We first heard of the incident July 19th, and we issued an E-Mail Extra Bulletin that same day after talking directly with Samaras, who had just gotten the tragic details by radio. He gave this version of events: "I understand Curtis and Fontana were hunting lesser kudu in a fairly thick area when a buffalo charged from the side. He just came from nowhere. I'm told Paddy Curtis turned and fired at the buffalo and hit it. By that time, however, it had reached Fontana and gored him. It was too late."
Samaras said he did not have any evidence that the buffalo had been wounded previously. "Certainly, neither Fontana nor Curtis had shot it, or shot at it," Samaras said.
Old Africa Hands say Masailand buffalo are unusually aggressive, and that seems to be what is behind the accident. We have heard nothing here at The Hunting Report to suggest that anyone did anything wrong, or failed to do what they should have done. The encounter seems simply to have been an accident that underscores the danger that is inherent in hunting dangerous game.
Fontana owned Bighorn Guiding and Outfitting, and was a partner with the Lancaster family in the operation of Nahanni Butte Outfitters. We spoke with Stan Lancaster right after the accident, and he urged booked hunters not to panic. "No one needs to worry about his hunt with Nahanni Butte," Lancaster said. "Everything will go smooth despite this tragedy." No word was available on the status of Bighorn Guiding and Outfitting.
Lancaster described Fontana as much more than........(continued)