of opportunity at the sows but passed them. The boar fed opposite side of the water at 32 yards but Bruce wanted to be sub 20 yards. The sows moved off and the boar bedded. We closed in on the boar but he left his bed and came straight for us he got to 17 but busted when he saw Bruce draw we were caught in the open. As we returned to the truck we spotted a high 80s bull which I tried to flag in he got to 50 and looked committed but I think the fickle winds we have had gave him the slightest sniff and he kept distant. So I started calling and his cows came in closer and closer I had to spook them off at 3 yards as 1 cow in particular looked a bit agro! Nearing the truck we found a lone bull mid to high 90s we watched him for an hour hoping he would come out way but just continued to feed so we put a stalk on him we got to 34 yards he was slight quartering away but Bruce passed on the opportunity as it was a bit out of his comfort zone for his setup. We saw 2 great scrubbers as we walked to the truck we stalked both for fun. The first bull we got to 45 yards on the second we got to 9 yards on was a great morning! Evening hunt we had a quick stalk on a bedded bull but he turned out to be smaller then I thought so we passed then we attempted a low chance stalk in open country on a couple wild dogs feeding on a carcass.
Day4 turned out to be a long walk seeing a big group of buff with multiple shooters early on we decided our chances were better to look for a solo bull or smaller group. We ended up finding a bull with 3 cows. Bruce put the sneak on him and got to 29 yards using a big termite mound for cover but once again our swirling winds did him in before he got an arrow away. Nearing the truck we got on another bull I know well he has a droopy bottom lip scores in the 100 range. The sun and approach was not ideal but we gave it a shot anyway he spotted us at 42 yards. The evening hunt was similar saw lots of distant animals. ended the evening stalking a huge bodied bull biggest I have seen. horns in the low mid 90s slightly broomed we got busted at 50 yards by another wind swirl. For those reading this yes the theme this week is hot temperatures equalling swirling winds! We are racking up the close calls things should fall into place soon!
Day 5. I fell behind on my entry and can't remember the morning hunt of day 5. Must not have been too exciting. The evening hunt we had a low 90s bull curious and he came into 36 yards and no closer. We got into another 90s class bull and everything was perfect the bull was 60 yards out feeding to us and the wind swirled yet again!
Day 6 we sort of took the day off I had to go to town for supplies as well as deal with some client matters we road hunted in and out of the place as well as enjoyed a swim at the spring. On the morning road hunt we followed an old dry cow along a creek trying to get in range but she kept a steady pace when out of nowhere a herd of buff emerged from the opposite direction. We got in position and waited. Of course the bull was up the back and a giant one at that heavy wide brute his cows passed by at the 40 mark and were headed downwind. The bull stalled and the cows ended up cutting our wind before he got in range. It was a very exciting encounter with a bull I don't know that would score in the low 100s. On the drive back we spotted another heavy old 90 class bull. We moved in on him and as Bruce closed inside 30 yards a wallaby spooked and put the bull on alert which ended that chance. While hunting I see like 1 wallaby a week so that was just shithouse luck.
Day 7 it started spotting many buff feeding on the back flood plain several good bulls mixed in. I had another area in mind so decided to check it out and if things didn't look good we would head to that back plain. We spotted a nice bull transitioning from feeding to bed in the river early then a cow and calf and a lone bull. I parked and we dogged the lone bull who joined up with the cow and calf as well as 2 scrubbers and 2 younger buff bulls. With no wind we just hung back watching him for 3 hours. As the wind started the buff started moving we were on a great intercept when the bull doubled back angling back about 2-300 yards from where we had just come. We Ninja'd along in shady spots moving when he moved and got into 52 yards the bull stopped head up. We were out of shade so we waited, he turned to us and closed the gap to 25 yards in a few steps. as he was passing by I made a noise to try and stop him this often doesn't work well. immediately the arrow was on it's way driving deep into the bulls heart he took off the 110 yards and crashed in less then 20 seconds! I think I was more excited then Bruce it was truly a great hunt!
