Well we have less than 3 weeks before we leave to go to africa to hunt for my wife a leopard. My ph had the hunch he had a good sized male that is living on his cattle ranch so he put out a bait and a trail cam. He just sent me this picture today and let me tell you im completely excited for my wife. I'm just hoping that the 21 days of sitting in a blind we have planned leads up to her bagging this beautiful animal. I will definitely let you guys know what happens when we get back.
Looks like he likes to come in the dark. He'll be tough to catch in the day light. I doubt he got that big by being dim witted.
Best of luck and shoot straight!
Good luck on your cat hunt !! I am jealous !! A leopard is what I want to hunt whenever I get the chance to get back there.
And please let us know how you did & pictures.
21 days...you guys are going to have a great time...
we all will be wanting a recap on the hunt with some fine photo's
Best of luck to you and your wife!
Originally Posted by BRICKBURN
Sounds like a great challenge, can't wait to hear the outcome! Good Luck!
I just received more pictures of that cat from my ph and this cat looks huge in all the pictures. I would post them but I'm on my iPhone and apparently it doesn't work with this site.
Anyways there is now another leopard male on bait and he is eating every morning at 8am. He looks small to me but my ph says he's a good sized cat. Ian said the cat he sent me trail cam pics of in the daylight is leaving 9.7 cm size tracks. However the larger cat is leaving 10.5 cm tracks. I don't know track sizes but Ian said a 10.5 cm track is huge. The other problem with the big cat is that he is a fresh meat cat according to Ian. He said the first day he put baits out the big guy ate half that warthog in the pic above. The next day Ian put another bait out in a tree and it was immediately hit by the smaller leopard. That same day the large cat went to his half eaten warthog and turned around and left without eating. He then went to the warthog the smaller male had eaten the hindquarters on and ate that warthog which was fresh. The next day the big cat went back to the warthog he originally started feeding on and fed on him one last time. Ian put out several other fresh wart hogs and said the big cat seems to be hitting them first off when they are hung. He said this cat is totally random right now but he's hunted many cats like this before and says he will hopefully get something figured out.. Well my fingers are crossed. Wish my wife luck. Btw...... From u guys on here with experience in this area how big and how often does one see a 10.5 cm track? Is this common or rare. In ur opinions is this a large leopard track?
Here are the pictures.
The night pictures are of the big cat which we will be hoping to get.
The daylight pictures are of the cat that seems to have a pattern and will be the secondary cat on our list.
This is of course leopard hunting and I'm pretty sure we will be extremely lucky just to get any cat. It is some reassurance to me that my ph has been seeing the larger leopards tracks on that cattle ranch for the last 2 years. So lets hope that big boy can just stay there a few more weeks :cool:
Thanks for sharing this hunt with us. I feel like I am in on it with you.
I only have cougar hunting to go from though.
That cat showing up in the dark is a big boy. Look at the distance from his belly to the ground. There is hardly any waist line! (never mind eating half a warthog and then coming back for more. sagging his belly)
Also the thickness of his neck and head alone, never mind in comparison to the daylight visitor.
It looks like your PH is working hard for you. The bill for those baits will be paying for itself in a few weeks.
Keep the faith.
For the past week I have been receiving daily reports on the big cat. The smaller male has disappeared and the larger male has taken over his bait tree meaning he is now using two bait trees. I have received even more trail cam pictures of that large male. As of right now the large male isn't coming to bait but that is good. If he has a pattern he will show up again Sunday or Monday night. He appears to gorge himself for 2 or 3 nights and then disappear for 3 to 4 nights. Well Sunday night will be the 3rd night. However this is understandable. My ph says he's been eating 35 to 45 lbs of meat every night. From the last set of pictures I got it is definitely obvious. That cats gut is bulging so bad on both sides it looks like he's been drinking too much beer instead of pigging out....... Literally. Anyways I'm currently working from an iPad and Jeromes site isn't compatible with iPads or iPhones when it comes to uploading pictures. I will post some more pictures when I get back to my pc.
Good luck on your wifes leopard hunt. You guys are going to have a great time! looking forward to some pictures when you get back. Maybe I missed it but where will you be hunting?
I'm not sure of the exact location of where we will be hunting but it's less than an hour from Swaziland if that helps. All I know for sure is it is in south Africa and it's nowhere near the free state, Limpopo, Kimberly, or the cape town area.
I'm not familiar with the area right around Swaziland, But at least you probably won't have to long of a drive from Joburg. You guys will have an incredible time wherever your final destination is!
