That Buffalo Incident-The Plot Thickens


Published: October - 2000

Here at The Hunting Report, one of the responsibilities we take very seriously is our obligation to cover accidents in the field involving hunters and animals. Like plane crashes, these incidents need to be studied carefully in the interest of preventing needless recurrences. Did someone misbehave? Was anyone careless?

Over the years, thankfully, most of the accidents we have looked into have been simply that - accidents that no one could have prevented. What we do as hunters, particularly in Africa, is dangerous. Bind your wounds. Walk on. End of story.

The latest incident in Zambia just may be different, however. The accounts of what happened are so shockingly different we smell trouble. And we have no intention of turning this story loose until the full and unadorned truth is known.

Here is the background. A hunter from Oregon by the name of Noel Wolfe journeyed to Zambia with his son this past July to hunt a buffalo and various plains game species. Wolfe says he understood he was going to hunt in Sichifulo with Mike Heath. In fact, he wound up hunting in Rufunsa (a "depleted area," according to paperwork we have on hand), with PH William L. (Bill) Williams.

Months later, Wolfe is still upset at the way his hunt was changed, and he is pondering his options in that regard. His main concern, however, is what happened to him in Rufunsa when Bill Williams' tracker, Maxmilian, spotted a Cape buffalo from the back of the safari car early on the morning of July 26, 2000.

Exactly what happened that morning is very much in dispute, as witness the following two accounts. The first is Bill Williams' official report on the incident, and the second is client Noel Wolfe's report, as pieced together from a newspaper report (Lake Oswego Review, August 24, 2000, page 1) and from a phone interview with Wolfe on September 28.

Bill Williams Account "Depart camp - 05:30 hours. Sight........(continued)

 
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