The A To Z Of Hunting The Indian Leopard

Captain Nwz

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For my second entry on this forum , l will be writing everything which needs to be known about hunting the Indian leopard . While l do not consider myself to be an expert , as l was never a professional shikari , l have killed 81 leopards in my life till now , and so l can profess to know something about this subject . For the purposes of this article , l will break the article into the following parts :
1 - The leopard and it's characteristics
2- Leopards and man
3- Tracking leopards
4- Baiting leopards
5- Shooting leopards
6- Adequate armaments for leopards
7 - Following wounded leopards
8 - Conclusions

Here is a leopard which l had killed in 1963 , the first of 69 leopards killed by me in the Syedabaad Tea Estate until 1970.
Screenshot_20200106-233327_01_01_01_01_01.png

I hope that you all will enjoy it .
 

Captain Nwz

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The Leopard And It's Characteristics

The leopards of India are generally categorized into two sub species .
The first is the " Spotted Leopard " which seldom gets above 65 to 70 pounds in weight . These creatures typically lurk around the villages of India and they carry off goats and chickens , belonging to the villagers . They are quiet brazen and are not afraid to get in front of human beings .
Here is a spotted leopard killed by my good friend , compatriot and fellow forum member , Major Poton Khan.
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The second category of leopard is the hunting leopard . These creatures live in hills and forests and are are much larger than their spotted leopard counterparts . The heaviest of these species can reach slightly upwards of 200 pounds . These creatures live predominantly on Chital Deer or Barking Deer , depending on which part of India they are in . These creatures are generally shy and do not come near human beings much . The exception of course , is the hunting leopard which has turned man eater.

Here is the heaviest leopard which l had ever shot , in 1970 . He weighed 203 pounds and was a man eater , who had killed five employees of the Syedabaad Tea Estate
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Captain Nwz

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Leopards And Man
A human crossing paths with a leopard usually results in serious injuries , but seldom a fatality . The leopard pounces upon the person and proceeds to attack them using it's fangs and the claws on it's forelegs . An attack seldom lasts for more than half a minute and the victim will most probably survive especially if they are in close proximity to medical facilities or medical supplies . However , the injuries to the victim will be considerable . It will look as if the unfortunate wretch was put through a meat grinder.
Here is an associate of mine who had a man eating leopard pounce on him for only five seconds in 2017 near Khulna . The leopard in question was shot off him using a .338 Winchester Magnum 250 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nose bullet .
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There are only two kinds of leopards which have a propensity to actually kill a human being . The first is a wounded leopard which is being approached by a human being and the second is the leopard which has turned man eater .
A leopard may turn man eater for a single reason , a combination of reasons or no reason at all . Allow me to elaborate .

A leopard may get injured by a shikari's bullet and turn man eater. In the old days of my youth , it was sadly common practice for local shikaris to wound game , but not actually follow up the wounded creature and finish it off . While wounding any animal without finishing it off is abominable and unsportsmanlike , this actually produced extremely dangerous long term consequences when the wounded animal happened to be a leopard or a Royal Bengal Tiger .
This is because the wounds inflicted on these great cats would leave unable to hunt their ordinary quarry ( Barking Deer or Chital Deer in the case of leopards , Sambhar Deer or Nilgai in the case of Royal Bengal Tigers .) Thus , these leopards and Royal Bengal Tigers turn to man , as their source of food as they view man as a far weaker quarry and thus easy to attack and kill for food. Before hunting was banned in India due to the Wildlife Protection Act - 1972 , most local shikaris used to hunt with the Indian Ordinance Factories .315 Bore sporting rifle , which was built on a cheap Indian clone of the venerable British Lee Enfield action . Not only were these rifles complete trash ( just like everything made by Indian Ordinance Factories ) but their 244 grain soft nose bullets were propelled at velocities under 2000 feet per second . As a result , more often than not , local Indian Shikaris who attempted to hunt animals with these foul rifles , ended up wounding many animals without being able to properly finish them off ( including leopards , the subject of this article ). As a result man eating leopards during my youth were as rancid as a viral disease.
Here is a photograph kindly lent to me by my close friend and fellow forum member , Major Khan of one of those pathetic Indian Ordinance Factories .315 Bore sporting rifles.
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A second reason why a leopard becomes a man eater may be if it gets stabbed in the paws or some other part of the body by porcupine quills. Porcupine quills cause severe pain and disturbance to any creature who is stabbed by them ( l would know. As a child , l was unfortunate enough to get stabbed in the palm by a porcupine quill ) . Initially , this may seem to be a very rare occurrence . However , it happens a great deal more frequently than sportsmen care to think. Out of the 81 leopards which I have killed in my life , no less than 33 of them had porcupine quills stuck somewhere in their bodies after l had killed them and ordered my workers to skin them . 33 leopards with porcupine quills stuck in their bodies is by no means , a small number .