I met Bruce through bowsite in 2010 or 2011 and have shared many great hunting trips in New Zealand. We share the same views on hunting and have a great time in the field together Neither of us are very size orientated hunters we just like a good hunt and adventure. Despite that Bruce is keeping his buffalo horns as a memory of his trip. I caped the bull for a friend in need and we took a good yield of meat for camp. We enjoyed a couple beers and some tenderloins by the campfire tonight. That's what hunting is all about!
Glad you had such a good time Tim!
Day1 we stalked a bull very close to camp and he made his way into the river we followed but lost him in the scrub I did a loop hoping to pick him up and damn near tripped on him he was facing the other way in some very thick cover and was only 30 yards away but was too thick to ethically shoot he was a nice bull in the 94-96 range but ended up getting wind and bulldozed out of there crashing through the scrub! We found a nice scrub bull but he was bedded facing downwind and there was next to nothing for cover in that area so he was safe. We then spotted an 80 inch bull and were making progress on him when some cows emerged from the direction he was feeding and we suddenly had too many eyes and were busted shortly after evening hunt we had a good encounter with some cows and calves which we passed. then we saw too many buffalo a herd of 30 with a low 90s bull and a herd of 60 with a mid 90s bull neither approachable we tried to intercept but only a couple cows came relatively close 45 yards.
Day 2 had us heading way out North to some country I rarely get to cause it's far and I can't get a vehicle to it so recovery is tough. We had a terrible wind the whole walk out which I anticipated so we covered ground fast then circled and hunted our way back. We found a really nice bull dogging an in season cow originally thought there were only 4 buff as we closed into 80 yards we found about 10 others bedded there. We couldn't close any closer so waited hoping things would play out. Couple hours passed and a calf fed our way and busted us with a slight wind change he got the group nervous and they moved off. We saw a couple scrub cattle one decent black bull but they had spotted us due to the alert buffalo moving through that area 10-15 minutes earlier. During the mid day lunch break I did my ole faithful success trick and filled the skull boiling pot. Every time I fill the pot a buff goes for a hot bath within 24 hours. the afternoon hunt had us do a quick speed stalk on a nice 90 inch bull but we got done by a young calf at about 80 yards and we stalked another group of buff on dark that turned out to be only cows and calves.
The plan was to be out all day do a morning hunt have a mid day break and maybe catch a Barra. I drove an area that's normally good but with the extreme dry conditions there appeared to be very little buff sign. I turned back around after a few miles and no buff spotted when shortly after I spotted a great wide single bull. He was a ways out and feeding but took notice of the truck and meandered away. We let him move off a fair ways 6-800 yards then hauled ass after him. A couple miles later we were inside 100 yards and closing he fed into the wind and there was a good drainage leading to his location we moved in and he fed out 60 yards and we were at the end of the drainage. He moved into cover and we followed inside 50 then 40 then 28 but no good shot finally he broke cover but he was 43 yards. (Too far for my liking) I made an aggressive final push to 34 yards he continued to feed unaware turned broadside then slightly quartering away Tony was at full draw but was taking very long to pick his spot and shoot. The bull spotted him the head turned and horn blocked the high lung area. He still had a huge window for heart shot but this bull was going to bust the bow went off and the arrow flew well the bull held still but the arrow was well off the mark about 18inches to the right of where it needed to be right through the guts. The bull bolted out to 150 yards before stoping. I let the .375 do her work and pulled the bull up. He was hurt bad now but still walking we followed about 500 yards and he bedded. Tony was able to put a finishing arrow into him from 42 yards. Not the perfect result we wanted but a great bull on the ground none the less. Back at camp I measured the bull at 52 inches wide with a score of 97.
Evening hunt we were in search of pigs. We had seen a couple feeding on a buff carcass a couple days ago so the plan was to hunt a stretch of river and check a couple carcasses. We ended up seeing a sow with a couple piglets they were on the move from a carcass to the river. We didn't go after them. We spotted a real nice buff at very close quarters in the river which is always exciting still unsure of what it was as it was so thick but got the heart going as it crashed through the scrub.
