Could a .22LR possibly kill a leopard?

Discussion in 'Firearms & Ammunition' started by Hoss Delgado, Jul 7, 2019.

  1. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    By any chance , Hoss Delgado , is your grandfather’s name Don Fernando Delgado ? Also , this Karim Shikaree you mention , used to walk with a limp , did he not ? And the Mr. Khan whom you refer to , is named Mr. Dawood Khan , yes ?
     
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  2. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Why , that's correct :D
    I'm afraid l don't know who you are though :(
     

  3. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    It is sometimes amusing how the internet can unite people from two different corners of the world after fifty years. I hunted with both your grandfather and Karim many times . Karim and l were childhood friends and we hunted in Darjileeng from 1962 to 1970 . Dawood Khan would hunt with Karim when Karim was hunting leopards in Uttar Pradesh . I am impressed by how well read you are , Hoss Delgado. The information that you collected on Karim is about 90 % accurate. I would like to add a few things , however. To start with , you are correct about Karim's fire arms . He had that Two Two auto loading rifle from Brno and a twelve bore double barrel shot-gun with horizontally stacked barrels made by the Ishapore Arms Factory . The shotgun ( which we call " Banduk " here ) was his first fire arm. Karim and l both purchased a shot-gun each from an arms shop run by a man called Sundar Raj . They were both twelve bore double barrel shot-guns with 32 inch barrels which were horizontally stacked and fully choked. They took the 70 millimeter cartridge . Indian shot-gun cartridges were available up to number 1 shot size . Those days were very memorable in old India. Hunting season used to be open seven months . We shot many ducks and jungle fowl during the weekend with those shot-guns and our mothers were always very happy with our larders well stocked with ducks and geese and quail . Karim and l , one day found a stock of old shot-gun cartridges called " lethal ball " at Sundar Raj's shop. They were from an old British colonial brand called Kynoch . English Shikar books were widely available at the time and our favorite was by Jim Corbett . Sundar Raj had advised us not to fire any shot larger than number 1 through the shot-guns as their full choked barrels would be bulged. We had read somewhere that shortening a shot-gun's barrels would remove the choke from the gun and allow us to fire larger projectiles from them. Perhaps , it was Jim Corbett's books on shikar . So we secured a saw ( what we call " korat" in Darjileeng ) from a carpenter's shop and cut the barrels down by at least four inches. Our objective was that we wanted to shoot deer and were simply not content with shooting only jungle fowl anymore. Lethal ball was a hollow ball type bullet with an interior that looked like the honey comb of a bee hive. We loaded them into our guns and sure enough , they worked on deer. The recoil in those light bird guns were , however, quite severe. It was in 1964 that Karim and l shot our first leopard. It had killed a school master's daughter . Leopards were considered vermin in those days in Darjeeling and rightfully so. There was a price on them being exterminated. We heard reports of it's haunts and tied a bullock to a tree the whole night waiting for it. While the idea of two young men sitting up all night with a kerosene lamp with shot-guns in their laps waiting for a great cat to show sounds good on literature , the actual experience is hair raising and l would be lying if l say that l was not scared. It did show up and we both discharged both our barrels at him. Despite hitting him , he disappeared into the night. Disappointed with failure , we went home. Next day , the Leopard was found near a water tank , dead. Shortly afterwards , Karim wanted a rifle . In those days , as you wisely noted , imported arms were already taboo in the country . The only rifles available locally was the Ishapore Arms three one five bolt rifle which had a five cartridge magazine and was a copy of the service three knot three rifle . These came with 244 grain soft tipped bullets and were a most foul weapon . Sundar Raj's shop however would very rarely get a few second hand imported guns . We were frequent visitors at the shop. One day , we received word that a Canadian hunter had sold his two two auto loading rifle at the shop. It was the Brno rifle which you saw all those years ago. Karim purchased it . Old English rifle club ammunition was still available and Karim bought as many boxes and loose cartridges for the two two as could be found.
    Many Americans and Europeans would come to India for shikar at that time . They usually came with a thirty ought six rifle or a three seven five rifle and brought their own ammunition .That is how we got introduced to your grandfather. Fernando was a good hunter and became personal friends with us. He respected us and never looked down upon us . He used to own a three seven five rifle made by Winchester and l fired it a few times . Whenever , Karim would visit the United States of America , Fernando would give Karim Two Two ammunition by the box and also Twelve bore ammunition by the box . These were SG shot Cartridges and held 9 or 12 pellets . Karim always gave me a few boxes of SG cartridges for my twelve bore as well. Karim and l hunted together and killed leopard , bear , boars , deer and Gaur . Elephant shooting was foolishly banned except for rogues. The leopards were man eaters or live stock killing beasts. Leopard skins fetched a hefty sum back in those days. What you probably are not aware of , is that we shot fifteen Royal Bengal Tigers as well. Karim killed eleven and l killed four. Here is where the confusion begins . The last