A third reason why a leopard may become a man eater is if it gets injured by the tusks of a wild boar . The wild boars of India and Bangladesh often weigh up to 300 pounds and have massive curved tusks which are as sharp as hooks. Very often a leopard may try to attack a boar , but may be in store for a nasty surprise when the boar proves to be a more challenging opponent than the leopard had anticipated and ends up ramming the leopard with it's tusks.
A fourth reason why a leopard may turn into a man eater may be if the leopard gets hurt by sharp tree branches of the thorns of bushes .
A fifth reason may be if a leopard somehow comes across a human corpse and takes a few bites from it , out of morbid curiosity . In India , during my youth an unfortunate reality was that many Hindus of the lowest caste working in factories or rubber plantations were simply not given a proper cremation if they died . Their corpses were simply dumped into rivers . The current of these rivers would often cause the corpses to wash up on the river banks near forests .
Curious leopards ( and Royal Bengal Tigers ) would bite off chunks of these corpses and then become man eaters.

A sixth reason why leopards may become man eaters is if their mothers were man eaters and got the leopards accustomed to the eating of human flesh ,since they were cubs . This reason is actually the most difficult reason to pin point , since there are no blemishes on the leopard's body which might act as a visual aid .

A seventh reason why a leopard may turn into a man eater is if it's natural food ( for example , Barking Deer or Chital Deer ) is no longer available to it . This may either be caused by uncontrolled hunting or deforestation which causes the Barking Deer or Chital Deer to move out of the area.

Finally , a leopard may become a man eater for no apparent reason whatsoever.


What is clear however , is that once a leopard has gotten the taste of human flesh , it will eschew all other forms of meat in favor of the flesh of man . They will often travel miles to find their quarry. Thus , a leopard which has turned man eater must be put down .

The easiest way to determine whether a human victim was killed by a man eating leopard or simply ran afoul of a leopard which attacked them on instinct , is by examining the buttocks of the corpse . A man eating leopard ( or Royal Bengal Tiger ) will ALWAYS and without exception , consume the flesh from the victim's buttocks . A leopard which instinctively kills a human being will only claw and bite their victim from the front side , but will not touch the buttocks .

Here is a man eating leopard killed in 1979 , by a single shot from a .338 Winchester Magnum 250 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nose bullet .
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Captain Nwz

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Tracking Leopards
Simply placing bait anywhere you want and hoping that the leopard will show up to take the bait will just not do. You must first be able to find the area where the leopard typically moves through . There are a few signs to help you pin point the general location of the area which a leopard is moving through.

Male leopards have a very high propensity to urinate on the bushes of the areas which they lurk near , in order to mark their territory. The smell is easily recognizable , because it smells like the nest of the common household rodent .
What you want to do next is look at the barks of any trees around the area .

Remember , that a leopard will ALWAYS swipe it’s claws a few times on the barks of tree trunks , before it moves in , to attack and kill it’s quarry. The trees on which leopard scratch marks are found , are referred to , by us shikaris of West Bengal as “ Khamchir gaach “ ( Scratching trees ) . Here is a photograph of a scratching tree , kindly lent to me by Major Khan of these forums for using in my article.
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Sometimes , if the shikari is extremely fortunate, they may find leopard tracks leading into a cave .If this happens , then no guess work is required as to where the leopard may be lurking.
Now , onto the topic of baiting the leopard.
 