Day4 we went on a mission looking for a pig the plan was to do a loop down river and hunt our way back to the cruiser while covering ground with the wind behind us I spotted some pigs not where I was expecting a real quick loop somehow managed to get us with the wind safe and in our favour. There was a boar 4 sows and 2 piglets. We watched the pigs as there was very little cover and felt a conservative approach was best. After an hour the sow with piglets left and we felt the others would follow her. Before moving we had a good scan of our area and spotted a cat 50 yards away we had a quick stalk and it busted us at 30 but Tony was able to get a shot off missing just low. We waited at our intercept spot for the remaining pigs and finally 2 sows headed our way. they looked as if they would pass by at 30-40 yards and as the boar followed he swung wide. I told tony to take one of the sows at 36 yards the shot went off and the hit was far forward in front of the shoulder she let out a series of squeals which got the boar revved up and running our way he stopped at 38 and whack the arrow hit him well he ran off 120 yards stopped bedded down and died within a few minutes. He was a great old boar with big hooks and torn ears Tony was thrilled with his first pig. We blood trailed the sow for 500 yards but the blood dried up. Walking back to the truck we spotted a nice low 90s bull we had a stalk on him and got to 36 yards but he got a slight sniff of us and bolted up over the rock ridge. That afternoon we decided to relax a bit and fish I caught a nice 72cm Barra in a spot loaded with snags it made for an epic fight but we managed to land him and had a good feed that night!
Day 5 we went for a long walk looking for a scrub bull but only turned up buffalo we had one good bull with some cows feeding our way we sat in the creek waiting the first 6 cows came into 15 yards before getting a whiff and erupting the herd. That evening we looked for scrubbers again sitting in a waterhole they frequent we had about 20 scrubbers show up but all cows and calves
Day6 again we were in search of scrubbers and again we only turned up buffalo we saw 4 shooter bulls in the 90-100 inch range. We had a great stalk on a beautiful tight curled bull that was in the mid 90s he had 10 cows with him but with heavy winds we were able to close the gap to 21 yards as he fed away from us. The bull turned quartering away with leg forward the arrow hit its mark but penetration was lacking. I still felt the shot was good and that Tony hit the heart the bull took off and stopped mixed in with his cows. Then they bolted I lost the bull in the dust cloud. We were unable to find any blood the arrow or anything we searched for 3 hours and turned up nothing. The shot was on and I'm still unsure what exactly happened I assume he hit a rib and his setup failed to penetrate more then the bottom of 1 lung. It was a bummer. I went with my gut feeling that it had penetrated enough to hit the heart but evidently not. That afternoon we continued searching for the bull and found no signs. We saw plenty of other buff and one giant scrub bull that was holding 20-30 cows.
Day7 we were looking for scrubbers again we turned up a good mob of them feeding on a rocky ridge there were 3 younger bulls in the group but with as many animals in the group including 1 nice buff bull we were busted by a cow and calf that fed past at 22 yards. The nearest bull was 44 steep uphill but offered no good shot. The final afternoon I wanted to check a waterhole that scrubbers frequent. Upon arriving there was a good bull and 2 cows just feeding away from the water we put a quick stalk on them and closed the gap to 62 yards quickly. Our good steady wind cut out and a slight back draft happened and they were off to the river to end Tony's hunt
Day 2 We hit the road early looking for a lone bull within the first 20 minutes driving we had seen 100+ buffalo they were very active with the cold weather we are having. Chris then spotted a lone bull we drove past and stalked back we closed in to about 300 yards and watched the bull chew cud for 1.5 hours. Then finally he fed away into the wind up over a ridge. It was Denny's turn to stalk we followed the bull and he disappeared over the top I was thinking this is perfect we created the top and the bull was 80 yards in front of us feeding we closed to 55-50-42-35 Denny said I can do that I was going to go to 28 or so but he drew the bull was quartering away leg went forward and the shot hit him tight to the shoulder and punched right through the bull exiting in front of the offside shoulder the bull literally dropped on the spot he stood back up walk 15 yards and fell over dead in approximately 5 seconds. This was by far the most fatal shot I had seen on a buff it was incredible. With Denny's bull down Chris was up to bat with a busy day dealing with the caping process we headed out at 5pm looking for a bull that has recently moved into the area right near camp we had seen him that morning but passed on him as we had no wind in the early AM. We ended up spotting 2 shooters so I doubled back and came in with a different approach on that reroute I found the original bull I was looking for but passed him as he was in the river and to make a play he would have easily vanished out of sight. we got out of the cruiser and started our stalk on the 2 when I spotted a lone shooter bull so we changed plans again. 4 shooters in 5 minutes with an hour and a half of light my brain was all over the place. We closed in on the solo but he met up with some cows and calves with the wind in our face and sun at our back we pushed into 200 yards and he spotted us but with the sun advantage he didn't see what we were so we got down in a ditch and I started to flag the bull. he came into 33 yards quartering to the whole time. He would have come closer and I feel he would have squared up for us but the wind swirled and that wrapped up our evening.
