A very cool contest cobbled together by Kevin Robertson. Check it out hunters.
I’ve often written about the sporting pursuit of my favorite dangerous game animal, Syncerus caffer caffer, the Cape or Southern buffalo, and I’ve frequently commented on what I believe to be the detrimental influence the record books have on trophy quality. From the sustainability perspective I’ve also discussed at length the importance of harvesting old, past-breeding-age bulls so as to afford breeding bulls the opportunity to pass on their genes.
Now there is an exciting new development on the horizon which takes all these factors into consideration and for which credit must go to professional hunters Myles McCallum and Buzz Charlton of Charlton McCallum Safaris (CMS) in Zimbabwe. I’m impressed not only by their professionalism but also by their dedicated commitment to the greater conservation cause in their concession area—the Zambezi Valley’s Dande Safari Area. Last year they introduced an annual competition entitled “The Dande’s Oldest and Ugliest Buffalo” with the simple intention to give twelve-year-old and older buffalo bulls greater trophy appeal.
All the buffalo shot annually in the Dande are aged by the Taylor First Molar Tooth method, and they’re also photographed. The inaugural 2013 competition’s winner was Dr. Edward Kreps. With an average first molar tooth crown height of 8.15mm, his bull was officially aged at late thirteen or early fourteen years of age.
All this sparked an idea. Why not, I wondered, expand CMS’s “oldest & ugliest” idea into an all-Africa competition? There are many areas in Africa where far too many bulls of breeding age are still being sport hunted and where the buffalo trophy quality is also dropping. If an incentive helped to shift the average safari client’s hunting emphasis from “inches” to “age and ugliness,” good-quality breeding age bulls will have a better chance of passing their genes on. The end result will benefit the buffalo, just as it has in the Dande.
So now, under the umbrella of Sports Afield magazine, an All-Africa Oldest and Ugliest buffalo competition has been launched.
Entry requirements are simple. Only legally and ethically sport-hunted buffalo taken during the 2014 hunting season will quality for entry in this year’s competition.
Read more: Sportsafield.com