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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

A friend loaned me a couple of hunting videos marketed by a professional hunter named Mark Sullivan. Nice job of photography.

I noticed that the Cape buffaloes shot by Mr. Sullivan's clients frequently ran off after absorbing initial hits with rifle fire. The PH was then obliged to track the wounded animal, very often into fairly dense brush, to finish the kill.

My question is this: I've read in older books about Africa that wounded buffalo were known to run into heavy cover and then wait to ambush the pursuing hunter(s) at close quarters. Is this still a common hazard when hunting Cape buffalo?
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

No it is not. Cape Buffalo have been put on notice that running into heavy brush while wounded will not be tolerated and that furthermore there will be no waiting in the bushes to ambush nervous PH's. Being the civil beasts they are, they've all agreed to stand out in the open when wounded and not attack anybody.
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

Well...my question was based more on speculation that the actions of poachers and/or the spreading encroachment of housing and industry into wild game territory may have modified how animals like the Cape buffalo react to encounters with hunters. I've read opinions from other sources that African game nowadays doesn't react to hunters in the same way as in the early years of the previous century.

In fact, in John Hunter's book, he noted that one well-known hunter had successfully gotten away with using a .256 caliber rifle on elephant. He noted that that particular hunter's success was based on the fact that he'd taken his elephants during the early years when elephants lived mostly in the open grasslands and had relatively little fear of man. John Hunter went on to note that elephants had changed their behavior due to hunting pressure and now spent much more time in heavy brush country, requiring hunters to now use a very heavy caliber rifle. I was just curious to know if Cape buffalo had changed their responses to hunters.

Ever read John Hunter's book, Hunter, about his career as a PH in Africa, Dusty...? My grandfather was one of his clients and had a hand in helping to get the book published. So I have some idea of how hunting in Africa was years ago...I just was curious to see if present day hunters still faced the same problems as my grandfather. I figured that Hack or some of the others here with African hunting experience could answer my question. I'd like to hunt in Africa one day...I remember my grandfather's stories about Cape buffalo, especially.

I have been impressed with this Africa Hunting sub-forum and quite impressed with Graybeards Outdoors forums in general. That's why I'm a bit surprized by your wise-assed response to my question. I'd expected better out of a moderator here.
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

I thought that was kinda fuuny :) :) :)
In this age of Kinder /Gentler WHY not the Cape Buffalo. :eek:

If fact maybe we could get the buff's to stand in front of a mirror and say,dog-gonnit people like me.

Sean
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

Remeber that Hunter was a poacher and shot countless animals to retrieve a few. Even then the tusks slide out much easier from a spoiled head then chopping them from a fresh kill. No animals will eat the tusk or carry them off. So shooting lots of elephants and then finding them days or even weeks later was not a disadvantage. Since they were collecting tusks only who cares if they run off? They just look for the vultures and listen for the Hyena and go get the ivory. This is 100% the same for Bell. often called Killamanjaro Bell with his silly lilttle 7mm mauser so many very misinformed people speak of. These were not recreational sport hunters they were poachers and game violators which used the cheapest easiest to feed rifles they could find. They never cared if the animals suffered or ran off and were lost. Eventually thye would find the stinking rotting carcass and collect the ivory.

Today the animals are not tougher or stronger, or smater. The are more expensive and have greater value to trophy hunters who require finding the whole animal both morally and legally. Big enough guns must be used to actually drop them and locate then within a reasonable time period.

Never ever mistake the stories of hunter or Bell as sporting, legal, or moral at nearly any level. The same goes for John Taylor.

Just as a side note, Capstick has a whole chapter on Hunters gay lifestyle. He was kicked out of RSA when it was known he had been sleeping with his black tracker. I was stunned to read this on the books inside jacket cover. I have not read the whole chapter but was very disturbed by this revelation of a guy I would never have thought could have been homosexual!
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

Some details: depending on the years, license was granted by tribal leaders -- until the colonials were able to take over. As time went on, colonial authorities became more conservationist -- but even through the '30s (maybe later -- I hadn't really seen that tracked), licenses were being issued for market hunting of ivory. Before colonial gov'ts had significant control, permission only extended as far as tribal leaders could enforce things -- and then, you couldn't trust the various villages; given the attitudes of white hunters, the idea of respecting native authority beyond the trouble they could cause you would be surprising. The idea that such native chiefs would impose an ethical position of "fair chase" that a white hunter would accept is even a stranger notion.

