I just returned home from an amazing experience with Ryan Longer of Longers Outdoors. I booked an alligator hunt a few month back while trying to find an "end of summer" adventure. We had our date set and airfare booked. The area we were going to be in was just outside of the Houston. In the wake of devastation from hurricane Harvey this became unlikely for any real success. Ryan scouted the area and seen nothing but small gators. After discussing our options we decided to try something a little crazy and settled on a water buffalo hunt. I know that doesn't sound too crazy, but I wanted to hunt with a muzzle loader pistol. I did bring a back up hand gun and a high caliber rifle in case things went south.
I landed in Houston my friend and hunting partner Dennis Gift. We drove 5+ hours on ZERO sleep in 30+ hours to meet up with Ryan and make the best of a bad situation (the gators are safe for at least another season).
Upon arriving at the ranch we unpacked got cleaned up and started hunting. Over the next 2 days we hunted our butts off, glassing, driving, glassing, busting brush, glassing, and shooting a few hogs. Finally in the last minutes of light (both for the day and before we leave) we found this amazing bull water buffalo. When we spotted him he was grazing and walking away from us. As I started to make a move to an area to set up a shot, hoping for a quartering away shot. That was not to be the case as the massive bull turned towards me, looking very much as though I owed him money. in the brief moments that the bull and I looked directly at each other i started to second guess my choice of weapon. Regardless of my nerves or any doubts I may have had, the facts were the light was fading, it was now or never.
At (approximately) 40 yards, with my heart beating out of my chest, I held low on the brisket and fired. I knew I made a solid hit but despite my shot the mighty bull charged. (I would love to tell you I stood my ground confident in my shot and trusting the ability of my equipment, the reality is I ran too.) When the bull had cut the distance about in half, the shot and reality set in for the beast. He stopped and turned in retreat. As he turned, his back legs buckled but he never fell. I knew he was mortality wounded. I reloaded and moved to make a 2nd shot in hopes of dispatching the old warrior. Now in to the relative safety of the "live oaks" (I at least had something between me and the massive bull), I leveled the pistol for a second shot. As the smoke cleared, massive bull fell.
I have been blessed to hunt much of our beautiful country but this was the first time I truly felt scared and 2nd guessed myself. This was an experience I will NEVER forget and a true adventure of a lifetime. The photo do not do this massive animal justice. Thank you to both Ryan and Dennis for honoring my decision to not shoot as you "backed me up" and for trusting my ability. I am very proud to have done this hunt with my primary weapon the muzzle loader pistol and not have used the rifle or modern handgun.
whether you are looking for the adventure of a lifetime or a great weekend and with buddies and meat in the freezer I can not recommend contacting Ryan Longer enough. I have hunted with him many times and have never been disappointed.