three pages of this thread have multiple hunters speculating on how a two two bullet can kill a leopard . The answer is not very clear cut. Yes , it is correct that many of the leopards killed by my friend were done with that two two rifle . But these were not under traditional hunting conditions as we know them today. Many of them were shot repeatedly in the head and l have personally seen two two bullets bounce off a leopard's head many times . Many of them were baited with meat dipped in folidol and then shot in a weakened state. Many fell into pit falls and were shot from above. At least one was caught in a snare when it was shot . Then , there were many wounded animals which escaped . Then , there was me . I accompanied Karim on majority of his hunts in Darjeeling with my shot-gun loaded with SG cartridges and l have finished off a few leopards wounded by Karim which charged us. Based on my own experiences and what l heard from you about what Khan said , lt is safe to say that Karim usually had a man carrying a shot-gun loaded with SG or large projectiles accompany him on his hunts after Leopard. I have Personally seen Karim expend all the cartridges in the magazine of his two two at a Leopard and then remove the magazine from the rifle , refill it and start firing again while l held it off with SG shot. To call this kind of work "hunting " would not do justice to real hunters of dangerous beasts . This was plain killing . We were living in a different time, dealing with vermin and there was a lot of money to be made. I have no remorse for our actions , but l doubt that even Karim himself would ever paint himself to be something he is not. My friend was a very modest man. He was , however , an excellent shooter . Khan did describe the ear shooting technique accurately. Karim did manage to shoot a feeding leopard from the side with a shot through the ear which penetrated it's brain . He did that with the two two. To my knowledge , he did this once. The reason that you remember Karim limping when you saw him was because the last leopard he ever shot bit him very terribly in the right leg . This was in 1969 .
    The Bengal tigers were all shot with Karim's shot-gun loaded with SG in both the barrels. At uncomfortablely close distances , it did the trick. I was fond of the 12 pellet cartridge . Those Ishapore shot-guns were very poorly made and the springs in them ( which we call " Katta" ) had to be replaced after fifty or sixty shots. Eventually these guns would shoot loose after a few hundred firings and were no good anymore. Eventually , Bangladesh had it's liberation war in 1971 and India passed that disgusting Wildlife Protection Act in 1972 , banning all hunting. Indira Gandhi's government did a lot of unreasonable harm to us hunters to fulfill their anti hunting and vegetarian agendas . On paper , the act was passed to prevent animal extinction but the truth is that poaching increased after that and became rancid. Locally made matchlocks were sold everywhere and homemade bombs were used . Animals were shot indiscriminately and whole lakes were dynamited for fish. In the days of us licensed hunters , none of this happened. Yet media blamed us. India had changed. In the old days , children were taught English in every school , music was played in Juke boxes at the cafe and dancing was not banned . After finishing school , l would watch my father's grocery shop. We had all sorts of imported food . Colman's mustard , corned beef , Tinned Danish Butter , Dutch Cheeses . At night , we would eat mutton chops or kebabs at the Imperial Restora . On weekends , we would take our guns and go hunting and bring back ducks or venison for our table. Every month , we would go out for a steak at Koshy's cafe. Beef was perfectly legal back then , in India . Then , in the 1970s , it all changed . One day , a group of individuals akin to a mob broke into my house where my aged parents were and they confiscated two tiger skins we decorated the house with. Meat eaters were painted as cruel.
    I went off to fight in the liberation war and eventually moved to Bangladesh in 1979 . I bought better arms . I bought a beautiful Italian over- under in twelve bore as Bangladesh fortunately allows imported arms and while regulated , deer and water fowl hunting is allowed twice a year , alongside hunting in private land and pigeon shooting . I purchased a Two Two auto loader myself made in Belgium . Karim and his family stayed in Darjeeling . We wrote letters and talked over the phone. He was a hunter to the end . He would come to Bangladesh and hunt deer with me and even ducks . He passed away in 2003 , January 1st. I received news from his wife.
    Now , l am 77 . I hunt birds and deer , but dangerous animals are a thing of the past for me. I purchased a magnum two two bolt action rifle in 2017 made by the Austrian firm , ISSC and it serves me well on deer and hare if my aim is true. I have shot a wild boar with it that broke into a Sylhet tea garden , through the ear hole and that killed it. If it had tried to hit me with it's tusks , l would be better served using my twelve bore with SG.
    I apologise for boring anybody with my long story. But l saw this post on post on the internet and wanted to reply. Doing so , also allowed me to re live my past adventures and remember my friend. I have messaged you some old photographs of Karim , myself and your grandfather. I visit the United States of America once every two years and would love to catch up with Fernando.
    PS : It is sometimes surprising what heavy animals have been killed with what light weapons. I saw a rogue elephant get dispatched with a single shot from a police Constable's issued three knot three service rifle . Police men in those days were issued Lee Enfield rifles with the magazine box removed to stop them from getting too excited during a riot.
     
