Trail Cams for Leopard Hunting

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by gxsr-sarge, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Gavin Lipjes

    Gavin Lipjes AH Veteran

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    Don't you not think the 'hunt' is the entire package? what will you learn and experience about Leopard ecology from a pre-baited area? are you to arrive and just shoot the animal?

    The only real value of trail cams prior to the hunt is that you can ask for evidence of Leopard activity. In areas where the hunt is conducted by means of permit then outfitters can roll several Clients unsuccessfully through 1 permit and maximize profits.
    The benefit during the hunt is the ability to more accurately judge sex/size of each individual. Each Leopard has a unique collection of spots above the whiskers, either side of the nose (like a fingerprint). Keep this in mind when positioning your trail cam.

    Many travelling hunters are so impressed with beauty of the dead Leopard that they lose emphasis on the actual hunt. A Leopard is a master predator - elusive, solitary, shy and wide ranging. A challenge to HUNT..........easy to shoot.
     

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  2. mikejones

    mikejones AH Member

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    Hi there and good luck, regarding your 2 questions.

    1. I would say if he wanted to use cams for your specific leopard then the cams and bait should have been setup at least 2 weeks before your arrival or more... The bait would most likely be in the tree so if its being eaten and you find tracks below you know you have your leopard, the cam of course will help you to tell if its male or female and age ...

    2. Since he will keep the cams i would let him tell you his budget so you know what to buy, if its a freebie for him then if you can prob just stick with the basic one..

    cheers mike jones



    Your questions were ......

     
  3. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    WOW, please excuse me but I have to disagree with every single one of you guys on here. Last year in Zimbabwe we started running trail cams the day I showed up. I wanted a big cat and the only way you can do that is to take pictures. In addition we also needed to identify males. My wifes cat had a small track but the camera showed balls so we were golden. We checked cameras every single day and it really added to the excitement. In addition I think leopard hunting via blinds sucks. Its a waiting game and Its extremely boring. Let me ask you guys this. If a ph is pre-baiting with or without trail cameras the results are all the same. Leopards will come and go but never stay. If a ph calls you to come sit a blind that a leopard is hitting and a trail cam shows it to be a big male please tell me how this is a shoot rather than a hunt? I've seen many setups where the leopard won't come in once the hunter is in the blind. In addition the cat may be full or a female in heat or something else may happen. Its best to prebait in as many areas as possible and to have as many cats on as possible. In addition trail cams are very welcome if you are the ph and YOUR license is on the line. Wouldn't you like to have pictures of balls and have another level of confidence your hunter won't be shooting a female and costing you a license? Im sorry to go against the status quo here but to say having bait out and cameras up where you just show up and shoot a leopard is about as far from the truth as one gets. It NEVER happens that way and NEVER will. occasionally one will get lucky but that's hunting. I spend 21 days in Zimbabwe with over 15 baits out and a dozen cameras. We were running hounds and we barely got my wifes cat on the last day with hounds. Even worse is that we were chasing leopards every day. Arent hounds suppose to be just a shoot and not a hunt? it was the most exciting hunt of my life!

    Whoever started this thread I would say this. Buy some bushnell trophy cams. I used 12 in Zimbabwe last year and they worked flawlessly. Use a 32 meg card in them and lithium ion batterys. Pre bait a week before the hunt and use as many cameras as possible. All those live photos of the leopard make the hunt even that much more exciting. At least this way you get to actually see a leopard even if you don't take one. Hopefully you will have a big male on bait and you can actually get one. No matter how long it takes the experience will be rewarding and you won't have any regrets. Just don't listen to the guys on here trying to tell you there are certain ethics to hunting leopards and that you aren't a worthy hunter if you don't follow their supposed ethics. Keep in my adhering to another's supposed ethics is the end of your personal love affair with hunting. Hunt for yourself and to heck with everyone else. That's my motto and I will live by it till I die. I held the gun for my 3 year old and he pull the trigger and killed his first warthog. By others standards Im a horrible father. By my 5 year olds standards Im the best father in the world. I will take my own family's opinion over internet hunters any day. Go and hunt your leopard your way and enjoy every minute whether it be 1 day or 14 days. Enjoy every second
     
  4. hunting

    hunting AH Enthusiast

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    In 2012 we had a leopard permit in Zululand South Africa, 7 days before the hunt we started to bait and also set up our trail cams 2 days later we got the hit every single night the leopard showed up from about 9 pm until 9h30 we did not tie the bait to a tree but to a very big log the leopard moved the bait with log and all to a nice area he choose to feed at, my client arrived from Russia and we got him in the blind at about it was summer so we stll had some good light , 9h10 on the first evening of the hunt he took his leopard, to me trail cams does help but you also need luck, experience and a cat.
     
