TANZANIA: Selous Hunt With Alan Vincent From Vincent Safaris

Now that we had plenty of buffalo to replenish baits, the next day was spent checking leopard and croc baits. One of our baits was in a small korongo about 100 yards from where I’d shot the bushbuck. When we checked it, an entire zebra leg had been eaten so we added a buffalo leg and figured we’d come back the next day…

What we found the next day
AWESOME!!! Congrats on such a wonderful start to your safari. What great animals y’all have been able to take. The only things better than the animals are the hunts you’ve described and sharing them with your son and friend. Congrats, appreciate you sharing and certainly looking forward to the rest of the story.
Wow this sounds fabulous.......perhaps a goal to reach by the time I am 80? I love the attitude!
Dream bushbuck!
Exciting hippo encounter, and yes hard to argue with the bullet's performance!!!
This is an incredible safari!!! Great shooting!
What a grand adventure.
Wow this sounds fabulous.......perhaps a goal to reach by the time I am 80? I love the attitude!
He has a great attitude. As soon as he got home he pulled out his bow and 28 Nosler, loaded his truck and took off elk hunting. He shot a beautiful 7x7 Roosevelt bull here in California with the rifle, then headed to Oregon to bow hunt for another Roosevelt. He didn’t get a shot the first week, so came home to rest up and this upcoming week is headed back to hunt the remainder of the season. Not a lot of people bow hunting at nearly 80 years old, even fewer who spend 10 days hunting dangerous game in Africa and then take off on 2 separate elk hunts as soon as they get home.
OK, back to the leopard bait…

We’d seen a good, large track that had prompted us to hang a bait at that location. The trail camera confirmed that we had a nice Tom feeding, so we started building a blind. Alan prefers to use Double Bull blinds and then add local vegetation to make them inconspicuous.

We had a bit of excitement as we were putting final touches on the blind. We suddenly heard loud growling just up the korongo, less than 100 yards away. The leopard was right there in the middle of the day! We quickly finished brushing the blind and drove out of there to leave him undisturbed.

This blind was a great setup, 47 yards to the limb and big enough to hold not only me and Alan, but also Danny. He would be sitting behind us, right in the middle. I’d be sitting in the left front position with Alan to my right. This was perfect as Danny had a clear view of the entire tree and would be looking right over my right shoulder should I get a shot opportunity. He’d never been involved in a leopard hunt before and now he was getting the full experience. Procuring baits, hanging and checking them, blind building, and sitting in the blind with us.

Alan prefers to drive as close as possible to a blind, then quickly and quietly unload and enter the blind before the truck drives away. His theory is that if the cat is nearby it probably associates the truck with more food being delivered and won’t be spooked as much as detecting hunters sneaking to the blind on foot would cause. This was an important point, as the rest of this story will prove…
Great hunt and story telling. Will get my popcorn handy and a frosty beverage when I sign again for the finish!
Shooting a leopard is actually pretty easy. You normally have a close shot at a broadside target that is standing still. But, the consequences of a bad shot can be catastrophic and some hunters get nervous when a leopard shows up. I’ve always believed in doing everything to make the shot as easy as possible, so I have the team put an extra rail running back from the front of the blind that allows me to get as steady as absolutely possible. It’s rock solid and a big improvement over only having a rest for the fore end.

This was a different walk-up blind from a previous safari, but it illustrates how we set a rail that allows full contact for the steadiest rest possible with support at the front of the rifle as well as rear. Basically, I place the rail under my armpit and anchor myself solidly to shoot.
After we left the blind site, Alan told us he wanted to sit the bait first thing in the morning. We were coming up on the Full Moon (biggest Super Moon of the year) in 2 days and Alan thought we’d have a good chance first thing in the morning. The plan was to be up at 3:00 AM, leave camp by 4:00 and be in the blind before 5:30. It was a pretty long drive from camp and we wanted to be settled in well before first light so that things could settle down after the truck left.

Everyone was up on time and after some coffee and a light bite to eat, we were off a little before 4:00 AM. The weather at this time of year is pretty nice. Mornings were generally warm enough that I seldom wore even a light jacket. It was a pleasant drive and we arrived at our blind around 5:15.