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  4. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Mr. Rahman ,
    I eagerly read your comment and l am AMAZED that it is such a small world :D
    You gave me a very detailled reply on something which l asked 3 months ago :) You did not bore me at all . I found it most fascinating . I love talking to hunters from the old days . And you are right about that .375 HH Magnum Winchester Model 70 :D My Grandad gifted that gun to me in 2006 . And yes , you gotta love the internet ! It United people :)
     
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  5. spike.t

    spike.t AH ENABLER SPONSOR Since 2013 AH Ambassador

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    Interesting read....and welcome aboard :D Beers:
     
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  6. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

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    Fascinating! Thank you for writing such a detailed description of a world all too quickly disappearing. Welcome to our site.
     
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  7. PHOENIX PHIL

    PHOENIX PHIL AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    This wasn't written to me, but I found the story quite entertaining and far from boring. Welcome to AH!
     
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  8. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    This is great story. It is like time capsule, from different time and different World! Thank you for posting this, and thank you for joining!
     
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  9. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Enthusiast

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    Great story! I enjoyed it very much. This makes me eager to learn more about the history of India.
     
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  10. bruce moulds

    bruce moulds AH Elite

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    hoss,
    we all believed you.
    bruce.
     
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  11. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Of course you did , Bruce :D
    The internet is a funny thing. You never know who you end up running into :) .
    I am going to add a chapter on this great man in my book :) . He seems up to it , from my phone conversation with him last night . He is coming to Texas this December :D
     

  12. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    On internet:
    If there was no internet, most probably I would never go to african safari. Due to pure lack of information by conventional means.

    The books are also great source of information, but not all safari books are available locally, but are available to order on internet as well.
    Interenet is great source of information, and it makes world smaller indeed. The only thing is, opn internet - one must be smart enough to make difference between good and false information.

    On 22:
    Of course I have never killed leopard (yet), and especially not with 22. But, since poaching was mentioned above, and 22, it reminded me on one event, not related to leopard, but I will share the story anyway

    I was hunting fallow deer with a friend of mine. Actually it was his hunting area, and he was guiding me.
    I had 30-06, I have to say, before you guys get any ideas on 22... :)

    Anyway, we were quietly stalking through the bushy terrain, and rare forest trees. For an hour already that morning, started early at dawn.

