Poor Man’s Cape Buffalo

Poor Man's Cape Buffalo

There’s an often repeated saying about blue wildebeest: They’re born sick, but get stronger and fun faster and farther with every lead pill you feed them. That is of course a joke, but it can certainly feel like that sometimes for a hunter who makes a poor initial shot and therefore must spend multiple hours following that bull for God only knows how many kilometers… Also known as the “Poor Man’s Cape Buffalo”, blue wildebeest are known for being extraordinarily tough creatures.

Even the biggest blue wildebeest bulls are nowhere near as big or as dangerous as buffalo, but they can definitely also soak up lead like nobody’s business. A hunter in camp with us a few years ago learned this lesson the hard way when he pulled his shot on a wildebeest and hit it too far back. Fortunately, he was using a tough, controlled expansion bullet that penetrated through the paunch and broke one of the bull’s rear legs on the way out. That not only slowed the wildebeest down a little, but the injury to the rear leg resulted in a very distinctive track for that bull that made it much easier to identify, even when mixed with the dozen or so other wildebeest in the herd. With the assistance of an expert tracker, that hunter and PH managed to catch up with the wildebeest a couple of times over the course of the next few hours.

Each time the hunter got just a fleeting shot at the rear of the bull as it disappeared into the bush, but he managed to hit it several more times. Contrary to the saying, each of those lead pills did indeed slow the wildebeest down a little bit more and they were finally able to catch up with that bull for good and bring the hunt to a successful conclusion. Like I said: blue wildebeest are tough and stories like that aren’t unusual. Wildebeest aren’t bulletproof though.

You’ll hear occasional stories of bulls running for well over a hundred yards after taking a perfect hit through the vitals (and things like that do happen sometimes), but they’re most likely to run 50-100 yards and keel over after a shot from a well constructed bullet of appropriate caliber through the boiler room. Have you always wanted to hunt game like blue wildebeest for yourself? Well, the blue wildebeest hunting is phenomenal on our property in Limpopo Province on the border with Botswana. The same is true for impala and kudu as well. This part of the country is also home to large and diverse populations of many other species of game like eland, gemsbok (oryx), giraffe, sable, warthog, waterbuck, and zebra. You’ll also get to see herds of antelope roaming the countryside, crocodile and hippo in the river, and hear the sounds of hyenas and jackals at night.

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