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Accident on Safari…Tim Herald

August 6, 2012 by  
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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.

Hunt Hard….Tim



22 Responses to “Accident on Safari…Tim Herald”

  1. Dave skin Ed says:

    Holy crap! I can’t imagine the chaos that would arise from a situation like this with most people. Very glad stu’s injuries are not life threatening. Keep us posted!

  2. G. McGinnis says:

    Live and learn folks. Off target, off trigger and this would never happen.

  3. Jim Jacobs says:

    A traumatic event for sure. This isn’t an accident. It’s called a negligent discharge and not the buffalo’s fault. Number one safety is the trigger finger.

  4. Brett C. says:

    This is terrible I would never go in the bush with Tim Herald he should give up hunting, the question he should ask himself
    Is did I have the sight on the buffalo ? No means don’t shoot…I do not watch his hunting show any longer

  5. Shaun C. says:

    I just saw the episode, I don’t normally watch the show. The thing that struck me was after the accident, how many times Mr. Herald’s rifle is pointed at someone, such as the camera man. The charge of a dangerous animal in thick cover, tripping, can conceivably cause an accident, but I saw other careless handling instances after the event.

  6. Pierre Dorion says:

    not an accident I have been hunting and training novices for 46 years and the no 1 safety rule is never point a weapon of any kind at a person load a round only if no one else is inthe line of fire I think mr herold should cancel future hunting trips and use the money to pay for Stu,s treatments until he is fully recovered

  7. Bob Penny says:

    I agree that this is a negligent discharge caused by careless operation of a firearm and the circumstance of a charging buffalo neither explains nor excuses that. When hunting dangerous game, a hunter has to assume there will be risky situations and be mentally prepared to handle them without losing control on his weapon.

    In fact I have been surprised at how sloppy the gun handling and lack of muzzle control appears to be on TV programs of African hunts in general. It’s like these guys are the elite of the hunting business and normal gun safety does not apply to them. Until that changes, the risk remains high for more of this type of outcome, and much worse.

  8. Tony Henderson says:

    I too was astonished to see this on TV . I agree that getting the truth out is important regardless of the outcome . I also agree that the cause is improper handling of a firearm . Fact is an inch or two and it could have been manslaughter . To Tim I am sorry that this happened , to Stu we pray for a full recovery.
    For those who have been in Africa after buffalo, or NA after Grizzly we have a tendency to slip off the safety for self preservation ,it’s not right but you have to be there to understand ,But it is wrong.

  9. Bruce says:

    Muzzle control…learn about it.

  10. Luther says:

    In my opinion, the “Stuart Taylor Relief Fund” should begin with 100% of Tim Herald’s assets. Calling for others to donate in compensation of your own egregious error, until you yourself are “all in,” is tacky at best.

    Doing it while the victim of your negligence is still bleeding into a dressing on the way to hospital demonstrates an astonishing lack of sense of responsibility.

    Again, my opinion only.

  11. laurie m says:

    I realize that hunting in Africa is the most dangerous place to hunt. I have been gun hunting for years and never do you have the safety off unless you are ready to shoot. I really can’t call it an accident because if he tripped and shot stu, his safety was off. I have watched this episode 3 times and just feel bad for both of them ESPECIALLY STU! safety on, finger off trigger until the shot!

  12. Max says:

    I share the same opinion as Luther.

    Tim is obviously no professional.

  13. Alan W says:

    I hope we all, as ethical and seasoned hunters here, learn from this terrible incident and almost tragic event. I feel sorry for Tim and his nightmares to come but mostly for Stu and what a struggle he has before him. Surely Tim understands the financial responsibilities, that are in front of him, to make things right. He is a good guy and I know that he will. Hunting in Africa is dangerous and all those involved understand this.. but learn from this: NO MATTER WHAT IS HAPPENING…YOU MUST STAND YOUR GROUND on a charging dangerous animal. You have already lost part of the battle, if you are backing up! This needs to be rehearsed many times before your planned hunt…both mentally and physically. There is no way to know how you may react in a dangerous situation. You must practice for this, along with your shooting, so that trained instinct will take over. You do not have time to think about what you are going to do in a quick situation such as this. You must know what you are going to do, to have a better chance. You must stand your ground, plant your feet and if you don’t have enough time to aim, you poke the animal in the best spot you can and pull the trigger. Always stay focused on your target and let him knock you off your feet as opposed to loosing your footing by backing up or out of the way. We as ethical hunters, sometimes spend to much time and focus, on practicing shot placement and not enough time on what to do if we don’t have that perfect shot. This was a terrible thing to happen on both sides of the hunting party and my prayers are with you all.