    And at one moment, my friend stopped, and stiffened, and esily-slowly kneelled... I was few steps behind, and knew he HAS observed the game.
    I immediately prepared myself for shooting, safety off. No words spoken yet, but all clear in body language for both of us

    He came back to me, whispering, "a deer is sleeping! Quiet! Look there"

    I was not carrying shooting sticks in woods area, but came quietly a step or two forward, found a rest on a small tree, and started looking for a fallow deer, sleeping as described with rifle on good rest.

    My Zeiss scope power was on minimum, 3 or 4x.
    In a moment I found in my cross hairs a sleeping deer. Distance maybe 20 meters!!!

    Should I shoot, or not, I came to ethical dilemma!

    Certainly I can not shoot a sleeping animal!

    So I decided to wait until the deer wakes up. It should be in a moment!

    Moments are passing. Deer not moving.
    I was thinking to whistle to wake him up, or throw the stone, or something ... several options were passing on my mind.

    Anyway, how long a deer sleeps in daylight, average, per day at all?

    My friend was quiet and tense!
    He was not a bit ethically concerned, having no idea of my thoughts, and was expecting my shot at any moment.

    The deer, doesnt move.

    The seconds last for ever!

    I was watching through the scope, and at one moment saw a fly, landing on deers ear!
    And the fallow, dosnt flinch an ear!!! Ear doesnt move!

    I got it!~

    I stood up noisily, and said loudly (to my friends disbeleif!), and said out loud THE DEER IS DEAD!

    WTF?!
    (That was the look in my friend eyes. :) )

    Okey, after such loud statement of mine, the deer really did not move (or should I say "woke up"), so the statement obviously proved itself the same moment.

    It was now obvious!

    The authopsy:
    So we approached the deer. Laying on his right side, neck stretched, tongue out.
    My friend takes a look at deer, and says "don touch it! There is no bullet wound, he must be sick. That why he died."

    I took a better look, actually trying to judge to antlers size, and said:
    "This is not sickness, its lead poisioning, take a look here, he's been shot" and showed him the head.

    Forehead, and area around ear had 5-6 hits, obviously by 22 lr.
    A poached deer, left for poachers to collect.
    We found a poachers kit nearby in the bush knifes and backpacks and plastic bags,

    The deer was stiff and cold, so probably a kill from previous evening.

    We reported by mobile to local club, and went on.

    This hunt I did not get a deer, but only a young boar.
    But this deer had good antlers, in my estimate around bronze medal as per cic scoring system.

    It was killed by 22, probably stunned with first shot, and then gunned down with several consecutive head shots after.
    fallow can grow up to 220 pounds, a bit more in weight then leopard, and for fallow one shot in the head is not sufficient (or reliable) with 22 lr.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
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  13. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    I loved your account of the .22 LR ! :)
    Yeah , a .22 LR shouldn't be used on anything larger than a rabbit in my opinion :p Multiple hits ... I'd suspect a semi automatic was used of some sort
     

  14. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Mr. Rahman , a couple of questions :
    1) Were the .22 Long Rifle , .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire and 12 bore the only calibres you ever shot ?
    2) Did your American and Euripean Clients back then ever prefer American Calibers or European Calibers
    3) What's Folidol ?
    Your answer got me curious :p
     
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  15. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    May I break a party, and add one more question, not strictly related to the subject, but that could be interesting for all those hunters reading Jim Corbet, and having Indian hunting nostalgia in their minds:

    Is Bangladesh open for hunting for foreign hunters and what species may be legally hunted?
     
