Hi Karl,in view of it being a possibilty of hunting leopard this season in Namibia I would like some clarification regarding situations where leopard are wounded over bait.
Is a professional hunter in Namibia permitted to employ trained tracking dogs to locate the wounded leopard so that it can be dispatched?I feel this is an important question for PH's and clients alike not to mention the suffering leopard.
I have on many occassions helped out fellow PH's tracking down wounded leopard where a follow up would not even have started let alone be abandoned.In these cases the leopard was almost always located by the hounds and dispatched by a member of the follow up party.Allowing the use of trained dogs for this purpose eliminates a lot of the danger of the leopard taking someone by supprise.The suffering of the leopard is not drawn out unduly.The clients trophy is recovered for him and the general public is not exposed to bumping into a nasty supprise.
Looking forward to your reply. Regards, Roy Sparks.
Originally Posted by Roy Sparks
Unlike the RSA laws (the three ordinaces that I have written anyway), there is no mention in the Namibian law for the allowance of tracker dogs for the finding and hunting of wounded game.
The new regulations clearly states that dogs may not be used for hunting of leopard. Now whether that applies to wounded animals, I cannot tell you.
What I can tell you is that I have met a few people on the show circuit that mentioned that that they WILL be hunting with hounds in Namibia this year, an that their outfitter have found a loophole. I recon this is the loophole they THINK they found.
Further I am under the believe that if you have really wounded a leopard over bait, and you phone the MET officer in charge of your region, the chances are good that he / she will have the authority/ discression to allow you to find it with dogs.
We have also used hounds on occation to follow up wounded cats, and in 90%plus of the cases, we have found the cat holed up somewhere.
Ranch leopard seem to behave a little different to parks and communal area cats in this regard, as it seems that they mostly try and get as far away as possible from where they where wounded, unlike parks leopard, which normally holes up pretty quick.
Karl thanks for the reply.Yes this is a tricky subject,however I think it would be very unreasonable of MET not to concede to such a request.You can imagine the outcry if someone is severely mauled and permanently maimed or worse as the result of a follow up gone bad.As you know the great danger lies in someone collecting a bullet in the process.Most people will survive a leopard mauling but the outcome of taking a direct hit from a high velocity round may result in a fatality, to a tracker , PH , farmer, or client.
I know for a fact that many PH's dont follow up wounded leopard at all !! The likelihood of an innocent farm worker or foot traveller being attacked cannot be ruled out.This has happened,and I feel that these situations can be prevented.It may even happen to a child visiting the farm.We all know of what happened and the outcry created when Punki took a hit last year. Can the Namibian hunting industry afford another puplic battering as a result of stupid regulations?For more on Punki,readers can contact me I know him well.
Punki is still struggling as a result of the accident, however he is mobile and is slowly on the mend.If he will make a full recovery only time will tell.This incident really impacted my good fellow houndsman Trevor Filmer, I talk to him often but he is bearing up well and will remain one of the best houndsmen in modern hunting history.With Trevors unselfish manner he helped me to forge a new dimension to hunting in Africa with his hounds.The first hounds I used to hunt leopard were supplied by Trev.I am ever greatful to him for this.We still exchange hounds from our kennels and have a great alliance in breeding for the best. We stand for " Quality , Performance, Results. " Regards Roy.
Originally Posted by Roy Sparks
Where are you hunting that a PH will not follow up a leopard? I am not overly experienced in hunting in Africa, but all of the PH's I know would never leave a wounded cat.
You are selling a product on here, your dogs, but there is danger in either method. You commented on the video with Martin Pieters. That cat took a pretty good shot to the chest with a 458 Win from Chap at 10ft and it still bit him. What happened with Punki, why did the dogs not save him from the leopard? (I do know the story or at least what was posted in the internet)
Hi Mike, believe me it is true there are PH's that do not follow up a wounded leopard, but will rather afford their clients excuses as I have heard - its only a flesh wound it will recover and even tell them that they missed.We have done follow ups with the hounds for other operators that would not accompany us either, they flatly refuse to get involved.
I got mauled in the presence of some of my top hounds, it should not have happened but it did. The much advertised video of that mauling shows that clearly.I still believe that by having good hounds around or terriers your chances of getting out unscathed are a lot better.Touch wood I have only been sorted out once by a leopard and thats what I speliased in since 1993 with 233 leopard under the salt.My version of my mauling incident has not yet been publisized, I am waiting for the right person to interview me on that score and I can show him the real deal on my unedited copy of that video.Events that unfolded on that day are not at all accurately portrayed on Ken Wilsons movie of the incident.
I dont know where that .458 round to that leopards chest travelled in Martins incident, maybe it was a solid but I doubt the shooter would have been that foolish.I can only imagine it was not a square hit or it was a freak incident.I think most would agree that a .458 soft at 10 ft from the front directly into a leopards chest and vitals will put it down on the spot. I've seen it done with .270, 7x57, .308 , 30-06 all the way to larger bores. I like my .375 with the load I mentioned.It works for me and I feel the velocity with that lighter .250 gr Sierra Game King is a good combination for leopard.At this point I can only dream of owning a double, But my choice would still be .375 for leopard.Nice to talk to you. Regards, Roy Sparks.