That leads to the next point: these were market hunters. Sporting ethics/fair chase wasn't a part of it. Even the sport hunting ethic we consider American only began to emerge in the late 1800s, through sporting organizations promoted by people like Theodore Roosevelt. Roosevelt's idea of fair chase actually involved horses a fair amount -- chase meant chase -- literally. But contemporaries in the Adirondacks -- the city people who hunted regardless of the fluctuating seasons during their summer vacations in the "wilderness" (wild enough for the day) were only developing fair chase ethos. Even then, the idea that still hunting, as opposed to modes such as chasing animals to water and pursuing them in guide boats, or hunting them from the water at night with jack lights, was only one means considered "ethical" by that crowd. Of course, Africa is not America, but fair chase evolved there in a similar time frame.

I don't know it makes sense to be too offended at market hunters' sensibilities. To some extent, we owe our own sense of ethics to them: if they weren't such game hogs, we wouldn't have come to appreciate the need to protect the resource and to adapt rules that brought us so close to the animals we hunt -- along with the risks.

IMHO

Dan
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

Relieved that dangerous game animals are accorded the respect that they deserve these days, even if only for the costliness of the hunt. I know that poachers are a real problem in that part of the world, and (being in LE myself) have been interested in what the games rangers do to keep them in check. I've heard that local politics has a lot to do with conservation efforts, but that's a subject for a whole 'nother discussion.

I'd never heard of John Hunter being gay, though I suppose anything's possible. My grandfather and grandmother sure seemed to be solid friends with him and his wife. Anytime you stick your head up above the crowd it seems that somebody will try to knock it off for you...so I'm not surprized at the stories told about PH's.

Fact is, I've listened to people badmouth Capstick and that Mark Sullivan fella in the hunting video I watched, so perhaps it's like everything else...if you listen long enough you'll hear something bad said about everybody, including yourself. I long suspected that today's breed of African PH is head-and-shoulders above the old-time professionals who likely acquired their knowledge and experience by starting out as poachers themselves. It's nice to have that confirmed here by folks who know.

In any event, thanks for taking time to respond. I have two really close friends who are veterans of African hunts and both speak highly of Hack. As I mentioned before, this is an impressive forum.
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

JJ,
I think you have Hunter mixed up with John Taylor. Best that Capstick and Marsh could come up with is rumor and innuendo. Noone has provided any proof that Taylor was gay.

As for Bell and Hunter, I don't know if Bell was lieing when he wrote his books, but he writes that he did follow-up wounded elephants and other game and finished them off as fast as possible. He wrote that he would never allow suffering if he could keep from it.

Bell was not a poacher, neither was Hunter. Both we doing a job that was legal at the time. Matter of fact, Hunter was employed by the Game Dept do kill Rhino and Elephant, much as Professional Hunters and Game Depts cull Elephants today. Bell tried to always involved the nearest villages in the spoils of his ivory, I'm sure much the way you do with your trophy hunters. What difference is there? I doesn't sound like you have read Bell's writings, but have taken the word of someone that has grief with Bell and Hunter and maybe out to make a name for themselves.

Someday sport hunting may be outlawed in South Africa, do you want your legacy to be as poacher, even though your occupation is legal today? I can't believe a professional today would even consider writing BS you just posted. Without men like Bell, Hunter, and Taylor, the Safari industry would have likely not ever taken off in many of these countries. You owe your job to men like that. Besides, what makes sport hunting any better than hunting for Ivory? You make your living taking foreign hunters into RSA and killing animals. What makes a trophy hunter better than market hunter or meat hunter? You are making money from the wild animals you kill just as Bell, Hunter, and Taylor. Oh yeah, they did it without fences!

I guess we either take what these fellows wrote about themselves, or take what Capstick writes about (there's much controversy about Capstick as anyone) them. Personally, I'd rather believe Bell, Hunter and Taylor myself.
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

I think that it's correct that it may have been taylor not hunter. I inadvertantly mixed the two up. As far as poachers go you must remember that I went to school in South Afrirca and learned about these things from local people who knew them and hunted with them or their peers. I am not replaying things I read in the books they wanted us to remember them as. In America we tend to believe in the "romance" of old African Safaris. The reality in many cases is much different then what the fluff and glittter tend to cover up in a few books written by the culprits themselves!

I guess I have two options here. Believe the self serving stories the authors in question wrote, or the information I leaned in school there at the Professional Hunting Academy and all during my apprenticeship with actual real old time PH's that really know what old Africa was like.

