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Question regarding caliber minimums for Lion & Leopard

This is a discussion on Question regarding caliber minimums for Lion & Leopard within the Hunting Africa forums, part of the HUNT AFRICA category; Hello everyone, I have a question that I've been wanting to ask but keep forgetting. In most African countries the ...

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    trigger creep is offline AH Enthusiast
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    Default Question regarding caliber minimums for Lion & Leopard

    Hello everyone, I have a question that I've been wanting to ask but keep forgetting.

    In most African countries the legal minumum for Lion and Leopard is .375 (I believe). Now, since Lion and Leopard are thin skinned animals that don't weigh all that much, why is it not legal to hunt them with a .338 Win. mag, or a .35 Whelen? It would seem to me that these two cartridges (with the proper bullet weights) would be sufficient calibers for these 2 cats. So, why is it not legal in most African countries?

    Any answers to my question would be appreciated.


    P.S If I posted this in the wrong forum I am sorry.

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    I would have just edited my op but I can't find the edit button. I forgot to also ask why you cant hunt Lion & Leopard with a 9.3X57, 9.3X62, 9.3X64, or a 9.3 X74R? They all would be just fine for these two cats. I have even read that people discuss whether the 9.3 X64 could be just as powerful as a .375 H&H.

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    Christian, in most countries you can, as the minimum are often much lower than .375, like 7mm in Zim I believe, and no limit in Namibia.

    A good and sensable choice would be 7mm for leopard and 8mm for lion from blind/ bait setup only. When following anu wounded one, I like an open sighted gun, and those are mostly in big bore catigory anyways.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Stumpfe View Post
    Christian, in most countries you can, as the minimum are often much lower than .375, like 7mm in Zim I believe, and no limit in Namibia.

    A good and sensable choice would be 7mm for leopard and 8mm for lion from blind/ bait setup only. When following anu wounded one, I like an open sighted gun, and those are mostly in big bore catigory anyways.
    Thank you for answering my question, Karl Stumpfe.


    What is the law in RSA then?

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    Minimum Equipment Requirements for Rifle Hunting in Africa by Country

    Benin
    • There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Benin.
    • Benin does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Botswana
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Botswana is .222 caliber for any game other than dangerous game.
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Botswana is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting.
    • The maximum equipment allowed for rifle hunting in Botswana is .577 Nitro Express caliber.
    • Botswana does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Burkina Faso
    • There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Burkina Faso.
    • Burkina Faso does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Cameroon
    • For Group 1 - Small Game, the equipment requirement for hunting is .240 caliber or less, shotgun may be used as well.
    • For Group 2 - Medium Game, the equipment requirement for hunting is .240 to .354 caliber.
    • For Group 3 - Big Game, the equipment requirement for hunting is .354 caliber or larger.
    • Cameroon does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Central African Republic
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Central African Republic is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting.
    • Central African Republic does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Ethiopia
    • There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Ethiopia.
    • Ethiopia does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Mozambique
    • There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Mozambique.
    • Mozambique does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Namibia
    • Smallest caliber allowed 7 mm (.284).
    • Minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity)
    • Big Game
    5400 Joule
    (Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Rhino, Lion, etc.)
    • Large Game
    2700 Joule
    (Greater Kudu, Cape Eland, Oryx / Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Hartmann's Zebra, Burchell's Zebra, Giraffe, Sable Antelope, Roan Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, Leopard, etc.)
    • Medium to Small Game
    1350 Joule
    (Springbok, Impala, Blesbok, Gray Duiker, Steenbok, Ostrich, Caracal, Black-Faced Impala, Red Lechwe, Damara Dik-Dik, Klipspringer, Black-Backed Jackal, Warthog, Cheetah, Nyala, Chacma Baboon, Game Birds, etc.)

