The 6th day of this incredible hunt found us up early so we could depart for a distant area. It seemed as if I would never get tired of the chorus of birds perched along the river bank that we awakened to each am. There must be a hundred different varieties of them including macaws and cockatoos of all colors. Anyway, after a short breakfast we started the long drive to an area that Simon thought we would be able to locate some good bulls in appropriate settings for a bow hunt. We saw numerous buffalo on the way but nothing of the caliber that we were looking for but once we arrived to nearly almost dry brackish water flats we began to spot lots of bachelor herds dispersed over the region. The problem was the animals were still out in the open feeding so we decided to sit in the shade and have an early lunch while they made their way back to the nearby waterholes and thickets.
As if on queue, the small bands of males proceeded back into the bush so we packed up and drove down a bit too where if we walked in the tree line following the flats the constant wind would be in our favor. It didn’t take long to locate mature bulls resting in the shade of the heavy vegetation and actually it wasn’t too hard to stalk up on them since the wind was in our favor. That not only eliminated our scent problem but it also covered our noise. We did get up on two or three mature bulls but they were just not what we were looking for so we pressed on dodging the small bands of females we ran into.
At around 3 pm, we were hunting along a long billabong when we spotted a good bull feeding on the other side so we made our way all the way around the muddy waterhole through all the heavy vegetation till we came in downwind of him to take another look. We easily assessed him as a definite trophy with a bow so in we went to close the distance. At 40 yards, I told Andrew to stay behind a particularly large termite mound and watch the whole show unfold. He had been previously instructed to stay absolutely still, hidden and silent if a bull we were hunting began to get close to him unexpectedly. After leaving him, I crept forward with Simon right behind me with the camera in hand. When I got to 20 yards he was facing away from me so I closed the distance through the lush vegetation to 15 yards when he finally turned broadside again.
The problem was that where he stopped had two small trees right in front of where I needed to shot so I skirted sideways till a small window opened up giving me a small shooting hole. I came to full draw, found my mark, touched off the Fletcher and immediately heard the Carbon Express Terminator Hunter arrow hit hard just as the huge black bull bolted forward then stop and look back. We didn’t move but looking we could not find any tell tale sign of the hit on the bull but we decided that the arrow had to have buried itself inside of him.
Well now the uncomfortable situation arose as the bull began to circle downwind to catch our scent. As he circled us, he put more distance between us and him but rapidly was closing the distance to where Andrew was observing this whole scenario. That got Simon and I a little nervous because if Andrew did not hold his position and got scared and tried to get away he would certainly draw a charge at that range but he never moved a muscle or uttered a sound. When the bull was within 25 yards of Andrew, I had to do something or we were going to have to shoot him with the rifle. As the bull circled us he would move a few steps and face us head on never giving me a broad side shot of any sort. So I stood up, came to full draw on my BowTech with the bull standing 42 yards away, aimed at his lips, touched off the release and watched the Carbon Express arrow and NAP broadhead arch downward squarely into the middle of his chest sinking in over half the length of the shaft. That worked and he immediately bolted in the opposite direction from Andrew.
We silently followed the bull and watched him through the underbrush for a few minutes until he lay down. Once he laid down, I circled around the back of him and closed the distance slowly to a mere 8 paces. He was lying there but with his head up and I wasn’t going to take any chances with him running into the nearby water. So I again came to full draw on my Bowtech and circled around the tree that separated us for a better shot. Just as I did he stood up, spun around and took two steps which put him facing me at 6 yards, not a good position to be in. I quickly sized up the situation and decided that if I let down he would certainly charge me and I would have to get out of the way with a razor blade dangling in front of me. I didn’t like that option so the only other option was to put another arrow in his chest. I released just as the bull charged, my arrow striking his shoulder. As luck would have it, he was done anyway because his first lunge toward me it was his last and he collapsed onto his chin. What an incredible hunt with unbelievable intensity but now the unbelievable revealed itself.
We looked hard but could find no evidence of the first arrow striking this huge bull. All he had was two triangular holes in him, one in the front mid chest and one in his front left shoulder. So we went back to where it all started to get Andrew and see what happened and there it was in all its glory. My arrow deeply stuck into a wrist sized iron wood tree.
I had pulled the shot no more then three inches but that was all it took to have a total miss. So the 42 yard frontal shot killed him all by itself which we later found my broad head in the left ventricle of his heart. I couldn’t make that shot again if my life depended on it and wouldn’t have ever taken it on a non wounded animal but we just didn’t know. We were so excited and in shock all at the same time. We got our pictures and did all the necessary dirty work before making the long way back home for dinner and much needed rest. With three days left, we plan to hunt another bull and let Andrew take a cow then fish for some Barramundi’s also.