In Pursuit Of The Fabled Black Panther

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Major Khan, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    Tonight , I am going to be sharing a new story with our dear members of African Hunting Forums . However , unlike most of my other stories ... This story is going to be a little different . It is not a story about myself , but rather about a gentleman and a friend whom I know personally for more than 45 years . For the sake of brevity and privacy , let us call him , “ Panther Shooter “ or “ PS” for short . PS lives in Bangladesh currently just like I do , but used to live in India until 1975 .
    He shot and killed ( among other things ) 25 Indian forest panthers between 1972 and 1974 in India and has been reading most of my articles on African Hunting Forums for quite a while with great enthusiasm. This inspired him to put his pen to paper and write 1 of his own stories to share on African Hunting Forums . However , he is extremely hesitant to personally join the forums , because he is afraid of the negative back lash which he may receive . This is because hunting was unfortunately banned in India by Indira Gandhi’s tree hugging government in 1972 , and therefore what he was doing was illegal poaching ( in the eyes of the retarded Indian law , any way ) . I attempted to re assure the gentleman that what he did , happened a very long time ago ( 46 years ) and that the members of African Hunting Forums are very non judgmental . However , he handed me a paper copy of his story and requested that I share his story on his behalf , on African Hunting Forums . And that is exactly what I am going to do today , Dear Readers .
    Our friend , Panther Shooter is going to tell us a story today about how he shot a man eating Black Panther 47 years ago , in India . I would personally like to express my gratitude to Panther Shooter for providing me with this excellent story to share on African Hunting Forums , along with a few of his personally owned photographs . I shall be narrating the story from Panther Shooter’s perspective.

    Below , is a photograph taken from the internet of a Black Panther for reference . The photograph of the actual animal shot by Panther Shooter shall be displayed at the climax of this 3 part article .
    Screenshot_20200321-200938_01.png
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020

  2. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Looking forward to the story.
    Bruce
     
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  3. flatwater bill

    flatwater bill AH Elite

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    Looking forward to it........always thought that the black panther was a color phase of a leopard............wondered if they cross bred or simply lived in different territories........will wait.........to see..................FWB
     
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  4. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    By Panther Shooter -
    " 1972 was a very , very good year if you were based in India and happened to be involved in the poaching business . Indira Gandhi's cabinet had banned hunting of all forms , in a pathetic attempt to uphold their " animal worshipping " agendas . With licensed hunters out of the way , the forests of India had become a poacher's paradise .

    So what , if the government confiscated all the existing imported fire arms in the hands of the private citizens ? Poachers were using traps and snares . They were using locally made match lock muskets and country made bombs . But worst of all .... They were using Folidol . This harmful poison killed more of India's wildlife than all the bullets of all the licensed hunters who hunted in India prior to 1972 , put together . Then , there were also poachers who were using fire arms made by Indian Ordinance Factories , namely the :
    > IOF 12 Bore DBBL - A 12 bore double barreled side by side shot gun , which had 2.75 inch chambers , extractors and 32 inch cylinder bore barrels .
    > IOF .315 Bore Sporting Rifle - A clone of the British Lee Enfield service bolt action rifle , chambered in .315 calibre ( which employed a 244 grain lead unjacketed bullet .)

    Poachers were harvesting royal Bengal tiger hides and leopard hides by the thousands on a yearly basis after curing tanning them in the field . Elephant tusks and gaur bison horns were harvested in similar quantities . The venison of various species of game animals was dried to produce biltong , which was sold to local villagers " under the table " . They were leveling entire lakes with gun powder in order to harvest fishes .
    Unlike licensed hunters , poachers had no ethics whatsoever . All animals , be it cub or adult , male or female ... were killed indiscriminately . To a poacher , no such thing existed as bag limits or hunting seasons . Everything was fair game . And then ... there was me . "


    Screenshot_20200322-001215_01_01.png
    Hides recovered from a royal Bengal tiger poacher in India just a few years back . Which poacher needs fire arms if poison can accomplish all this ? If legal licensed hunting was permitted in India again today ... then all of these sickening acts could have easily been prevented . Of course ... vegetarians and common sense do not mix .
     

  5. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Panther Shooter, thanks for allowing Poton to share your story with us!
     
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  6. Skinnersblade

    Skinnersblade AH Enthusiast

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    As I've often said on this forum it is unfair to judge a man out of his time. Anyone who condemns a man forced to pouch under an extremist regimes dictatorship style rule, whom has not lived through that sort of experience is uncouth.

    I sincerely hope pather hunter will join our brethren, the history you gentleman represent is a valuable glimpse into a bygone era I for one am grateful to have.
     
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  7. Av8or

    Av8or AH Member

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    I’m hooked, can’t wait for the rest....
     
