Cape buffalo are one of the toughest and most dangerous big game animals on the planet.
They have extremely thick, almost impenetrable skin. Their ribs overlap and they’ve got a sweet spot the size of a grapefruit. African Dangerous Game are the last critters you want to chase into the bush when wounded, so if you’re going to hunt Cape buffalo with a bow, you better make sure you’ve got the right gear for the job. Not a bowhunter? Here are the best calibers for a cape buffalo hunt.
Pre-History Hunting Methods
The first stone arrowheads were discovered in Africa, which indicates that the bow and arrow was invented there, dating back to 50,000 B.C. Somewhere between 25,000 and 18,000 BC, fire hardened points were developed. These ancient bowhunters would insert the arrowhead into a slot in the front of the shaft and firm it with sinew. Then they glued on feathers and tied them with sinew to the arrow shaft.
One piece bows of yew or elm have been found in Denmark that date between 8,000-6,000 B.C. The first composite bow was developed in Egypt around 2,800 B.C. It was made from wood and tipped on each end with animal horn held together with sinew from different animals and glue. It was almost C shaped and took two people to string it. In 2,500 B.C., the Sumerians were conquered by the Akkadians who used their infantry archers to defeat them. Macedonian archers fought from horseback around 360 B.C.
New World Hunting Methods
Modern Archery Hunting
Nowadays you’ve got longbow, recurve, compound bows, etc. Guys like Art Young and Fred Bear were the first to head to Africa to take Cape buffalo with a bow. Bows have come a long way since then. Here is an up to date list of some of the recommended equipment to set you up for success on your hunt.
Best Archery Setup for Cape Buffalo
If you’ve ever wanted to hunt Cape buffalo with a bow, here’s what you need to know before you book your hunting safari.
*Check regulations in the country you are hunting prior to your safari. Not all African countries even allow bowhunting at all.
- Bow: You’ll need a bow capable of propelling an 850 grain arrow at 230 feet per second.
- Arrows: Employ a heavy arrow; 8 grams- 10 grams per bow pound. You can use wood, fiberglass, carbon, carbon compounds or aluminum arrows. Arrows need to be a minimum of 700 grains, but 950-1000 grains are preferred.
- Broadheads: Broadheads must have at least two fixed cutting blades with a minimum cutting edge length and width of one inch (26mm+). Mechanical broadheads are legal in Namibia (but archery hunting for dangerous game is NOT).
Arrows for Cape Buffalo
- Grizzly Stik Momentum TDM Arrow
- Easton 2017 aluminum arrow, with Easton Trooper shafts glued inside.
- Easton FMJ Dangerous Game Arrow
Broadheads for Cape Buffalo
- Grizzly Stik single bevel broadheads
- Grizzly Stik Silver Flame broadheads
- 200 Grain Muzzy Phantom stainless steel two-blade broadheads
- The original German kinetics Silver Flame broadheads
- Bishop 500 grains 3 blade mechanical cutting broadheads
- Bishop 600 grain 2 blade broadheads
*Bishop broadheads are machined out of bar stock from some of the best tool steel available. There is no bend, no break and they fly perfectly.