What is the typical method for hunting a captive bred lion?

Discussion in 'Hunting Africa' started by postoak, Mar 21, 2020.

  1. Charles de Ribeau

    Charles de Ribeau AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    273
    Member of:
    NRA Life
    Hunted:
    Namibia, RSA
    Back to the original post. I will offer my observations from my CBL hunt. First, it was not clear with whether the lion was actually captive bred or if it was a problem lion that had been captured by the authorities and then sold to a game farm (the ranch where I hunted did both).

    The ranch where I hunted was very large. I never did find out the exact size, but I was told that at any time there are 25 - 50 lions living on it. Some of the females even breed.

    First day, we dragged bait (like someone else mentioned).

    The second day started early with us driving the roads where the bait had been dragged the day before looking for tracks. After doing that for awhile, a call came over the radio. One of the trackers had found a fresh track in the Kalahari sand (amazing!).

    Then the "race" was on. Of course, it wasn't a race. It was a very slow, methodical tracking effort. The entire team (outfitter, PH and tracker) were "switched on". This wasn't just a stalk of a plains game antelope. You could tell from how they handled themselves that this was deadly serious. As an aside, I was hunting with torn cartilage in my right now. As wasn't able to move quickly as normal. I couldn't keep up, so I quietly said, "Psssst". The way my PH's head spun around he was lucky he didn't get whiplash and the look on his face made it clear that this was a deadly game we were playing.

    At one point, the tracker discovered that lioness had doubled back on her own track and waited in some thick cover to see who or what was following her. She had then moved on.

    Eventually, we caught up with her. I quickly put two shots in her. She was supposedly dead. However, when we walked over, you could see that she was breathing rapidly, even though her eyes were closed. I have no idea why my PH didn't have me put the finishing shot in her right then. Instead, he and the outfitter decided, "Let's back up and give her some time." We did that, but after a couple minutes she revived enough to roll over, facing us.

    At that point, the PH had me kneel down and shoot her in the chest, and again, and again (5 times!). That's when she decided she had enough and was going to share the pain. She started to get up and at the same time roar/growl. Fortunately, I had my scope on her chest and just had to pull the trigger to stop the charge before it had really begun. That's when we went around to the side and put a shot in the heart to put an end to the drama. (It turned out that the bullets were breaking up when they hit the taught muscles of the chest. None of those frontal shots penetrated.)

    That's the story of my CBL hunt. I didn't feel there was anything "canned" about it. Yes, the bullets I was given were inadequate. Other than that, it was a great experience - and I got it done before the window for importing from South Africa slammed shut.
     
    Ridgewalker and Nyati like this.

  2. Charles de Ribeau

    Charles de Ribeau AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    273
    Member of:
    NRA Life
    Hunted:
    Namibia, RSA
    The year before lioness hunt, talking with my PH about dangerous game, he said that for lions, the female CBL is the most dangerous to hunt.
     

  3. Mike Van Horn

    Mike Van Horn AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2019
    Messages:
    243
    Video/Photo:
    21
    Likes Received:
    317
    Location:
    Colorado
    What caliber and what bullets were you using?
     

  4. Charles de Ribeau

    Charles de Ribeau AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    273
    Member of:
    NRA Life
    Hunted:
    Namibia, RSA
    The wrong ones. :LOL:
    The rifle was a 7mm. No idea what bullets. It was what they gave me use. (I don't know if 7mm is even legal for lion in ZA. ) In talking later with Craig Boddington about my experience, he told me that exactly one year earlier his wife (Donna) had an identical experience with the same outfitter.
     
    Ridgewalker likes this.

  5. IvW

    IvW AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    2,313
    Video/Photo:
    61
    Likes Received:
    3,996
    Location:
    South Africa
    Member of:
    BASA, CHASA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia
    Shocking...yet they stay in the industry and in business....
     

  6. Mike Van Horn

    Mike Van Horn AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2019
    Messages:
    243
    Video/Photo:
    21
    Likes Received:
    317
    Location:
    Colorado
    A 7mm to track down a lion! Shocking!!!
    That's the word for it alright
     
    Red Leg and CBH Australia like this.