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  8. WebleyGreene455

    WebleyGreene455 AH Veteran

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    I don't think many of us would condemn Mr. PS for his actions some 40-plus years ago, only view them with some amount of regret that any degree of poaching animals that are now endangered happened at all.

    I do hope, though, that the next part of the story will reveal that Mr. PS was ethical and professional in his actions, as opposed to the men described who viewed these animals as little more than their pelts and did not at all respect them or the profession they were sullying, just as ivory poachers will rip the tusks or horns from animals that were killed from a volley of AK fire if they're even dead to begin with.

    Also, if any here are not familiar with Folidol (I wasn't), it was developed by German chemical/pharmaceutical conglomerate IG Farben during the early 1940s (these were the people who made Zyklon B, so you know it's not going to be nice stuff) and was acquired by the Allies post-war as an insecticide (which Zyklon B was, too). Here's what Wikipedia has to say about its effects:
    Parathion is absorbed via skin, mucous membranes, and orally. Absorbed parathion is rapidly metabolized to paraoxon, as described in insecticidal activity. Paraoxon exposure can result in headaches, convulsions, poor vision, vomiting, abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, unconsciousness, tremor, dyspnea, and finally lung-edema as well as respiratory arrest. Symptoms of poisoning are known to last for extended periods, sometimes months. The most common and very specific antidote is atropine, in doses of up to 100 mg daily. Because atropine may also be toxic, it is recommended that small frequently repeated doses be used in treatment. If human poisoning is detected early and the treatment is prompt (atropine and artificial respiration), fatalities are infrequent. Insufficient oxygen will lead to cerebral hypoxia and permanent brain damage. Peripheral neuropathy including paralysis is noticed as late sequelae after recovery from acute intoxication. Parathion and related organophosphorus pesticides are used in hundreds of thousands of poisonings annually, especially suicides. It is known as "Schwiegermuttergift" (mother-in-law poison) in Germany.​

    That's in humans. Humans can get treatment within a small window after exposure. Some tiger in the middle of the jungle can't, and would die hellishly from that stuff.

    But to make up for the depressing nature of this post, here's a photo of the very elusive Domestic Black Panther in its natural habitat.

    output(1).jpg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 22, 2020
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  9. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    By Panther Shooter :
    “ After the Bangladesh Liberation War fortunately came to a end , I received my honorable discharge from the Bangladesh Army as a marksman and returned to my home in Jolpaiguri , in West Bengal , India. My parents owned a massive Tea Estate in Jolpaiguri ( the name of which shall remain undisclosed. ) and I was happy to return home .
    However , to my great sorrow , hunting ( my favorite pastime of all , prior to the war and even now . ) was banned after the passing of the Wild Life Protection Act - 1972 .
    There , I was . A 22 year old hot blooded young man , keen on adventure and thrills . After I returned from the war , I just hated sitting idle . Getting educated was no longer a concern . I already had my degree and “ Doctor “ title after graduating from Medical College in 1970 ( Yes , you could graduate Medical College by the age of 20 in India , back in those days . ) Mom and Dad were just happy to have their boy back home and they told me that they just wanted me to take things easy and help watch the Tea Estate . This , I would naturally do . However , my heart also lied with my 1 true ( non living ) love ... Hunting . I was determined to get back to hunting , even if I had to operate outside the perimeters of the law .

    The hills near the Tea Estate was teeming with all manners of wild life , which would frequently find their way in to the Tea Estate :
    > Chital ( Axis ) Deer
    > Kakar ( Barking ) Deer
    > Sambhar Deer
    > Gaur Bison
    > 4 Horned Antelope
    > Black Buck
    > Chinkara
    > Hog Deer
    > Barasingha ( Swamp ) Deer
    > Mouse Deer
    > Rabbits
    > Grey Partridges
    > Grouse
    > Chukar
    > Doves
    > Quails
    > Pigeons
    > Ducks
    > Cranes
    > Pea Fowl
    > Baboons
    > Geese
    > Wild Boar
    > Asian Sloth Bear
    &
    > Hunting Leopards .

    Unlike the pre 1972 days when we ( and indeed , any licensed hunter ) could wander off in to the vast forests to hunt game legally ... I now had to content myself with hunting only whatever game was getting in to the Tea Estate from the hills . Hunting in the forests was now completely out of the question . You had to evade the forest department officials and the Indian Army Rangers posted there , and you also had to deal with the dozens of cutthroat dacoits , thieves and bandits who were lurking around in the forests . However , the Tea Estate did have quite a good selection of fauna for the keen Shikari to choose from and I figured that I would be more than content with resuming my hunting practices in the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate .
    Nevertheless , I had to be extremely careful . Getting caught poaching , would land me no less than 14 years in prison , and I valued my freedom too much to risk doing anything reckless which might get me caught .

