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Amazing and Surprisingly Quick Trophies Part II

John knew it would be a big challenge to kill this new trophy. San Luis has very big open areas and Blackbuck’s have incredible noses and rarely hang out in close areas, giving these prey animals the ability to see predators from great distances.

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While walking for thirty minutes and taking pictures, I knew this would not be the morning John shot a Blackbuck. Sorry John!

Later, Fer and John were watching with their binoculars and pointing towards a forest about eight hundred yards away, I took a few more pictures and made my way to their location. The plan was to ease our way towards this forest because Fer thought a male might be on the other side of a small hill four hundred yards to the west and wanted to play the wind so that it would not betray us since it was blowing from the hill to the forest. 

We started walking to the top of a small hill and almost only one minute later I saw Fer turn around and while he was getting down on his knees he whispered us, “there is nice male eating on the other side of the hill!!!” (I’ll never forget those big eyes and expression on his face with a huge smile across it). At this moment, I was glad to be wrong, we now had the opportunity to get two trophies in one morning!

The guys crawled ten more yards straight to the Blackbuck and set up the shooting sticks while I set up my camera a safe distance away to the right. John moved really carefully with great composure… BUM!  

It was instantaneous! One second later I saw through my camera Fernando’s excitement hugging John with the biggest smile I have ever seen from Fer. It’s amazing how every hunt needs just a small percentage of luck. Last time we hunted an antelope with Fernando, it took us two and a half days, and John did it in barely less than thirty minutes.

By 10:30 AM we were back at the lodge with two trophies, and one of them a Blackbuck! I think is going to take me several years to see that happen again.

A great lunch and a well-deserved nap separated that morning from our next hunt: A BUFFALO!

Neil was back on the rifle. So we took a bigger rifle (308), did only one practice shot (he exploded the melon right in the center) and went to the spot where Rolo and Galo had seen the buffalos that morning while we where hunting the Blackbuck. We asked Rolo that morning to scout some areas for us. 

I thoroughly enjoyed this hunt. After fifteen minutes of walking, two buffalos were in sight. Unfortunately, they were not as big are Neil wanted, so we continued on. We were walking through a forest and we saw animal after animal. The forest was too dense for a clean shot at a buffalo, so we made our way out of it. 

I trailed Fer and Neil thirty yards behind them and they stopped to set up for what appeared to be the first shot on a buffalo. This is when I realized a buffalo must be close to us. I stopped taking pictures and began searching the area. He was not a shooter, but was standing dead still. He started in the direction of Rolo, Galo & John. Watching that animal so motionless made my day. I felt very exposed and unprotected at that moment with only a camera in hand. I was quickly comforted as I remembered Galo was our backup shooter with a second rifle. But that doesn’t mean you are not free from danger. We were still vulnerable and in the territory of a dangerous and enormous animal. 

Finally, one of the guides stepped on a stick as an invitation for our big friend to run away. I saw all of his from thirty yards above them. I took a deep breath and began heading in their direction. We walked for thirty minutes until we ran into a big lagoon, where we thought we would have a great vantage point of another spot with more buffalo. 

-  “Luck does not seem to be on our side this afternoon”, said one of the guys as we walked. Soon patience proved that he was wrong. Twenty minutes later we saw a big buffalo coming out from a small group of trees three hundred yards in front of us. Luckily for us, we had tree cover near us and the guys were able to sneak one hundred and twenty yards towards the buffalo for a shot. 

When John was about to take a shot, the buffalo retreated into a small forest. But before John took his eye out from the riflescope, he realized another one was coming out the trees! 

It was barely smaller than the other: BUM!! First shoot right to the body. At first it appeared that the buffalo was going down, but he did not. He turned around and ran thirty yards away from our location. John made a quick second shot but he missed. He wasn’t using the stick anymore and made this shot freehanded. The buffalo was still running, but now from left to right from where we were (not straight away from us). 

John took more time on this third shot at the perfect moment: BUM!! Another great shot straight to the body. The Buffalo stopped running and as he was going down, just in case, Galo put one more bullet into the monster with his. This was the finale to one of the most memorable hunts I will ever be a part of.

John was in tears when everything ended. His voice sounded different, he was very excited and happy and called it “a hunt of a life time!”

Thirty minutes later Fernando retrieved the truck and pulled out a round of beers from the cooler. We joined the brothers in the trophy-take-down celebration: four trophies in twenty-four hours. You don’t see that very often, not at all!

I have little doubt that I will see the Johansen family again down here in Argentina. Great people, awesome friends!

 

Juan Aguilo

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