  5. sestoppelman

    sestoppelman SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Yeah, you guys dont know nuttin' about nuttin'. You just listen to old granpa Tap! :rolleyes:
     
  6. Bobpuckett

    Bobpuckett GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Guys I may be reading what the PH wants wrong but it sounds like a hint to me. How many of us have taken gifts to Africa for the PH and they gladly except it with a big smile shake your hand and in reality they have no use for it. Thats the reason I always ask before I come if there is anything they need from the states. A few cheap IR game cams for a gift ain't bad there is one game cam that comes as a set I think you get 3 in the package for about a $150.00 cheap enough you can always check Ebay.
     
  7. tap

    tap AH Enthusiast

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    I think bobpuckett hit the nail on the head. On my last safari I offered each PH $1,000 cash or hunting gear. Lets just say I came home with all my cash. One took my lica geovid 10x42 binos, one took 6 bushnell trophy game cameras, and one took a scope that I can't elaborate on the type or the state department will be upset. Anyways the point is that I've never met a ph that wants cash more than cool hunting gear. Those items in Africa are a lot more expensive than they are for us and they are worth way more than the cash we would give them.
     
  8. Gavin Lipjes

    Gavin Lipjes AH Veteran

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    Tap it is always good to read of a foreign hunter sharing such passion for hunting leopard over hounds and there are many that will agree with your sentiment of this being the most exciting hunt of a lifetime.
    A few details in your post did perk my interest: The method in its purety revolves around expert tracking, both visual sign and scent. Any houndsman worth his/her salt should be able to determine sex, estimate size and maturety from tracks alone. The pack should be able to have success even without the use of bait. Many packs rely on bait because the hounds are trained year round on other game like Jackal and therefore only trusted off leash when the Leopard scent is fresh as confirmed by the trail cam data. Single specie packs can be decoupled all at once on any age track because they are proofed off other game, similar to the SW USA dry ground lion hounds.
    Of course trail cams add another dimension to the enjoyment of the hunt and a lot of information can be gathered to help with the progress of the hunt but they are not a necessity. They certainly do not replace tracking.
    Sorry gsxr-sarge for diverting from the original topic but I found the comments engaging. My bad.
     
  9. mikejones

    mikejones AH Member

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    I think this thread just boils down to what the hunter is after and what he can afford.....

    Some use baits , hides, dogs etc ... Some want to arrive and on the 2nd day have their leopard ready to blow away from 40 m with their cannon. Others don't like dogs cause its noisy and to "busy" or they don't like the chase and cant keep up..

    some cant stay for long periods if the daily rate is sky high or if the cats don't come they are urged to pay for few extra days and still no luck. When i hunt i don't shoot animals at waterholes or over fodder and wont shoot a cat over bait or flushed by dogs.

    Again im not against it i understand people pay a lot and want their dream cat.

    When i take my long trip to Africa from Holland i just hunt on foot i believe in plain old tracking and even by this method friend of mine a few years back shot his first leopard with a 223 helps to talk to locals and just by some basic tracking you can deceive any animal that cat cover its own tracks :)

    Again we all have our hobbies and love of hunting either way we do it , just be responsible and safe .

    happy hunting all...
     
  10. SNIPER59

    SNIPER59 AH Veteran

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    Gavin...having being a houndsman in Canada and treeing many cougars and bears, the thrill of hunting with dogs would be the only way I would consider hunting for leopard. Hunting to me is the excitment, the thrill of the chase, the watching and listening to hounds in full pursuit. All this gets one's heart racing. I would not even consider sitting behind some sticks and branches for hours upon hours every day watching meat rot in a tree. I think that hunting with hounds adds the degree of excitement that can not be obtained in any other way. Afterall...isnt hunting supposed to be about the excitement?? I must say that there is not many more exciting ways to hunt than behind a pack of well trained hounds, for me anyways! I guess we all have our own preferences, and that is the way it should be...as long as we all accept our fellow hunters preferences and no one bad mouths other hunters preferences. All that does is divides hunters, and gives the antis' a foothold to further divide us. Just my opinion.
    All the best...
     
  11. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    100% agreed.

    My very best always
     
  12. Jaco Strauss

    Jaco Strauss AH Elite

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    Agreed as well yet a trail can by no means get you a Leopard in the salt but it is a valuable tool....

    The same way a rifle scope does not get you an animal, it is a tool that can be implemented as it should be especially when considering the costs involved in Leopard hunting when bait or hounds are employed.

    The experience the learning curve and the challenge will always be there when hunting this very special elusive predator.

    My very best always.
     

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