TANZANIA: Selous Hunt With Alan Vincent From Vincent Safaris

This screenshot is rather blurry but catches the leopard airborne in the middle of a forward somersault after bullet impact.
The cat instantly leaped upward in a somersault and was gone. Before Alan could ask how the shot was I told him it felt good. We then played the video back in slow motion and all three of us broke into big smiles when we saw where the bullet struck. We knew we had a dead leopard before we even left the blind.

As soon as we got out of the blind the truck was pulling up and the guys were jumping down to ask about the leopard. When the trackers saw the video they high fives me and we all headed toward the tree. As we approached the drop off into the karongo we could not see the cat and we cautiously moved forward. Suddenly, Robert yelled ”Kabubi”! The cat was laying about 20 yards away, stone dead.

We recently had a thread on here asking about which bullet is preferred for leopard. At the time I opined that a Bearclaw was one of the best choices as the front expands readily yet penetrates deeply due to the back half being a solid shank. I was shooting a 225 grain Bearclaw in my 338 and here is the exit side to give you an idea of the shock and damage that bullet provided.

The exit hole was almost the diameter of a quarter. The blood loss is obvious. I doubt the cat lived more than 5 seconds after the shot.

My view is that the Firedot reticle is a Game Changer. It made putting the bullet in the right place easy despite the pressure of shooting a moving leopard that was about to disappear. That bright red dot beats using the crosshairs. As for the Bearclaw bullet, yeah they’re one of the best choices a leopard hunter can choose. I’ve shot 2 leopards with that bullet and both were DRT.
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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.
Amazing........and a great goal for us youngsters in our 60's. What a trip!!!!! For all of you!!!
Firedot reticle is indeed a game changer especially for those of us with multiple "divisions" in our spectacles!!!! Alas too early for cataracts surgery and too late for lasik! You are an excellent writer and I find myself in the blind with you all even though I've never hunted leopard!!!
Awesome cat and great write up. Thank you
Congrats on a successful hunt, and thanks for taking the time to write about it for those of us in between hunts.
Well done in all respects! Thanks for sharing all the details.
Man, what a fantastic hunt! Please tell me there is more. :ROFLMAO:
Great hunt, congrats, and thanks for sharing !
Yes, Para45, there is more…

The team was really stoked to get this leopard, for a couple reasons. First, it was a good Tom. Second, we’d now have a lot more time to do other stuff besides just check and sit baits.

Everyone’s spirits were high on the way back to camp and the closer we got the more they were celebrating. Lema stopped the truck about a kilometer away from camp and they had me climb down to get ready for their Kabubi celebration. Lema was in charge of decorating me.

Once that important business was done we headed into camp with the whole truck singing loudly in Swahili (I followed along as best I could) and Lema honking the horn. As we pulled into camp the entire crew was there to see the leopard and celebrate. I wish I could upload the video, as they enjoyed a loud and raucous celebration. Here’s a screenshot to give an idea.
THANK YOU!!!!! :A Clapping::A Clapping::A Yell::A Yell::E Dancing::E Dancing:
Since we were back in camp by 10:00 we decided to enjoy an early lunch in camp (normally we enjoyed lunch somewhere in the field under big shade trees, followed by a nice nap) and then spend the afternoon doing something we’d all been itching to do…. Go fishing!

Madaba is going to be excellent fishing in the future when Lake Nyerere is full and stable. For now it’s difficult as there is a lot of shoreline brush and without a boat we had to keep a vigilant eye out for crocodiles. I had brought Alan a couple quality rod-reel combos, along with a bunch of terminal tackle for Tigerfish. We found a cove away from where we had the croc baits and everyone got got in the act. We mostly caught catfish and vundu, but Danny did catch a number of small tigerfish that we released. The catfish and vundu got be be the guests of honor for a big fish dinner for the entire camp crew.


It might be a small tiger, but its teeth are still formidable.

Danny absolutely loves to fish and is damn good at it. When he was in his early 20’s he worked as a deckhand on one of the San Diego long-range Sportfishing boats. These days he enjoys catching small fish from the bank as much as he used to like catching 200+ pound yellowfin tuna standing at the rail of a long ranger.

Everyone got into the act. Danny and Alan were using the rods I brought. Lema, Robert and Nyoni were throwing hand lines and as for me; I stood on crocodile watch with my .375!

For future fishing, as well as croc & hippo hunting, Alan purchased an 18’ boat in Zimbabwe that he’ll be bringing to Tanzania next season. He’s also going to build a small camp at the lake where clients can stay for a few days to hunt and fish.
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Congratulations on the leopard. Great shot.

Everyone needs to be the center of a good Kabubi at least once in their life.
Congratulations on the leopard. Great shot.

Everyone needs to be the center of a good Kabubi at least once in their life.
Yes, everyone should get to be the honoree of a Kabubi at least once. I hope to do just that at least one more time.
Danny and Jim left the next day. Alan and I headed out early to see what was left of the crocodile bait and who might be hanging out at the bait. We had a 50 kilometer drive from camp to the bait site and we’d normally hunt our way there and arrive mid-day. On this day we left camp while still dark and drove at an urgent pace in order to get to there earlier. We parked about 500 yards away and walked in quietly.

We had built a walk-up blind on one side of the cove, while the bait was in the back edge. This would allow us to sneak in from an adjacent cove. We would be undetected as long as we didn’t bump into any crocs along the way. This had happened a couple days before when we were sneaking in and bumped into a croc of about 10’ at close range. It splashed away noisily, spooking anything that might have been on the bait.

We snuck down to the water undetected and crept along the shoreline. I had my eyes on the water as much as where I was walking due to the number of crocs we’d encountered in this cove. One was a 14-15’ monster that was laying in brush right at the water’s edge a few days earlier. We couldn’t get a shot at it despite sneaking to within 38 yards of where it laid. Too much brush and it eventually swam away. Bumping into it too close could suddenly ruin my day… and life! As we were sneaking around this adjacent cove we could hear loud splashing coming from the bait, so we knew crocs were present.

We made it to our blind in good time. Nyoni and I hung back a bit while Alan snuck the last 15 yards to the blind to see what was at the bait. Here is a picture of the blind, taken from the bait’s location:


The blind was 71 yards from the bait, so not a tough shot as I had a very stable rest, except that a croc’s brain is the size of a small tea cup.

Alan only took about a minute before motioning for me to sneak up to the blind. As soon as I arrived he whispered that a big croc was laying at the bait, quartering away. He reminded me to aim where the bullet would enter at the ear and exit just under the offside eye. This would ensure the brain was hit. I was shooting my .338 with 225 grain Bearclaw bullet, I had the Firedot on and and magnification all the way up at 10x. I simply put it where I wanted the bullet to strike, took my time to make sure the dot was dead still and slowly, carefully squeezed. The croc barely moved his tail, we had a perfect brain shot!


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