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!