  7. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    Messages:
    952
    Video/Photo:
    42
    Likes Received:
    948
    Location:
    Adirondack Park, NY, USA
    Member of:
    NAHC, NRA, Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation.
    Hunted:
    USA, Canada
    I whole heartedly agree... the shot is actually kind of the anticlimax... everything leading up to it is the reason I hunt. If the shot were all that mattered to me, I think I would have given up hunting years ago. I spend a lot of empty handed seasons out in the woods for not a lot of shooting and in some cases, even less meat. I would probably be almost as happy out there without a gun... I just really, really, REALLY like wild game meat and all the more if I put in the time and effort to get it.
     
    Ridgewalker, Red Leg and Royal27 like this.

  8. Red Leg

    Red Leg AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Legend

    Joined:
    May 19, 2009
    Messages:
    4,640
    Video/Photo:
    243
    Likes Received:
    10,288
    Location:
    Texas Hill Country
    Member of:
    SCI DSC life memberships / NRA Patron Life
    Hunted:
    Mexico, Namibia, RSA, Germany, Austria, Argentina, Canada, Mozambique, Spain, US (15 states)
    That is one word for it .........
    Nine shots in all .......... (my math could be off)
    Seven apparently failed to penetrate or do lethal damage ............
    Yes, shocking
     
    CBH Australia likes this.

  9. ChrisG

    ChrisG AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    Messages:
    952
    Video/Photo:
    42
    Likes Received:
    948
    Location:
    Adirondack Park, NY, USA
    Member of:
    NAHC, NRA, Rocky Mtn. Elk Foundation.
    Hunted:
    USA, Canada
    Let me preface this by saying, I haven't hunted lion... yet. But...I have to imagine this is a failure of the outfitter to choose the right bullet not a failure of the 7mm. Granted, I would say minimum I would want to take after a lion would be something in the .338 mag family, but a 7mm (I assume it was a 7x57) with a decent bullet like a 175gr swift a-frame or a Barnes 140 TTSX would surely have done the job in significantly less than 8 shots.
     

  10. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    5,630
    Video/Photo:
    218
    Likes Received:
    5,796
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hunted:
    South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
    I have taken 1 lion and 1 lioness using a 375 H&H and watched Toby take his lioness with a 375 H&H. I would want to use nothing less and still each took more than one round. All were very healthy and extremely densely muscled. IM limited E, lions are just plain tough beasts!

    I’ll have to admit, if I had the funds, I’d love to go hunt nothing but wild open places and hunt wild free ranging game, just like most of us would. But living on a fixed income in my retirement years I’ll take what I can get and when I can get it. I can still dream of hunting the far away places beyond my means.

    If I could, I would also time travel myself back to Roosevelt’s days in Africa spending a year there and shooting multiples of everything so they could be displayed for years in museums. Alas, I am a dreamer!
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2020
    Nyati, Mike Van Horn and TOBY458 like this.

  11. postoak

    postoak BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2012
    Messages:
    605
    Video/Photo:
    30
    Likes Received:
    289
    Location:
    Texas
    Member of:
    Life member NRA
    Hunted:
    U.S.A., R.S.A, Namibia
    I'll be taking my .416 when I go after lion but do remember that Jim Corbett sometimes used the .275 for tiger. Of course, his preferred rifle was his .450/.400 Nitro Express.
     

  12. IvW

    IvW AH ENABLER AH Legend

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2016
    Messages:
    2,313
    Video/Photo:
    61
    Likes Received:
    3,996
    Location:
    South Africa
    Member of:
    BASA, CHASA
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Namibia,Zambia
    7mm is illegal for use on lion in SA so it makes no difference which 7mm or bullet was used.

    The problem is further compounded by the fact that this is made public and shared on social media, lovwly ammunition for all the anti's just because these idiots had a client use a 7mm and quite frankly you as the client should have known that this was illegal or you should not be hunting DG.

    Report the whole scenario to the authorities with photos and camera footage if possible and get these idiots out of Professional Hunting and Outfitting..

    Wont happen, anyway do not cry if hunting diminishes going forward especially DG hunting of Lion, Leopard and Elephant......
     
    spike.t and JKO Hunting Safaris like this.

  13. JKO Hunting Safaris

    JKO Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2011 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Messages:
    293
    Video/Photo:
    286
    Likes Received:
    564
    Location:
    South Africa
    Member of:
    PHASA, DSC, SCI
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Spain, Uganda, Greenland
    Hello everyone,

    What a interesting thread and read... Firstly I love hunting lion, wild or cbl in my opinion both have their positive and negative contributions. It all depends in which light you see the hunting. I had the privilege to start my hunting career out hunting lion day in and day out.