Captain Nwz

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Baiting Leopards
There are two main methods of baiting the Indian leopard . The first is the method of using live baits . The second is the method of using dead baits .
For live baits , the standard method in India was to use a goat tied to a post or a tree.
This method was favored by my good friend , Poton who used it almost exclusively in his career for shooting leopards . Goats were owned by many farmers living in and around the Syedabaad Tea Estate and were widely available. However , very few people were willing to lend you their goat if you told them why you wanted to borrow it . Imagine how this conversation plays out.
Shikari : Hello , sir. May l borrow your goat for this night ?
Farmer : Absolutely , young man . What do you plan to do with it ?
Shikari : Oh , nothing . Just use it as bait to hunt down a man eating leopard.

A goat in those days used to cost fifteen rupees. If l brought the goat back to the farmer alive and unharmed , l would get ten rupees back . After you tie the goat to the tree , it is imperative that you move out of the goat's line of sight . Only when the goat is confident that it is alone , will it begin to bleat . It is this bleating which attracts the leopard.

For dead bait , what one first must do , is find an animal which leopards enjoy feeding on . Do not get an animal which the leopard does not like to eat . For instance , it will be useless to use a monkey because leopards do not like the meat of monkeys . Use a Barking Deer or a Chital Deer or a Bush Boar , because the leopard enjoys the flesh of these animals greats . Take the corpse of the animal , but do not remove the entrails until you reach the area where you know that the leopard will pass through .
Now , use a very sharp knife to cut open the stomach of the animal and remove the entrails of the animal . Smear the entrails all over the surrounding trees .

Now , use a strong piece of rope to tie the hindlegs of the animal and hang the carcass from one of the tree branches ( taking care to select a tree branch which is capable of supporting the weight of the animal's carcass ) . Make sure to tie the bait at the correct length . It you tie it too high , then the leopard will know that he cannot reach it and so , will not even try .
If you tie the bait too low , then it will be within the reach of all sorts of vermin , such as wild dogs or jackals . The correct length to hang the bait from , is a length where the leopard will have to stand on it's two hind legs to commence eating the bait . It is difficult for me to put such a length in numerical value , because l have been doing this so many times that it has become like second nature to me .
However , l believe that a length of roughly five feet above ground level is ideal .

Coming up next : Shooting the leopard.
 

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Shooting Leopards
Given the speed and ferocity of these feline villains , it is crucial that the shikari only shoot the leopard in areas where it will instantly die . This effectively rules out shots to the lungs or even to the heart . It is no good if you fatally injure the leopard , but it manages to pounce on you and mangle you before succumbing to it's injuries .

This leaves you with two options :
1- Shots to the brain aimed at the area between both the eyes . This shot ( naturally ) requires you to be facing the leopard and should only be attempted by a shikari whose nerves are very cool and who is extremely fast . Poton actually favors this shot above all others ; a testament to Poton's fearlessness .
2- Shots to the spinal column . This shot requires the leopard to be either under the Shikari ( for instance : When the shikari is in a tree or macchan and the leopard is passing by underneath . ) or have his back turned to the shikari . This is Kawshik's favored area to shoot leopards .

Since I have shot 81 of these beasts over the last 57 years , l have used both shots with success , using which ever shot that opportunity had allowed. Both work with very potent effectiveness.
It must be remembered that leopards are nocturnal predators and so leopards were always shot at night in India ( However , l understand that in modern Africa this is considered illegal ) .
The ideal moment to shoot the leopard is when it is standing on it's hind legs to eat the bait. This is because the leopard is the most preoccupied during this time and presents the best window of opportunity for a shot .

