For the latest edition of the Rigby Campfire blog, we chatted to Buzz Nady, an Iowa native who won a Rigby rifle in the African Hunting Gazette’s raffle in 2021. Buzz, who was busy tilling corn in his fields when we spoke to him, shared the story of his love of hunting, his travels to the African continent back in the 1960s and his joy at winning the .416. Of course, we also had to ask Buzz about his first hunting trip with his new Rigby rifle, which took him to Zimbabwe on the tail of Cape buffalo…
I lived in New Delhi as a child and was lucky to travel through India and into what’s now Corbett Park to go duck hunting with my neighbours. The memory of listening to the tigers, which raises the hairs on the back of your neck, has stayed with me ever since. I went on to travel through north Africa in the 1960s, visiting Libya and Egypt, climbing on the pyramids and travelling all the way down the Nile. This was way before any political stuff changed the area and it was very cool.
30 years later I was in a position financially to be able to go to Africa to hunt. In the intervening years I’d hunted in the US with my family, but I dreamed of heading to Africa to hunt. So, in the 1990s I finally booked it and did it, never looking back. I flew to Cape Town, and the moment I stepped foot there it changed my life forever. The place, the people and the culture get in your blood.
I was back in Africa in September 2021, staying at Afton, Richard Lendrum’s lodge in Johannesburg. Richard was promoting a raffle in The African Hunting Gazette magazine, and the grand prize was a Single Square Bridge Rigby Big Game rifle in .416 Rigby! I entered and then promptly forgot about it – I never really win anything… So, imagine my surprise when Richard called me in November 2021 to say I was the lucky hunter who would own my own Rigby .416 rifle. A ‘proper’ rifle. Naturally, my thoughts quickly changed to where and when I could hunt with it!
I sat down with Pete Barnard, my PH and friend, and we worked out a plan to visit the Zambezi Valley and hunt dagga boys, the old, hardened male Cape buffalo. Then, with nearly two years to wait before my hunt, I made sure I used the time well! I did a lot of practising at the range on my farm putting around 150 rounds through it, both freehand and off sticks, so I would be familiar and really know my rifle when I was in the African bush.
In September of this year, the trip to Africa to hunt finally rolled around. After I landed, I spent a couple days in Harare with Pete and his family just to relax, and then headed with Pete about 390 km to a beautiful camp in the Gache Gache area in the Zambezi valley where I met the camp owner Corris Ferreria. We had a couple of beers as we watched a herd of elephants drinking from the river across from us – a magical start. But some very early starts, and long days beckoned us, so it was time to get some rest…
We spent three days carefully tracking two dagga boys though the Zimbabwean plains, before finally getting within 110m on day four. The first bullet into the buffalo was a 400 grain Woodleigh Hydro solid, right on his shoulder and straight through and out the other side. I followed up by two Barnes 400 gr TSX to be sure, and with that I had secured my dagga boy. What a moment!
I shot a bushbuck at 90m on that trip too, which was more dramatic than you could imagine! I took the shot, he dropped in his tracks and at that moment, the elephants nearby charged us! Panic ensued, with Pete yelling “run” and I’m looking up to see the trackers were already out of the dry riverbed we were in. I can’t fault their self-preservation! I loaded another round, and Pete stood ready to do what needed to be done, if needed. My rifle and I hit the ground as we were climbing up the riverbank, so it was all very exciting. I also shot a hippo at about 60m with the Rigby .416. This was all done with open sights, because I wanted to do it all with the original style of the rifle; no scope or red dot or any of that. What a trip.
I’m already planning another buffalo next year with Pete. Of course, the Rigby will be at my side again, as it’s without a doubt the perfect buffalo rifle. It’s user friendly, it’s heavy and it’s beautiful.