Document 176096

H o w T o M a k e Massey-Styied
Oar Fascination
witli the Longbow
ackpack and
Backcountry Bowlianting
n Christmas Eve, my son lifted
his wine glass, stated he had
resigned his job as a mechanical engineer, and announced that he
was riding his dirt bike from Albany,
Oregon to Tierra Del Fuego, Argentina.
At the time I was only concerned about
his safety, but then I thought about
meeting him at the end of his quest. He
had started a website and blog, and
when he had access to Wi-Fi I could contact him. I broached the topic of connecting with him in Buenos Aires and
tying in a bit of bowhunting. He said to
go for i t , and soon thereafter I was in
with Neil Summers
Bowhunting Safari Consultants.
My son's journey would end the first
week of June. Neil advised that the
good deer hunting would be over then,
but that chasing Asiatic water buffalo
had a significant chance of success. He
then put me in contact with previous
traditional travelers to his concession
such as Dale Karch, Denny Sturgis, and
our own Don Thomas for their advice.
When we think of "Down Under,"
most of U S imagine New Zealand or
Australia. There is a significantly closer
área to hunt red and fallow deer, as well
as water buffalo, below the equator That
place is Argentina. The buffalo were
introduced there in 1895, about 70 years
after their reléase in Australia. The
Australian buffalo carne from Indonesia
while the Argentine variety was a subspecies from India, henee the difference
in horn configuration. Asiatic buffalo
tend to be taller and heavier than Cape
buffalo, and although perhaps not quite
as aggressive, my guide was packing a
.458 caliber rifle for protection, as they
can become quite belligerent when
wounded. I would go hunting for five
days, while my wife would connect with
my son and enjoy the wonders of Buenos
Aires, where I would join them at the
end of my pursuit.
We arrived at the airport after traveling all night from Atlanta and met my
guide, Juan. Fortunately, he spoke fluent English, as my Spanish is limited to
rudimentary medical lingo. We now had
a four-hour drive to the 25,000-acre
ranch I would be hunting. The countryside was intriguing. Despite the 250
miles we covered, the horizons were
completely flat and the land was devot-
The Toro Tango
ed to agricultural activities. Corn was
still standing, and soybeans were being
harvested. I could only imagine what i t
would look like i f they introduced
pheasants and whitetails. This área is
called the "Pampas". When the
Spaniards arrived, i t was covered i n
grass with barely a tree to be seen. I
presume i t looked somewhat like our
Nebraska and Kansas 300 years ago,
minus the bison. Apparently there were
some nativo deer present, but the new
arrivals brought cattle, crops, and eventually some of their nativo game animáis from Europe.
Juan was a true pleasure to be with
and was able to edúcate me about the
land, history, and culture of his country.
Upon arrival, we settled in to a typical
Argentine lunch: a thick Angus steak.
After putting my recurve together, I
shot a bit as we would begin hunting
that evening. Looking at the terrain, I
was getting excited.
The book 1,000 P l a c e s to See
You D i e by Patricia Schultz contains a
description of the Estancia Acelain, the
property we were hunting. There is a
magnificent mansión there that is
essentially a family-owned museum.
Built in the early 1900s, it is filled with
centuries-old antiques from the homeland in Spain, and Juan gave me a
detailed tour. We would have our own
sepárate quarters in an adjoining facility named Cerro Indio. Soon i t was
evening, and we were off to hunt the
gorgeous surrounding grounds.
Originally there had been no trees
there, though now the countryside was
filled with pines, eucalyptus, and many
other species unfamiliar to me. The
trees and skies were full of the doves
and pigeons that were constantly bursting out of the cover. Open agricultural
fields were interspersed with woodlots,
brush, and creeks. I t was not unlike terrain I have hunted in Illinois or Kansas.
As we walked along, evidence of pig
rooting was everywhere, as well as frequent tracks of various deer species.
Traditional Bowhunter® Feb/Mar 2014
from Estancia
A c e l a i n , in the
Full Retail
Over 2 8 Years
Register o n i i n e
to r e c e i v e
Rochester, MN 55906
a field after
That evening, we stumbled upon 20 fallow deer i n five different groups, the
majority seeing us first and nothing
presenting a shot. The female deer were
grouped up, and the males had largely
disappeared with the r u t being well
over. We saw no buffalo that night.
In the morning we explored a different área of the Estancia, covering a few
miles on foot and finally discovering a
lone bull out i n the open. We circled to
get the wind and began a long crawl.
What had been a single animal turned
into a small herd with many eyes.
Though we had the wind, we were eventually spotted at 60 yards, and the
game was soon over. However, we had
pushed them out of the open, and they
headed for a wooded área.
An hour later, we were positioned i n
an ambush site near a mud hole that
the buffalo frequented. I had hidden
under a tree with a large rock hiding
my right side. It was necessary to break
a few small limbs to open a shooting
lañe, but I was i n a near perfect spot,
darkened i n the shade of the tree. By
some great stroke of luck, the herd proceeded past me. When the bull was
broadside at 16 yards, I came to draw,
fully confident, and released. The k a whack that followed was not the sound
of an arrow striking ribs, but of my top
limb hitting a one-inch branch above
me, which caused the shaft to fly harmWWW.TRADB0W.COM
a buffalo
in the trees
lessly over the bull's back.
Juan whispered to aim lower, as he
did not know what had happened. The
bull jumped a few feet and stared under
the tree, but could not make me out as
Juan fondled the .458. I had quickly
reloaded and launched another 700grain arrow with the bull perhaps a
yard farther away. I t struck just behind
the left shoulder, halfway up the chest.
