The Spotted Trespasser

Discussion in 'Articles' started by Panther Shooter, May 19, 2020.

  1. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    After a very long time , I have finally managed to clear some time on my schedule to write a new entry on AH forums .

    Some of my previous entries on AH forums have been :

    “ In pursuit of the fabled black panther “ ( Narrated by Major Khan Sir , on my behalf )
    https://www.africahunting.com/threads/in-pursuit-of-the-fabled-black-panther.55807/
    “ My first man eater with the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum “
    https://www.africahunting.com/threads/my-first-man-eater-with-the-375-holland-holland-magnum.55889/
    “ Fire arms for feline menaces : The best guns for Indian leopards “
    https://www.africahunting.com/threa...aces-the-best-guns-for-indian-leopards.55956/

    Today I hope to write about an incident in 1974 , which details my Shikar for the 20th of the 25 man eating Hunting Leopards which I have had to put down , in my life ( till now , anyway ) .The incident took place , back when my family and I used to own one of the Tea Estates in Jolpaiguri , India - A place which was notorious for being infested with troublesome Hunting Leopards ( As my previous entries on AH forums have detailed ) .

    As opposed to the other 24 man eaters which I have had to put down in my life , what is particularly chilling about man eater No. 20 , was that the fiend had actually set up it’s lair somewhere WITHIN my family’s property ( And we were actually unaware of this grim fact , until much later ) . I am optimistic that I shall be able to finish this entire entry by tonight ( It is going to be broken down into four sections ) , and I am also hopeful that some of you may enjoy it .

    F9981079-9C09-4326-99FB-FB5F04363862.png
    A man eating black panther shot and killed by the Author , in 1973 .
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020
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  2. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    About bloody time ! I was starting to miss your writings . For once ... I get to be the reader.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2020

  3. Bob Nelson 35Whelen

    Bob Nelson 35Whelen AH Elite

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    My dear friend Panther Shooter
    I have missed your writings and look forward to reading the next installment. I am sure we will ALL enjoy it.
    Your humble reader and friend
    Bob Nelson
     

  4. Bob Nelson 35Whelen

    Bob Nelson 35Whelen AH Elite

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    Friend Ponton
    Now you know how we feel waiting for your missives and the joy we also get from yours. When is your next installment of Riazs due. We also need more writing from friend Rahman.
    Your friend
    Bob Nelson.
     

  5. Major Khan

    Major Khan AH Elite

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    Why thank you so much for your kind words , Bob . After Panther Shooter finishes writing his magnificent article ... I shall write 1 of mine , again.

    In the mean time ... Now is the time for me to kick back , relax and do the reading ( Instead of the writing ) for a change .
     

  6. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Oh boy! Another adventure from our friends in Bangladesh!
    Waiting in anticipation!
     

  7. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Panther Shooter, I'm looking forward to the rest of the story. You guys have led lives that most of us can only dream about!!
     

  8. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH ENABLER AH Legend

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    Looking forward with great anticipation as is normal....
    Bruce
     

  9. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Let's have it. Suspense is awful.
     

  10. Panther Shooter

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    It was the April of 1974 , at our family Tea Estate in Jolpaiguri . I was a mild mannered , ( stupid ) law abiding citizen during the day . And a poacher during the night . It just so happened that on one night , our employees had notified me of a large Nilgai ( Blue Bull ) which had wandered into our property . Knowing how delicious the tenderloin of Blue Bull can be when grilled like a steak , I was determined to make an attempt in bagging it , that night .

    So I took my IOF 12 Bore DBBL ( Indian Ordinance Factories 12 Bore Double Barrel Side By Side Shotgun ) and decided to make the right ammunition to take down a Nilgai . Back in those days , Indian Ordinance Factories used to make 12 Bore 2 3/4 inch cartridges in three shot sizes : No. 2 , No. 4 and No. 6 . Buckshot had become prohibited in India ( and indeed , any shot size with a pellet diameter larger than 4.8 millimeter ) and thus , we poachers had to resort to some extremely innovative solutions . Fortunately , an extremely simple solution existed , back in those days .

