Accident on Safari…Tim Herald
It is with great regret that I make this hunt report, but I wanted to get this out firsthand and quickly before a rumor mill begins. On August 4th, PH Stu Taylor, his 2 trackers, my cameraman and I were buffalo hunting in Niassa Reserve. We bumped a loan bull twice in the morning, and by 8:00ish AM we decided to leave him for the afternoon hunt.
We began again at 3:30PM, and by 4:30, the buff had us moving very slowly through some very nasty and thick jesse. Fifteen minutes later we were in a spot with 10 yard visibility at the farthest, and the bull crashed out. I assumed he was going away, but then everyone in front of me parted, and I could see the black mass coming straight at us.
I tried to walk backwards as I was bringing up my .458, but after a couple steps, I tripped and fell backwards. As I fell, I hit the trigger and my gun discharged. Simultaneously, Stu had fired at the buff from the hip and hit and turned him. He definitely saved someone’s life.
At that point Stu began yelling. I rushed toward him, and then realized that my errant bullet had hit Stu in the back, and come out his shoulder. We applied pressure as much we could to subside bleeding, and began the 1KM plus walk out toward the road.
Fortunately one of our group of hunters is a military special forces surgeon, and he was there by the time we got to the truck and was able to dress the wound, pack it and get an Israeli bandage on.
We got him to camp, the wound was redressed, and we stabilized Stu as we organized evacuation. The pilot trying to take off in Pemba was arrested for attempting to fly out in the dark, and we were told it would be the next morning before we could get Stu out. We had some pain medication, and Stu was even able to eat a small bit of dinner.
As I write this, we just got Stu on a plane out to Pemba where a MARS jet is waiting to take him to Johannesburg where he can get quality medical attention. Our doctor here feels that besides a broken clavicle, Stu’s injuries are light tissue wound, but it was still a .458 tat went through him. The bullet passed through without breaking anything in the shoulder, he can work his left hand fine, and besides the pain from broken clavicle, he could raise his arm. We are so very thankful that it was a solid.
Stu is one of the toughest individuals I have ever seen, as he was a calm trooper through it all. He is in good spirits, says that this will no way stop him from hunting, and he was giving a thumbs up when we closed the plane door on his departure.
I want to start a Stuart Taylor Relief Fund as soon as possible, but I do not quite know how to go about it at this point, as I will not be home for a week. Please pray for Stu and his family. We are all sure he will make a quick recovery, but obviously this is a very serious situation. Please keep Stu in prayers. I know for a fact that that prayers will and do help as much as anything.