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CptCurlAdministrator
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Rate this Buff
      #85419 - 11/09/07 11:01 AM

Hello all,

I had the great pleasure to spend most of July in Zambia on safari. I went as a non-hunter on a 21 day hunting safari. My friends, the hunters, had tags for all sorts of critters, and the bagged quite a few. More on that later. I took a lot of photos.

I would be interested to hear some studied evaluations of this buffalo. I have three photos of the same buff.

Here in the first photo he's right in the center with his head facing just to the right of the pic.




Here in the next photo he's looking a bit straighter on to the camera, but he's a bit obscured by the immature buff in front.





The third photo is interesting, as it presents a broadside of this bull. With his head facing to the left, he gives a good view of how heavy his bosses are and how the tips of his horns curve toward the rear.





I think he's a really nice buff, but having no real experience or knowledge, I'm not qualified to say. I sure would have liked to have the chance to try him with my .500NE, but that was not to happen. My trophy is in digital format.

Curl

--------------------
RoscoeStephenson.com

YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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500Nitro
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Reged: 06/01/03
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: CptCurl]
      #85420 - 11/09/07 11:14 AM


Curl,

Very nice indeed.

I'll let others comment on the Buff
but what about the Buff Horns which are
DIRECTLY behind the tree of the Buff you
asked us to look at in the photo ?

All you can see is the ends sticking up
and out either side of the tree.


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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: 500Nitro]
      #85421 - 11/09/07 11:22 AM

Nigel,

Yeah, I can't help but notice those horns. Never got a good look at that bull.

Best to you,
Curl

--------------------
RoscoeStephenson.com

YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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500Nitro
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: CptCurl]
      #85423 - 11/09/07 11:25 AM



Curl,

So you did notice those ones as well.

It may be like we get here,
long thin ones that haven't bulked out yet !

or a Castrated male ?


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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: 500Nitro]
      #85424 - 11/09/07 11:33 AM

Here's another one that had really wide horns, but he was rather far away, so the photo isn't so clear.



Curl

--------------------
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AzGuy
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Reged: 23/03/06
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: CptCurl]
      #85425 - 11/09/07 11:46 AM

Curl,

I know what I'd call the bull in the first 3 photos.......a SHOOTER

Thanks for sharing.

--------------------
Hike the Grand Canyon, you will never be the same!


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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: AzGuy]
      #85426 - 11/09/07 11:49 AM

I like the way his bosses are so heavy they come over his eyes like a helmet.

Curl

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YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: CptCurl]
      #85427 - 11/09/07 12:01 PM

By the way, here's what you go in on if you decide to take the stalk and try the shot.

Our "buff of interest" is just left of center. These critters would stomp your guts out just for fun.




Curl

--------------------
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YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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bulldog563
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: CptCurl]
      #85429 - 11/09/07 01:20 PM

IMO, with just the photos you show here, I would have to pass. He will no doubt score very well but he looks to be soft in front (and possibly a bit in the middle but hard to tell from photos). He will no doubt be an excellent bull in a few years.

The second buffalo in the photo above looks to be younger then the first, but again difficult due to shadow/distance.

Was this your first trip to Africa? Did your friends get their cats? Must have been an awesome trip.

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paradox_
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: bulldog563]
      #85435 - 11/09/07 06:30 PM

Gentlemen,
Bulldog, spot on. A very nice developing bull with soft bosses. He will be at his best in 2-3 years, probabley about 6-7 years right now. Would be hard not to shoot him. The one in the back also very young....may even be cow .

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ozhunter
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: paradox_]
      #85437 - 11/09/07 07:07 PM

I would guess him at around 43" but still to young to consider as a trophy, IMO.

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bulldog563
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: ozhunter]
      #85438 - 11/09/07 07:31 PM

In the third, broadside photo Curl posted you can really see where his boss is developed to and how it is soft in front.

Here is another young bull that is huge in spread but too young to be considered when the photo was taken. This bull was turned down in November in Masailand, TZN (Tempting but I am glad we let him go... PH guessed him at 47" and I think he was all of that). Difficult from just one picture but we looked him over pretty hard for obvious reasons. He was fully hard in back but soft in front and forward part of the middle. From what I have seen/read, that is how bulls develop, from the back to the front. For this reason, you really have to get a good look at a bull before making the decision to shoot/not shoot.



Compare the above bulls to this bull and you can see the difference in bosses (This bull taken in same trip ended up roughly 115 SCI and 42.5" spread for reference);



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Edited by bulldog563 (11/09/07 10:08 PM)


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Savuti_One_Shot
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: bulldog563]
      #85460 - 12/09/07 01:18 AM

The first bull needs more time, but I'll admit he'd be hard to pass by in the heat of the moment.

The second buff in the 4th pic appears to be a cow. Note the body size and shape compared to the one directly behind.