    I had purchased an IOF 12 Bore DBBL shot gun in 1968 which I would use for Shikar and I had left this shot gun home with my parents when I had gone off to serve in the Bangladesh Liberation War . Now ,I retrieved my shot gun and was ready to put it to good use again . The ownership / Possession of any shot gun cartridges firing any shot size larger than BB was now prohibited by law and thus it was impossible to legally get ahold of any buck shot cartridges in India as well , at that time . I thus , had available to me shot gun cartridges ( of 2.75 inch length ) made by Indian Ordinance Factories in the following shot sizes : No. 6 , No.4 , No. 1 and BB . I also had Indian Ordinance Factories 12 Bore “ Ball “ cartridges . These 2.75 inch cartridges employed a 1.25 ounce spherical ball of hardened lead .

    However , neither the shot gun , nor the ammunition could even remotely be considered “ reliable “ without having a great deal of work done to them .
    The shot gun was too light to be used with “ Ball “ cartridges without inducing a painful recoil . I had to have more weight added to the wooden stock , in order to ensure that the gun was successfully counteracting recoil properly . The original sear springs of my shot gun had long been broken in 1968 and were replaced with the sear springs of a damaged English John Dickson & Son side by side shot gun by a local Indian gun smith in Jammu . This significantly helped to reduce the number of mis fires which were occurring with the gun , when using it’s original factory sear springs.
    When purchasing fresh shot gun cartridges , I always had to break them down and then remove the propellant powder . This powder would need to be run through a sieve at least twice before being re loaded in to the cartridges again . Indian Ordinance Factories propellant powder would always burn extremely dirty and was prone to ignition failures as it used to have a great deal of impurities in it . Shot cups and wads also were often improperly placed in the cartridges and these needed to be properly re adjusted and re set in to the cartridges . Carrying out this arduous task would ensure that the cartridges were at least REASONABLY reliable .

    I resolved to only shoot game at night , with the aid of a powerful torch light .
    Thus , I began my legally taboo Shikar practices and I suddenly was full of life once more . Our Tea Estate workers were all sworn to secrecy . They had all worked for my parents for years , even before I was born and none of them supported the Wild Life Protection Act - 1972 , anyway . More over , I would often donate large quantities of delicious game meat to them and thus , they got along quite well with me . Not only did they turn a blind eye to my poaching activities , but they also actually helped me during my Shikars on more than 1 occasion .
    Life was good . I was purchasing fresh cartridges from Calcutta every month and I had a few close friends who would also hunt with me , in the Tea Estate .
    We lived far away from forest department officials and the city and thus gun shots would not typically be heard .
    If anyone ever asked about the gun shots , then we would merely claim that we were engaging in a little night time target shooting .

    Let it be known however , that even though I was a poacher ... I always adhered to certain standards or principles . Being conscripted in to the Bangladesh Liberation War and being forced to take human life and watch human life get taken through my rifle scope , had instilled in me , the value for all forms of life .
    I NEVER touched folidol in my life . I would much rather stop hunting altogether , rather than use this vile substance on ANY animal . I also eschewed snares and traps and preferred to rely solely upon my competence with fire arms . After all , I was not doing this for the money. I had a medical degree and my family owned a Tea Estate . I was a man who simply enjoyed hunting so much that I would not let a draconian law get in my way from practicing my beloved hobby.
    I never shot anything except fully mature animals ( and largely males , whenever the situation allowed it ) . I also did not believe in the wantonly indiscriminate slaughter of game animals and mostly shot whatever game I knew would be eaten or put to use by man , and I made it a point to never shoot more than as much as we were going to eat , on a single particular occasion . Despite being a Muslim , I always made sure that the fresh pork harvested from the Wild Boars shot by me were put to good use . The meat would always go to our Non Muslim friends and employees . If I was shooting an animal solely for the sport ( i.e animals which could not be consumed , such as the Baboons or Hunting Leopards ) , then I would still make sure that I never shot more than a specified quantity of them , at any single time . Of course , exceptions had to be made by me for those animals which were damaging our tea plants or devastating our live stock or menacing our employees . These animals needed to be destroyed without any limitations on my part , whatsoever . Baboons in particular , were a huge menace to our tea plants .