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  16. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    I have the answer to that question since l have been there and hunted deer there in 2016 :) . I described this in a thread long ago . You need local police written permission to hunt in the local area where you intend to hunt . Once a year you go for Ducks/ geese , once a year you go for Deer. This doesn't include the birds , rabbits or deer one may hunt over private land :) like tea gardens . Boars are seen as nuisance animals which often break into tea gardens and are shot . Tiger hunting is banned there Sadly :( . Bears in the Moulvibazaar area can be shot on private land .
    Regarding foreign hunters , yes :)
    However , you need a reference . I have , since my family has conducted shipping business there since the 1960s ( which is how my Granddad met Mr. Karim and Mr. Rahman ) . You can also bring no more than 2 guns and 250 rounds into the country ( fair enough :D ) .
    Not bad for a third world country ( No offense , Mr. Rahman :p )
    Last time l checked locally available ammo was : .22 LR ( assorted brands ) , .22 WMR ( Assorted Brands ) , 12 gauge shotgun shells ( 2 3/4 inch , 3 inch and 3.5 inch of all sizes and brands up to 000 buck :D ) . Mr. Karim can corroborate if anything has changed :)
     
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  17. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    Thanks Hoss, great info! BTW what species of deer?
     

  18. Hoss Delgado

    Hoss Delgado AH Fanatic

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    Sambhar , bro :)
    Barking deer too , but l haven't hunted in an area which has them yet as they are South side and l only got police written permission for East side :) the last time l was there . I will go there again in 2021 , and will apply for South side permission :)
     

  19. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Fanatic

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    Looking forward to that report!(y)
     
