The author killed this buffalo with a soft and a solid from .375. Both were Federal Trophy Bonded loads. The second shot wasn’t necessary. But with buffalo, you fire until all is still.

It is the middle of an African night. “You were bloody lucky.” The PH was right. I’d sent Philip back to camp late in the afternoon. The bush was long in shadow. Alone, I trekked toward a small vlei, hoping to find a sable. Shy of the water, I came across the trail of elephants. Snapped limbs on twisted trees were stripped of leaves. Sand trampled in a wide swath bore tracks the size of dinner plates and manhole covers. The animals were going my way.

The exquisite Blaser R8 accommodates rounds as burly as the .500 Jeffery.

I found them in the vlei. There were many, well scattered and no longer traveling. The rumblings and trumpeting claimed ownership here. A red sun set as I looked for a way around the herd, now sifting into the bush on all sides. Bumping into an elephant in the dark held little appeal. The only thin spot was behind four cows. I figured if they got my scent, they’d move enough to let me slip past. I eased upwind.

The effect was electric. Instead of moving away, they came. I read their intent clearly, dropped to my knees and scurried as fast as I could crosswind, until a wall of thorn stopped me. Pressed to the earth, I heard the grass swish against their legs, their towering black forms obliterating an orange horizon. At 20 steps they stopped, trunks up, seeking. The wind held. After long minutes, they left. I’ve since shot elephant, and stood for bluff charges to let young bulls grow bigger. I’ve not been so frightened as when prone in that long grass 27 years ago, heart hammering, powerless.

This Montana 1999 rifle in .375 points quickly for the author. With 300-grain Trophy Bonded or 350 Woodleigh solids, it’s a stopping rifle!

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