Day 3 we found a group of 5 bulls one of them was a very unique tight curled bull scoring well into the 100s we spent hours watching them waiting for them to move but nothing happened we tried a stalk but got busted that evening we stalked a mid80s class bull on the plains we ran out of cover and with the setting sun at our backs I tried to flag the bull in. It appeared to be working the bull closed from 200-100 very quick then slowed up but was still committed he got to 75 and then the sun disappeared behind the escarpment and revealed what we really were as he was no longer staring at the sun behind us. That wrapped up the evening apart from seeing a couple dingos from the cruiser on the way to camp.
Day4 The morning started like most seeing several buff and several shooters from the vehicle we passed 1 lone bull and tried a quick approach but with no wind yet we got done at 100 yards. We carried on seeing well over 100 buff but we were really targeting lone bulls as conditions are so tough this season. Finally we found a lone shooter with a 2 year old bull sidekick so not quite lone but close enough. We watched him for an hour chewing his cud before he started to move towards a creek we followed in a hot pursuit as these suckers can cruise even at their casual pace. There was great terrain with a dry creek and lots of dips and rises the bull went over a rise and into a drainage on the backside we hustled and crept over the top I could see the bulls back at about 12 yards. He pulls his head up and looked at me I slowly kneeled down thinking he would get curious and come over but he didn't show I slowly stood and he was still there feeding I tried to creep forward for a shot but he saw me again. I went down low again for 20 seconds then rose he was still feeding then decided to cross the drainage to the other side I told Chris to draw the bull stopped quartering away I gave him the range 42 yards. He took the shot and the hit was a bit low and a bit far back. It was not a bad shot but was not perfect either. I said to Chris it's marginal want me to shoot him Chris said I'd prefer if you didn't so I let him go the bull stood at 75 yards for 30 seconds before taking off on his long run. We followed the blood for 2 miles over 3 hours until it dried up never to see the bull again. I felt in my gut I should have shot him but sometimes when they are that marginal I hate making the wrong call so if time allows I ask the client. Now I wish I hadn't but that's huntin. We spent the early afternoon swimming with a mob of the aboriginal kids that are the Traditional owners of the land I had a great time cliff jumping and talking to one of the older lads about hunting fishing and his family's spiritual beliefs it was a special day for me. We road hunted our way back to camp Denny had a 32 yard shot at a low 90s bull but the shot went like 2 feet low and 4 feet right hitting low rear leg the arrow smashed to bits the bull favoured his leg a bit but I let him walk he will be fine. Approaching camp and nearing dark I spotted a lone bull feeding on the plains heading to a low spot with some trees he was about 1000 yards out we hauled ass right to him the wind picked up as we closed in I got right to 26 yards using a single bushy tree for cover he fed broadside behind the tree we waited for him to clear the tree as soon as he did he angled away and it was too steep away to shoot the distance then grew from 26-36 in 10 seconds. Light was fading fast I pushed the limit to keep it under 30 but the bull spotted me. He was a pearler bull wide boomerang shape in the mid 90s. Was great fun regardless for a 10 minute stalk.
