NAMIBIA: Leopard Hunt At Westfalen

Discussion in 'Hunting Reports Africa' started by Philip Glass, Dec 15, 2016.

  1. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Elite

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    I hunted in northern Namibia with Westfalen Safaris in October and November 2016. I was hunting leopard, damara dik dik, and klipspringer primarily. On the first day we spotted elephants, mountain zebras, giraffe, gemsbok and other game. The drought has raged on for two years in this part of the country and there was NO GRASS! In fact it was not uncommon to see animals dead or dying near the water points. This along with the 100 degree heat did not make for very good leopard hunting.

    I was a bit disappointed that their main camp was shut down with plans for renovations. My PH and I bunked at the owner John's home. It was a comfortable place for the most part but certainly lacking the beautiful view of their Elephant Camp. If you visit northern Namibia I hope you like gemsbok steaks because that is what they eat 90% of the time! We did enjoy some lamb chops one night and that was a nice diversion.
    Days consisted of hunting zebra and gemsbok for leopard bait then checking and setting baits. One of the highlights of the boring baiting was meeting a neighbor named Luigi. Luigi is a retired Ferrari mechanic and salesman who once managed their entire South African operations. He enjoys baiting and hunting leopard for clients and is an incredible person to meet and visit with. It is funny some of the people you meet in remote places. My PH was not the best english speaker and was a little short on personality and patience for client hunters. That said we did have the same taste in guns and that was nice.

    Struggling with leopard we began to keep a sharper eye out for a nice klipspringer or a "big" Damara dik dik. Even without the grass the small animals can be hard to hunt. We routinely saw dik dik but finding an old male proved to be a task. About halfway through the hunt I got my chance at a very nice dik dik. A gold medal trophy that will likely make the record book. I suppose that is just my luck. The one animal some folks would not bother to measure and it goes in the book!

    After a miss on a quick shot through some bushes we sprint up the rocky hill after a pair of klipspringers. Without the ideal shot I had hoped for and the little ram just a jump from being gone for good I pulled the trigger. My freehand shot with a 300gr Northfork Solid hit the mark. He was quartering away and I aimed as far back as I dared and it was just the best that could be hoped for. You see these little antelope have quill like hollow hairs that come off easily and there will be a bald spot wherever it is hit. Our tracker skinned him and put him in the cooler and off we went. We continue to shoot bait and camp meat with several zebra and a dozen or so gemsbok falling to my .375 Ruger.

    Late in the hunt we left early and took the track on a herd of eland. What amazing scenery there was to see here. The Mopanes and thorn bushes just putting on leaves showed hope for this dry place. We would climb the rocky hills and glass then proceed to the next koppie as they call them. Locating the herd we waited for a steady wind that we could rely on then proceeding to a better vantage point. My 200 yard shot was on the mark and my big bull eland was down in a matter of feet.

    As we were continuing to be eluded by the darn leopard the hunt continued but without much hope. One night the strangest and most unfortunate accident would befall us as we drove back to camp. It was well after dark and I was dozing after a long day when my window was shattered and so was my face. For some unknown reason a big vulture flew into the window of our vehicle and thus into me. Bloody and bruised badly I was thankful the vulture did not end up in my lap! We got out, inspected the damage to the vehicle and shook the glass out of our hair. I had to sit in the back seat to get away from the glass and by this time it was getting cold. I held my coat in front of me while pressing my shirt on my face to stop the bleeding. Back at camp I clean up my cuts and shower the rest of the glass out of my hair and go to bed. I laid my head on my pillow (hoping the bleeding had stopped for good) thankful to God that it was not a Kudu that jumped into my window.

    There are many leopards in this area and we saw tracks everyday. The problem is they are educated because this is livestock country and you can't go far without seeing domesticated animals. The best bet for a leopard hunt here is going to be August/September and hope for an actual kill of theirs to hunt over. We will all have to pray for rain for them as they will be years getting over this drought when ever the rains do come.

    Regards,
    Philip Glass

    DikDik1.jpg Eland1.jpg Klip1.gif NamibTree.gif
     

  2. LivingTheDream

    LivingTheDream AH Elite

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    Great hunt and some great animals, sorry to hear about the Leopard though. But not much you can with the conditions. Still jealous you were able to get over there.
     
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  3. enysse

    enysse AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for the hunt report! Sorry to hear about the vulture flying into the window.
     
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  4. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing and congrats. Cool pic with the tree on the rocks!
     