I never considered hunting with dogs until sharing a camp with Terry Fenn this past year. After speaking with him it is a hunt I will make some day.
The shotgun vs rifle thing can be beat to death, I have no experience so I am not qualified to have a strong opinion. The guys that follow up, some like shotguns, some like rifles. It is your butt so bring what you like.
The thing that upsets me is that a PH would not follow a wounded cat. I hope I never end up with a PH like that. It is sickening to know that some will not do the right thing.
Hi Roy, I think the hound hunters have been thrown under the bus. I think you guys weren't treated fairly. I for one hope if a leopard is shot by baiting and doesn't die on the spot and can't be tracked down by a blood trail...the dogs should be called in...let's have no wasted leopards.
Eric Nysse, NE SCI Wisconsin Chapter, Hunt chairman
When I received word that Leopard hunting would resume about June of 2010, I was just elated. I for one will gladly pay the $ 670.00 fee. Even with this fee, the Leopard hunting in Namibia is a bargain compared to other African countries. I am just glad to have the opportunity to hunt the Leopard so soon. I was not issued a permit last year because the quota was met and season closed. My deposit is still with my PH to reserve a hunt. What a let down to have to cancell a hunting trip.
My question, will a hunter have to send a copy of his passport to his PH before the permitting process is started. The signing of permit application by all involved have to be done over the internet also. Some of the regulations as printed are some what confusing.
Being more of a traditionalist, the baiting of Leopards is what I want to experience. I have done the Cougar hunts with dogs, and in my case, it was just too easy.
In Africa as in Texas, if you don't harvest the animal you don't pay the TF, it is not like that here in the USA for many other hunts.
Thank you to all who have replied to this thread. I hope to make a trip to Namibia this fall.
Namibia Leopard Permits
Yes it was disapointing to have this happen when you looking forward to an adventure like that.I also missed a few hunts as a result.
I am sure your PH and outfitter in Namibia will honour your deposit held over from last year.I suggest that you start corresponding with your PH without delay to ensure all necessary paper work that must be done prior to your hunt is done correctly from the start.Do this well in advance incase any changes need to be made regarding the incorrect filling in of applications etc.Due to this being a new regulation there is bound to be a measure of confusion regarding the procedures from all parties.
I presume or rather understand that you should send a copy of your passport in advance which will be required as part of the application process for your hunting permits and licenses.Do whatever documentation you can possibly get completed in advance of the start date of your hunt.Make sure that your application has been approved , signed and stamped by MET,not NAPHA as they have nothing to do with your hunt whatsoever.Have this authorization in your hands before you get on the plane to fly over.Keep record of all your correspondence filed at home.Keep copies there where your family can access them if you so need once you in Namibia.Take additional copies of all these documents with you to Namibia.
Yes some leopard hunts with hounds can be over quickly, depending what end of the trail you start - the short end or the long end.You may trail a leopard for two consecutive days and then have him hole up in a cave for a day or so.You then either wait him out or you crawl in and try locate him for a shot.Makes for very interesting hunting.
I hope you have a very enjoyable and successful hunt for your leopard in Namibia this season and trust that all preparations will go smoothly.Keep safe and good hunting.
Hi Mike. Yes the shotgun verse rifle on leopard has long been argued.I have experience on using both.My personal shotgun use was limited to using SA manufactured shells loaded with LG buckshot. I had to shoot a leopard in a cave once using these loads.Both shots were deliberate aimed shots at the leopards forehead at no more than 4 meters. I could cover the spread with the palm of my hand.I had to kill that leopard though with a borrowed .223 rifle.When we skinned out that cat the pellets were falling onto the skinning room floor as the hide was peeled away.They dented and cracked the skull but none reached the brain.
On another occasion I again used the same loads on a very large wounded leopard.The first shot took it angling toward me at abot 10m.Fortunately a pellet hit the shoulder blade and it dropped but quickly recovered and it came on at me on 3 legs.The hounds were all around it and distracted it.The fight brought them right up to me within a few feet.The next shot took it at a right angle directly on the opposite shoulder to which it dropped.The dogs were all over it then and it expired not long after.As we found out a single pellet from the first shot severed the artery in its neck, it died from blood loss.On disecting it carefully we found that not a single pellet from either shot had entered the chest cavity or got close.Once again pellets fell out of the flesh as the hide was stripped off.The heavey shoulder muscles contained most of the pellets, having only penetrated a few centimetres into the flesh.
When using a shotgun use good slugs.A shotgun handles nicely in tight situations.I like my Miroku 12g o/u with skeet barrels.I have had two feeding problems with semi autos on charges so I've been dissapointed there needless to say.
In 2008 I had a charge, I was a bit higher than the leopard and was using my .375 with 300gr Swift A Frame. My shot took the leopard in the junction of the neck and shoulder missing the neck vertebra but angled completely through the chest cavity and exited between the front legs.That leopard swung away only slightly below the rock I was standing on and carried on past me straight toward the clients son who had been abadoned by his PH.The sons instinctive shot from the hip with his .30-06 broke the leopards back and it was game over.Luckily.
