Leopard in the tree...

ndumo HUNTING SAFARIS

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I thought long and hard if its a good idea or not to post this video...
Like all of us, (I hope), I hate wounding and losing an animal. Let alone the fact that a lost dangerous game animal may kill someone down the line, we all strive to let the animal suffer as little as possible.
With this in mind, I thought it a good opportunity to show the video so that prospective leopard hunters (and possibly others), does not make the same mistakes.

Background:
The video shows what happens when you are in a hurry to shoot. The cat came in on schedule, and instead of waiting for it to feed and become relaxed, the hunter took a shot at it where it was sitting in a fork to the right and lower than the bait. The fact that he was shooting from a Caldwell rest (that holds the rifle's fore end as well as the pistol grip), that he had to force/ "drive" to shoot to different position than what we set the rest up for, did not help.
The bullet clearly strikes the tree first, and after following the cat for 4 hours, with very little blood loss, we lost the tracks and had to abandon this magnificent creature.
What we can learn from this:
Wait till the cat is relaxed, in the anticipated position, and preferable feeding. Enjoy the moment, it is not often that we see these mostly nocturnal critters in such broad daylight, and maybe get yourself a bit more relaxed. Do not "force" these kinds of rests to a different aiming point.
Hope this helps someone!

 
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Shootist43

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What a shame, too bad the hunter decided to take the shot. I am "assuming" he was told not to. But rather to wait until the cat got into position. Out of curiosity, what distance are we talking about.
 

ndumo HUNTING SAFARIS

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Less than 60 yards
 

Environ

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This is an interesting video and thanks for posting, I just came back from my leopard hunt in the Luangwa valley where I was successful in getting the leopard BUT I didn't listen to the PH and I got told off :(. The nerves and anticipation when the Tom got into the tree was too much and despite being told numerous times beforehand to wait when he had finished feeding I shot him.He was dead before he hit the ground but the PH was understandably pissed off and I learnt a valuable lesson.It would be the PH or a tracker who would have to follow up in the long grass and we could of had a story.....it could have easily all gone wrong.
 

Kowas Adventure Safaris

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Great lesson... thanks oom Karl (y)

My best,
Jacques
 

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Oh man, and that looked like a big boy to be following up on! Glad everyone is safe.
 

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Thanks for posting the video. This is a good reminder to go through the plan several times with the PH in advance and then make sure you stick to the plan unless told otherwise. It's not easy, but I kept on telling myself that I'm the one putting the pressure on me. PH is the expert and I am not. Then I simply focused on my breathing and kept as calm as possible. Trying to keep things simple and focus on one thing at a time (wait for the permission to take the shot) worked for me. But it's easy to understand that things can go wrong and you get carried away. That is not an easy shot after all the waiting and anticipation.

In the end those seconds and minutes watching the cat through the scope are the moments that you will remember for the rest of your life.
 
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You can guide the client to the blind but you can't make them shoot . This is an excellent cautionary tale, thank you for posting it. You didn't name and shame, the client could have been anyone from George the mechanic to President Trump and we would have no way to know which is fine. Hopefully paying for the animal but not getting it helped to drive home the lesson that patients is a virtue. My sympathy to the beautiful animal that was wounded, I hope it makes a full recovery.
 

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That's one he took to bed. :oops::( Good lesson for all though.
 

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Just for info. the client is actually a pretty good shot, was just the combination of above factors that led to this unfortunate event.
 

curtism1234

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Not having leopard hunted, I suppose I don't know what I'm talking about...but...

I firmly believe in taking the first good shot presented to you because it could be your only opportunity. I have shot countless numbers of squirrels and raccoons in trees. I would not have hesitated at all to take that shot based on the camera's angle (which may very well be different).

Waiting for something in your dreams/ ideal / textbook that may never happen is frankly in my opinion a foolish plan. You should never force anything, but you strike when the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes you have the right opportunity and you screw up the execution of it; doesn't mean you should not have done it.

Again, what do I know though...
 

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Not having leopard hunted, I suppose I don't know what I'm talking about...but...

I firmly believe in taking the first good shot presented to you because it could be your only opportunity. I have shot countless numbers of squirrels and raccoons in trees. I would not have hesitated at all to take that shot based on the camera's angle (which may very well be different).

Waiting for something in your dreams/ ideal / textbook that may never happen is frankly in my opinion a foolish plan. You should never force anything, but you strike when the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes you have the right opportunity and you screw up the execution of it; doesn't mean you should not have done it.

Again, what do I know though...
I think recognizing a few key points in this scenario is key. The first being the client didn’t have the green light from the PH to take the shot. If you are going to hunt Dangerous Game I think you should be prepared to play by the PH’s rules. I suspect there were some very stern words of “education” imparted by the PH following this episode. And rightly so.
Next, there was a pre-positioned Caldwell Rest being used. Very likely it was “secured” solidly into proper position for the anticipated shot. The client forced it into an “alternate” position, very likely placing unnatural stresses on the stock, barrel, action of the rifle as well as likely causing an unnatural recoil impulse on both rifle and shooter. All of these things add up to an extremely high probablility of the projectile going anywhere else but where it was intended. No surprise here that it did in fact go somewhere else.
In this case there may have been some good luck in play because from what I can see in the video, the Leopard may not have been severely wounded. Hard to tell though.
At least the bullet didn’t end up squarely in the guts.

I am very glad no one got torn up. This could have had a much worse ending.
Many thanks to Karl for posting this. There are some very valuable lessons to be learned here on someone elses dime.
 

IvW

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Not having leopard hunted, I suppose I don't know what I'm talking about...but...

I firmly believe in taking the first good shot presented to you because it could be your only opportunity. I have shot countless numbers of squirrels and raccoons in trees. I would not have hesitated at all to take that shot based on the camera's angle (which may very well be different).

Waiting for something in your dreams/ ideal / textbook that may never happen is frankly in my opinion a foolish plan. You should never force anything, but you strike when the opportunity presents itself. Sometimes you have the right opportunity and you screw up the execution of it; doesn't mean you should not have done it.

Again, what do I know though...

Your first and last sentence pretty much sums up your post with regards to hunting leopard on a bait.
 

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In any hunting in Africa it's very important to follow the rules of the PH. In dangerous game hunting I would say that is probably the most important thing. PH has to be able to trust that the hunter follows the instructions 100% or his life is on the line.

Comparing hunting a squirrel to hunting a leopard is not something I wouldn't do. Wounded squirrel will not come after you like a wounded Leopard does...
 

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Thanks for posting. I will be hunting Leopard in July and will take this message to heart and prayerfully see a different outcome.
 

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Karl thanks for posting. What a cat.
 

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I will just add my thanks for posting this.

Instructive for us all.
 

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