by: Paul D. Atkins, Bowtech Pro Staff
Pursuing Cape buffalo with a bow has always been a dream of mine. The reality of it came a couple of weeks ago when I ventured to Africa and hunted with Dries Visser Safaris and long time professional hunter Hein Lottering. The first couple days we were challenged with finding them, but we did so knowing the task ahead wouldn’t be easy. These “old dagga boys” were smart and mean and getting into position for a shot would be tricky. Our plan of ambush consisted of a tree stand with me in it.
The third morning found me high up in the tree along with my 70-pound BT-X31 ready to go. I have to tell you that setting a bow up for hunting big dangerous game is monumental and must be specifically and carefully calculated. It’s totally different than setting-up a bow for plains game or even caribou back home. Less poundage and lighter arrows work fine for thin-skinned animals, but not on the big guys. Energy is the key providing you have a big enough broadhead that cuts and crushes on contact creating as much penetration as possible.
When bow hunting dangerous game in Africa, specifically these buffalo, 80-pounds of kinetic energy is required with your bow/arrow set-up. I was worried that my 70-pound bow would not have the ability to push the 28” 950-grain Grizzly Stik arrow/broadhead hard enough or fast enough. I needn’t have worried though. I set-up two bows, the Prodigy and the BT-X31 with the same accessories, identical in draw and weight and modules set to classic. Both shot extremely well with zero noise, and each had a feel of stability. Energy wise the Prodigy topped out 80 ke, while the BT-X 31 did a little better at 82ke. I packed the BT-X.
At 11 am on the third day five big angry bulls strolled underneath my stand on the way to the water hole. My ph Hein pointed towards the last bull and whispered, “that is the one”. Quartering away I carefully drew back placing the pin a bit low and released. The arrow went in and disappeared completely. We heard the crash and the “moan”, but waited a half hour. 150 yards from the tree we found my bull and a dream realized.
The BTX set at 70 pounds sent a 954 gr arrow completely through a Cape Buffalo! 41″ bull with 16″ bosses. Incredible!
“Bow hunting Cape Buffalo has been a dream of mine since I was a kid. Today that dream was accomplished!