    If you visited any bicycle repair shop in India during the 1970s , then they would sell you ball bearings ( which were used in the pedals and brakes of bicycles ) . Unlike modern ball bearings ( Which are made of hardened steel ) , the ball bearings used in bicycles in India back in those days , used to be made from lead . I would simply purchase entire bags of ball bearings of different sizes , to reload into my 12 Bore cartridges as I saw fit .

    For a Nilgai or a Chital Deer , what we would do was to remove the birdshot from a 12 bore cartridge and replace it with six large leaden pellets , before re attaching the cardboard top wad once again . This was what we used to call “ Indian LG “ . It was workable , as long as the ranges were kept short . And this was exactly what I had done , that day . As customary for all of my nocturnal shooting activities , I also had a small , but powerful flashlight attached to the fore end of my IOF 12 Bore DBBL with duct tape .

    I enlisted the help of T E and we made our plan of action . At about 10 ‘ O clock at night , we both set out to the part of the Tea Estate where my employees had reported seeing the Nilgai earlier during the day . We finally ( but predictably ) caught sight of him , at the orchard where our mango garden was ( I had also managed to bag two Chital Deer in this part of our Tea Estate , on two separate occasions ) . He was 150 yards away from both of us , and I resolved to get much closer to him . I whispered to T E to get circle around the Nilgai and try to get behind him . T E would then “ spook “ the Nilgai into coming towards me . TE obediently nodded and began to circle around the Nilgai , while I cautiously kept my eyes glued to the prize . I hid myself , by crouching down amongst the grass.

    T E got behind the Nilgai and scooped up a handful of pebbles . He threw them towards the direction of the Nilgai , and the startled animal bounded away from him . In doing so , the Nilgai was coming right towards my direction . I patiently waited until the animal was within eight meters of me , before leaping up and switching on my flashlight as I raised my IOF 12 Bore DBBL to my shoulder . I fired off my left barrel at the animal ; center of mass before quickly firing off my right barrel as well . The concentrated charge of Indian LG ( 12 leaden pellets ) caught the Nilgai square on , in the chest and the animal went down fast . I had done it . We would now able to enjoy some delicious Nilgai meat for the rest of the week . Dad in particular , used to absolutely love the rump of Blue Bull ( And he still misses eating it very much , today ) .

    I used to have a close childhood friend in a neighboring Tea Estate ( who is still extremely close to me ) who was well aware of my nocturnal poaching activities . He used to hunt at night , himself with his IOF 12 Bore DBBL in his own Tea Estate . Since he still lives in India currently and still hunts at night ( outside the parameters of the draconian Indian law ) , let us just refer to him as S T . Now ST was a Hindu , but he followed a school of Hinduism which did not believe that Nilgais were members of the bovine family ( a species of animal , which is sacred to followers of the Hindu faith ) . To the best of my my knowledge , there are a few different schools of thought followed by different followers of the Hindu faith :
    - You had vegetarians who ate eggs and dairy , but no meat .
    - You had vegetarians who ate dairy , but no meat or eggs .
    - You had Jains who were COMPLETELY vegan and even avoided root vegetables , because they believed that pulling a root vegetable out of the soil would harm the micro organisms around the soil .
    - You had non vegetarian Hindus who ate all meat , except bovines . They considered the Nilgai to be a bovine .
    - You had non vegetarian Hindus who ate all meat , except bovines . They ate Nilgais too , because they considered Nilgai to be a large antelope instead of a bovine .

    It was ( and is) with these last two groups of Hindus with whom my family and I bonded extremely well . S T absolutely loved the venison of Nilgai and when I told him that I had bagged a beautiful Nilgai the previous night , he immediately accepted my invitation for dinner . Mom prepared an entire tenderloin of Nilgai in a Continental style . She oven roasted it to medium doneness , and served it with roasted root vegetables , crispy potatoes and horseradish cream . As Mom , Dad , S T and I ate our meal , we all began to chat .