Day5 morning we battled swirling winds we spent 3 hours watching a 100 inch bull 90 yards away chew his cud thinking he would make his way to the creek we were in just to have the wind switch and blow the whole thing. Later we stalked a bedded bull in the low 80s but didn't make it inside 50 yards. That afternoon Chris and I walked a stretch of river and met up with a group of 10 cows and calves which were all inside 40 yards. We then found a high 90s bull feeding solo in the edge of of flood plain we were 80 yards from him bs. Thought he might come to the creek we were in. Then some buff across the river winded us and took off he heard the stampede got nervous and moved out to join other buff in the middle of the plain. With not much light left we wrapped up the evening or so we thought we were driving to camp when a real nice low 90s bull crossed the road in front of us he was not nervous at all in fact I drove right up to him and Chris got out and heart shot him at 18 yards for a 150 yard recovery. What a way to end the week!
The euro sure looks impressive with black horns and white skull.
Day1 morning we headed to an area I have not hunted in 2 season well that was the plan anyway. On the way we passed at least 8 -10 shooter bulls that were either in open areas mixed with other buff or it was just too early and we didn't have any wind yet I was determined to get to the unhunted area. About 10 miles before we hit new country we passed a lone feeding bull in decent cover I drove on and stopped 800 yards down the road we walked back and spotted the bull that had continued to feed it was now 8:20 and the wind was starting I waited for 15 minutes for the wind to increase and stabilise the bull only 200 yards away. Ignacio and I started to close the gap the only thing against us was the sun beaming on us and not a whole lot of shade. I looked over the route and didn't feel confident that we would get in range. It was just too sunny but we had to try. I looked over the bull and his horns were extremely worn. Polished almost smooth slightly broomed with rounded fighting edge he was an old dude! We closed into 140 yards and bang he spotted us as we crossed a narrow bit of sun. We sat down slowly and I started to wave my hat. He got a bit curious came 10 yards closer and hung up. I waved my hat on and off for 45 minutes he was interested but not committing he started to drool and lick his nostrils a sign that he wanted to come closer but he wouldn't budge. I waved my hat some more and he came 5 yards closer and that was it. He stopped drooling and seemed to loose interest. I waited another 25 minutes then started to call that worked head popped up high drool started to flow, tongue started working the nostrils and he was marching straight to me. He was at 45 yards in seconds and broadside trying to circle downwind he had a long ways to go. I waved my hat again and this turned him to full frontal he came to 32 and stopped quartered to Ignacio had just drawn his bow. At this point I'm laid down on my side Ignacio is behind me at full draw on his knees, I'm ranging calling and waving the hat the bull stands quartering to for at least a minute then comes to 20 yards but stopped behind a tree, Ignacio had no shot I called again the bull licked his nose cleared the tree I ranged him at 14 yards he was facing us with his head high and the arrow was on its way straight down his throat! He couldn't have placed the shot better just on top of the bottom white V the arrow disappeared and blood started to flow heavily! I looked up at Ignacio and gave him a fist bump and said you just killed a brute buff with 1 he'll of a shot the bull ran 80 yards and fell over he got back to his feet walked another 20 and was down for good. After recovery and the trophy prep process I think this is the oldest buff I have killed his teeth worn right down to the gums and his nose completely broken and bone gone from the front of the nose I would estimate this bull to be in the 30-40 year old range he scores 96 but with what's worn off he is easily 100class animal well past his prime. This bull died 95 yards from where Tony's bull died which was interesting. We took some photos and continued to try and get to the area I wanted to get to. We arrived to where I wanted to go and immediately found a lone shooter bull a unique bull with on straight horn growing high of the head and another curled horn growing normal. I guess he is in the mid90s but hard to say. We followed him as he went into the river for a drink. I did a small circle to get the wind a bit better before we peeked over the bank while marking the circle the bull had finished his drinks and popped back up on the bank and spotted us! Damn! Should have just waited he would have come up into our lap. Hindsight deal. We drove on saw a few groups of buff with a couple shooters one was an absolute tank would be the heaviest or second heaviest horned bull I have seen with lots of curl I would say his mass was in the 18+ range. The bulls body was enormous he would score 105+ all day long he could have been 110. I'll shoot him tomorrow and find out. Lol
Evening hunt was a quick one as I dealt with this skull all afternoon we had 1 good stalk on a 90 inch bull feeding on some long grass swirling wind did us in at 50 yards.
