Wow, congrats to you all! Well done! I thought this leopard hunt might go a little faster.Day 2
I woke about a half hour before the coffee delivery at six. It was noticeably warmer last night, and I drank a cup with Debra before heading to the fire at a quarter of seven.
After a hearty breakfast of eggs, bacon and sausage we were on the road to check baits. It was a little before nine when we got to Chris’ fly camp. We collected more bait there and started down the 88 km bait line.
Polous the tracker sat on the front seat of the bull bar so he could watch the road for fresh tracks.
The first six baits had no hit last night. We got to the bait where we jumped the cat, and it was hit hard. The trail camera proved it all. He came at 6:34 then was up and down the tree until 6:30 the next morning. So, he was twelve hours up and down the tree eating, but still plenty of meat was left.
Next, Peter chose the correct place for the blind and they began to put it up. Any obstructions were cleared from the sight path and the chairs and rest put in place. The plan is to hunt this leopard today.
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The Blind, all brushed in.
Peter moved the cruiser back away from the blind a few hundred yards and we had a quick lunch. By 2 they were in the blind and we would drive about a kilometer away and wait for the shot or 6:30 whichever comes first.
Shortly after five I lit a cigar and sat waiting, enjoying the last hour of the day with my youngest daughter. We chatted while facing the direction they were hunting, waiting for the shot.
It was nearing 6:15 when I mentioned to Chris that Peter told Polous to pick him up at 6:30.
The crew was about twenty yards behind the vehicles talking quietly when Chris said, “did you hear that?” my daughter said, “sounded like a shot”. Debra confirmed that she heard it as well and I could see Polous coming quickly. It was 6:19 and we jumped in the cruiser and made our way to the bait.
Polous was driving fast, intent to get there quickly to help with tracking if necessary. He was going so fast I had to stop him when we blew by the bait!
Peter hollered and we backed up, Polous got out and bolted like an Olympic sprinter and Peter yelled to Polous he could not see the cat. Polous went wide around and confirmed the leopard lay dead at the base of the tree.
Peter yelled for my daughter to come quickly from the blind, and handshakes and hugs circulated amongst the joyous crowd.
We hurried to get daytime photographs, but the light faded quickly so we resorted to flashlights.
Melcom was ecstatic with the footage, capturing this leopard hunt in the daytime as well.
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Polous the tracker with the Leopard
It’s been an amazing three-week hunting leopards in the forests of the Luangwa Valley and the arid region of Bushmanland.
Back at camp we were welcomed with a celebration and made a champagne toast to the success of the hunt.
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Doekie brought out a great meal of steak, potatoes and vegetables followed by a wonderful dessert.
After dinner we enjoyed cigars and whiskeys by the fire and relived the memories made today, we are truly Blessed.
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This amazing photo was captured by the game camera just moments before the shot.