The shikari should be somewhere they can easily see and take aim at the leopard from , but where the leopard cannot see them . There are three options here :
1- A macchan can be erected for the shikaree to shoot from . This is basically an elevated wooden platform allowing the shikari a 360 degree view of everything on ground level.
Good , old Major Khan was kind enough to provide me with this photograph of a macchan which he used for hunting a Royal Bengal Tiger .
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2 - The shikari(s) may wait up in a tree . This works similar in principle to the aforementioned macchan . However , it is more cost effective , time effective and labor effective. The disadvantage is that it can be rather uncomfortable for the shikari to spend prolonged hours in the tree . If using a tree , be sure to check the tree for any bats , bee hives , wasp nests, snakes or other troublesome pests which are lurking in the tree .
Here is a photograph of Kawshik's Nepalese gun bearer , Rishi clearing space in a tree for a client to sit .
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3- A shikari may dig a hole in the ground and wait inside the hole . The disadvantage here is obvious. You are on the same ground level as the leopard and so , if the leopard catches wind of your location , he may attack you . However , in areas where macchans cannot be built and no suitable trees can be found nearby , the shikari may need to resort to this option . Once you have dug the hole , be sure to light a small , controlled fire inside the hole and use a small hand fan to to fan the smoke all around the hole . As an added precaution , empty one tin of insect repellent spray into the hole . This is done to drive out any snakes or insects living in the ground . Cover the hole with green canvas or tarpoulin cloth once you are hiding inside the hole , leaving enough space for you to see around you .

A word of caution is mandatory here . Do not , under any circumstances speak or even whisper if the leopard is nearby . These beasts can hear even the tiniest whispers out to 45 paces .

Now , on to the proper arms and ammunition for humanely and safely dispatching leopards ...
 

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Nice to read your methodology of hunting forest leopard. Very interesting and educational.
Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.
 

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For my second entry on this forum , l will be writing everything which needs to be known about hunting the Indian leopard . While l do not consider myself to be an expert , as l was never a professional shikari , l have killed 81 leopards in my life till now , and so l can profess to know something about this subject . For the purposes of this article , l will break the article into the following parts :
1 - The leopard and it's characteristics
2- Leopards and man
3- Tracking leopards
4- Baiting leopards
5- Shooting leopards
6- Adequate armaments for leopards
7 - Following wounded leopards
8 - Conclusions

Here is a leopard which l had killed in 1963 , the first of 69 leopards killed by me in the Syedabaad Tea Estate until 1970.
View attachment 322679
I hope that you all will enjoy it .

You should write a book Captain
 

Captain Nwz

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Adequate Armaments For Leopards
Speaking for myself , all the 69 leopards which l had slain in the Syedabaad Tea Estate were killed with my Uncle Josh's IOF 12 Bore DBBL . This was a 12 bore side by side double barrel shotgun made by Indian Ordinance Factories with 2 3/4 inch chambers , extractors and 32 inch barrels . Even though Indian Ordinance Factories advertised their IOF 12 Bore DBBL guns as having fully choked barrels , the reality was that the guns had no choke in them whatsoever and had completely cylinder bored barrels ( l found this out the hard way one day , when l took the gun to shoot some high flying partridges . You can imagine my surprise when l was firing five or six #6 Eley Grand Prix cartridges at the flying partridges without being able to bring even one down . ).
In this gun , l would use 2 1/2 inch Eley Grand Prix spherical ball cartridges .
Here is a photograph kindly lent to me by Major Khan to use in my article of an Eley Grand Prix spherical ball cartridge.
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Here is an empty cartridge case of an Eley Grand Prix spherical ball cartridge which l had actually used in 1963 to kill my first leopard.
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Here are three of the 69 leopards which l had slain in the Syedabaad Tea Estate using Uncle Josh's IOF 12 Bore DBBL , loaded with Eley Grand Prix spherical ball cartridges . The first picture shows me holding the IOF 12 Bore DBBL.
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However , this is far from being the ideal weapon for the job. Not only is the the Indian Ordinance Factories 12 Bore side by side shotgun is most foul weapon , prone to shooting loose , misfirings , barrels bursting when used with even standard 2 3/4 inch cartridges and an all too light weight . But the Eley Grand Prix spherical ball cartridges gave marginal performance at best . Firstly , even though the IOF 12 Bore DBBL was a 12 bore , the Eley Grand Prix spherical ball bullet was 16 bore to allow it to pass through fully choked 12 bore barrels without bulging the barrels . A 16 bore spherical ball lacked adequate penetration on account of it's shape. To make matters worse , as the photographs above illustrate , the Eley Grand Prix spherical ball cartridges were what we call " Low Brass " cartridges , holding a low charge of powder . This consequently led to the ball being propelled at low velocities . If things were not bad enough as it is , then think about this : Since the barrels of the IOF 12 Bore DBBL had zero choke and no constriction whatsoever , the Eley Grand Prix spherical ball bullets were a loose fit in the barrels and thus accuracy was horrendous at any distance greater than ten metres. I truly must had had someone from the heavens watching over me to be able to get away with killing 69 leopards with such a miserable weapon , unscathed . The only reason l ever used this weapon at all , was because it was all l had access to , at the time , aside from a BRNO .22 LR bolt action rifle ( my personal licensed firearm ) and no fool hunts Indian leopards with a .22 LR weapon .