    S T’s personal man servant ( let us henceforth refer to him , as C ) was out side our house and was eating his meal in our servant’s quarters . After he was done , he had gone to the servant’s washroom ( which was located quite far from the servant’s quarters building ) . By the time S T had completed his meal and it was time for him to go home , he had called for C . However , C had never returned from the wash room . Dad sent one of our servants to go to the servant’s wash room to call C .
    However , our servant came back and told us that C was not there . He had simply vanished . S T went back home , by himself ; quite confused and worried . Mom suggested that maybe C had felt sick and simply returned home , to S T’s Tea Estate .
    If only Mom was right .

    In the morning , we heard a scream of horror from our Tea Estate workers .
    There ; lying at least 800 meters away from the servant’s washroom , was the brutally mangled corpse of C . The corpse was eviscerated , and the innards were jutting out like a coil of Cumberland sausage . His rib cage was torn open and his lungs were pierced . Almost all of the flesh in his throat had been bitten off , right down to the spinal column . Both of his eyes had been gouged out . One ear was merely dangling by a strand of skin . His face and body looked as if someone had dropped a power saw over him . However , just by glancing at the wound patterns on C’s corpse , I knew that this was the work of no power saw . The flesh from the buttocks had been completely gnawed off . Right down to the bone . This was not the work of a power saw .

    No. This was the work of a Chita Baagh . A Hunting Leopard. A man eater .
    5CE78D30-1A6F-4373-AD78-CF47E847C6ED.jpeg
    IOF 12 Bore DBBL
    6138A089-1D7A-4BA8-8FF3-BA737D8E0F83.png
    IOF 12 Bore Cartridges ( No. 2 , No. 4 , No.6 and another No.4 )
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020
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  11. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    And the plot intensifies! Hunting leopards seem to be the evil demons of India. Scary!
    I think I might rather face another lion or Cape buffalo!
     

  12. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    S T was absolutely enraged that his loyal man servant had fallen victim to a man eating Hunting Leopard . Our employees were absolutely terrified that yet another man eating Hunting Leopard had managed to prowl into our property And Mom & Dad were immensely worried that the man eater would strike again . Therefore when I proposed the idea of hunting down and shooting the man eater to death , no body protested . On the contrary , everyone was specifically hoping that I would offer to dispose of the fiend .

    From the moment that C’s corpse was cremated in the early morning , I had taken it upon myself to track down and finish this man eater . I put together a small crew of guys , to form my own Shikar team . There were a total of 5 of us .
    - There was me , armed with V’s .375 Holland & Holland Magnum .
    - There was Dad , armed with his IOF .315 caliber bolt action rifle .
    - There was S T , armed with his IOF 12 Bore DBBL
    - There was T E , our tracker
    - There was D K , our helping hand .

    Our first order of business , was to find out where the man eater had come from .
    T E was assigned to this task , and he began to take steps in tracking the fiend .
    Now , a few basics need to be known in order to properly gauge the movements of a Hunting Leopard . Especially a man eater . All of the Hunting Leopards which normally wandered into our Tea Estate , would invariably come down from the hills of Jolpaiguri . No doubt , this was also how this particular man eater had wandered into our Tea Estate . But where was he , now ?

    T E had found a set of paw prints near the area , where C’s mangled corpse was found . Spooring the Devil Cat then , was now only a matter of time . At around 5 :15 PM , T E came back to our house proudly and told us , that he had found something which he wanted us to see . We followed him for roughly an hour through the Tea Estate , until T E finally brought us to a series of large holes in the ground . A pond originally used to be here , but it had dried up sometime after the Second World War . T E pointed to the series of holes , and simply said “ Chita Baagh “ . We understood that the man eater was hiding inside one of the holes in the ground . S T asked TE how he was able to pin point the man eater’s location . T E explained that male Hunting Leopards will always repeatedly urinate onto the bushes around their “ lair “ in order to mark their territory . He told us all to take a whiff in to the air . We duly did so , and true enough - The smell was as pungent as a rodent’s nest . This was definitely the hiding spot of a male Hunting Leopard ( learning this little trick , would benefit me greatly in 1980 ) .