    I have guided many CBL hunts where it took us the whole safari (5 to 7 days) to get a shot in on a lion / lioness by tracking, strategizing and working, walking and tracking our buds off every day. In my experience hunting these cats for over 15 years I have learned that every lion is completely different and will react differently to threats, people before they are wounded. Some lion will run forever, some will run 100 yards, climb in a tree and some will just be p*ssed off right off the bat!

    I am not sure how many of you guys know this but it is illegal to bait CBL lions in the hunting areas we hunt them in. The hunting permits strictly states that one has to track them on foot only. No other artificial callers, bait or lights may be used when hunting a CBL lion in South Africa. Let me tell you when you start tracking a lion for 3 to 4 days in a minimum 15 000 acre area and you don't even see it for a day or two without the opportunity to use any other method to get a shot at it or just see it, it really wears you out mentally and physically. You have to be focussed all the time while tracking in thick brush stay on the correct tracks which in some areas are not as easy as it seems. I have also seen that once these lions are released they rely and use their instincts immediately , they start hunting for themselves and can survive without any human interference at all.

    I can wholeheartedly say that I have followed up a LOT of wounded lion over the last couple of years, any wounded lion is as dangerous as the next! You hurt or push ANY lion enough it will like any other cat make a stand and fight. I know there is a few members on the forum that has hunted lion with me which I am sure can relay the excitement and intensity of these hunts when done correctly and ethically in large enough areas where the lion have a fair chance of eluding the hunter. Yes I know a few will say but you will eventually get your lion guaranteed but let's face it this way, why would one go hunt for a animal hoping not to get it.... It is about the whole hunting experience, the work you put in to finally harvest your trophy, it is not just about the shot or the kill. There is no doubt that there is a huge difference to a wild lion hunt where there is a possibility that you might not get your lion, this is in a complete different category though. You cannot compare that with CBL in my opinion, CBL lion offer more hunters that cannot pay the high dollars for a wild lion the opportunity to still experience the excitement and intensity of hunting a lion.

    I have hunted lion in Burkina Faso by tracking them and I can without a doubt say that it is exactly the same method as we use in South Africa. These lion in Burkina reacted the same as most of the CBL lion I have hunted in my life. They will run away but when being pushed hard enough they will make a stand to fight. Heat affects them just as bad as it does any CBL in South Africa and I could see no difference in the METHOD of hunting these Burkina lion. We tracked one male and found where he caught a roan, this male did not run very far and made his stand as he had a full belly and it was 105F so he was not happy! Unfortunately he was too young and we let him be.... What I am trying to say is that most cats will react the same if you put them in the same environment.

    Hunting lion over bait in any other African country are to me just as exciting as hunting them on foot. Hunting over bait your strategy has to be on point and to outsmart and get a specific male to hit your bait is a art on it's own. Knowing your area and most important the lion in the area, choosing the correct bait tree, where to build your blind, building and cleaning your walk in path and how long it should be all comes with years of hunting experience and it is not something you can buy or "just" know or learn from a book. I have a lot of respect for the great cat hunters in Africa and you can always learn from them being on safari with them for 14 to 21 days!

    It is hard work mentally for you as a client and you have to be mentally prepared for a lot of high's and even more low's that you will encounter on your safari..... Hunting a wild lion over bait will definitely teach you to be patient and not too expect too much too soon! However I love the excitement of getting in the blind knowing you will have either a bunch of lion surrounding you or that one old male checking out the surroundings around the bait before he starts feeding. When you sit in a little grass blind and you can smell and hear the lion before you see them it does push your adrenaline through the roof! You actually feel like a sitting duck! haha

    I know some of what I wrote might be a little of topic but I am so passionate about hunting lion. I love to share my experiences and views with you guys.... Each hunter has their own expectations and it is a free market so you the hunter can choose exactly how you would like to hunt and what experience you are after and what you are willing to spend to get that experience and safari. I feel it is our job as experienced hunters to educate new hunters on the choices they have instead of breaking down the hunting industry in any way or form.

    As far as the different kinds of lion hunting Africa has to offer, I feel each has its place and does contribute to our industry in their own unique way and as hunters we are spoiled to have all these different options to choose from.

    All my best,

    Jacques Spamer
     
    Cam Moon, Kmiller, postoak and 10 others like this.

