A Major Life Lesson From Hunting Africa’s Black Death, The Cape Buffalo

This standoff went on for over an hour and it was now full-on darkness.

Written by Doug Giles on July 28, 2017

By Doug Giles

‘Take him!’ … ‘Take him right on the shoulder!’, said my professional hunter, Shaun Keeny, with an ‘I’m not effin’ kidding’ like intensity.

Shaun and I were hunting Cape Buffalo, in The Free State of South Africa, on a fifty-six thousand acre conservancy, and the ‘shit was about to get real’, as the little kiddies say.

The cape buffalo bull I was hunting ambled slowly towards us, quartering in and feeding at seventy-plus yards away with nine other younger bulls and was slowly approaching my comfort zone for squeezing the trigger on my open sighted 450/400 double rifle.

The time had come to rock his world. He stopped at sixty-nine yards and Shaun ordered me to light him up.

This was it.

This is why I came to Africa to hunt her famed, ‘Black Death.’

Although I had taken several of Africa’s marvelous plains game species on this safari, my main interests lie in hunting Mbogo, an eighteen-hundred pound, balding black haired, hard bossed, grey-faced and ornery, old dugga boy.

This is what I’ve been dreaming about for months, if not years, and my dream was now going down in real time. Right here. Right now.




And I was more excited than a fifteen-year-old rebellious Amish boy at a Katy Perry concert.

Yet, little did I know that in a few seconds, after I pressed the trigger on my .400 Jeffery, that I would I be given a life lesson that will stick with me until I take the big dirt nap.

Trying to calm the hell down, and do the job I was now tasked to do; namely, lethally and quickly kill the bull, I put the big white bead on the point of the old bull’s black scarred up old shoulder and pulled the trigger. The four hundred grain Hornady DGX struck its mark. I know I sound like I’m bragging but … my little double smacked him exactly where one would want to hit dangerous game animals, i.e. right in the boiler room. For insurance purposes I let him have it again with a solid, punching him a little lower on his right shoulder.

It was at this juncture, after two decent shots, and lots of asses and elbows flying from not only my bull but the rest of the bachelor herd that destiny grabbed me by the hand and started taking me to church. I was stunned by the following sequence of events. I’m talkin’ … gobsmacked.

Being fully confident I had slain the beast and this deal was done, I watched my bull who was now pouring blood from his nostrils, run about one hundred yards before he laid down.

What happened next left me with memory burn.

The other bulls, who I expected to haul ass into the next zip code, actually came back to the dying old leader of their bachelor herd. They licked his wounds. Nudged him to get up and impressively threatened to kill us. Even pushing us so hard and coming so close to us with deadly intent, that four guys, armed with big bore rifles, got the hell out of there. We understood the obvious message that these bulls were in no mood to suffer fools.

This standoff went on for over an hour and it was now full-on darkness.

The bull’s buddies would not let us get anywhere near him. Matter of fact, we had to call in another Land Cruiser to help us with vehicles, slowly push these committed compadres away from their beloved and fallen bro.

After we finally collected my cape buffalo, I sat there and tried to process what just happened and it dawned on me that this is what true friends do: they stand by you, comfort you, and defend you in your darkest hour.

One doesn’t see that much commitment amongst humans nowadays. Us two-legged critters use and abuse each other and toss each other aside when they’ve ceased to serve our purposes, but not these buffalo. They were committed to each other to the bloody end. They even risked their own lives for their friend.

It was at this point that I prayed a simple prayer that God would give me and my family and friends real relationships that’ll stand by each other when the shit hits the fan.

You should count yourself a lucky hombre if you are so blessed with such true amigos.

About the author, Doug Giles: Doug Giles is the Big Dawg at ClashDaily.com and the Co-Owner of The Safari Cigar Company. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

And check out his NEW BOOK, Pussification: The Effeminization Of The American Male:

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