    The Hunting Leopards which would come down from the hills , however were always a constant problem to the peace and sanctity of the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate .
    These menacing felines could weigh up to 90 Kilograms in a fully grown male and were a constant threat to our Tea Estate workers . By the time , I had returned home from the Bangladesh Liberation War , no less than 3 of our loyal employees had fallen prey and lost their lives to man eating Hunting Leopards .
    With the passing of the Wild Life Protection Act - 1972 , there was now no way whatsoever , by which a law abiding Indian citizen could dispatch these devil cats . Fortunately for our employees , I was not a law abiding citizen anymore . When laws were stupid , I did not follow them .
    I resolved to start shooting the leopards which would enter the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate , at every opportune moment .
    And thus , between 1972 to 1974 ( when my family and I moved to Bangladesh permanently ) .... I took out 25 West Bengal Hunting Leopards successfully .
    Not only were our employees relieved that their employer's young son was keeping them safe , but as a bonus for keeping silent about my nocturnal Shikar habits ... I would frequently also gift them the hidess of the Hunting Leopards which I was shooting . Under the table , the hide of a West Bengal Hunting Leopard used to fetch a great deal of money back in those days .
    1 particular incident in January , 1963 deserves special mention . It was the night I had gone after a man eating Black Panther ; an animal so rare that it used to be a protected species , even during the time when Shikar was legal in India , prior to 1972 . And that is the story which I shall share today..... "
    Screenshot_20200217-144950_01_01.png
    Final page of the Professional Shikaree's Regulation Book for 1967 , specifically listing the Black Panther as a protected species .

    IMG-20200118-WA0027.jpg

    Indian Ordinance Factories 12 Bore double barreled side by side shot gun , known to Indian shikarees as " IOF 12 Bore DBBL" gun .
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2020
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  10. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Fanatic

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    Fascinating! I look forward to the rest of it.

    Panther Shooter,
    I doubt you will be judged to harshly, for killing man eaters, and taking reasonable quantities of game.
    Can I suggest that you join the forums under the name Panther Shooter, so your identity will be safe.

    Major,
    Thanks for sharing your friends story with us.
     

  11. mark-hunter

    mark-hunter AH Elite

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    Dear Major, Thank you and your friend PS for sharing this story.
     
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  12. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Why did you not eat leopards? I have eaten our bobcats and last summer in Africa we had lion...delicious!

    And now the plot thickens!
     
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  13. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    By Panther Shooter :
    " On the 11th of January in 1963 , the 8 year old daughter of my mother's Garo ( tribal people who live in the hills of West Bengal ) maid servant had gone out to play in the evening in to the vast gardens of the Tea Estate . She never returned to the Servant's Quarters that night .

    The next day , a small search party was organized to comb through the entire Tea Estate in order to find the child . Find her , we did . There , she was ... Lying face down among the tea plants ; dead as New Zealand mutton . She was missing flesh from her buttocks and this was the tell tale sign of a man eater's grisly work . When we turned the corpse over .... we saw that the poor child's rib cage had been torn open and her lungs were no doubt pierced . Her innards were jutting out of a massive cavity in her stomach . Her ears were both bitten clean off and she was missing massive hunks of flesh from her face and neck . I knew now that this was the work of a Hunting Leopard and NOT the work of a man eating royal Bengal tiger . When a man eating Hunting Leopard attacks their prey from the front , they use their fangs , their fore paws AND their hind paws to inflict injuries upon their prey . They use their fangs and fore paws to mangle the victim's face , neck and chest . They use the claws on their hind legs to disembowel their victims .
    Back in the 1970s , there used to be far more fatalities caused by leopard attacks , then there are , in modern times . This was because , back in those days the wounds on a person caused by a leopard were far more likely to turn septic , than in modern times . These days , if a wretch unfortunately falls victim to a leopard's attack , then they will look as if somebody dropped a buzz saw on them . However , as long as they are reasonably close to a medical facilities or medical supplies ...They have a 85 % chance of survival .
    For some reason unknown to me , the wounds caused by the claws or fangs of a Leopard demonstrates a disturbingly high propensity to turn septic . This propensity for the wounds to turn septic is actually even higher than the wounds caused by the fangs and claws of a royal Bengal tiger .
    Unlike a royal Bengal tiger ( which will not stop mauling you until you are dead . ) , a Hunting Leopard will always spring on to their human victim and give them a short series of bites and scratches before making off . The exception to this rule , however ..... is the Hunting Leopard which had turned man eater . This feline menace will not cease to maul you , until it has made a meal out of you.

    The little girl's mother was reduced to a state of catatonic shock , upon seeing what was left of her sweet and innocent young daughter . 3 days after that , another of our employees ( a middle aged tea plant harvester ) was found dead in a similar manner near our old water well on the North West corner of the Tea Estate . Once again , the wound patterns on the corpse of the poor wretch were indicative of a large man eating Hunting Leopard . More to the point ... the wound patterns looked exactly identical to the wound patterns on the 1st victim .
    It was now that it dawned upon me that we were dealing with a man eating Hunting Leopard which had decided to make Jolpaiguri Tea Estate his larder .
    And unless he was put down ... the fatalities would doubtlessly be on the rise . I then took it upon myself to end this monster , once and for all .

    My friends and fellow former Freedom Fighters , Sgt. Kawshik Rahman , Capt. Kareem Hossain Newaz and Maj. Poton Khan who are regular contributors to African Hunting Forums have repeatedly spoken about the virtues of employing Garo tribes men as trackers in their writings . Therefore , I shall not bore anybody by repeating how these Garo tribes men were without a doubt the most competent trackers of game in existence .
    If a game animal passed through a certain area , then the Garo tribes men WOULD find the tracks , plain and simple .