Great pics!
SOS

--------------------
"I've this damned cannon." - Robert Wilson


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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: Savuti_One_Shot]
      #85488 - 12/09/07 12:29 PM

What I would like to see discussed are the parameters and techniques for evaluating a buff on the hoof.

Can somebody explain "soft bosses" and give a rundown of how you estimate the spread of the horns by field observation?

Obviously, I'm not promoting any of the buffs in my photos. I threw them up to learn something about the question I just asked.

So how does a hunter "Rate this Buff"?

Thanks,
Curl

--------------------
RoscoeStephenson.com

YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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bulldog563
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: CptCurl]
      #85492 - 12/09/07 01:48 PM

Quote:

What I would like to see discussed are the parameters and techniques for evaluating a buff on the hoof.

Can somebody explain "soft bosses" and give a rundown of how you estimate the spread of the horns by field observation?

Obviously, I'm not promoting any of the buffs in my photos. I threw them up to learn something about the question I just asked.

So how does a hunter "Rate this Buff"?

Thanks,
Curl




My way of evaluating a bull are as follows (in order of importance for me);

1. Are Bosses large and fully developed. Can not have any softness to them at all. This is linked to the bulls age so no young bull is, imo, a trophy.

2. Depth of curl and spread are about equal in my book. Great if a bull has both.

Hooks (ie are horns broomed or still sharp/pointed) are not that important to me. I actually prefer a bull that has had time to broom off his points as it shows age even though it will not score as well in SCI as a younger, but still fully developed bull.

Soft Bosses:

Like I said above, a young bulls bosses start out soft and as it ages will harden up from back to front (with the front being the last part to harden in the average bull). Soft bosses will generally be smooth (although some very old bulls can have worn their bosses smooth over time. This is easy to tell apart though as the old bull will have almost shiny bosses with a young bull's bosses will be a matte kind of tone or whatever you want to call it) and almost look like tight, dark skin over meat. If you could touch it, it would give a bit under finger pressure. Also most tend to have hair between the bosses but this is not a sure indicator as many fully mature buffalo will retain a thin strip of hair between their hard bosses (but generally a bull with a lot of hair up front or between bosses is young). It is nice if a mature bulls bosses are hard up against each other but some bulls will always have some separation. If you were to boil out a young bulls skull, all the horn material that wasn't hard would be gone leaving a large gap in the middle and space in front (although a skilled taxidermist could build them back as many do every year ).

So basically, smooth hairy bosses are soft (generalisation and oversimplified as every bull is different).

Spread:

I have found the easiest way for me to roughly estimate spread is to look at how far outside of the ears the horns extend. If in line with ears then bull is probably roughly 36-38" depending on how big the particular bulls ears are and what position he has them in when you look at him. Anything outside of that is easier to guesstimate then looking at the horns as a whole. Some people use hand spans outside ears but after seeing enough bulls in pictures and/or in real life you seem to get an idea of the scale/etc. I am sure someone has a better system then this but this is just what works for me (and I am by no means an expert at Buffalo trophy judgment).

Some more pictures for reference;



Bull taken by my dad in Masailand, TZN Nov 2006. Measured 45.5" roughly.

Next two pics are mature buffalo from the Ngorogoro (sp?) crater in TZN. Monsters. First pic you can clearly see that a mature bull can have a sizable gap between bosses. On this bull, they will almost definitely never grow together. Just the way he is put together. Also, you can see how he has broomed down his hooks over time. Would be an excellent trophy in my book. You can really see how his condition is deteriorating (ie, very old) with the exposed hip bones/etc.





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JPK
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: CptCurl]
      #85497 - 12/09/07 02:28 PM

"Rate this buff"

IMO,

First he should have hard bosses. Soft bosses are developing bosses and, as other have said, signify a younger still developing bull. The soft boss will boil away when the skull is boiled to clean it. Soft bosses often show considerable light grey, but this can be decieving. Hair on the light grey soft boss is a dead giveaway.

Second, if his horns are still long and high, with a gradual taper to the ends, beware of a young bull. Bulls often wear the tips of their horns. This will shorten them and reduce their SCI score - but not their Rowland Ward score. Tha horns of an older bull will show some flattening on the top part of the horn as the tips wear. The taper will be more abrupt and a bit triangular for the first, maybe six, inches with the flatter part on top where the wear occurs.

Third, some guys like deep drop, the classic shape, while some like flatter horns. Deep drop tends to increase score since it adds inches to the measurement with the drop and curl.

Fourth, to estimate width the ears are a pretty good point of reference. IIRC, a bull will go 36" if his ears extend laterally to below the curl of the horns horns, 38" if his ears extend to the inside of the curl of the horns. The you use your best guess on how far inside the tips of his ears are from the inside of the curl. I've just moved and my references are ? so my recollection may be off a bit. Perhaps someone can confirm. I know Kevin Robertson goes over this in "The Perfect Shot."