    South Africa
    • Most provinces do not have a minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting and rely on common sense.
    • Some provinces require a minimum of .375 caliber for dangerous or big game hunting.
    • No provinces require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Tanzania
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Tanzania is .240 caliber for any game other than dangerous game.
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Tanzania is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting.
    • Tanzania does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Zambia
    • Zambia does not have a minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting plains game and rely on common sense. Caliber in the .270 range will be well suited for some of the smaller plains game in Zambia.
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Zambia is .300 caliber for dangerous game such as Leopard and Lion.
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Zambia is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting such as Elephant, Buffalo and Hippo.
    • Zambia does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Zimbabwe
    • Class A Game
    5300 Joule
    Minimum caliber 9.2mm in diameter
    (Elephant, Hippo, Buffalo)
    • Class B Game
    4300 Joule
    Minimum caliber 7.0mm in diameter
    (Lion, Giraffe, Eland)
    • Class C Game
    3000 Joule
    Minimum caliber 7.0mm in diameter
    (Leopard, Crocodile, Kudu, Oryx / Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Wildebeest, Zebra, Nyala, Sable Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, etc.)
    • Class D Game
    850 Joule
    Minimum caliber 5.56mm in diameter
    (Warthog, Impala, Reedbuck, Sitatunga, Duiker, Steenbok, Jackal, Game Birds, etc.)
    • Black Powder Rifles
    Minimum caliber .40

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    Jerome,

    Thanks a lot for this information ....

    Monish
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Stumpfe View Post
    Christian, in most countries you can, as the minimum are often much lower than .375, like 7mm in Zim I believe, and no limit in Namibia.

    A good and sensable choice would be 7mm for leopard and 8mm for lion from blind/ bait setup only. When following anu wounded one, I like an open sighted gun, and those are mostly in big bore catigory anyways.
    That is interesting, I did not realise that the minimum's were lower in most countries. I thought that the reverse applied!

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    Namibia
    Smallest caliber allowed 7 mm (.284).
    Minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity)
    Big Game
    5400 Joule
    (Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Rhino, Lion, etc.)
    Large Game
    2700 Joule
    (Greater Kudu, Cape Eland, Oryx / Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Hartmann's Zebra, Burchell's Zebra, Giraffe, Sable Antelope, Roan Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, Leopard, etc.)
    Medium to Small Game
    1350 Joule
    (Springbok, Impala, Blesbok, Gray Duiker, Steenbok, Ostrich, Caracal, Black-Faced Impala, Red Lechwe, Damara Dik-Dik, Klipspringer, Black-Backed Jackal, Warthog, Cheetah, Nyala, Chacma Baboon, Game Birds, etc.)
    Jerome, not to be nitpicking, but I think you got that off NAPHA's website, and they include extra animals that was never emntioned in the ordinance, like lion, leopard and elephant. Technically, because they are not mentioned, they can be hunted with anything except restricted weapons. Also, the 7mm minimum is something that they advocate, it is no where to be seen in the original law.
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    Karl, The info provided for Namibia is indeed from NAPHA's website. Thank you for the precision on the Namibian law in regard to the minimum calibers rules and regulations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AfricaHunting.com View Post
    Minimum Equipment Requirements for Rifle Hunting in Africa by Country

    Benin
    • There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Benin.
    • Benin does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Botswana
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Botswana is .222 caliber for any game other than dangerous game.
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Botswana is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting.
    • The maximum equipment allowed for rifle hunting in Botswana is .577 Nitro Express caliber.
    • Botswana does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Burkina Faso
    • There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Burkina Faso.
    • Burkina Faso does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Cameroon
    • For Group 1 - Small Game, the equipment requirement for hunting is .240 caliber or less, shotgun may be used as well.
    • For Group 2 - Medium Game, the equipment requirement for hunting is .240 to .354 caliber.
    • For Group 3 - Big Game, the equipment requirement for hunting is .354 caliber or larger.
    • Cameroon does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Central African Republic
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Central African Republic is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting.
    • Central African Republic does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Ethiopia
    • There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Ethiopia.
    • Ethiopia does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Mozambique
    • There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Mozambique.
    • Mozambique does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Namibia
    • Smallest caliber allowed 7 mm (.284).
    • Minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity)
    • Big Game
    5400 Joule
    (Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Rhino, Lion, etc.)
    • Large Game
    2700 Joule
    (Greater Kudu, Cape Eland, Oryx / Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Hartmann's Zebra, Burchell's Zebra, Giraffe, Sable Antelope, Roan Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, Leopard, etc.)
    • Medium to Small Game
    1350 Joule
    (Springbok, Impala, Blesbok, Gray Duiker, Steenbok, Ostrich, Caracal, Black-Faced Impala, Red Lechwe, Damara Dik-Dik, Klipspringer, Black-Backed Jackal, Warthog, Cheetah, Nyala, Chacma Baboon, Game Birds, etc.)

