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#962952 - 08/11/06 12:55 PM Brahma Island, Florida water buffalo
tbear Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 10/23/02
Posts: 4537
Loc: Reston, Va.
[image][/image] The water buffalo was taken on Brahma Island Florida several years ago with my .416 Rigby. Brahma Island is the largest privately owned freshwater island in the US & covers about 19 sq. miles. The Lightsey Cattle Co owns the island & a large track of land on nearby Lake Kissimmee. The Lightsey family emigrated from Germany in the 1700's & purchased the Lake Wales Region & Brahms Island from the King of England. This in its self is interesting since this was Spanish Florida. The Lightseys continue to raise to raise cattle & farm the original land holdings. Other than an a former cowboy bunkhouse powered by a gen the island remains as wild as when the indians roamed the island & Florida. Boar were brought by the Spanish for food & have thrived in Florida & on Brahma Island. On the island about 10% are blue or Prussian Boar & a very few or Red Russian. I have A Red Russian mounted that weighted 400 pounds with a 61/2' diamond rattlesnake in its mouth that I also shot on the island(in self defense). Numerous indian burial mounds & artifacts exist on the island & the locations are protected. Cary Lightsey runs the hunts & is a noted environmentalalist. Cary has received numerous awards & has restored 38 endangered species to the island & ranches. The island is home to the largest population of Bald Eagles in the lower 48 states. About 35 years exotic goats, sheep,axis,fallow,sika, blackbuck & other critters were released on the island. Nothing is fenced or replaced if the species didn't adapt, which happened to the blackbuck. At times, giraffes, white rhinos, & other animals have temporarily been released until a permanent hime could be found. I have hunted the island with mostly SCI friends each Sept. & we are the first group on the island each fall. Our guides for this trip are cowboy & great hunter "moby" Dick Pershing" & & Billy Johnson a former Colorado elk outfitter, manager or a nearby hunting & cow ranch & also a great hunter. Now to my water buffalo hunt. A small group of water bullalo reside in the swamps of the island & have a bit on an attitude. I decided to try for an especially large bull. The entire group decided to to join in & watch the action(hopefully). As luck would have it a light rain & visibility was limited. A small convoy of Moby & I in a safari style jeep(raised rear seat) & a stake bed truck with the other hunter hunters & Billy began to glass. After about 5 hours not a water buffalo had been seen or much or anything. The rain definately had the animals in the heavt cover. The elevated seat in the jeep makes for a great platform to glass from. Finally, the rain stopped & the for began to lift & the first cow buffalo was seen. Speaking of cows, some years ago when the water buffalos were brought to the island the young herd of bulls suddenly disappeared. Its quite a swim to the mainland & when they went was a mistery until Cary received a call. It seem a rancher had some sort of strange bulls that wore his cows out & whipped his steers a$$. It seems the bulls walked on the bottom of Lake Kissimmee until they needed air they surfaced & returned to the bottom. Cary & his cowboys loaded the love sick water buffalos in cattle cars for transport back to the island & I am told It was a real circus. As in most hunting finding the females is the key to the males. Anyway, shortly I began to see bulls & the guide & I began to sneak toward the largest. We left the rest of the party including Billy about 500 yards away. I looked up as the stalk continued & could see Billy motioning with his arms but thought he was stretching or just doing some some sort of weird cowboy sort of thing. Later, I realized he was trying to move us from the path the herd would take if they decided to stampede & return to the swamp. We would have been right in their path & probably not a good thing. I set up the shooting sticks & proceeded to fire a 400 grain Barnes XLC with my .416 Rigby. It sounded like a sack of concrete being dropped from a 10 story building. The bull didn't stagger, but blood shot from the double lung hole like a hole in Hoovers Dam. I definately had his attention. I worked the bolt & sent another 400 grain XLC into his lungs & when the bull fell I could feel the earth tremble. I was told by my PH in Africa to have some Woodleigh 410 solids ready in case the bull ran. Not needed here. The herd bulls have a nasty habit of wanting to charge while one of their buds is being dragged away. I sttod guard while Moby positioned the jeep & finally the herd moved away bellowing & farting & looking very unfrindly at me. Now it was time for the real work to begin since we had to load a 1500 pound bull without a winch. Back at the lodge a block & tacke was used was used so one of my buddies could prepare for a pedestel mount. Moby cut the bull into quarters & I loaded into my ATV trailer for transport by barge to the processor. I obtained about 750 pounds of steak, hamburger, & sausage. Meanwhile, Billy proceeded with the hunt & at the end of the 3 days a number of boar & gold metal deer were taken by our party.
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#962953 - 08/11/06 01:41 PM Re: Brahma Island, Florida water buffalo
rattler Online   sleepy
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 11/07/03
Posts: 25473
Loc: NE Montana
neat story. ive been wanting to hunt one of thos since i first heard they were in the states. th main attraction is i cant take two weeks off to go to Africa but could prolly squeeze in the time for a water buff hunt. maybe when we get the house paid for
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http://northeastmontananews.com/
A serious student of the "Armchair Safari" always looking for Africa/Asia hunting books

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#962954 - 08/11/06 02:22 PM Re: Brahma Island, Florida water buffalo
TOBYJOETRUBY Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 04/08/04
Posts: 1476
Loc: TX, NM
I killed one in Argentina last year, it was definatly one of the highlights of my hunting career. 9 shots with a 416 rem. Everyshot was behind the shoulder, except for 2, that were a little far back, when he was running. He finally turned his head, and I slipped #10 behind his ear, or I think he would still be alive. We also had a good time getting the other 2 herd bulls away, they didnt want to leave, and were not happy, that their compadre was not moving any more. Congrats on a great trophy.