Fifth, depth of boss. Some bosses are narrow from front to rear. Some are wide - like the first bull is going to be. IIRC, SCI gives no credit to boss width while Rowland Ward does.

Here are three photos. All were killed in the same conscesion in Zimbabwe. The charecteristics are very different.

This one is a nice bull, about 37-38". Killed him because he had an attitude problem. When we looked him over it was apparent that his attitude problem was caused by a festering, maggoty wound inside his right rear leg, probably caused by being hooked by another bull. If you look closely, you will see a dark hole in the front of the boss to the right in the photo, it is the exit hole from the very visible wound in his back.



This bull isn't wide but he has huge bosses with a big overhang like a brow over his eyes. 36-37". Lots of drop. He is the oldest bull in the photos. The grey isn't soft boss in this case. He was a big as he was going toget and his boss and horns were beginning to delaminate.



This bull is 40". He doesn't have the width of boss that the previous one did. And not so much drop either. Some may mistake the light color adjacent to his boss and a bit between his boss as a soft boss, but it is actually dried mud and was the color of the dirt in the area. Soft bosses often look lighter than hard bosses and often look a bit light grey in color. But even a bit of grey can be decieving. The bull in the photo above looks like he has some light grey but he is actually the oldest of the bulls in the photos and he wasn't getting any bigger.


This photo is of a cow, note the lack of boss and the hair between the horns - the hair can also be present on young bulls.


Hope this helps.

JPK


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Ripp
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: bulldog563]
      #85498 - 12/09/07 02:29 PM

I would have to agree with the above--one hell of a bull but in 2 years will be even better --the bosses IMHO--do look a bit on the soft side..

Ripp

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NE450No2
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: Ripp]
      #85506 - 12/09/07 06:28 PM

I have been fortunate to have always killed very old and hard bossed cape buff.

On my second Safari my PH and I snuck up on 2 buff with over 42 inch horns. We were at point blank range, I had 2 buff on quota... But Dale Des Fountain [the PH] said they were both "soft".

We snuck away.

I later killed a real Monster in body and horn.

However any decent cape buff, properly stalked and shot is a trophy, IMHO.

To go all the way to AFRICA, and pass on a buff because of an inch or two, is silly IMHO.

After you have killed two or so then if you want to get picky then do so...

But do not judge another mans buff baised on your thoughts.

As long as it is not a "Dink" what should you care.

PS for me I do not care what my buff scores, as long as it looks like a CAPE BUFF.

I was at a friends house, he had 2 buffs mounted in his main trophy room.

I asked him, if they were standing side by side, which one he would shoot first.

He replied the one on the left, as it scored the highest.

Funny thing is, I would have shot the one on the left, no questions asked, as it looked most like "Buff" to me.

He too said "It looks then best", but does not score as high...

I do not get caught up too much in score... what matters to me is the quality/fun of the hunt, and how the trophy looks to me.


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NE450No2
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: JPK]
      #85507 - 12/09/07 06:35 PM

JPK
Let me add.
"Them" four buff you killed... with an iron sighted 458 double... Well done my friend.

Well Done.


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ozhunter
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: NE450No2]
      #85509 - 12/09/07 07:13 PM

Old Buffalo look old and young Buffalo look young.
No prises for guessing which is which.




Although both hunts were great and the younger bull is wider, I still love the look of those old Dugger Boys

Edited by ozhunter (12/09/07 07:22 PM)


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ozhunter
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: ozhunter]
      #85510 - 12/09/07 07:31 PM

Here are two more mature Buffalo but only one would be considered a Dugger Boy.



Edited by ozhunter (12/09/07 07:33 PM)


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hoppdoc
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: ozhunter]
      #85518 - 12/09/07 10:30 PM

You guys are driving me crazy with all these pictures!!

I am getting Buff fever!! Bad!

Absolutely gotta get a "dugga boy" Buff next Safari!!

Just hope I don't end up divorced getting the $$cash to get it done!!

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CptCurlAdministrator
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: hoppdoc]
      #85535 - 13/09/07 07:03 AM

Ok, here's another buff photo that I took. I would really like to hear an evaluation on it.






Thanks,

Curl

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YOUR DOUBLE RIFLE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.



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Ripp
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: CptCurl]
      #85548 - 13/09/07 12:16 PM

In my opinion, this also is not a very old buff as he still has no wear on his tips and typically there can be more of a drop as he ages.. this is NOT an old dugga boy..Nice buff and will be a nice dugga boy in a couple of years..

Ripp

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S2in470
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Re: Rate this Buff [Re: Ripp]
      #85564 - 13/09/07 05:10 PM

My simple response would be: Take em now! Thump! Thump! PING! Drop two more in the holes and lets follow up…

Here is a nice 41 incher I just took…


He was taken with my Heym 470NE in Hoedsprit right near Kruger.


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