    South Africa
    • Most provinces do not have a minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting and rely on common sense.
    • Some provinces require a minimum of .375 caliber for dangerous or big game hunting.
    • No provinces require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Tanzania
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Tanzania is .240 caliber for any game other than dangerous game.
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Tanzania is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting.
    • Tanzania does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Zambia
    • Zambia does not have a minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting plains game and rely on common sense. Caliber in the .270 range will be well suited for some of the smaller plains game in Zambia.
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Zambia is .300 caliber for dangerous game such as Leopard and Lion.
    • The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Zambia is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting such as Elephant, Buffalo and Hippo.
    • Zambia does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

    Zimbabwe
    • Class A Game
    5300 Joule
    Minimum caliber 9.2mm in diameter
    (Elephant, Hippo, Buffalo)
    • Class B Game
    4300 Joule
    Minimum caliber 7.0mm in diameter
    (Lion, Giraffe, Eland)
    • Class C Game
    3000 Joule
    Minimum caliber 7.0mm in diameter
    (Leopard, Crocodile, Kudu, Oryx / Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Wildebeest, Zebra, Nyala, Sable Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, etc.)
    • Class D Game
    850 Joule
    Minimum caliber 5.56mm in diameter
    (Warthog, Impala, Reedbuck, Sitatunga, Duiker, Steenbok, Jackal, Game Birds, etc.)
    • Black Powder Rifles
    Minimum caliber .40
    Thank you, this post answers all my questions.

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    Could some one remind us what is the value of the JOULE?,, thanks a lot.
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    Divide Joule by 1.357 to get ft. lbs.
    (a side note, I think Zim dropped their Class game to 5000J)
    Karl Stumpfe
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    Apreciate it, Karl.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karl Stumpfe View Post
    Christian, in most countries you can, as the minimum are often much lower than .375, like 7mm in Zim I believe, and no limit in Namibia.

    A good and sensable choice would be 7mm for leopard and 8mm for lion from blind/ bait setup only. When following anu wounded one, I like an open sighted gun, and those are mostly in big bore catigory anyways.
    I agree that both species are thin skinned, and a leopard is not such a big animal (in size only). I have seen once a video of a lion shot with a bow from a hide and the arrow went right through. A smaller caliber than a .375 will do the job. The problem comes in when following a wounded animal when you need a lot of stopping power. Which is why many countries probably want hunters rather to be safe than sorry.

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    I found the 9.3 works well and Leopard/Lion size game but as Karl stated, "follow up", tracking or going to or from blind in twilight makes you wish for something more powerful.

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    Quote Originally Posted by classicsafari View Post
    I found the 9.3 works well and Leopard/Lion size game but as Karl stated, "follow up", tracking or going to or from blind in twilight makes you wish for something more powerful.
    Something in the half inch range perhaps!!

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    Yes, something above .400.

    My 425 with a Woodleigh soft bullet did well on this old guy.

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    Wow, that is great!!

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    Most PHs I've read about seemed to advocate the 12 Gauge for following up wounded leopards.
    Macs Burke
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    I for one would prefer to have a 12ga 3.5"mag or 10ga for Leopard follow up.
    I simply find an U/O Shotty that much faster handeling than any Centerfire rifle I have used. These rifles include Doubles in 450/400 and 470 and high grade bolt rifles in 9.3, 375,416, 404, 425, 458 ect.

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