wayne good to see you are enjoying the frustrations of leopard hunting :biggrin2:, and it would seem you are having a ball :beer:
Here is an excellent demonstration of the frustration of Leopard Hunting. (read the Challenge)
Drop by the bait and grab the trail cam pictures. Don't see much. For some reason the camera went off in the night and I get this picture. Why did the camera go off?
Look really hard at the bottom of the photo.
Did the traditional review the tracks on the ground, look at the bait. Determined that something big, besides Mongeese had been hitting the bait for sure.
This was the picture. The rat bas**rd would not get on the limb and pose for a decent picture.
The picture does not reveal much about his size really....
UNTIL I pose standing beside the bait on the ground. I am of a diminutive stature of 201cm or 6'7".
That cat is chewing on the top of that bait in this picture. The top!
From this position he would also have been totally invisible to the blind due to a dip in topography.
I refuse to think this Leopard is that smart, well maybe he is..
Bummer........Thank goodness you are there for over a month......more chances. Hopefully the other animals are coming along better.
Best of luck still to you. If you get your cat, the experiences like this will only make it seem that much more of an accomplishment.
Wayne stick to it you'll get him. btw I hope thats not all your bait heck I use more then that fishing for Catfish. :laughing: Good luck waiting to see the Cat.
Looks like a VERY good excuse to shoot more bait. I'm sure you can find something.... Good luck and keep us posted. Bruce
I'm rooting for you to get your cat! Put the hurt on Mr. Spots!
PS Have fun!
Thanks for the support.
Time to share more of the story, now that I can access higher speed internet.
Speaking of other critters.
When I headed over to the rifle range the first day I noticed the flag.
Metal. Certainly made to last.
The Ozondjahe Farm Flag
We went off heading to the mountains this morning. I wanted to find those Mountain Zebra. They live in Mountains right?
So we headed to the pass to circle toward the Leopard baits and see what I could see.
The bait has been hit. 5000 pictures on the trail camera. Settings for deer hunting do not work for Leopard hunting.
Ran into a Kudu Bull right off. Not quite good enough. A nice bull though.
Another nice bull stands on the road and looks at us for a moment and then heads into the thick stuff.
Amazing they are so agile and sneaky that they will just stand motionless and let you pass.
It must work, cause they keep doing it.
He was big enough to get you excited but not enough to head after him.
I am being very picky this trip. I know it and Augustinus (hence forth referred to as "A") knows it to, thankfully.
Can't find Mtn Zebra.
FULL MOON night. Nothing is moving around this morning hardly.
Anyone that says the moon is not an issue, tell them to go jump in a lake or find a cliff if they are insistent.
As we are slowly progressing along the base of the mountains the baakie comes to an abrupt halt.
A family of Dik Dik are browsing on the road. All hunting comes to a full stop.
The Big White Gun Comes out.
The Stalk commences. The sun has just come up and is straight behind me, wind in my face.
This can not be better.
I get within 10 yards of these guys.
They finally spooked off when they heard the gravel crunching under my feet.
The Dik Dik Family
Mama Dik Dik
Papa Dik Dik
Baby Dik Dik
Moving along the base of the mountain I find myself looking hard into the bush and up the mtn side.
I tap on the roof, finally learned what the signal is. Tapping on a cloth roof is a little bit of scratch actually. It's actually more like drumming.
Manuel stops and I check with the binos and sure enough the binos don't lie. A bedded Oryx.
I point them out to A.
He confirms it and gives me one of the best trophies you can ever have.
"Good Eyes!" Did he really just say that set of words with open admiration?
WOW. I am floored and actually feel very proud.
How do you beat that? You can't.
I have been working hard and it shows.
Moving along I see a Steenbok at the edge of a cutting (cutline) and have to show A where it is.
A can only see Impala further down the road and actively illustrates that he thinks I am nuts. I insist he looks harder. We agree finally that it is a Steenbok. Just in time to have him disappear.
I get the second compliment from a man with incredible experience. "Good Eyes" again.