Day2 we headed back to the area that I wanted to go on day 1. We passed several shooter bulls along the way. One bull in particular about 94 inches was on a mission to walk across the road I parked the truck on the road where he was going to cross and he never broke stride. I asked Pablo if he wanted to shoot it but he replied he wanted to properly stalk one. I was in favour of that! His father on the other hand rolled his eyes as he got out of the truck and watched the bull pass the rear of the truck broadside at 26 meters! We carried on, again with the tough conditions I was looking for lone bulls. It didn't take long as we came around a corner there was a lone bull feeding about 500 meters ahead. I killed the truck and we started a long circle around to get the wind right. 45 minutes later we were 90 yards from the bull with a cross wind but no cover to approach we waiting for the bull to make a move he continued to feed in the localised area. We watched him for 30 minutes and I came up with another plan. We circled around further directly downwind now as I thought he might feed that way we had to crawl about 50 meters to get to some small trees for shade and cover. We sat there for 15 minutes about 150 yards from the bull and he turned to feed away from us. Pablo and I closed the gap to 80 in a hurry. The bull turned broadside for several minutes then turned away. We moved to the last tree we had which was 4 inch diameter 50 meters from the bull. He turned broadside then fed away but kept his eye peering back between his legs I was very hesitant to make the final push with no cover and shade it was a risky one. Finally he paused with his head down facing away and his legs covering his eyes I made a short sprint before he moved his head. I ranged him 40 meters and told Pablo this would be a good opportunity to take as getting closer would be tough. The bull went broadside Pablo drew the leg came back I told him to wait the leg went forward I said take your time and shoot. The arrow sailed high and dropped right in tight to the shoulder. The hit appeared to be low and lacked penetration. The bull took off and stopped at 61 I called the range and told Pablo to send another. He held over as he was only pinned to 40 and cut one loose the arrow hit centre of mass the bull took off but fairly slow. We chased him the 100 yards he went and he fell down we rushed into 50 meters the bull bedded broadside and I said give him another, unsure if it was necessary or not. this arrow hit the heart and punched to the fletch the bull stood up and flipped over and was down for the count. Upon examination the first shot was near perfect and penetration better then we both thought. Follow up arrows were not necessary but when you have a 104 inch bull at stake I tell guys to just keep sending arrows. What a way to wrap up the season. largest bull for the year and 4th largest taken by the father both clean bow kills it doesn't get any better!
Day 3 the guys have decided to leave early and see a bit more of Australia we looked for pigs this morning came across 2 sows with suckers. I caught one of the suckers for a bit of video footage released it and let the sows live. Ignacio will shoot a second bull if it's over 100. The afternoon we stalked "the droopy lip bull" he is a bull I have been after for 2 seasons but glad I didn't connect before now as he has grown lots and is now at that 100 mark. we got into 60 with next to no cover before he spotted us things felt good I thought we would seal the deal but not quite.
Our final morning we set off to an area I have seen a particular bull 3 times. I figure he will be in the 106 range this area also has pigs from time to time I bump into them around here so figured it would be a good last day walk. On the drive to the area we spooked a boar along the escarpment I floored it to get in front of the boar and Pablo ran to the escarpment the boar came trotting to him then went to a full run as it got close. Pablo didn't hold back 40 yards on the run he let fly smash right into the rocks! Won't kill em if you don't shoot! We did our big walk seeing mainly cow buff and a group of scrubbers we were halfway back to the cruiser when I spotted a good bull only high 90s but Ignacio figured we should try anyway. He had 20 cows with him we were able to stalk within 60 yards I hung back at the 100 mark and tried calling the cows nearly walked over Ignacio but the bull hung up at 50. The cows soon got a nose full of Spaniard and they were off! We called it quits and headed to the cruiser when I spotted another bull this time a 100 inch bull all alone only 800 yards from the truck. We closed into 180 yards I wanted to shift 20 yards left to use a different tree for cover. Lateral movement is never good but the shift would give us a much better shot angle we shifted left halfway and the bull pegged us instantly as they tend to do. Guess I should have stuck with my original line. It was a good end to a great hunt and great season!
Thanks for all the kind words and support to you all, Cheers!
Thanks for all the kind words and support to you all, Cheers!