A death shot was my initial thought,
but then to my horror the shaft seemed
to have achieved only a few inches of
penetration. At this point the herd busted out through a brush patch and into
an open field. The bull lagged behind
100 yards and then stopped. The arrow
was no longer in him, but he had definitely slowed down, and we were hopeful. I h i t an elk like this once and
thought I had no significant penetration, when in fact the arrow had hit the
far shoulder and bounced back out.
Could this have occurred again?
Gonzalo Llambi, the owner and outfitter, had been checking on us by horseback from afar and joined up to advise.
He thought he had observed significant
bleeding from the wound, as he had
been watching with his binoculars from
a different angle. I n the interim the buffalo had laid down, but after an hour his
head remained up and he looked very
much alive. After further discussion,
the three of us agreed that I should try
and his water
to get another arrow i n him.
From our vantage i n the trees, he
seemed to be about 30 yards out i n the
open field. However, once I had crawled
to the end of my cover, i t appeared that
he was at least 50 yards farther. I n the
interim, Gonzalo had saddled up and
moved out of the trees into the open a
few hundred yards below me to distract
the massive black beast. The bull kept
watching the horse, which allowed me
to get into position. At this point with
nothing to lose and an arrow already i n
the bull, I was willing to take the long
shot. He was getting nervous about the
horse as well, and now had stood up. My
arrows were quite heavy for this expedition and I don't practice this shot, but
I held about two feet over his back and
released. What a beautiful flight, as i t
arced up and then down, penetrating 23
inches into his right chest at midpoint.
Don't ask me to repeat this shot. I
thought for sure this would anchor him,
but i t was not to be. He caught up with
his herd and ran another 200 yards
before stopping, as they continued on
over the low-lying hills. Once again I
thought he was done. As we observed
him another 45 minutes, he remained
motionless and seemed to stagger a bit.
He then walked off stridently i n the
direction of his cows, seemingly uninjured after two apparent death blows.
We followed several hundred yards
behind, able to keep track of him with
our binoculars i n the now wide-open
countryside that he had chosen. After a
bit, he seemed to settle down and no
longer moved, though he remained
alert. Juan said i t was time for lunch,
and we would leave him for a few hours.
A gaucho was stationed to watch from
afar and notify us i f he started to move
After an uneasy meal, we returned
two hours later. The bull was still
standing and had come part way back
to where we had last stood observing
him. His head was down however, and
his prior alert posture was absent.
There was just a bit of cover for an
Traditional Bowhunter® Feb/Mar 2014
S P E C S '
"BRACE HEiGHT: 7 - 8 "
w _
MAabVvEIGHT: 3 . 2 LBS.
approach, and I took i t . The wind was
good, and I came up from straight
behind him. As he seemed to be totally
unaware, I kept moving forward. When
I was at 20 yards, he staggered and
went down, although again his head
remained up. He did not have much left,
and i t ended when I sent a shaft diagonally through him, behind the left ribs,
through the liver and right lung.
I certainly am not a fan of prolonged
recoveries, and I would have to rethink
pursuing these large creatures with my
current equipment. These animáis have
a reputation for not going down easily,
and i t is well deserved. I thought I was
prepared with 700-grain arrows coming
from a 63# bow. I have killed African
eland and Alaskan moose with one shot
from lighter equipment. On autopsy, my
first arrow had only gone in about six
inches, stopping after center-punching
a rib, even though i t was a single bevel
two-blade head. The second shaft went
in 23 inches with a three-blade head,
between the ribs. The third had completely traveled through the abdomen
and chest, not affected by the rib cage.
These are very large animáis, and this
Trip Notes
Should you wish to inquire about this
área, contact
Bowhunting Safari Consultants 1-800833-9777. Gonzalo and Juan have their
own website at: [email protected]
buffalo seemed significantly heavier
than the two species mentioned above.
The fact that he only succumbed five
hours after the initial shot attests to
their remarkable toughness.
With the buffalo hunt over, I had set
aside a day for wing-shooting. Though it
is a different story, suffice it to say that
if you should go to Argentina, plan a
bird hunt as well. You may have heard of
the phenomenal dove and pigeon hunting there, but the duck and partridge
hunting is simply amazing as well.
The following day we drove another
three hours to the southwestern mountains, where Gonzalo has an additional
25,000-acre parcel for free ranging axis,
red, and fallow deer. I only had that
evening and the next morning to hunt,
as I had to leave early to keep the peace
with my wife. This was completely different country, and though the vegetation was of different species, you might
as well have been in eastern Montana
or Wyoming. Here i t was rocky with
high hills, creeks, and open grasslands.
The deer were plentiful, but I could not
get closer than 50 yards as they were
grouped up with many eyes. It froze the
following morning, and we were greeted
with four large red stags and their
harems roaring back and forth, echoing
across the mountain. Juan and Gonzalo
had never seen this activity so late in
the year, as the r u t was over two
months earlier, and they assumed that
the freeze had set them roaring again.
It was a good send off for me as well,
and left a lingering fond memory of my
hunt there.
Now i t was time for a long drive back
to reconnect with my family, spectacular Argentine cuisine, and a three-hour
tango extravaganza with my wife.
F r e q u e n t c o n t r i b u t o r Tom
U v e s in A l b a n y , O r e g o n , w h e r e h e
w o r k s a s an e m e r g e n c y room p h y s i c i a n ,
b r e e d s t h e world's
greatest Labrador
r e t r i e v e r s , and g i v e s tango ¡essons.
Equipment Note
On this hunt, Tom carried a Norm
Johnson Blacktail recurve at 63#. He
shot both ABowyer 2-blade, single
bevel broadheads with inserts totaling 300 grains and DIB Archery 290gr. 3-blade GreenMeanie heads.
Shafts were DIB Archery Comatoso
300 with 125-grain brass outserts, for
a total weight of 704 grains with 30%
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