Toby Joe

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#962955 - 08/11/06 02:28 PM Re: Brahma Island, Florida water buffalo
VAnimrod Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 61128
Loc: gone
I want one...

Great story, great pic, great hunt.
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#962956 - 08/11/06 02:44 PM Re: Brahma Island, Florida water buffalo
tbear Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 10/23/02
Posts: 4537
Loc: Reston, Va.
VA- There's one there with your name on him for next year. The offer I made still stands. Rick Bin is going to try & make it next year also. This year Cary has a Watusi that is attacking his prize Brahma Bulls & wants him taken out. I just don't have the trophy room space(over 30 mounts) for a critter with 5' horns. I may take a sika stag even thou I have a dandy from Scotland.
_________________________
Life Members SCI & NRA. NRA Instructor & RSO. What have YOU done to support hunting & gun rights?

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#962957 - 08/11/06 03:11 PM Re: Brahma Island, Florida water buffalo
jim in Oregon Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 11/30/00
Posts: 4707
Loc: oregon
tbear, Enjoyed the account of the hunt..Massive buff..
I have a bunch of questions about the place, the hunts, the costs...What's the best way for me to inquire?
Do those buff have any natural predators on the island other than hunters?
Any cats?Gators?..:)
What are the stags deer like there and the boars?
Any archery hunting done ever?jim

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#962958 - 08/11/06 03:40 PM Re: Brahma Island, Florida water buffalo
tbear Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 10/23/02
Posts: 4537
Loc: Reston, Va.
JIm in oregon- Boar $525 Deer $1250. Everything we have shot made gold metal. I have taken boar with a bow but deer in the time available with a bow is impossible. I have been on the island with hunters that shot exotics with a bow on Texas preserves & couldn't get within 200 yards of a sika, fallow, or axis. You can call Cary Lightsey @ 863-696-2257. He is a working cowboy/ranch owner & is only available in evenings. I have hunted with him for about 30 years & shot about everything on island. Send a PM with questions. They have a video for about $25 that shows barge, florida cur dogs fighting boars, & former guide "Snake" playing with 4 rattlers(at the same time). I had many great hunts with Snake & shot my 61/2 rattler with him. Guide Billy Jackson offers spot & stalk gator hunts on his ranch. Phone 239-633-4967 or 239-657-6605. I have hunted sika & fallow in Europe & Brahma has better trophies. That said, I'm sure if someone is willing to pay any price a better exotic can be found behind a high fence. The advantage for Brahma is a free range hunt, a great adventure, & an unbeatable price. Good hunting.
_________________________
Life Members SCI & NRA. NRA Instructor & RSO. What have YOU done to support hunting & gun rights?

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#962959 - 08/11/06 04:32 PM Re: Brahma Island, Florida water buffalo
jim in Oregon Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 11/30/00
Posts: 4707
Loc: oregon
tbear, Thanks for the added info..and the contact information.
Never been on any sort of guided hunt or preserve hunt..but your place sounds like it may be more interestin-challenging..
I've made some notes...
Gator with the longbow or a boar hunt with the longbow might be alot of fun..
Used to hunt big rattlers with a stick and headlamp at night and snakes can be a hoot also..

Not sure I could use a whole buff..:) alot of meat to get back to Oregon..:),,but I wouldn't mind hunting a large bull buff with the .300 Savage M99..:)...I can still run, dodge and climb trees aven at near 60.years..:) jimi

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#962960 - 08/12/06 05:20 AM Re: Brahma Island, Florida water buffalo
VAnimrod Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 61128
Loc: gone
tbear;

Thanks! And, I am already contemplating one of those for next year. Seems like a great test of the 9.3 CZ...
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#962961 - 08/12/06 06:52 PM Re: Brahma Island, Florida water buffalo
HoundGirl Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 07/05/05
Posts: 8930
We got to have water buffalo burgers, while on our trip back to Minnisota.....and HOLY good grief.....they were sooooo good!! I ate two of them <burgers....lol...not actual buffalo>!!

HoundGirl


Edited by HoundGirl (08/12/06 06:53 PM)
_________________________
Its not the size of the dog in the fight, its the size of the fight in the dog.
-- Mark Twain

Part of me lives with the wind in my face,
while the other part is barely alive.

--Mary Gauthier

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