    It was now the time for us to plot the demise of the man eater .As opposed to a Royal Bengal Tiger ( which always feeds during the day ) , a Hunting Leopard always feeds during the night . The sun was roughly an hour and a half away from setting and we wanted to dispose of the fiend , as soon as possible . While Dad , S T and T E waited near the dried up pond , I rushed back to our family house and legged it into the basement . I then removed the loose floor boards , and hidden under them was the marvelous mahogany wooden box made by John Rigby & Co . I opened it and assembled V’s .375 Holland & Holland Magnum. The Side By Side Double Rifle had a stock fit better than a bespoke Saville Row suit . I loaded each barrel with a 300 grain Winchester Silvertip soft nose cartridge , and slipped six spare cartridges into the breast pocket of my half sleeve silk dress shirt . After that , I used a piece of duct tape to attach a small but powerful flashlight to the fore end of V’s .375 Holland & Holland Magnum .

    It was now time for me to set off , back to where my crew had been monitoring the fiend’s hiding spot .

    8C94B9F4-DC0D-480D-B5EB-BC5C4CDE80A1.png
    .375 Holland & Holland Magnum built by John Rigby & Co. , used by the Author to dispose of 16 man eating Hunting Leopards from between 1973 to 1974 .
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2020

  13. Panther Shooter

    Panther Shooter AH Enthusiast

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    When I searched the area where Dad , S T , TE and D K were waiting , the sun was merely minutes away from setting . We all began to make preparations for putting down the man eater . Dad loaded his Indian Ordinance Factories .315 caliber bolt action rifle with Indian Ordinance Factories 244 grain soft nose cartridges. S T loaded his Indian Ordinance Factories 12 Bore Double Barrel Side By Side Shotgun , with hand loaded Indian LG cartridges . The sun had set , and it was now time for action .

    We decided that we were going to draw the man eater out , by way of fire . S T ordered D K and T E to gather all the dry leaves and twigs that they could find and pile them together , around the holes in the dried up pond . This , they obediently carried out . After that , Dad lit a matchstick and ignited the pile. Smoke slowly began to spread all around the holes . However , we had to take great care to ensure that there was not too much smoke . Naturally , we did not want to attract any outside attention , in regards to what we were doing . If the Jolpaiguri Forest Department got even the slightest clue as to what we were doing , then it was 14 years in prison for each and every single one of us , as per the so called “ Wild Life Protection Act - 1972 “ . Additionally , since I was carrying an unlicensed imported .375 Holland & Holland Magnum , I was bound to be facing additional charges under the so called “Arms Act “ .

    Dad , S T and I had encircled the pond ; firearms at the ready . We could hear the feral snarls of the fiend , emanating from within one of the holes in the dried up pond . However , it was impossible for us to ascertain exactly which hole it was in .
    We just had to wait patiently . Cautiously . And then , all of a sudden , it had happened .

    What appeared to be a massive spotted calf sprung out of one of the holes , as if it was propelled by a catapult . It was the fiend . The man eating Hunting Leopard .
    As our horrible fortune would have it , the fiend was rushing towards the one direction where neither Dad , nor S T , nor I were standing . Knowing that I could not let it escape , I decided to risk taking a shot . It was 35 feet away from where I was standing . I instinctively switched on my flashlight and snapped the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum up to my shoulder . I got the fiend within my sights and pulled the left trigger . The .375 Holland & Holland Magnum spat fire , as the 300 grain Winchester Silvertip soft nose bullet buried itself deep behind the fiend’s shoulder . It roared in pain and turned towards me , clearly intent on charging . However , I never let the charge materialize . Owing to the swift handling properties of a Double Rifle ( fitted with double triggers , at that ) , I was able to immediately let off my right barrel . The 300 grain Winchester Silvertip soft nose bullet punched right through the T - Zone of the fiend’s skull . The man eater reacted , as if it was struck by a bolt of lightning . It collapsed onto the ground ; it’s hind legs giving out first .