    I had a most competent Garo tribes man at my aid , whom I shall refer to as " Tracker Extraordinaire " or " TE " for short . TE was the father of 1 of our tea garden harvesters and was in his early 40s when my family 1st knew him . He used to work as a tracker of game animals for " Rao Naidu Shikar Limited "( a shikar outfitting company based in Jodhpur ) prior to 1972 . TE was more than just a tracker to me and was someone whom I genuinely appreciated and valued to be by my side . I considered him to be a friend . While most of our employees would refer to me , as Choto Malik ( Junior Master ) , I would always allow TE to refer to me by my name after an incident where he saved my life in 1972 from an enraged Asian Sloth Bear .

    I assigned TE to find the tracks of this man eating menace and as usual ... TE did not disappoint . We followed the tracks of the Hunting Leopard all the way to the North West end of Tea Estate . It was quite clear that the monster was coming down from the forested hills in to the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate through the North West point . Alright ... Now that we knew which route the man eater was using , it was time to implement phase 2 of my plan - Getting live bait to entice the monster .

    Mom and Dad ( who , by grace of God are alive and well today and shall turn 88 and 91 respectively this year . ) were extremely kind towards our employees and let them keep their personal goats and chickens ( for their own eating ) on our property . I began to request each of them to lend me 1 of their goats to use as live bait for the monster . However , whenever I was actually disclosing to them the actual reason WHY I wanted to borrow 1 of their prized goats ... everybody was refusing . I do not hold any grudges against them for their refusal in the slightest . Our employees were not affluent people and a goat back in those days was a valuable source of milk and ( in the case of male goats or female goats which stopped giving milk ) fresh mutton .
    After 1972 , several butcher shops and restaurants which used to sell meat products ( even if the meat was not from cattle ; an animal sacred to those who follow the Hindu faith ) were unfortunately closed down , as it was not uncommon for large groups of Hindu vegetarians to form mobs and lynch ( and even kill ) butchers or the employees of restaurants who used to serve meat . Sadly , this practice is still common in India today ( as recent international News Coverage is bringing to light . )
    My family , close friends and employees got all of our fresh meat from goats and chickens raised on the Tea Estate , alongside the meat from the game animals which I would harvest from my nightly poaching activities . The last time that I had enjoyed a beef rib eye steak was in 1970 and I could not enjoy another beef steak again until I moved to Bangladesh in 1975 , with my family .
    Thus , it came to me as no surprise as to why none of my employees were willing to lend me 1 of their goats .

    Fortunately , the Lord works in mysterious ways . The young son of Dad's chauffeur had managed to catch a Baboon in a snare and had offered the varmint to me , for use as live bait . I knew that this would be perfectly acceptable , because Hunting Leopards were known to profess a fondness for the flesh of baboons .

    I had our employees tie the Baboon to a tree in the North West corner of the Tea Estate with a length of strong nylon cord around it's neck ( We had to ensure that the cord was strong enough , so that the Baboon could not possibly chew through it and escape ) . I then had my employees dig a hole for me in the ground roughly 20 feet away from the Baboon , as a hiding place . This was done by using a shovel and a hatchet , before lighting a small controlled fire inside the hole , and fanning the smoke to spread through out the entire hole. This was done in order to kill / drive away any snakes , rodents , insects or other pests which might be living inside the hole. As an added precaution , half a can of Insect Repellant was emptied in to the hole , as well .

    In case , some of you gentlemen might be wondering why I would choose to hide in a hole in the ground ( on the same level as the man eater) , rather than in the safety of a blind / macchan in a tree ( in an elevated position ) ... then , here is the reason . In the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate , there were not too many large trees around . The sparsely scattered large trees which WERE present in the Tea Estate did not have trunks thick enough or strong enough to support human weight .

    Thus , I made myself comfortable , sitting in that hole as the sun began to set . The top of the hole was mostly covered with a bamboo matress , which was topped with grass and leaves ( so that the Hunting Leopard did not notice the hole . ) There was only a little gap present , through which I could stick out the top of my head and take a peek at what was going on .

    Mom had made me some cold roasted mutton sandwiches , which I had brought along with me to eat in my hiding spot .
    I sat inside the hole , eating my meal and drinking a bottle of chilled orange juice ( Even though , I enjoyed beer greatly ... I made it a point to never ever consume liquor or alcoholic beverages prior to a Shikar , especially a Shikar involving dangerous game such as man eating Hunting Leopards . Shikar was an activity where I always needed to have all of my wits about . ) . My IOF 12 Bore DBBL gun , lay across my lap , loaded with an IOF 12 Bore " Ball " cartridge in each barrel . I had a leather satchel slung on my side , which housed spare cartridges .

