Video: Cape Buffalo from a Tree Stand

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Cape buffalo are among the most dangerous game animals on earth.  Old, lone bulls are particularly unpredictable and mean spirited, often charging without provocation.  Additionally, they have keen memories and retaliate against someone who harms them.  Rassie Erasmus told me that he had a property with an old bull whose time had come and that he could set up a tree stand situation for safety.  Always wanting to take “black death” with an arrow, I jumped at the chance.

CAMX Challenge

Dave Choma helped me develop a 720-grain arrow.

In 2015, I headed a crossbow safari in which three crossbow hunters took 15 animals with 15 arrows, a perfect score.  The results were so impressive, that I opted for a new CAMX 330 crossbow for the buffalo challenge.  The powerful, ultra-durable bow created over 100 ft.-lbs. of kinetic energy with a standard arrow and by inserting a 1916 aluminum shaft inside the Accuspine carbon shaft and a 225-grain Steel Force broadhead, created a very heavy shaft weighting 720 grains.  The CAMX crossbow can handle any North American game and I wanted to use it in its “whitetail form” to take down the buffalo.

Elusive Challenge

I knew very little about the attributes of a Cape buffalo, aside from its danger.  I quickly learned that hunting this old bull was much like outsmarting a trophy whitetail.  The animal bedded in thick brush during the day, ate, and drank mostly at night.  I sat in a stand for six evening until I finally got a shot, a situation that was greatly compounded by herds of other animals that drank and dawdled nearby.  Any movement on my part began an animal panic which kept the buffalo from harm’s way.

Unexpected Outcome

Cape buffalo are built like tanks with neck skin two inches thick and a double set of ribs that defy arrow penetration.  As you will see, this bull took its time coming to water.  Eventually it turned broadside and the unexpected happened.  If this hunt looks exciting, and I assure you it is, contact Rassie Erasmus at bowhunt@rassie.co.za

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