    We all breathed a sigh of relief . The fiend was no more . But what had driven it to become a man eater ?
    4816C7F7-011D-4EBF-AFD5-4C4502EFB007.jpeg
    C’s killer
     
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  14. Panther Shooter

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    The five of us silently , but hurriedly hauled the corpse of the slain man eater towards Dad’s garage shed . I then took my Schrade Old Timer Trapper carbon steel folding knife out of the pocket of my trousers, and handed it to T E . T E opened the clip point blade ( which I used to keep razor sharp ) and began to skin the Hunting Leopard . It was a fully grown male and weighed an even 92 kilograms , featuring a snout to tail measurement of seven feet and five inches .

    The Autopsy proved to be quite educational , and it became crystal clear to us as to why this Hunting Leopard had turned into a man eater .There , lodged against the fiend’s shoulder blades , was a .303 British caliber bullet . It was a full metal jacket spitzer tipped bullet of 174 grains . We had all used these exact same kind of .303 British caliber full metal jacket spitzer tipped 174 grain cartridges during the 1971 Bangladesh War Of Independence . The fact that it was a .303 British caliber bullet , also had it’s own implications . Even prior to 1972 , the .303 British used to be a “ Prohibited Bore “ in India , Pakistan and Bangladesh. An ordinary civilian could not get their hands upon a rifle or ammunition of this caliber . Therefore , it immediately dawned upon us that this particular Hunting Leopard must have been shot at , by either : a ) A Forest Department Official or b) An Indian Army Ranger . These people were issued the .303 British ( Lee Enfield bolt action rifles ) and 174 grain spitzer tipped full metal jacket cartridges . They had attempted to poach this Hunting Leopard with their department issued .303 British caliber 174 grain spitzer tipped full metal jacket cartridges. Predictably , a hard nose non expanding bullet makes for a woeful choice against soft skinned game . The fact that the bullet had a pointed spitzer tip ( as opposed to a flat or round tip ) , only helped to exacerbate the problem even further . In their attempt to poach this Hunting Leopard , those Forest Department Officials / Indian Army Rangers had ended up creating a man eater . A monster . However , this was hardly surprising to any of us . Ever since Shikar was completely banned in India in 1972 , the bulk of poaching activities in India have been carried out by corrupt Forest Department Officials . Take away something lawful from people , and only the unlawful shall remain behind to continue doing it .

    I sold the skin of this man eater to V for quite an impressive sum . Despite quite a bit of haggling about the price , V eventually agreed to pay me the full price for the skin of this man eating Hunting Leopard . I suspect that he was just as impressed with it’s massive proportions as I was ( although , he certainly did his best to conceal this fact from me ) . I decided to give half of the money to S T , under the request that the money reach C’s widow . Since it was this very man eater who had deprived her of her husband , it was only fair that a percentage of the money made from the slain fiend’s skin goes to her .

    And thus , ended my Shikar for the man eating fiend which had the audacity to set up it’s lair on my family property . Thus , ended the Shikar for the “ Spotted Trespasser “

    THE END
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
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  15. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    Panther Shooter, another hair raising story from yesteryear. Your quick reflexes saved the day and no doubt human life. Another observation if I may. Your employees and or servants must have kept quiet about your exploits. Generally the more people that know of "illegal" activities the more likely it is to no longer remain a secret.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2020

  16. Wyatt Smith

    Wyatt Smith AH Fanatic

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    I enjoyed the story PS. It’s a shame someone irresponsible had turned the cat man eater.
     

  17. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Oh how exciting! Another great exploit! Thanks again for sharing it with us Panther Shooter!
    Speaking of the smell of the leopard, I have often found elk by working into a breeze and smelling their musk before I ever saw them. A very exciting way to hunt!
     

  18. 1dirthawker

    1dirthawker AH Enthusiast

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    Panther shooter,

    I'm very impressed that you were able to do such fast AND accurate shooting at night with open sights! i have tried targets at night with open sight with less than impressive results and without having to shoot a dangerous animal. well done.
     

  19. Newboomer

    Newboomer GOLD SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Another nailbiter. That was an amazing story. I like the idea if smoking him out and your fast gun handling. I believe the employees kept quiet because they realized the consequences if you were arrested. They would be potential victims of other leopards.
    Keep the good stories coming.
     

  20. cpr0312

    cpr0312 AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed the read!
     

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