Well the stomach will be a trophy on its own. That is probably a very telling number to the experienced Leopard hunters.
Originally Posted by tap
I was wondering when the big boy would chase that smaller one off, if the baits were fairly close together.
That Swazi border is pretty long. I'd guess you'll be up in Limpopo. :)
Looking forward to the latest pictures.....
Originally Posted by BRICKBURN
I got one picture and his gut looked like he was smuggling a volkswagon. He's definitely a giant cat. As for the baits they are currently aout a mile apart each. The larger male seems to be going out of his way to make it known he owns that place. I don't know how a cat could possibly eat that much but in the seven years I have hunted with Ian he hasn't lied to me yet. The only failure on his part is kudu. He knows I like hunting monster kudu pushing that 60 inch mark and it's been 3 years since my last kudu hunt with him. Even tough I am coming to hunt Ian is still unable to find me a kudu to hunt. He's called all his friends and no one has seen anything close to that size so I'm am a little dissapoijted I won't be hunting kudu but now that this leopard has surfaced I am estatic and have new life breathed into me. Just wish the days would roll by faster.
I hate to sound like a nay sayer, or throwing cold water on all the fun, or whatever, but this business of seeing pictures and taking track measurements etc of a specific animal weeks before one gets to Africa sort of leaves me feeling a little like going on a trip to Wal-Mart with a specific item in mind, and if they dont have it, I'll be pissed. Whatever happened to hunting? Taking the best animal presented to one in the course of a good honest hunt. Most guys going to Africa will never see a 60 inch kudu but you berate your PH, (in a fun way I hope) because he has not produced one for you to shoot! And we know from previous posts that you already have at least one monster. We all like good trophies. I have taken a number of animals over the years since 1985 that wont make any book but that doesnt mean they are not worthy trophies. About two thirds of my animals make SCI but I have never entered anything in the "book" because I really dont care. I think we get a little bit obsessed with numbers and tend to forget what the whole thing is about. Just being in Africa and hunting game on foot, and taking the best animal one can in fair chase hunting and being happy with that animal regardless whether it makes SCI or Wards or whatever. Besides the taking of an animal that is less than monster size gives a good reason to continue the pursuit. I do wish Tap the best of luck however in finding a monster of every critter you take measurments of.
On the one hand, it is great that technology has progressed and we can if not participate, at least watch the pre-hunt scouting that goes on. I like to set out my game camera at home and see what whitetails are coming by, and I suppose having the PH do that 10000 miles away really isn't that much different. It is fantastic that you can start to build anticipation of the hunt before you even leave. Anticipation is part of the enjoyment.
On the other hand, I kind of lost interest when I heard that the PH just couldn't come up with a 60 inch Kudu for you to hunt while you are there. Something about that comment rubbed me wrong and made me feel like you are in a mine is bigger than yours contest. If the numbers are that important, just have him shoot the next huge one he sees and send it to you.
I have to agree with Sesstopelman on this one. A representative bag of game means more to me than a monster ordered from the menu. BUT, in the end, it really is different strokes for different folks, and your hunting supports the wildlife and I am happy you've found something enjoyable. It is a nice leopard.
Sestoppelman, No drowning going to happen here, wet spray on the boots maybe.
It is just fun to see the cat(s) for me.
Trail cams in general are being used more and more, and yes, it could all be viewed as shopping. I don't use them here at home.
This PH is just sharing the baiting and watching, tracks, etc.. with technology added.
It is just pictures after all...... and a way for me personally to participate at least in the prep for the hunt and if Tap (and co.) is/are lucky I'll get to see the trophy pictures too and maybe even a story.
Who knows if after all this picture taking it will even happen.
That will be hunting part for sure when they hit the ground.
Drop something in that blind, fall asleep, or spook him some other way and it is all over.
There are no guarantees, baited or otherwise. I figure that is why every PH/Outfitter wants you to hunt for at least 14 days with Leopard hunts.
I don't mind "bumping into" game and hunting hard here at home where it is "just a day off in the woods and a little gas money", but I sure want to know through references and recent hunt pictures that there is some pretty high potential for a successful hunt (trophies and experience) when I travel half way around the world on what might be a once in a lifetime hunt.
After viewing the issues in some of the nightmare hunts people have had it is nice to see a PH working so hard and sharing that part of the work with his client.
I do not know if I will ever hunt a leopard. I am not likely patient enough to sit in a blind long enough to be successful. All my hunting buddies would tell you I am so impatient that I would be more likely to want to grab the best tracker(s) and head off and chase one down on foot. :)
S, keep using your water bucket, it makes life interesting.