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  5. reedy0312

    reedy0312 AH Ambassador

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    And sorry to hear about the vulture incident, but glad all is well, that's one heck of a campfire story to tell in the future!
     
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  6. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR GOLD BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Rude awakening!

    That is a great DikDik and Eland.
    Cattle country in Namibia or Zim sure create challenges. Sorry to hear you did not connect.
    100F, I would have melted.

    Thanks for the report.
     
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  7. kathy

    kathy AH Fanatic

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    Thanks for the great report, glass in the face is no good.
    Looks like you had a good hunt even though you didn't get a leopard . Forrest
     
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  8. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Legend

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    Too bad about the Leopard. Sometimes that is what happens. It is hunting and not shooting. Maybe next time. The longer it takes the more you appreciate it. Amazing about the vulture. Glad no apparent lasting injuries. You'll remember it a long time. Congrtas on some hard won trophies. Bruce
     
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  9. CAustin

    CAustin BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Great report sir! Better luck next hunt! I once had a buzzard fly into the front windshield of my 1993 Camray ! I didn't get bloody but did have a few feathers in the front seat. I was glad to keep the car on the road.
     
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  10. dory

    dory AH Fanatic

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    Having been there I really feel for the people enduring the drought .
    I hate seeing animals suffer .
    Saying that Phillip your Eland looks in real good condition ?
    Is that right ?
    I thought they had some good rain a while ago but obviously not .
    What condition were the other animals you shot in Phillip ??
    Cheers Dory .
     
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  11. ernoz

    ernoz New Member

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    I was at Westfalen with a client right after Phillip's hunt. We had a succesfull leopard hunt and I will post a hunting report of the trip in the near future
     

  12. rinehart0050

    rinehart0050 GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Congrats on the trophies you got. better luck on leopard next time. I'm sure this experience will make it even sweeter next time when you connect on your monster Tom!
     
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  13. Westfalen Hunting Safaris

    Westfalen Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2015 AH Fanatic

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    It is one of the most disappointing moments for any PH to send a client home without his Leopard, especially in Namibia since pre-baiting sometimes took several years.

    Most of these pre-bait areas are situated in commercial cattle ranch areas and a fine balance is needed between the rancher which have to take the “knock” with Leopards been baited and cattle [little ones] being protected and the PH or Outfitter that needs to convince the rancher that it is worth the effort.

    We have great respect and appreciation for all the Leopard Hunters who try at great expense to hunt these cats and have to deal with nature [droughts] and Murphy [Vultures] and still stay positive.

    Thanks Philip
     
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  14. Jfet

    Jfet AH Fanatic

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    Vultures... new DG designation...:cautious:

    (y)(y)(y) for the hunt
     
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  15. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Elite

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    Although I hate the heat, being from West Texas I am used to it and normally as long as I have water I can handle it. However I have had severe heat stress a few times in my life and I can feel it coming on. That's when you've got to stop and cool down.
    Regards,
    Philip
     
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  16. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Elite

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    Reedy you've got that right!
     

  17. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Elite

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    D
    Dory,
    The gemsbok were in horrible condition as well as the warthogs and dying daily. So all grazers (grass eaters) were in bad condition. The browsers (leaf eaters) like eland, dik dik, etc were in fairly good shape. Yes my eland was in very good condition considering. We ate the tenderloins and they were fabulous!
    Regards,
    Philip
     

  18. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Elite

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    As a rancher myself I would have been so happy to have taken a cattle killing leopard! That is what I was really hoping for. I know they did get one recently. Icing on the cake.
    Regards,
    Philip
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 18, 2016

  19. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH Legend

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    I completely understand your situation Philip. I hunted nearly the same area in August of 2015. We had leopard hitting bait consistly for two months prior to my arrival. A week before my departure I got a call from my
    PH informing me the cats have stopped hitting the baits because of the drought the eland began calving early. We too searched for two weeks looking for a fresh kill to no avail. Our leopard hunt came to a complete hault. There was no grass to be found anywhere it seemed. I did manage to take 6 plains game but my primary Target eluded us quite well. I god willing will be back next July providing my PH gets a tag. I certainly feel your pain. I'm sure you'll give it another try in the future.
     
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  20. Philip Glass

    Philip Glass BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Elite

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    What's your point? This is my post about my hunt! You want to post a hunt report go ahead but it has no reflection on my post.
    Regards,
    Philip
     

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