    Night time came and the Baboon's endless incessant screeching was bound to draw the leopard towards me , I thought . I was not mistaken in my assumption .
    From a great distance , I could see the outline of a large Hunting Leopard making it's way towards the Baboon .

    1 advantage of hunting in Jolpaiguri Tea Estate was that most of the tea plants were no larger than 3 feet in length and thus the terrain was quite open . This could invariably allow me to see the leopard ( or indeed any game , which I was hunting ) from a great distance away and allowed me to have greater visibility . This was a stark contrast to the hunting carried out my close friends , Sgt. Kawshik Rahman or Maj. Poton Khan during their careers as Professional Shikaris prior to 1972 . They had to hunt and follow up leopards ( and indeed , most other game . ) in to very thick shrub where visibility and maneuverability was always an issue .
    Another advantage for me , was that man eating leopards are infact far easier to hunt than ordinary trophy leopards . Unlike most ordinary trophy leopards ( who will make off as fast as their legs can carry them , if they can sense human presence nearby . ) , a man eating leopard has lost all of his fear of human beings . Therefore , if he senses human presence , the man eater will not attempt to escape the human beings , but will rather stand it's ground or even attempt to charge the Shikari(s) . I personally consider this to be an advantage , because it allows me more convenience in placing my shot on the monster , at closer ranges and with a greater degree of accuracy .

    As I readied my IOF 12 Bore DBBL gun and took 2 spare cartridges to keep between my fingers for a hasty re load , I could not help , but wonder why I was not seeing any rosettes ( or " spots " ) on the Hunting Leopard as it was getting nearer to the screeching Baboon . Yes , I knew that it was dark , but did my eye sight really go THAT bad that I could not make out the rosettes on the Hunting Leopard's skin now ? Even a month prior to this incident , I had shot another man eating Hunting Leopard at night and I could notice the rosettes on that leopards skin , even at night from a distance . My eye sight was fortunately perfectly alright . So what exactly was going on ?!

    Meanwhile , the screeching Baboon was desperately attempting to break free from the nylon cord which was binding him to the tree , in a desperate attempt to escape the Hunting Leopard . I watched the leopard clean it's claws on the bark of the trunk of a papaya tree ... something which a leopard always does right before it is about to attack it's prey .

    As the leopard got closer to baboon and was roughly about 18 feet away from me , I raised my IOF 12 Bore DBBL gun to my shoulder . I had a small , but powerful flash light attached to the fore end of my shot gun , with a length of duct tape .
    The leopard swiped the Baboon with the claws in it's right fore paw and in a single motion , the Baboon dropped to the ground ; lifeless . I could make out the disturbing sounds of the leopard gorging on the flesh of the Baboon , just as I flicked on my flash light and shine the beam on to the head of the monster . What I saw , was ( I must admit ) quite terrifying to me at the time . I saw a great , big pair of yellow eyes in a pitch black frame staring right at me . For a split second , I actually thought that the 2 eyes had popped out of no where and were just floating in the air , due to a super natural element. Was I facing some spectral entity from Hell , itself ?
    However , I instantly realized that I was staring not at any super natural apparition , but rather at a BLACK PANTHER . ( I should add here that I was never even remotely superstitious at all , not did I ever believe in any super natural entities . )
    I immediately fired my left barrel at the monster , aiming for the point behind his shoulder . My 1.25 ounce spherical lead ball definitely struck the Black Panther , as he gave a deafening roar and made off , right in the direction which he had come from . Did my bullet fail to find a vital organ in the monster ? I immediately leapt out of my hiding spot and folded open the breech of my IOF 12 Bore DBBL gun . I removed the empty cartridge casing from the breech of my left barrel and loaded in another fresh IOF 12 Bore " Ball" cartridge. I then gave pursuit to the monster . I was extremely terrified of what might happen if the Black Panther died a lingering death in the forest and it's corpse was found by Forest Department Officials . They would surely find the bullet wound on the monster's body and decipher that someone had attempted to poach this Black Panther . Then , it would not take them long to connect the dots and realize that the Black Panther was fleeing from the direction of the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate and that the son of the owner of Jolpaiguri Tea Estate was the license holder for an IOF 12 Bore DBBL gun .
    Then , I would not only land myself a hefty prison sentence , but my parents would also suffer as a result of my actions .
    I HAD to find that Black Panther as soon as possible , no matter what the cost .... "

    Screenshot_20200115-015105_01.png
    Indian Ordinance Factories 12 Bore shot gun cartridges
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
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  14. Jeffro

    Jeffro AH Veteran

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    Wonderful story. Can't wait for the rest.
     