  14. JKO Hunting Safaris

    JKO Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2011 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Messages:
    293
    Video/Photo:
    286
    Likes Received:
    564
    Location:
    South Africa
    Member of:
    PHASA, DSC, SCI
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Spain, Uganda, Greenland
    .416 is a great choice of calibre for lion. Make sure you take bullets that is soft and can expand properly. You can shoot a lighter bullet like a 350 grain Woodleigh to get a little more speed as cats do not like that energy at all.

    Stay away from harder cast bullets that you would use on buff etc.

    \

    Yes it is illegal to hunt any dangerous game with any calibre smaller than a .375 but I can say that a 7mm with the correct bullets should kill a lion pretty easy. I know of old timers that has shot a lot of problem lion with .308 and .243's. I will never do or recommend this to anyone but cats are soft skinned and when you hit the vitals they do succumb pretty quick.


    All my best,

    Jacques
     

  15. Bonk

    Bonk AH Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2019
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    78
    Location:
    Kentucky, USA
    Member of:
    Life Member NRA
    Outstanding post Jacques. Thanks for sharing your experience and insight.
     
    JKO Hunting Safaris likes this.

  16. JKO Hunting Safaris

    JKO Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2011 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Messages:
    293
    Video/Photo:
    286
    Likes Received:
    564
    Location:
    South Africa
    Member of:
    PHASA, DSC, SCI
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Spain, Uganda, Greenland
    Thank you sir I am always open to answer any questions should anyone have any....
     

  17. JKO Hunting Safaris

    JKO Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2011 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Messages:
    293
    Video/Photo:
    286
    Likes Received:
    564
    Location:
    South Africa
    Member of:
    PHASA, DSC, SCI
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Spain, Uganda, Greenland
    Here is a picture to give you an idea on how we start off in the morning to find fresh tracks while hunting lion in South Africa. Note that not everywhere you hunt lion in South Africa we have the beach sand type of terrain. Some areas are much harder to track in than others and especially when it is early in the season with tall green grass and thick brush everywhere.

    IMG_0677.jpg

    After finding fresh tracks we head off tracking, you imagine finding a track in this grass on a hard surface will not be easy and we ended up tracking 3 days before getting a shot on our first lioness.....

    IMG_0792.jpg
     
    Ridgewalker likes this.

  18. Ridgewalker

    Ridgewalker AH ENABLER LIFETIME BRONZE BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2016
    Messages:
    5,630
    Video/Photo:
    218
    Likes Received:
    5,796
    Location:
    Colorado
    Hunted:
    South Africa: Limpopo, Northwest; USA: Ak, Mt, Wy, Co, Ne, Ks, Nv, NM, Tx
    Jacques, thanks for the info from experience with both wild and CBL types of hunting lion! Excellent info!
     
    JKO Hunting Safaris likes this.

  19. JKO Hunting Safaris

    JKO Hunting Safaris SPONSOR Since 2011 AH Enthusiast

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2018
    Messages:
    293
    Video/Photo:
    286
    Likes Received:
    564
    Location:
    South Africa
    Member of:
    PHASA, DSC, SCI
    Hunted:
    South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Zambia, Spain, Uganda, Greenland
    Thank you my friend! I hope to share a campfire with you one of these days as well!

    All my best,

    Jacques
     
    Ridgewalker likes this.

  20. Charles de Ribeau

    Charles de Ribeau AH Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    198
    Likes Received:
    273
    Member of:
    NRA Life
    Hunted:
    Namibia, RSA
    I can't comment on the legal aspects of the caliber. (I trusted the outfitter and my PH to have that covered - my mistake) If I ever hunt a lion again, it won't be with anything less than a 375 (even if a smaller caliber was legal).

    However, Don Heath, former PH and Game Warden in South Africa eventually became a bullet designer for Norma. About 3 - 4 years ago, Norma introduced a line of bullets for dangerous game. To promote the launch of this new line of bullets, they mailed info to all SCI members (at least in the US). It began with Dan Heath describing his personal experience with a lioness. (and I believe he was using 7mm) In any case he also shot the cat 7 times in the chest (sound familiar?). On later examination, after it had charged and broken three of his ribs before being killed, it was found that those frontal shot bullets had disintegrated when they hit the super tense muscles in the lion's chest. That is apparently what also happened in my case and in the case of Donna Boddington.
     
    Ridgewalker likes this.

Share This Page

 
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice