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Local Hunter Removes Cape Buffalo From Bucket List

March 13, 2018
By Vance Squires , Ohio Valley Outdoors

In October of last year I got an offer for an all-inclusive hunt for free range Cape buffalo in Mozambique, Africa. The old fashion kind - one-on-one, track, stalk and hunt in the bush.

I had already booked a South Africa plains and buffalo hunt with Roche Safaris, (www.rochesafris.com) for a September 2018 hunt, and photo safari, when he offered this end-of-the-year all-inclusive hunt and all permits. I had just enough time for him to apply, and make a 10-day hunt before the season closed November 30. I was already on vacation for deer season and everything just fell into place.

We had all kinds of plans and relatives coming in for Thanksgiving, but my wife said that I couldn't pass this opportunity up "and go". Am I lucky or what?

Article Photos

Vance Squires, a resident of Chester, WV, is shown with his free range 1.2 ton Cape buffalo he hunted last fall in Mozambique, Africa. It was a track, stalk and in the bush hunt. Photo courtesy of Vance Squires

My wife knew that Cape buffalo was on my bucket list, but I never expected a free range hunt was in my future. All I had to do was get from Pittsburgh to JFK airport in New York. I originally met Roche and his wife, Ansu, at the Great American Outdoor Show in Harrisburg, PA last February, and saw them again at the Allegheny Outdoor Show in Monroeville, PA the following week.

As you can see from the photos it was a successful hunt. We started hunting at daybreak on Monday, but didn't see any bull tracks that we could follow. We jumped buffalo in the thick thorny bush two mornings in a row, Tuesday and Wednesday, and walked up on a herd just before dark on Tuesday evening, but could not get on a good bull before dark.

Talk about excitement. We paralleled those buffalo in the bush at 50 yards for 30 minutes and set up for a shot several times, it was almost dark, before a huge cow decided to spook the herd. The old adage that a buffalo looks at you like you owe it money is the truth.

I killed my buffalo on the third evening (a day before Thanksgiving), using a Ruger guide gun in 375 Ruger, shooting hand loads using 300 grain Swift A Frame bullets and Hornady factory solids. The first shot at 36 yards put him down, and we ran up and I put two more in him to make sure he stayed down.

My PH said that the bull would probably be close to 1.2 ton in weight. What a monster. His horns taped 44 1/2 inches across and he had 14 1/2" wide boss's.

The next day he told me I had killed the biggest buffalo in 10 years with him, and his wife said I had highlighted his career. In the three days that I hunted we tracked and hiked a total of 24 miles in 90+ degree heat.

All the meat was donated to a couple of villages, the camp staff, and the boarder guards and village at the Mozambique border. No meat is allowed to be exported and my Cape buffalo hide and horns will have to be exported to me after a few months of quarantine, a process they call 'dip and ship', to be sure all possible diseases are gone.

We stayed in Mozambique and explored the countryside another three days, saw and visited several villages, then returned to his lodge in South Africa where he took me to Kruger National Park on a photo safari and lunch.

It's got to be the world's best natural zoo. We saw almost everything except the big cats; from rhinos to warthogs - right next to the vehicle.

Roche Safaris has a great staff that wait on you hand and foot and are always eager to please.

Roche again was at the Harrisburg and Monroeville shows in February this year. I am featured in his brochures for the Mozambique buffalo hunts.

The wife and I are still planning the South Africa trip together. I hope to hunt kudu, gemsbok, impala and nyala, With a photo safari through Kruger National Park.

Other than some squirrel hunting around here, I gave up my deer season this year to travel to Africa, but it was worth it.

Notes: The Republic of Mozambique is a country in Southeast Africa, bordered by the Indian Ocean to the east, Tanzania to the north, Malawi and Zambia to the northwest, Zimbabwe to the west.

Vance Squires is a lifetime hunter and outdoorsman. He's also an officer and member of the Chester-Newell Sportsmen's Club.

 
 

 

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