So when a wild Asian water buffalo reared up from a northern Australian marsh just 20 yards away, Brad Coors
found the raw excitement, and the distance, he
had sought for so many days.
An animal weighing well more than a ton with a horn span approaching 7 feet spun broadside, providing a perfect shot.Coors
flexed a recurved bow made just for the occasion and sent a broadhead straight and true.
The Denver resident recently learned this buff he
shot in June 2007 had been confirmed by Safari Club International as a free-range world record for archery with a score of 113 3/8.The former record was 112 1/8.
Mere measurements are but the tip of a story that began with a 40-hour, zigzag journey to Arnhem Land, near Darwin, in Australia's Northern Territory.But the inspiration actually came the previous year.While fishing in New Zealand, Coors
encountered Robert Tritten, who operates an Australian outfitting company that targets water buffalo.
"It started out that I'd be hunting with a couple of pals," Coors
said, "but one by one they dropped out.I ended
up going alone." Coors is a member of the Colorado Wildlife Commission and an avid outdoorsman with a special passion for hunting with a bow.He
often hunts with a compound bow at greater distances, but for the water buffalo, he
chose the traditional stick-and- string.
"I wanted to invade the personal space of the animal.To get inside that close-in zone without being detected is the challenge.To be able to leave without being killed is the second part of the challenge," Coors
said."This required an instinctive form of shooting; the recurve is best for this."
Because, as Coors
observed, "I have no interest in returning home in a pizza box," it also entailed long hours of practice.
"I was very serious about this.If you're going to attempt this, it's essential to get your skills sets right," he
said of a regimen that found him shooting three to five times a day during a period of four months, often at a target in his
"I knew my range would be inside 25 yards and that I'd have to hit a target no bigger than a pie dish.You have to know your limits and make sure shooting wouldn't be an issue," he
The trick, Coors
said, came in finding the right bull in a place with enough concealment for an approach.Creeping a long distance behind eucalyptus trees and termite mounds, Coors
at last found his
showed himself to the bull and his
shot found its mark.