After 1972 , l have shot a dozen man eating leopards irregularly , which have caused chaos in the villages around the Sundarban mangrove forests of Bangladesh . For this , l have always used a most extraordinary rifle purchased from the American state of Tennessee . It is a custom made .338 Winchester Magnum rifle built on an FN Mauser action with a straight stock , and a Douglas barrel ( This rifle itself will be the subject of a future article , with a freshly taken photograph or two ) . This rifle is perfection in my eyes . It is accurate , well balanced and most importantly , the .338 Winchester Magnum cartridge packs enough punch to safely take out any leopard any day .
Here , is the beautiful weapon which has served me so well over the years for all of my hunting.
Screenshot_20200109-235023_01_01.png


Among factory ammunition brands , my favorite is the time proven Remington Core Lokt soft nose bullet weighing 250 grains . Among handloaded bullets , my favorite bullet to use would have to be the 250 grain Woodleigh bullets . I was recently made aware of Woodleigh producing a 300 grain bullet for the .338 Winchester Magnum . Unfortunately , l have not been able to get my hands on any yet. Next time , l travel to America , l will be sure to purchase some for handloading and trying out .

It is interesting to note that , just like me,
my good friends , compatriots and fellow forum members , Sgt. Kawshik Rahman and Major Poton Khan ( both of whom are retired professional shikaris ) also deem the .30 calibers to be the ideal calibers for shooting leopards . Poton prefers the .30-06 Springfield , using the 220 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nose bullet. Kawshik prefers the .300 Winchester Magnum , using the 220 grain Winchester Silvertip soft nose bullet .
And then you have old Captain Newaz who prefers the .338 Winchester Magnum and 250 grain Remington Core Lokt soft nose bullets. In all honesty , all are exceptionally fine choices and you will hardly find a reason to complain about any . I do not think that one needs excessively heavy calibres for dispatching leopards , although they will definitely do the job no doubt . My elder son owns a .404 Jeffery bolt action rifle , which he uses for hunting water buffalo in Australia ( he has dual citizenship ) and while it may be a tad too much for an Indian leopard , l have no doubt that a 400 grain Barnes TSX bullet ( which he is fond of using for soft skinned game ) would work splendidly for leopard.
In regards to whether double rifles or bolt action rifles are better for leopards , it all comes down to a matter of personal taste. Poton prefers the double barreled weapon , which Kawshik find both platforms perfectly acceptable . I personally prefer the bolt action rifle for a few personal reasons .Do not misunderstand me . I have used a double barreled weapon to kill 69 leopards in my life , but l just find the bolt action rifle to be easier to accurately shoot at greater distances , and easier to use a wide variety of ammunition in it .
Coming up next - " Following up wounded leopards "
 

Captain Nwz

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Following Up Wounded Leopards

