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Brenda Valentine’s Dream of Taking a Cape Buffalo with Her Bow Comes True


Editor’s Note: Brenda Valentine, the "First Lady of Hunting" ™ - from Puryear, Tennessee, represents women in the outdoors for the (NWTF) National Wild Turkey Federation and co-hosts Bass Pro Shops' outdoor TV shows on the Outdoor Channel and the Sportsman Channel. She’s been a member of Bass Pro Shops National RedHead Pro Hunting team for 17 years, a Mossy Oak ProStaff member, a pro staffer for Hunter Safety Systems and Orca coolers and a past national archery champion. 

I’ve always wanted to take a cape buffalo with my bow. I spent a year getting in shape and getting my bow arm strong enough to pull a heavy bow to take a cape buffalo. I wasn’t sure I could get a permit to take one of these dangerous animals with my bow. However, I had a good friend who worked with the game department in South Africa, and my friend was able to get the permit required to hunt this buffalo. The South African government asked me to submit recommendations for what pound bow and arrow would deliver enough kinetic energy to swiftly take a cape buffalo. So, I worked with the game department to change the outdated rulings on the kind of bow and arrow that would produce the kinetic energy to legally harvest a cape buffalo with a bow. We worked up a formula based on kinetic energy that a bow and arrow could deliver, rather than the draw weight of a bow required to take a cape buffalo and other dangerous game. I built an arrow that weighed 970 grains, and I practiced shooting car tires and different types of substances that you might not think a broadhead could penetrate. At that time, I was shooting Parker bows. Parker built me two heavy draw-weight bows that fit my short draw length. I shot a two-bladed broadhead that the late Jerry Simmons from Alabama manufactured. 

Valentine3_llFinally, I went to South Africa to take a cape buffalo bull with my bow. That trip was one of the most-successful trips I’d ever had in Africa. I was able to stalk within 19 yards of a huge bull, and I got a perfect shot. Even though I didn’t get a clean pass-through, the broadhead was sticking out of the bull on the opposite side from where it had entered. The broadhead went through its hide and the overlapping ribs and penetrated the heart and the lungs. After taking the arrow, the bull made two leaps into a patch of thorny bushes. In a few minutes, we heard loud bellowing coming from the thorny bushes, but my professional hunter said we needed to wait at least an hour before we went into the bush to recover my buffalo. Our tracker, who had many years of hunting and finding cape buffalo, said, “The bull is down,” but we still had to wait. After an hour, we circled the thorny bush, saw the buffalo and easily could tell he had expired shortly after I’d shot him. I was shooting between 75 and 78 pounds with my Parker bow. When I put my hands on that bull, I knew that one of my biggest hunting dreams had been fulfilled.

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