What a wonderful safari. You had some excellent experiences. Thanks for sharing them here. Beautiful animals too.
Oh boy, it will be hot then but the game will be concentrated near the water sources so you should have your pick of lots of opportunities!Scott, thanks for an absolutely excellent report! I was especially interested in the Coutada 9 part, as I’m booked to hunt there in late October of ‘24, with Fabian as my PH. Might PM you with some questions.
Congratulations! Wow, a hundred things must have been going through your head before you saw it there. I also would have been worried about a croc getting it. I'm glad it ended well!We started to get some leopards feeding on the baits. We were checking trail camera pictures and found pictures of three different females and one good-sized male. The day before, we had caught a poacher from Tanzania so Jamie's other PH, Darren, and I went hunting and checking baits the next morning while Jaime drove the poacher to jail in a village several hours away. Wendy slept in and stayed at camp with Jamie's wife, Eveline.
Darren and Jamie had decided that if the male came back to eat bait again, that Darren should build a blind and we would sit there for the afternoon/evening. The male had been back so a blind was built and we settled in and waited. Those of you who have sat in leopard blinds can appreciate what is involved but this was my first time and first day in a leopard blind. I always inform my PH when I arrive that I am a lucky hunter and that the safari will be great if we hunt hard. Although this is true, I find it to be a pressure release for the PH and sets everyone at ease. As a guide/PH myself, I understand the pressure that a PH feels. It's always good karma and has never failed me to tell them I am lucky. A PMA (positive mental attitude) makes a difference on a hunt. I do a lot of research into the areas I hunt and, of course, that definitely helps as well.
After a few hours, suddenly from nowhere, a leopard was in the tree and it was just 4:30 pm. A leopard in the daylight! Our blind was across a small, sandy river drainage from the bait tree and there were a few pools of water in the riverbed. After looking for a bit, Darren confirmed it was a male but wasn't sure it was the same one we had on camera. While I have hunted mountain lions, I couldn't tell the size but said it seemed like a decent male to me. I had been informed that the leopards in the Niassa were sometimes referred to as "river cats" and usually not as big as leopards from Zimbabwe and Namibia but I didn't care. I just wanted a representative male. Leopards are plentiful and easy-going in the Niassa and although I received a partial discount for taking the cancelled hunt, it was still expensive to me and much more money than my plains game hunt the year before in Zimbabwe. Definitely the most money I had ever spent on a hunt up until then and I didn't want to be one of the guys that didn't get a leopard!
Darren was honest and told me it wasn't the biggest male leopard that he and Jamie would have ever taken in the area but that it was legal, decent and mature. I told him that based on that, I wanted to shoot!
I had brought my custom Winchester M70 .338WM that was built for me by a long-term client/friend that lives near me in Colorado. My client/friend and his wife are both eye doctors and owned two clinics and also had other doctors working for them so he had the resources to build his own gunsmithing shop and tutored under David Miller of Arizona. The rifle sports a fluted Krieger barrel and is my go-to rifle for elk. The Leupold scope has a Premier Reticle in it with dots at 300, 400, 500 and 600 yards with the crosshair sighted for 200 yards and it is calibrated to my rifle's ballistics for the load. The bullet used in the load is a 225 gr Swift A-Frame. I had shot the rifle many times at 50 yards as well and knew where to hold.
As the cat fed, I settled in for the shot. Luckily, I wasn't too nervous and at the shot, the cat leapt up into the air in our general direction. It landed in one of the larger pools of water and just disappeared, making a big splash! I quickly reloaded and we watched to see if it surfaced or ran out of the water but it was just gone and out of sight in the water, from what we could tell! Wow, that was exciting! We waited for a while to make sure it didn't suddenly appear out of the water and then got carefully out of the blind to go have a look.
With rifles loaded, we carefully approached the water and this is what we saw!View attachment 513010
Lol. There were two chalets. One with bars and one without. The one with bars was occupied by Bertie’s brother, his wife and daughter before I arrived. We laughed about that as well.What a great hunt! Listening to lions circling had to get the adrenaline up. Did you ask why they put you in the chalet without bars? Thought you said he liked you. Good read!
Yes he did but had to get skin grafts so it took a while.These are a couple of great hunts. I enjoyed reading and seeing the photos. What happened to skippy? Did he have a full recovery?
Hi Sue. I was given a copy of your book as a present. Great book! If I bring it to SCI, would you sign it for me?Congratulations! Wow, a hundred things must have been going through your head before you saw it there. I also would have been worried about a croc getting it. I'm glad it ended well!
Hi @Scott CWO . Absolutely, I would LOVE to sign the book for you. I'll be at booth #2861 from mornings until about 1 every day except Saturday. Or text me at 208-818-3534 to work something else out. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. That is always wonderful to hear. I look forward to seeing you in person!Hi Sue. I was given a copy of your book as a present. Great book! If I bring it to SCI, would you sign it for me?
pretty damn cool.Later that year, Craig received the Award of Valor from the professional hunters association for saving Skippy’s life. The award is usually given to a PH and not very often is given to a client.
That’s a tough question. Can’t go wrong either way. If you want nyala and the opportunity to pick through a lot of kudu, you might go with C9 or just do both!So . . . If forced to pick, specifically with this outfitter, do you hunt c9 or svc?