To start with , every ( and l mean EVERY ) shikari should do his very best to make sure that he never has to follow up a wounded leopard . Following up wounded leopards was statistically the most common scenario where professional shikaris or their trackers or coolies would get injured in India . Take Kawshik's Garo tracker , Jeddiah for instance. The poor fellow lost an ear when a leopard had pounced on him after Kawshik's shikar party had to follow the wounded beast into the bushes. The leopard had been wounded by a client using a .300 Weatherby Magnum caliber rifle .
The objective of an ethical and safe shikar is to to ensure that the animal drops to the first shot . In an ideal world , that is always what should be done .
However , we live in the real world and ideal situations cannot always be hoped for . Consequently , l have had to follow up quite a few wounded leopards in my life .
It must be remembered that the leopard will make a run for the bushes ( or the closest thing resembling bushes ) the minute it gets injured . If you can shoot the running leopard before it makes it into the bushes , then you are averting a great deal of inconvenience . However , if a leopard does manage to make it into the bushes , do not panic . Have at least two men in your shikar party ( one carrying a spare weapon to back you up and one carrying a powerful two cell flash light ) . However , during my youth l often went into the bushes alone after wounded leopards. What can be said ? I was young and stupid and it is only through sheer luck that l managed to get away unscathed .

At all times keep a sufficiently powerful flash light taped to the fore end of your own weapon and switched on , because you never know when your assistant ( regardless of how fearless he claims to be ) may flee for his life and abandon ( the rest of ) you in the dark bushes late at night with a wounded angry leopard lurking nearby , waiting to ambush you .

A wounded leopard in the bushes is the most dangerous animal in South East Asia . When you are baiting the leopard , remember that you have the element of surprise and the home advantage . However , when you are pursuing a wounded leopard into the bushes , it is the leopard who has the element of surprise and the home advantage . No animal is as skilled as the Indian leopard in terms of ambushing it's opponents . It moves very swiftly and silently through the bushes and may even hide in a hole in the ground , waiting to ambush the shikar party . It will have premeditated which specific member of the shikar party it wishes to attack first . When it pounces , it is bound to be at very close range . Once it finishes mangling it's first victim , it will then pounce on the second victim and so forth , until it has either successfully claimed all of it's victims or the leopard is shot and killed . Right before charging , the leopard gives off a guttural growl . This growl gives you a split second to identify the general direction from which the leopard is charging .

When shooting a charging leopard , always opt for the brain shot , because it will be the only guaranteed way to instantly stop the leopard before it can bring any harm upon the shikar party . Unless you are using a .30 caliber rifle or larger , avoid using the chest shot . The adrenaline filled chest muscles of a charging Hunting Leopard offer the greatest resistance to bullets below .30 caliber .
Out of Kawshik , Poton and I , Poton , without a doubt had to follow up wounded leopards in the most unfavorable of terrains , as Poton was predominantly based in the state of Nagpur , where the bushes are the thickest and filled with thorns . However , Poton being Poton did not let this deter him in the slightest . I am unashamed in admitting that following up wounded leopards in the Syedabaad Tea Estate was rather easy for me in the sense that :
1- The bushes were not very dense.
2 - Since l actually lived in the Syedabaad Tea Estate , l actually knew the entire area like the back of my hand .
Here are some photographs of the Syedabaad Tea Estate.
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When l used to follow up wounded leopards in the Syedabaad Tea Estate , l would have my loyal Garo servant , Wani behind me carrying a powerful two cell flash light to provide illumination . Slung across his back was my BRNO .22 LR bolt action rifle ( although , l praise the Lord that we never actually had to come to a situation where we had to attempt to shoot a leopard with that .22 LR rifle ! )
I would carry Uncle Josh's IOF 12 Bore DBBL loaded with Eley Grand Prix spherical ball cartridges and a small flashlight taped to the fore end , always switched on . As soon as l would hear the leopard's unmistakable growl , l would swing up the shotgun and throw the light over the leopard's head . Instantly , I would fire at the area between it's two eyes , so that the 16 bore lead ball would penetrate into the leopard's brain .

Here is leopard #44 , which l had to follow up for three hours before facing it's charge and killing it .
Screenshot_20200109-010007_01_01.png


Coming up next - Conclusions.
 