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  15. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    By Panther Shooter :
    “ My heart was racing and adrenaline was pumping through my veins ... I desperately began to follow the drops of the Black Panther’s blood , hoping that the blood trail would lead me to the monster . However , spooring a Black Panther by following it’s blood trail , at 1 AM in the morning with nothing but the flash light taped to the fore end of your shot gun , to aid you is by no means child’s play . It’s black hide only makes it EVEN MORE DIFFICULT to spot at night . Fortunately , I had Dad and TE with me , both of whom readily offered to assist me in tracking down the Black Panther as soon as I had notified them about the wounded monster getting away . Dad was carrying his Indian Ordinance Factories .315 Bore Sporting Rifle , loaded with 5 244 grain soft nose cartridges in the detachable box magazine. TE was carrying a Ram Dao in his hands ( a large butcher knife locally made in India and Bangladesh , which has been forged from the steel of truck leaf springs . )

    We pressed forward in despair. Suddenly , we noticed that our pet dairy cows ( which we would always leave to graze in a grass field located inside the property , every single night ) were all running around wildly , hither and thither . They were all running around in 3 directions : North , South and West . However , they were ALL steering clear from the East direction . Why was this , so ? Based on my personal experience ... I knew exactly why . Our dairy cows were all fleeing from the direction where the Black Panther was .

    We cautiously pressed forward now .... anticipating that the monster was lying in wait for us , amongst the tea plants . At any moment now , we might suddenly need to face a charge . Or worse - The Black Panther might suddenly spring out of his hiding spot and get ahold of 1 of us . However , our fears were completely unfounded . There , laying sprawled across the green tea garden floor , was my foe - The man eating Black Panther of Jolpaiguri Tea Estate . It was dead . My 12 Bore spherical ball bullet WAS properly placed after all. My bullet had ruptured the monster’s heart and this was what had led to its demise .
    Dad , TE and I breathed a sigh of relief. It looked like I was not going to prison after all . The 3 of us hurriedly carried the carcass of this man eating fiend back to Dad’s tool shed . Upon weighing him , we learnt that he weighed 61 kilograms , which is not the heaviest weight that these feline menaces can get up to . Upon flaying him , we learnt why he had turned man eater .

    There , lodged against the chest muscles were 3 leaden pellets of “ Indian LG “ .
    “ Indian LG “ was a type of home made buck shot, which Indian poachers ( used to ) make. This is made by taking an ordinary bird shot cartridge ( Say , No. 1) and breaking them open , before pouring the lead bird shot in to a cauldron and melting it . Then , the molten lead was re moulded in to forming 6 large leaden pellets . These 6 large pallets are then re loaded back in to the same shot gun cartridge and the shell is then closed again after being treated with molten bee’s wax . It is reasonably effective on up to Chital Deer sized game , if the ranges are kept short . However, I never personally used “ Indian LG “ for any of my poaching activities. At any rate , even buck shot of this large size did little to a Black Panther , except turn him in to a man eater . No doubt , some unscrupulous poacher decided to try making a record bag , by taking a Black Panther out with a shot gun , loaded with “ Indian LG “ . In doing so ... he ended up creating a monster .

    I sold that elusive Black Panther hide to a business man in North India and it fetched me quite a hefty sum ... roughly thrice the price of the hide of a regular Hunting Leopard .

    I went on to poach game on a nightly basis for 1 more year and shot 16 more Hunting Leopards after January , 1973 . However , eventually my family and I moved to Bangladesh permanently for various reasons ; not the least being :
    > I always had an admiration for fine imported fire arms and could not imagine using an IOF 12 Bore DBBL for the rest of my hunting days .
    > I wanted to get back to hunting LEGALLY , and not by always having to worry about how to evade Forest Department Officials and Indian Army Rangers .
    > After 1974 , Forest Department Officials began to establish outposts closer in proximity to the Jolpaiguri Tea Estate , and I did not wish to risk my life and my freedom any longer by continuing my poaching activities . A wise man knows when to fold 'em .
    > India itself was becoming extremely discriminatory towards Muslims during this time ( even liberal Muslims , such as my family and friends ) . Mobs of fanatical Hindu activists were often known to lynch, injure and even murder entire families of Muslims and confiscate their property during " raids " . Only , in recent times are these atrocities slowly catching any sort of attention from the international News media .

    After moving to Bangladesh in 1975 with my family and establishing a good business ... I was finally able to resume hunting legally again since 1970 .
    I purchased 2 excellent fire arms after successfully applying for an NPB ( Non Prohibited Bore ) rifle license and a shot gun license , which continue to serve me extremely well , to this day :
    > A 7 millimeter Remington Magnum caliber bolt action rifle , built on a Springfield Model 1903 receiver by an excellent American custom rifle maker based in Oregon . This excellent piece helps me account for my Sambhar and Chital Deer and Wild Boars ( and the odd Asian Sloth Bear ) and I could not be happier with it's performance . 175 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nose cartridges are my preferred factory load for this American beauty . When I hand load , Barnes bullets are my personal favorites .
    > A 12 Bore English William Wellington Greener hammerless Side Lock side by side shot gun , with 2.75 inch chambers, double triggers , automatic ejectors and 28 inch long barrels ( which are choked " improved modified" & " full " in the right & left barrel respectively ) . This excellent piece is irreplaceable for all of my wing shooting . With English No. 6 & No. 8 , it serves all of my upland fowl hunting purposes . With English No. 2 , it puts down wild ducks with ease . With English AAA , it brings down even the largest of wild geese smoothly and is indispensable for hunting Barking Deer during beats .

