VIDEO: Bowhunting the menacing cape buffalo

Bob Robb arrows a menacing South African cape buffalo — a beast better known among hunters as "Black Death" and "Widowmaker."

Bob Robb recently completed a boyhood dream of arrowing a menacing South African cape buffalo — a beast maybe better known among savvy Professional Hunters as "Black Death" and "Widowmaker." For this adventure Robb chose Andrew and Sharyn Renton of Kei River Safaris in South Africa — he had bowhunted with them and professional hunter (PH) Marius Potgieter six years earlier and had a fabulous plains game hunt. He knew his 2012 adventure would be done right — and it was.

On the very first morning the group located a herd and found an old bull that the local boys said was not interested in being around other buffalo at all. So, mid-morning there he was, contentedly alone and feeding along the side of a steep ridge. Marius (with his very large backup rifle!), another PH who had Robb’s little video camera, a tracker, and Robb circled to get the wind right, then climbed carefully above him. And then, there he was, just 75 yards off! Should they wiggle closer or hope the buff fed past? Marius wisely chose to play the ambush game, and so Robb snuggled up to a thorn tree, nocked an arrow, and got ready. Soon the bull was just inside a thorn tree Robb had ranged at 20 yards. At 18 yards, he drew his 80-pound Hoyt RKT, put the 20-yard pin on the sweet spot, and sent the 816-grain Easton Dangerous Game shaft and 200-grain Phantom SS 2-blade broadhead on its way. The arrow arced over his back, and for a millisecond Robb panicked. Was the shot too high? Then the shaft dropped right through his ribcage. When he hopped a few feet forward, then turned and glared, the tension was high. Would he charge? Instead, the bull dropped his head and rolled onto his side. In less than 60 seconds it was all over!


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