  14. Robert says:

    Tough situation. I believe that when you are shouldering your rifle to shoot a charging cape buffalo at point blank range, you had better have your safety off when the firearm makes it to your shoulder! And if you happen to fall or trip whilst performing this function you will lose control of your weapon. Truly an accident and Mr. Herald’s responsibility, financially and otherwise. But, I fail to see the negligence on Mr. Herald’s part. Hunting, the outdoors and dangerous game is not a controlled environment or exact science by any means.

  15. mike Harper says:

    not to defend tim, BUT what was he doing in FRONT of the PH in such heavy cover? they were not tracking a wounded animal in my opinion the PH used poor judgement by putting everyone in danger by pursuing these animals in such heavy cover without being out in front just my opinion based on tims version of events


  16. Garth Houk says:

    Much too harsh! Accidents happen and where there are humans there will always be human error! Hunt hard Tim! I love the show and hind sight is ALWAYS 20-20, anyone who thinks they are perfect will only find sooner than later that they aren’t and will have their own run in with human error someday and I hope it Isn’t anymore serious than it need be for them to Learn!

  17. John R says:

    I guess one way to support Stu is to purchase his remarkable book Lost In Africa. I’ve read it and it’s an incredible memoir about his life.

  18. Mikey says:

    Why the hell is Tim Gerald still on TV shows? The Outdoor Network and Sportsman channel should get a grip!

  19. Gregg boudoures says:

    I Guide also for a living, I do not let anyone loaded a gun until they are in front of me and the game is in front of us…do not load your weapon till ready to shoot this is definitely Tim fault and if you watch his show he brushes people with his weapon all the time
    . He is very unsafe and dangerous. he points his gun at the cameraman and other people on the show you are ridiculous for having him on the show. he is very unsafe and dangerous!! and should be off the show I have no respect for him as a person or a hunter.. he is definitely not a is his financial responsibility, not anyone elses

  20. Fletchman says:

    I have never hunted Africa however I see the most careless and dangerous gun handling while watching hunting shows that take place in Africa. The African carry of holding the rifle by the barrel with the muzzle pointing forward. Everytime I see this I cringe as it violates everything I was taught about safe gun handling. I realize the big calibers require a heavy rifle but there has to be a better way. I wasn’t there when Tim shot Stu by accident. It was negligence no doubt but to what degree I don’t know. If there was a charging Buffalo in tall grass and in close when did the safty come off etc are the questions to ask. I just hope Stu comes back from his injury.

  21. Brad Smith says:

    I just returned from a two week hunt with Stu Taylor and would like to update the facts about getting shot by Tim Herald.
    In his original blog on August 6, 2012, Mr Herald states the injuries were fortunately limited to soft tissue except for a broken clavicle. I am a physician and can confirm the following. 1. His shoulder blade was cut in half by the bullet and he lost half of his rotator cuff, seriously weakening his left arm for life. His left arm is now 2 inches shorter. His injuries were very serious and left permanent disability.
    He only returned to working as a PH in 2015. In the interval he survived for two years on his own savings. and the kindness and charity of friends and family. His medical bills were covered by his employer but he received no living support or compensation from Mr Herald, the person responsible for his condition.
    My opinion after listening to Stu, was that Mr Herald was negligent. Stu was in between him and the buff at all times, and in fact turned the animal at the moment it dropped its head to hook Stu. Tim never had a clear shot and had no reason to have his finger on the trigger to take a shot OR even have a round in the chamber. Whether he tripped or not it was a negligent discharge.
    Mr Herald and Magnum Hunt Club stopped communicating with Stu shortly after the accident. Stu received no financial support during his recovery from Mr Herald or his company nor for what will be permanent disability in his left arm.
    Anyone who has been there will understand that a charging Cape Buffalo could make someone make a mistake and have an AD, and i understand that. What is incomprehensible to me is the minimization of his injuries at the time of the blog in 2012 [I spoke with another PH who was there who indicated that if the Army Surgeon hadn’t been there Stu would have very possibly died], and the complete abandonment of the PH who saved Mr Herald’s life and was shot in the process. The lack of responsibility for one’s actions in Mr Herald’s case is shocking and sullies his name as a hunter and human being in my opinion.

  22. Bret Graveline says:

    How is it that with that kind of negligence both in the field and the lack of ownership after the fact,Herald still has his own hunting show?

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