As we pulled up to the blind we suddenly saw the leopard run off in the headlights! It was standing by the blind, checking it out when we pulled up. We quickly unloaded, climbed into the blind and the trackers zipped it shut and departed with the truck. They had instructions to come back at 8:00 to pick us up and we’d go hunting for other stuff and check baits along the way.

Two years ago I hunted with Alan on Mlele South, the concession he had at the time in western Tanzania. We hunted late October till November 5th and it was hot with highs around 95 degrees. Leopard hunting was tough as the cats were coming at random times with no pattern, the baits were going bad quickly in the heat and the hot weather was making it hard to stay awake on the late afternoon sits. We did not get a shot opportunity despite our best efforts. This time I had a plan to stay awake by bringing a bunch of ‘5 Hour Energy’ shots to help stay awake. 6 1/2 hours of sleep and one energy shot guaranteed that I wouldn’t have any trouble staying awake this time.

We had about an hour before it’d start getting light and the time passed quickly. Finally, a few birds started waking up and darkness was giving way to light as the day was approaching. There was no sign of the leopard but it was a nice morning and I was enjoying listening to the forest sounds. The weather was perfect and it was going to be a great day no matter what we ended up doing. It was getting close to 8:00 and the truck would be coming soon.

Suddenly at 7:55 Danny whispered “Don’t move a muscle”…
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What a hunt!! Excellent report! If you're not a professional writer - you should be!!
Danny’s hearing is much better than mine and he heard the leopard’s claws digging into the tree as it climbed up to the limb, as did Alan; but I couldn’t hear it. Danny whispered that the Tom was on the limb but looking at the blind. Finally, he said the cat was feeding and I could get on the gun. Meanwhile, Alan had started taking video with his iPhone and was getting great footage since we were in full daylight.

I settled onto the support rail we’d built and peered through the scope to see a big Tom reaching down below the limb and eating from the buffalo where it hung. In the past I’ve seen Tom’s pull the bait up onto a limb before starting to feed, but not this one. He was content to to straddle the branch sideways and reach well below to feed. This presented a bit of a dilemma as I had a clean shot right through the top of its back down into the chest but we wanted the cat standing and broadside.

Image from iPhone video

Every so often the Tom would raise up and look directly at the blind. None of us moved at all and he’d eventually go back to feeding. This went on for nearly five minutes and we were capturing video the entire time.

If you ever wondered what it’d be like to have a leopard staring right through you, this will give you an idea.

The cat would go back to feeding and then look at us. He was very aware of the blind (remember that he was at the blind just a few hours earlier when we arrived) but couldn’t see us inside.
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Alan had a dilemma as it was now almost 8:00 and the truck should be arriving any minute, which would spook the leopard. But using the radio to alert the team to wait was also risky as the leopard would likely hear the radio mic when it keyed. Any noise like that would certainly spook the leopard out of the tree. Alan simply waited and hoped the guys would be a bit late.

Meanwhile, I’d been focused on the cat for over 4 minutes and it hadn’t yet presented the shot we wanted. I had the red fire dot right where I was certain would be an instantly fatal shot but Alan wanted me to wait for that broadside shot, so I stayed off the trigger.

All of a sudden, the leopard snapped to attention. The truck was coming, and while it was still rather far away the cat could hear it and was about to depart.
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:A Popcorn:
Well, Ive been trying to upload a video of the final minute but am not able to do so. The cat became aware of the approaching truck and suddenly stood and started walking down the limb. I was tracking his shoulder with the Firedot, waiting for any pause so I could shoot then. Just before he jumped down, the leopard paused briefly to gather himself to jump down and in that instant I fired.

While I can’t post video, here is a screenshot at the moment of bullet impact. You easily where the bullet struck.


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hunt 65 wrote on flyfishdoc's profile.
Hey Flyfish-
Have interest in the Chapuis. Would like to see more assembled pics if possible, i know its a beautiful firearm!
Also, could you use other ammo such as Barnes etc...
Thanks, Neil
hunt 65 wrote on DonPablo's profile.
Also, more pics of female #2(black ticked). Thanks, Neil
hunt 65 wrote on DonPablo's profile.
Could you send me some more pics of the Dam(weight?) and Sire, front rear and side pics., looking for a smaller female, with ticking. thanks Don
hunt 65 wrote on 500jeffery's profile.
Please let me know the status of the Sako 500J, thanks again
2 more jackal , one was a big male!