Hmmmm tough decision eh! Don't even get me started on Capstick! One of the instructors said "if he killed even half the game he claimed to have killed he would have to be 1000 years old. He must have been a hellofa bad judge of danger because he has been in more life threatening situations then any dozen PH's I know!" Funny thing is the first two books he wrote he was not even a PH but he worked as a travel agent in Pretoria! Later in life he cleaned up his act and got certified and licensed but only because of his writing fame not his skills. Kind of a backwards arrangement get famous for writing about hunting and then learn about it to get licensed! It never surprises me what money can get you in life!
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

If you can prove that Bell and Hunter were "poachers", I delete my entire response and apologize. Hearsay ain't cutting it, though. If you have a problem because they were ivory hunters (legal) or culled animals as directed (again legal), and you are a sport hunter and PH, then it's a mistake to call those guys poachers. Matter of fact, Bell got out of the ivory trade and left Africa permanently when ivory hunting was banned.

Say you don't agree with their LEGAL occupations, but don't call them poachers, criminals or unmoral. That ain't right and speaks poorly of you and your profession, if you are a representation of those. I guarantee you the safari industry would be nowhere close to what it is today had it not been for Bell, Hunter, or Taylor. Without the money coming in from the safari industry, you might not have any animals left to sport hunt today.
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

Thats a mouth full Mr. Yukon Jack! Out of curiosity how long did you live in Africa and how much hunting experience do you have there with old time Professional hunters and outfitters? Or is all your backup information from the books you have read written by these guys?

I endlessly surprised at the expert opinions of people who have visted Africa a couple times or actually never even been there yet have formed thier opinions as if cast in stone fact based on as you write "hearsay"

Here is a good example, I'm a great fan of Elmer Kieth. I think his theory and philosophy on firearms and bullets is right on the money. However as a great observer of the written word in all these books I find some really disturbing things about his writing which leaves me with a lack of respect even though I truely believe his philosophy on bullets and cartridges.

He wrote a long story about how his OKH line of cartridges and bullet design was far superior to anything that was currently produced at the time. He expained that so many of the animals which were perfectly heart shot had escaped because of bullet failure or cartridge design issues. I find that a bizzare statement and completely without any fact.

You see if they were perfectly heart shot as he had claimed yet they escaped how did he know they were heart shot? How did he even know they were hit? How could he know anything about what he was writing if the animal in question was never recovered? That is a huge lack of credibility and just so much "fluff" to fill the pages and sell a book.

As I said I'm a fan of his cartridge philosophy and bullet choice. However he wrote his books with enough loopholes and contridive ideas that it left me less than satisfied with him as a "credible" source.

I would suggest if you really want to see what the real deal is on guns, ammo, and Africa hunting. Buy a book by Mike Lagrange called "ballistics in perspective". He is the real deal. His work is unmatched and his credibility flawless. He's killed more big game and elephants then any man in history which can be proven, and he is still doing it today. When this book was published he was up to something in the area of 6000 elephants. If your interested in fact based documents and the writing of a truthful and very credible legal and honest hunter. Buy and read that book. My second choice would be anything written by Kevin Robertson. He is a veternarian and a PH in RSA. His explanations of killing power and anatomy are unmatched in any document every produced in the history of big game hunting.

Neither ever poached or hunted illegally, nor were they after the fluff and glitter of the media to sell books.
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

JJ,
I never said I was an expert on Africa or anything else. What I said was it wasn't right to call someone a poacher (also known as a criminal) that was pursuing a vocation legal at the time. Especially people that brought the dream of African hunting generations of people worldwide that is the sole reason for the industry you are employed in. Especially when you don't provide any facts about it.

Ivory hunting was a legitimate business for many years.

I'm no expert on anything, but sounds like you have a big chip on your shoulder for the old timers. Unless you have some facts and convictions to back calling these fellows criminals, your argument that you "heard" that from some Africans doesn't hold water. Like I said, provide some proof they were poachers, criminals are what poachers are, and I'll take back every single thing I said and apologize to you in front of God and everybody.

Call someone a poacher that is alive today without any proof to back up the claim, and it would land you in court. If you don't agree with market hunting, say that. That's fine, I've got no problem with it. ****, I don't agree with market hunting. Wild Bill Hickock was a market hunter, as was many of our mountain men that opened the west. I'm not going to go around calling them poachers though.