    Oh , how much I wish I had such fine sporting weapons , during my " Wild Days " in India between 1972 and 1974 . However , better late than never , as they say ....
    In 1980 , I was assigned in a rural part of Bangladesh by the Forest Department to destroy a man eating Hunting Leopard which was terrorizing the villages in that area and had devoured half a dozen innocent , helpless people . Hunt down that man eater , I did . And my 7 millimeter Remington Magnum dropped him cleanly without any difficulties on my part , whatsoever .
    In 1983 , I was called in to put down yet another man eating Hunting Leopard which had devoured 2 people and injured 2 more critically . Again , I was fortunate enough to dispatch the devil cat before the fatalities could arise even further .

    Before I finish my story , I would just like to state for the record , that I have not partaken in ANY poaching activities whatsoever since 1974 ( 46 years ago ) . Ever since hunting became legally available to me again after 1975 , I saw no good reason whatsoever to break the law . I know that I am sharing my story to a forum full of hunters who uphold sporting ethics to the highest degree ( and so they rightfully should ) and therefore my account may come off , as disturbing , sickening or just plain wrong to many of the members of this forum . I understand that and respect their views wholeheartedly. Poaching is a crime. It is wrong , unethical and should be taken extremely seriously . But please try to understand that not all poachers are the same.
    There are some people in certain parts of this earth who are FORCED to turn to poaching , because they have a deep and passionate love for the art of hunting ... yet it is not legally available to them , due to the machinations of their tyrannical government ( India being the biggest example of this. ) . They maintain their own set of morals , ethics and principles , just like any ethical licensed hunter . They are a complete world apart from the poachers who care only about making easy money , by partaking in the wanton , indiscriminate and uncontrolled slaughter of game . I am certainly not proud of my days as a poacher and perhaps most of you will find my actions completely unjustifiable . If legal hunting was available to me ... Then I can assure all of you that I would walk on egg shells just to follow all of the rules enacted. However , I was 1 of those few poachers who actually cared . And I mean not to gloat , but ( as far as those 25 man eating Hunting Leopards poached by me between 1972 to 1974 are concerned ) my actions probably did save a few human lives .... Lives which I consider far more valuable than animal lives any day . I apologize sincerely if my account has hurt any sentiments . “
    THE END
    Screenshot_20200321-192002_01_01_01_01.png
    The man eating Black Panther of Jolpaiguri Tea Estate , January 1973 .

    Screenshot_20200213-200558_01_01_01_01_01_01_01.png
    Man Eating Hunting Leopard killed with a single heart shot placed behind the shoulder with a 7 millimeter Remington Magnum , employing a 175 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nose cartridge .
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020

  16. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    Now that Panther Shooter has shared his article with all of us , Dear Readers ...
    How many of you believe that he should become a member of African Hunting Forums ? I was Panther Shooter’s commanding officer , during the Bangladesh Liberation War and we became good friends after the war ended . I personally consider Panther Shooter to be a 1st rate human being. A good soldier , great shikaree and magnificent specimen of humanity , who is merely a little too harsh on himself for his actions committed during desperate times.

    I shall commence writing my next article for African Hunting Forums after 4 days ( this time , it shall be revolving around 1 of my own adventures once again ) . Until then , I do hope that Panther Shooter’s article has proven enjoyable .
    I shall now commence responding to all of the kind comments made by our fellow forum members , while I was completing this article . Since , I know Panther Shooter extremely well ... I believe that I can answer most of the questions asked . If not , then I can simply give Panther Shooter a telephone call and ask him for the 100 % accurate information . I do believe that Panther Shooting shall read this article very soon ( if he is already not doing so , at this very moment ) , and I sincerely hope that my writing has done justice to my hard working and talented friend .
    By the way, Panther Shooter... I envy you in a healthy manner ! I always dreamed of shooting a Black Panther some day , but I never quite got the opportunity , unfortunately.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2020
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  17. Av8or

    Av8or AH Member

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    He should absolutely be a member of our forums”, in great standing I may add”
     
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  18. edward

    edward GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    south africa and zimbabwe.alaska and several lower 48 states.
    welcome aboard P.S.
     
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  19. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    I should hope that you enjoy the rest of it , Bruce.
     
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  20. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    I am hopeful that you shall enjoy the rest of it , Bill.
     

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