It is universal. We say the same compliments at home when someone sees game that no one else has spotted and it is a measure of the skill level that has developed.
After this, we have no further second guessing me when I see something.
However, we are both not perfect and we both spot a lot of "Bushbuck". Remember, this is Namibia, there are no Bushbuck! The colloquial term for bushes, rocks, stumps, etc. when someone screws up.
We continued on our way. I was pumped to have seen these little guys and spending some time with them.
A points out and Eland. I stare into the bush and can not see a thing. He finally points down on the ground and I see what he is looking at.
A dead one. No wonder I did not see it. :)
Amazing how the dry air preserves these animals.
I head over and collect the head. I would like to measure it and see what kind of trophies are here.
(I think about Rabies after the fact. Won't be so stupid after this. You are not in Kansas Toto.)
Moving along slowly down the trails with a slight breeze. I see a dark shape and see some pretty good horns on it.
It appeared to be a lone bull Blue Wildebeest standing in the shade, I had one look and thought, maybe.
Augustinus had a look and said he was pretty good.
With that it was time for a stalk, whether a trigger was pulled or not it was time to get closer and do some real trophy evaluation.
The animal was alone, calm and looking for a place to bed in the very warm mid morning sun.
We snaked our way through the trees closer, all the while keep the wind right and some kind of tree or bush between us.
Get within 100 yards, probably under 70 yards and another smaller bull starts blowing. He is off to the side and down wind. We had never seen him. As the younger one gets more agitated it gets our guy going and he starts getting anxious.
He was bedded and now he is up and thinking of leaving. Looking our way, but not really too concerned with us. Its that alarm that is bothering them.
Thankfully this area is full of shooting sticks.
I lean the binos onto the tree and get a very steady look at him.
We discuss how close he is to what I want. Rowland Ward or nothing.
A says he is a good bull. I know that he has agreed with me now.
All doubt in trophy judging is gone.
Ill take him.
I consciously make myself think "Remember, aim forward".
It was time to determine if the 300WM was on. The 270 had done the trick on the Impala.
Leaned on a tree, waited for him to stand still, basically broadside.
Perfect shot, double lung, broken shoulder. He is down within 8 yards. One small circle.
Smiles all round.
The shooting lane and the kind of shooting sticks I really like to use. (Any available tree)
The trophy Wildebeest where he went down.
The shot placement
Manuel and Augustinus posing with my Trophy.
Loading the Monster
Just when you think you are bullet proof, something will prove you wrong.
I should have been a little more attentive, but I was still jet lagged obviously.
This morning I went down the stairs still tired and hands full and I fell down the stairs onto both knees onto the marble floor.
Thankfully, it was the last stair.
Later, as I helped load the Wildebeest I slipped and scraped my shin down the rear bumper, while my full weight was on that foot while holding the front end weight of the Wildebeest. Thankfully, I am wearing very good thick pants so I was not cut.
I end up bruising the bone and I have a bruise the size of a orange. That gets worse later.
Ice it, Ill survive. It did not hurt until later.
Lucky I was Leopard hunting lots and I got to sit and raise my leg. :)
Then to finish "the bad things coming in three list", while loading my camera on the hood of the truck I slap myself with the aerial.
Amazing! Enough already. Clumsy is not typically me, I am very tired still.
Oh well, I am hunting in Africa and having a great time.
welcome back brick
hope it went well
them dik dik are handsome little bugger ,nice photos
and don't worry to much about a few bruises I just read somewhere they are like stickers for big boys
how big was the horns on your eland pick up head ?
keep writing mate ......
Good start don't stop now.
Excellent read, time for the next installment?
Nice BW. Nice pics. Thanks for taking the time to post them. Keep it up. Can't wait to pics of Mr. Spots. Bruce
So far so good Brickburn, keep it coming!
Wayne, glad to have you back. Loving the story and the pics. Looking forward to the details off all your hunts on this trip.
Is it true that your going to have to use a 40' container to get everything back?
Welcome back Brickburn! Can't wait to here more about your trip. And I heard that it is a 45 foot container!