What those men did was a legitimate living at the time and they became famous for it. They planted the seed of dreams of an entire industry that you benefit from today. If you can't back up your claim that they were criminals, I'd back off that position. PH or not, African or not.
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

So, let me understand this clearly from your point of view.

Your proof and total belief of these folks lives and events comes from the books they thenselves have written. This is your etched in stone fact based backup.

The illegal acts done day in and day out by these so called hunters which actually had an area on the borders of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa known as Crooks corner because they could step across the borders to escape the law enforcement of any one of the three countries with their loads of ivoty was a myth, Although their is a sign and story is on a huge sign board in Kruger park at this location. This was also taught to us by instructors and veteran PH's who have worked throughout central and southern Africa.

As I said Hmmm Tough choice for me!

Just as a side note, you may not be aware of. There are over 60 countries in Africa, few marked borders today, and fewer patrols and borders were well established back then. If you read JA hunters book you will read of his uncertain knowlege of the area he was in and the fact that he had his helpers pack and remove Ivory from the locations he was at back into known legal hunting areas. This is written within his own book. Now I'm not sure where your definitions come from but in my definition of "poacher" hunting illegally is a pretty good start. So when you have to quickly remove ivory from downed elephants in one location and move it quickly to a "legal hunting area" I kinda think that is an admission of guilt.

I must wonder if you have even read this book to be able to debate this. John Taylor was a poacher and that was well documented by countless stories and may have been written in them by his own admission. However since I do not recall where I read this in his book I cannot say for certain that he did. I have so many books on this that it would take a while to read through them to find the statements. This is amusing but I have other things to do then to read through a dozen books now to find the quote and give you a page number!
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

Here is a quote from John Taylors bio enjoy!

Taylor was born into a wealthy, distinguished Irish family, but was by most accounts a “black sheep”. In a desperate attempt to save the life of their son from the Sinn Fein, Taylor’s parents sent him to Canada, where he promptly got himself involved in smuggling. After being deported from Canada, Taylor’s parents sent him to Africa where he became one of the most notorious ivory poachers of that continent.

I can continue to find and post more quotes, but why bother? I already know the story as I said I heard it from those who live there whan I was living there. Sorry to burst your bubble on the romance of these folks!
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

I do understand there are over 60 (not sure about the number and, like you, have better things to do than count countries or pull up page numbers) countries in Africa with poorly defined boundaries. What else I do understand is that Bell was not charged with the crime, and suspect Hunter wasn't either. Here is where we will disagree. They never admitted to it, were not charged, were not found guilty. You have it based on hearsay that they did and accept it. Elgin Gates admits to going into areas where he had no permission and was guilty of poaching by his own admission. There just aren't any facts presented to call Bell and Hunter common criminals. We disagree, that's all.

I just don't think it is appropriate for a modern day professional hunter in Africa to continue to degrade the people that made his livelihood what it is. But then again, I'm not from Africa and may think differently. I could see making these statements about Cumming, Selous and even Roosevelt, especially the immoral part, but still haven't been convinced that of Bell and Hunter. Without providing hard facts, I just think its poor form to speak of the dead that way.
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

JJHACK:

I am a huge Capstick fan. There has never been any question in my mind that he has embellished the truth in the name of literary gain. Hunters and fishermen are required to stretch the truth.

What 2 books did he write while he was a travel agent? There seems to be too much informed detail in his "Death" series books for him to have not experienced the hunt.
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

I think that was published in an autobiography, or maybe in the story in the "any shot you want" book. He was a very talented guy, I'll give hime that! I have two post cards he he mailed me from Pretoria and a letter he wrote me. These are very important items in my little collection of "stuff" I have gathered over the years. He was a fun guy to be around and really could tell a story. The information is not secret he wrote the details of how he ended up in africa himself. He wrote clearly that he was a stock broker in NYC and when he visited RSA he was hooked but the only work he could get from the start was the travel agent gig. Then he began writing the books and started eating up the whole safari industry. I suppose hanging out at the local pubs and listneing in on the conversations was a great start into the Safari business. I liked Peter, I respeced that he was a great writer and business man. However there is a limit as you point of to the facts and truths involved. I do think that he was............maybe the single most important man to get hunting in RSA to be what it is today. It's his stories that really lit a fire in hunters hearts around the world.
 

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Re: wounded Cape buffalo

I read all his books and just took it for granted that he was somewhat "careless" with the truth of some of those exciting situations he described. I never did read in the jacket cover that everything he wrote was the honest to goodness 100% truth and that he would fry in **** if it wasn't!!
 
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