A similar incident happened to me again later that season again with the 300gr SAF.While I rate this as a serious premium bullet I think it is to well constucted for soft cats like leopard and dont meet enough resistence to have them set up quick enough for an anchoring shot where not enough bone is hit.I therefore experimented and found the 250gr Sierra Game King in my .375 has good velocity sets up quickly but not dramatically so and puts them down hard.It doubles as a very accurate bullet for shooting game as well and proves to be very flat shooting.I shot a lot of zebra with this load and it works well with good weight retention. Good hunting. Roy Sparks.
I have never been fortunate enough to hunt leopard, with or without dogs.........but I guided for cougar for several years with dogs in Canada. Indeed some hunts are over with in the blink of an eye. Others were long and arduous for everyone involved. Deep snow, treed cats that jumped and ran several times. Once we had a big tom that bayed near some rocks instead of treeing and he killed three dogs before we could get to him in the deep snow and steep terrain. We returned the next day with new dogs and had the cat within an hour. It treed without incident and the hunter dropped it with a .30-30......deader than a mackerel when it hit the ground.
That is hunting, and with or without dogs, it has twists and variables. There is no doubt however, that it increases success. Is it wrong to hunt leopard with dogs? No, just different. Personally I do not know what the big deal is.......if a country establishes a quota and a set allocation for an operator, it really should not matter if the hunt takes place with bait or with dogs. A dead leopard is a dead leopard.
I think it should be left up to the operator and the client as to what hunting method they are going to use. Obviously those using dogs will pay a premium and should expect to pay more as you have a handler and dogs involved and a higher success rate.
Unscrupulous operators and land owners aside........I saw this problem coming a couple of years ago and I sent e-mails to several operators wondering how things were going because the use of dogs was going to accelerate the speed at which the annual allowable harvest was reached. The CITES quota was bound to be filled within a couple of months as opposed to taking the whole season to meet the quota. I don't think the authorities were prepared for this.........perhaps no one looked ahead and bothered to see it coming, I don't know, but it should not have been a surprise.
In any event it would appear that it is being sorted out and at the very least it would seem prudent to allow the use of dogs to locate wounded cats.
Roy, thank you for the insight, I have already contacted my Ph and he was to be in Namibia Monday to sort things out. I can see mistakes being made with applications, permits etc. Any time new regulations come about, people have different considerations as to what is meant.
I await my PH's reply, and getting started on the application process.
I too see no harm in useing dogs to find a wounded cat.
I can see a higher demand building for Leopard hunting in Namibia now with the tightened regulations on Leopard. Get it done now if you are looking to do a hunt.
One thing that was not discussed in the regulations is the quota on permits. Will it still be the 250?
Rodger, no, as the quota was exceeded the last 2 years, 2010's quota will be cut to make up for that and still stay within the CITES regs that allow 250 to be EXPORTED per year. In 2011, it will propably be back up to 250.
Originally Posted by RogerHeintzman
Roy, as to soft and hard bullets for leopard, I am not in total agreement with you, I will start a post soon then we can discuss.
I personally like my .450 Rigby for following up cats, be that lion or leopard, for 3 reasons:
1) i know it very well, and it fits me well.
2) it has open sights.
3) did I mention that I never want to be chewed by a cat again?
Some information from NAPHA
Hunting outfitters can now apply for their Leopard quota (tags), after the quotas for the whole Namibia have been awarded, MET will announce when the Moratorium will be lifted. Only then hunting outfitters will be able to apply for a Leopard permit for a specific hunter as stipulated in the regulations.
They anticipate the Moratorium to be lifted around July 2010...
Some updated information from NAPHA regarding Leopard hunting in Namibia
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has invited all trophy hunting operators that are interested in Leopard tags for the trophy hunting season 2010 to send in their application forms until the end of March 2010. The Ministry will thereafter work through the applications and inform the trophy hunting outfitters if there requested has been approved or not. No date has been given when the Outfitters will be informed. The Ministry would like to see that trophy hunting for leopard will commence as from June this year.
Some updated information from NAPHA regarding Cheetah hunting in Namibia
Cheetah hunting in Namibia is still closed and the Ministry of Environment and Tourism reported that it would be opened simultaneously with the Leopard hunting. The rules are the same, the only aspect that is different is that hunting outfitters won't need to apply for a Cheetah quota. Once it has reopened, hunting outfitters just need to apply for a trophy hunting permit 14 days in advance as stipulated in the new regulations. Trophy hunting operators also need to include a copy of the hunters passport and the report back is the same as for the Leopard.
Some updated information from NAPHA regarding Leopard and Cheetah hunting in Namibia
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism has indicated to inform the successful applicants for Leopard tags by the 1st week of May 2010. The trophy hunting on Cheetah and Leopard is supposed to be open by the 1st of June 2010.
Applicants for Leopard tags are supposed to be notified on Friday.
Jerome, this news I have been waiting for. Hopefully my PH gets his tags so we can apply for my hunting permit. I had to cancel my trip last August because quota was filled and I did not get a permit. This hunt has been a long nerve racking ordeal.