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  20. Kawshik Rahman

    Kawshik Rahman AH Fanatic

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    I am flattered by the compliments given by the posters : Spike T, Red Leg , Phoenix Phil , Marko Hunter and Wyatt Smith. Thank you .
    To answer the question about Hunting in Bangladesh : Hoss Delgado described the procedure correctly and l have nothing further to add to his answer , except one little detail : Do not bring a three knot three rifle as it is a prohibited bore . Other than the aforementioned calibre , other rifled or smoothbore arms are permissible. Hoss describes the boar problem with accuracy . Boars are very dangerous things and damage our tea gardens and menace our workers . Our workers are hill tribal people ( in Bengali , we refer to them as " Upojati '') and eat pork , so shooting the boars serves a secondary purpose .
    Marko Hunter describes an incident with a two two . He is sound in his experience and is a good , ethical Shikari . Perhaps my next sentence may properly describe the subject . Deer may be killed with a two two but cannot be hunted ethically with a two two . The owner of the deer skin on my sofa in the third picture was killed by the two two rifle in the middle picture . The rifle in the second picture is a two two bolt action Czechoslovakian rifle which l have purchased for my niece , Fabliha to use whenever she visits Bangladesh every year. She is like my daughter and she killed this deer when she was eighteen years of age. Now , she lives in the United States of America with her boyfriend , Daniel. However , when she and Daniel visit the tea gardens , she often shoots rabbits with that two two . She shot this deer when it came to feed near the gardens. The ammunition used was from a firm called CCI . She used a telescopic sight on the rifle of the brand , Weaver , which l also purchased for her. It was a straight shot through the auditory canal of the deer , identical to the same shot used by Karim to kill the leopard in 1966. For such a shot , the shooter's margin for error is non existent. Needless to say that it was such a proud moment for me , that l have kept that skin on my sofa for the last five years. This is not a shot that can be counted on to always be presented to a shooter. Which is why l prefer the magnum two two which burns a larger charge of powder behind it's forty grain bullet and shoot deer in the neck region with it.
    To answer Hoss Delgado's three questions : I own currently a twelve bore over- under Beretta model S686 special with a half choke on one barrel and a 75 % choke on one barrel which is in the middle picture , a Belgian two two auto loading rifle and an ISSC Austrian bolt rifle in magnum two two calibre . These are my personal arms . I have the license for the two two bolt action rifle which Fabliha uses but l never use it for myself . In the past , l have used my previously mentioned Ishapore shot-gun during my days as an Indian Shikari in Darjeeling and for guiding American and European clients , loaded with SG shot . I also fired Karim's two two Brno auto loader many times .
    I have had the opportunity to to try out some arms belonging to client shikaris . I have tried thirty ought six , three seven five and twelve bore solid slug projectiles from them . These were the most common. One client used to bring a four fifty eight Winchester magnum calibre rifle made by Birmingham Small Arms to use on boars and Gaur . I tried it out and found it a powerful rifle initially . However , he later went to shoot a Gaur with it and had to shoot the beast repeatedly to kill it . Karim and l later cut the creature up. Some bullets did not go six inches through. It was shot seven times with the four fifty eight and took two charges of SG shot in it's throat from my shot-gun and one charge of SG shot from Karim's shot-gun in it's flank before it died. Perhaps his brand of ammunition , an American brand named Hornady , was faulty. I cannot say . Perhaps the calibre is problematic in and of itself. I have only shot that one four fifty eight Winchester magnum so l cannot jump to conclusions . I know that they were hard nose bullets with a flat head . Clients with three seven fives never seemed to have such problems .Generally speaking , flat head munitions tend to perform better on beasts than round head munitions. Pointed bullets are the worst for hunting .
    During Bangladesh's war for Independence , l was issued a Soviet Kolashnikov fully automatic rifle in 7.62 millimeter calibre with pointed bullets . But this was for war against other human beings and not for hunting wild beasts . I also trained for operating the light machine gun post ( which we call LMG )
    The calibres most popular were from the United States of America . Thirty ought six and four fifty eight Winchester magnum are American calibres. The three seven five is English , but l always saw clients bring American brand ammunition for this caliber , namely Winchester. Winchester silvertips in three seven five performed best on leopard and a client who brought them for a shikar was a most sensible man.
    Indira Gandhi's government painted American and European hunters visiting India as exploitative and racially prejudicial against Indian locals and damaging towards wild life . However , from my experience , this was untruthful. Most American and European shikaris treated us with much respect . They were good sportsmen and tipped us with healthy amounts . They ate in the forests with us , showed genuine interest in the way of life here and were respectful to Muslims and Hindus . One taught us how to cook bear meat . One gifted me a two blade pocket knife from the American Company , Schrade which l still keep with me to this day . It has real steel and not the stainless steel which is so common on knives these days and so difficult to sharpen . That said , many were often surprised that Karim and l spoke English passably . Occasionally , we met a few clients who were a little peculiar in their demands . One gentleman refused to shoot leopard on foot and only shot his trophies ( which we call " Puroshkaar " ) from a Jeep . He wounded a leopard once with his thirty ought six which went into the bush where the jeep cannot go . Despite Karim and my suggestion that we should go finish off the wounded animal on foot , he refused to leave the jeep . So I had to drive the gentleman back to the town while Karim went after it alone with his shot-gun loaded with SG and a torch light as it was getting dark. But he was a very good and kind hearted man . My favorite film actor was John Wayne and my favorite film was Stage Coach . He was kind enough to send me a film reel of the cinema when he returned to the United States of America .
    Folidol is a most dangerous poison and it was what caused the most wanton destruction of Indian wildlife . As can be understood , l wholeheartedly support arms ownership and hunting . However , folidol is something which l wish never reached India. In the hands of uneducated farmers and poachers who wanted leopard and tiger skins , it was used to devastating effects on our wildlife . The Indian government decided that the solution was to impose restrictions on licensed fire arms ownership and ban hunting but they did nothing to prevent folidol being sold at every local trader. That went only as well as a sane man thinks it will go . It was disastrous . Folidol destroyed wildlife but hunters and gun owners took the blame from media . Perhaps , l am a hypocrite to blame folidol even though Karim and l used it on a few leopards before shooting them . However , l am unmoved in my view that this poison should have been banned instead of hunting .
    My first picture is of a box of two two ammunition which Don Fernando Delgado ( your grandfather ) gave Karim and which Karim gave me in 1981 . I still have not opened it as it serves as a memory of a different time.
    I apologize for my late reply. Our day time is night time in the United States of America and vice versa.
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    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
    gesch, rinehart0050, Red Leg and 2 others like this.

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