Question regarding caliber minimums for Lion & Leopard

DUGABOY1

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I agree that both species are thin skinned, and a leopard is not such a big animal (in size only). I have seen once a video of a lion shot with a bow from a hide and the arrow went right through. A smaller caliber than a .375 will do the job. The problem comes in when following a wounded animal when you need a lot of stopping power. Which is why many countries probably want hunters rather to be safe than sorry.

INTU SAFARIS, Arrows work on an entirely different physics pattern than a bullet. An arrow will slide right through an animal that will stop a large bullet. The bullet works on a trauma of impact, and wide tissue damage, while an arrow works by cutting, and causing hemorrhaging.

In most countries 9.3 cal is minimum for Lion, but Tanzania requires .375 minimum for Lion. I would not hesitate to shoot lion with a 9.3X74R double or a 9.3X62 bolt rifle from a blind over bait. If wounded and going into the weeds, for the follow-up I’d prefer a double rifle no smaller than one chambered for the 375 Flanged, and preferably something over .400 cal. A good side by side double rifle chambered for 450/400NE 3” or a 450NE 3 1/4" with 400 gr to 480 gr soft points respectively is just about perfect for follow-up on lion.

A shotgun, or bolt rifle are not the weapons I’d ever use on lion as long as I had a choice. Not many PHs follow-up Lion with a shotgun, and most not even Leopard. An African lion’s bunched up adrenlin soaked muscles will stop buck shot or soft slug before it can get into the vitals from any frontal shot, and that is the shot you are likely to get when going into the thorn with a wounded lion, or leopard.

At under 15 feet a shot charge is only about 3” wide, and a rifle bullet is as easy to hit the right spot as a shot charge, but does far more damage. A double rifle is used the same way a shotgun is at close range, INSTINCTIVELY!

Almost everybody that has been mauled by a leopard or lion in a follow-up was using a shot gun or a bolt rifle for the job. A hard cast slug in a shotgun is far better than a load of buckshot, and if a single bullet is to be used anyway, then a double rifle makes far more sense!
 

BC.Pat

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I am a neophyte to Lion and Leopard hunting ; but observation (personal) shows they are pretty different beast from one another. I would think that the cartridge selection for each would be different as shown in some of the different minimums required by different countries. I think prospective hunters shouldn't clump the two together. Just my 2¢
 

IvW

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If you plan on using a shotgun to follow up a wounded leopard, it is advisable to use only slugs and not buckshot. A double barrel shotgun with 2 triggers would be a good choice. Buckshot does not penetrate reliably. I have used a S X S brno with shortened(24 inch) barrels fitted with a front sight and ghost ring on the back loaded with Brenneke slugs with great satisfaction.

I have also used a O/U combination gun in 12ga/9.3x74R, just as effective.

I would not use a shotgun to follow up on wounded lion. Although not a hard skinned animal you need a decent bullet to stop a large charging male lion.

I am in the process of getting a S x S rifle in 9.3 x 74R, it may just be the cat's whiskers!

A well fitting double rifle in a caliber you can shoot well would be the ultimate cat stopping rifle.
 

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Minimum Equipment Requirements for Rifle Hunting in Africa by Country

africahunter.gif
Benin
• There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Benin.
• Benin does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

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Botswana
• The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Botswana is .222 caliber for any game other than dangerous game.
• The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Botswana is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting.
• The maximum equipment allowed for rifle hunting in Botswana is .577 Nitro Express caliber.
• Botswana does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

africahunter.gif
Burkina Faso
• There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Burkina Faso.
• Burkina Faso does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

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Cameroon
• For Group 1 - Small Game, the equipment requirement for hunting is .240 caliber or less, shotgun may be used as well.
• For Group 2 - Medium Game, the equipment requirement for hunting is .240 to .354 caliber.
• For Group 3 - Big Game, the equipment requirement for hunting is .354 caliber or larger.
• Cameroon does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

africahunter.gif
Central African Republic
• The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Central African Republic is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting.
• Central African Republic does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

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Ethiopia
• There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Ethiopia.
• Ethiopia does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

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Mozambique
• There is no minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Mozambique.
• Mozambique does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

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Namibia
• Smallest caliber allowed 7 mm (.284).
• Minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity)
• Big Game
5400 Joule
(Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Rhino, Lion, etc.)
• Large Game
2700 Joule
(Greater Kudu, Cape Eland, Oryx / Gemsbok, Red Hartebeest, Blue Wildebeest, Black Wildebeest, Hartmann's Zebra, Burchell's Zebra, Giraffe, Sable Antelope, Roan Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, Leopard, etc.)
• Medium to Small Game
1350 Joule
(Springbok, Impala, Blesbok, Gray Duiker, Steenbok, Ostrich, Caracal, Black-Faced Impala, Red Lechwe, Damara Dik-Dik, Klipspringer, Black-Backed Jackal, Warthog, Cheetah, Nyala, Chacma Baboon, Game Birds, etc.)

africahunter.gif
South Africa
• Most provinces do not have a minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting and rely on common sense.
• Some provinces require a minimum of .375 caliber for dangerous or big game hunting.
• No provinces require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

africahunter.gif
Tanzania
• The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Tanzania is .240 caliber for any game other than dangerous game.
• The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Tanzania is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting.
• Tanzania does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

africahunter.gif
Zambia
• Zambia does not have a minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting plains game and rely on common sense. Caliber in the .270 range will be well suited for some of the smaller plains game in Zambia.
• The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Zambia is .300 caliber for dangerous game such as Leopard and Lion.
• The minimum equipment requirement for rifle hunting in Zambia is .375 caliber for dangerous game or big game hunting such as Elephant, Buffalo and Hippo.
• Zambia does not require a minimum energy (Eo - muzzle velocity) for calibers used.