Captain Nwz

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Conclusions

Even if the leopard may be a man eater , never treat it as an evil being . It is just an animal and therefore , we owe it a duty to dispatch it swiftly and humanely without causing it any unnecessary suffering or a lingering death . Use adequate armaments , keep yourself calm and learn to practice shot placement rather than bringing the biggest hand cannon you can carry , to do the job . Do not take any risks remember these last few tips :
1- There is a bird called TT bird which always starts chirping whenever leopards are passing through the area.
As a child , l used to shoot many TT birds for the pot ( they are delicious , grilled in a Tandoori oven with Hariyali spices ) .
However , when l began to hunt leopards on a monthly basis , l slowly stopped shooting TT birds , because l realized how useful they would be to me for alerting me about the presence of a leopard in the Syedabaad Tea Estate .
2- If you are hot on the heels of a wounded leopard and there is a farm or two nearby ( like there were , in the Syedabaad Tea Estate ) , then watch out for cows and goats running from a particular direction. They are running away from the leopard and that is how you will know which direction the wounded leopard is in .
3- A heavily debated topic in my time which has survived on to modern day , is : Is letter shot ( AAA , Sp.SG, SG , LG ) a suitable ammunition to use on wounded , charging leopards ? Why do we use shot for birds rather than a single rifle bullet ? The answer is because the birds are moving too swiftly . Proponents of letter shot for wounded leopards attempt to use the same logic on leopards , claiming that a leopard moves so fast that it is desirable to use ammunition which can achieve a " spread " . Opponents of letter shot on wounded leopards claim that letter shot lacks adequate penetration to reach a leopard's vital organs. So , who is correct ?
I can say the following as a hard fact :
On charging leopards weighing less than Sixty pounds , you can safely use SG ( American OO buckshot ) or LG ( American OOO buckshot ) , provided that you hold your fire until the beast is within five metres and then you shoot it in the head .
The skulls of these leopards are not very thick . On the lighter spotted leopards , SG and LG cartridges will work ( but certainly nothing smaller than SG ) .

If a leopard weighs more than sixty pounds , then the idea of using any type of shot is , basically asking for a mangling . Only solid ball or better yet , Brenekke slugs should be used for the heavier leopards if one is going after them with a shotgun . Personally , l recommend only a rifle for the heavier leopards , like my favorite .338 Winchester Magnum caliber .
In Bangladesh , as Kawshik and Poton have already mentioned , the only locally available calibers in all gun shops are :
.22 LR , . 22 WMR ( Winchester Magnum Rimfire ) , .32 ACP and 12 bore . Thus , most local shikaris who may need to deal with the occasional man eating leopard in rural areas , favor 12 Bore Foster or Brenekke style slugs in their shotguns . They work extremely well for leopards .

This poor fellow attempted to stop a wounded charging 176 pound Hunting Leopard in 2017 with a Browning 12 Bore ( 3 inch chamber) A5 semi automatic shotgun , loaded with Winchester copper plated OO buckshot ( one cartridge holds ten pellets , I think ) . Even though he shot it at 8 metres distance , in the head , it still managed to pounce on him for four seconds . The poor fellow is lucky to have survived this traumatic ordeal with so few injuries .
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Finally , enjoy what you are doing ! Leopard shooting is one of the most thrilling sports in the entire world , in my humble view.
The irony in my life is that out of the 69 leopards which l had killed in the Syedabaad Tea Estate , not even one had been able to even touch me or anyone in my shikar party . However , the one time in my life that l had ever gone after a Royal Bengal Tiger , l was traumatized for life by what had happened. But that is a story for another day ...
I hope that some may find this article enjoyable or useful .

THE END
 

cls

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Thanks for this very informative article.
 

Major Khan

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Oh , do not get me started about using goats as live bait , Newaz ! I still remember the 1st time l ever tried to hunt a panther .... I accidentally ended up shooting and killing the goat ! That was the 1st and last time in my life that l ever tried to use an LG cartridge for a panther . Excellent article , as always . What l really like about your guide above mine , is that I made my article about panther shooting in 1 long , single post. However , you broke it down in to sections and simplified it so that your readers can understand it easier. I should have used the same format.
 
 

 

 

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