africahunter.gif
Zimbabwe
• Class A Game
5300 Joule
Minimum caliber 9.2mm in diameter
(Elephant, Hippo, Buffalo)
• Class B Game
4300 Joule
Minimum caliber 7.0mm in diameter
(Lion, Giraffe, Eland)
• Class C Game
3000 Joule
Minimum caliber 7.0mm in diameter
(Leopard, Crocodile, Kudu, Oryx / Gemsbok, Hartebeest, Wildebeest, Zebra, Nyala, Sable Antelope, Waterbuck, Tsessebe, etc.)
• Class D Game
850 Joule
Minimum caliber 5.56mm in diameter
(Warthog, Impala, Reedbuck, Sitatunga, Duiker, Steenbok, Jackal, Game Birds, etc.)
• Black Powder Rifles
Minimum caliber .40
This is the first time I’ve heard of provinces having different minimums or no minimums. I have Googled myself to death trying to come up with hunting regulations for RSA and or the different provinces and a rules pamphlet like all states in the US have. Even the actual law, not proposed law in PDF form would be helpful. Please no opinions or suggestions. Written law only. Thanks
 

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@James hays

Of course every province has its own legislation and regulations, including or excluding minimums.
They even differ in what animals are in which categories and what those categories even mean.
Never mind the National Legislation.
eg.
Ordinary Game, Protected Game, Specially Protected Game
Open Game, Protected Game ,Ordinary Game, Exotic Animals

I'll give you some very expensive experienced advice: Try the using the word "Ordinance" in your search.

Good luck.
 

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From what I'm gathering reading this thread, this is what I'm picking up...correct me if I'm wrong.

As a client it may be wise to bring two rifles if you are planning on hunting Lion/Leopard.
One bolt action in 9.3/375 or better to be used from a blind or stalking and also goof for PG at longer ranges.
One double in 400 or better if the need arises to take a walk in the tall grass or brush for a follow up.

As a client, would it be short sighted to bring only a 9.3/375 bolt gun for a hunt such as this?
 

IvW

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From what I'm gathering reading this thread, this is what I'm picking up...correct me if I'm wrong.

As a client it may be wise to bring two rifles if you are planning on hunting Lion/Leopard.
One bolt action in 9.3/375 or better to be used from a blind or stalking and also goof for PG at longer ranges.
One double in 400 or better if the need arises to take a walk in the tall grass or brush for a follow up.

As a client, would it be short sighted to bring only a 9.3/375 bolt gun for a hunt such as this?

Client would be better off bringing just one rifle. He/she should not be on the follow up of a wounded leopard. Depending on the terrain the same would apply for lion.

Rather spend more time on preparing for the hunt and make the initial shot count instead of preparing for a follow up on a wounded leopard or lion...if a client cannot make the shot on a stationary lion or leopard at close range I would not be comfortable having him along on a follow up..they come from close range and at blinding speed...and too many people on a follow up has more complications.
 

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In most African countries the legal minumum for Lion and Leopard is .375 (I believe). Now, since Lion and Leopard are thin skinned animals that don't weigh all that much, why is it not legal to hunt them with a .338 Win. mag, or a .35 Whelen? It would seem to me that these two cartridges (with the proper bullet weights) would be sufficient calibers for these 2 cats. So, why is it not legal in most African countries?

Any answers to my question would be appreciated.:D

I am trying to find the article by Don Heath that tells a story better than I can and his experience was quite similar to mine (but I was luckier as you will see in a minute). I will share that article if I can locate it.

Here is my story. In 2014, I hunted for a lioness in RSA. The outfitter supplied a rifle for me. It was a 7mm. Following the same logic as you, it seemed like it should be adequate. Fast forward to the morning of the encounter. I shot the lion in the chest (probably a lung shot). it went a very short distance (open terrain) and laid down. I was standing with my PH and the outfitter about 10 meters from the cat. It looked like it was near death.

Suddenly, the cat rolled over. I immediately put a round into its chest, then another and another and another. Four shots in the center of the chest. Ever shot hit the front of the chest and I could be positive of that because I could see the body move on each impact. It was after that fourth round in the front, that the cat started to charge.

Fortunately, I am one of those people who believe that you keep shooting until an animal is down and dead. In this case I had cycled the bolt and had brought the crosshairs back to the center of the chest. So, when it started to charge, all I had to do was to pull (not squeeze) the trigger. That knocked it back. At that point I went around to the side and shot it in the heart. End of story - almost.

So here is what happened. The lion's chest muscles were so tight that the bullets disintegrated on impact. In the case of Don Heath, he wasn't as lucky as me and ended up with some broken ribs. Not bad considering what could have happened. Craig Boddington told me that his wife had the same experience in the same area one year earlier.

If I were to do another lion hunt (which I probably won't) I would want a much heavier caliber with bullets designed for dangerous game. I'm not going to try to answer the question of which caliber and which bullet is best, I'll leave that to people on the forum who are more experienced than I. However, I will say that .338 win mag or lapua are the smallest caliber that I would want to carry if I was hunting lion and 375 (in my mind) would be even better. But that's just me.
 

Von S.

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Trigger Creep

There is no prize for shooting a bad ass with a bb gun in Africa.

The grestest fear a man will ever have is the fear of the unknown. ........ a wounded cat in tall grass would make me drop water the whole time if I had to go in and look for one.

So why not shoot him with a projectile that is not only a killer, but a stopper as well.

A 45 caliber minimum with a 300 grain for leopard and a 350 grain for lion leaving the barrel at a speed a just bit under light will either eject or leave inside the animal depending on angle a 5 gallon bucket of red goo that now looks like it sat in a high speed food processor for an hour.
 

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