ZIMBABWE: Nyamazana Safaris Leopard Hunt

enysse

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I booked a 14 day leopard hunt with Nyamazana Safari in Marula, Zimbabwe. I saw the hunt advertised here on AH. The hunt was to be from June 16 to June 29 2019. I flew from Chicago to Dubai, then to Johannesburg and onward to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Thanks to @BRICKBURN, for all of his wisdom on picking the right airline and correct flight. Thanks for recommending Emirates @PHOENIX PHIL, great airline, excellent service. I’m sitting in Bulawayo right now, but everything has worked out great so far. Booking all the flights together without a break worked for me. I’m use to not sleeping. I brought my 7mm Rem Mag Winchester Model 70 Super Grade with 160 grain Swift A-Frame Ammo.

D5D2FE09-BC2F-4FB4-8782-7BC1B55ECE32.jpeg
 
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BRICKBURN

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I see that you g0t a good one.
Congrats.

I want the entire story.
 
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cls

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Good luck on your hunt and shoot straight.
 

enysse

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Thanks to @Edge and @cagkt3 for your help and advice. Thanks to all the members on AH for all the great hunting reports convincing me to pick Wayne at Nyamazana Safari.

For the longest time I have wanted to hunt leopard. There were a lot of opportunities years ago to hunt leopard, today not near as many. It’s a lot of money, something not to take lightly. I had read over the years the importance of picking the right area and finding an outfitter with experience. I personally liked the way Wayne priced his hunts. He put his reputation on the line if no leopard was taken. We were going into cattle country were big leopard call home.
 

Ridgewalker

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Best of luck! We will all be anxiously waiting for your successful report!
 

PHOENIX PHIL

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I booked a 14 day leopard hunt with Nyamazana Safari in Marula, Zimbabwe. I saw the hunt advertised here on AH. The hunt was to be from June 16 to June 29 2019. I flew from Chicago to Dubai, then to Johannesburg and onward to Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. Thanks to @BRICKBURN, for all of his wisdom on picking the right airline and correct flight. Thanks for recommending Emirates @PHOENIX PHIL, great airline, excellent service. I’m sitting in Bulawayo right now, but everything has worked out great so far. Booking all the flights together without a break worked for me. I’m use to not sleeping. I brought my 7mm Rem Mag Winchester Model 70 Super Grade with 160 grain Swift A-Frame Ammo.

Glad you found Emirates to be good. I am somewhat confused. It's now June 28, but you say above the hunt was for 16-29 of June. Did you have to reschedule?

Whatever the case, best of luck. I think your caliber and bullet choice will be perfect!
 

gillettehunter

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Good luck. I hope you get a monster and have a great hunt.
Bruce
 

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BEST OF LUCK!!!! You don't have to tell me how much it means! Looking forward to a successful report and fantastic pictures.
 

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Wish you the best of luck Eric !
 

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Can't wait to see the foto of the monster Tom..................best of luck..............................FWB
 

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PHOENIX PHIL

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enysse

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Thanks everyone, I let Wayne post pictures early.

Day 1
I agreed to do prebaiting, four baits were set up before the hunt. The previous hunter hunted with dogs and took a monster leopard on day one! Still I didn’t want to take any chances. My theory is always try to increase the odds in your favor.

We went out and checked my gun, to see if it is still zeroed. Everything was okay. We started to check baits and also shoot other animals for bait. We also looked at all of the others baits from the previous hunters to see if they were eaten. Trying to figure out where the next big leopard will walk through and set up bait for the leopard. It’s not an exact science, you try to lines baits in major drainages or valleys or off main roads. We also cut some new roads in to areas that had not been hunted for a while. The area was currently in a drought, so water was not everywhere. Water was found at damns, rivers and ponds but a lot of them had dried up. We also checked all available water sources and checked for game sign.

We drove around looking for game. We saw common duiker, steenbok, kudu, wildebeest, zebra, impala, klipspringer and baboon. There were plenty of brown hyena and spotted hyena too, you are just not going to see them running around in daylight. We ran into zebra and impala the first day, but shooting opportunities were limited. Animals didn’t stick around long and always seemed to be in brush or you would only see part of the body. I finally shot a younger male impala as he was walking away from me. The impala didn’t go far. We had our first bait. As we were driving around the property one of the baits was hit, so we set a trail camera up to see what was hitting the bait. At the end of the day, we had 5 baits set-up.
 

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Day 2
Our hunting crew consists of Francis (the cook), Victor, Charles, Cowboy, Sam and Micheck. We also had our Zimbabwe Parks Game Scout who was young, strong, educated and resourceful. Sam, Cowboy, Micheck and Wayne are highly talented team. We were built for success.

We were looking for bait again today. I missed a zebra early in the morning. I thought I could slide the bullet past the tree but I hit the tree and bullet deflected into the dirt. I heard a loud knock after I shot, which confused me with all the dust. I was a little upset with myself but this was the not the first miss on this trip. It was getting close to mid day so we went by water to check for game. We saw an impala and tried to move closer but it ran off. We did bump into some zebra in some thick brush. We played cat and mouse through the brush. I soon got a shot opportunity at a fleeing zebra and shot the mare in the hind quarter. The blood trail was good, we caught up to the mare, she was straight away from me so I shot again into the left hind quarter. The zebra died about 100 feet after that shot. I normally would never take that shot but today was different and we needed bait badly. We checked the other baits. The one bait with the trail camera had a female leopard and young male leopard eating on it. We were looking for a mature leopard so we went to set up more bait sites.
 

enysse

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Day 3
The goal today was to shoot more bait. We had luck right away and found some calm zebra. I shot another mare, her hooves were worn down. One shot to the lungs. The mare went less than 100 yards. We brought the mare back to camp to be caped and quartered. We were checking baits and setting up more baits. It was cold at night and the bait was not rotting or smelling. I was worried how is the game going to smell the bait. Yes, we did dragging and set up smell around the bait but it was cold.

Day 4
Still setting up new bait sites, checking for sign and spore around the hunting area always looking for easy impala to shoot. We did see a big leopard track down by a damn but didn’t have a bait there so we hung one up. You never know when a big leopard is going to come walking through and claim a bait. I did shoot a mature impala at the end of day. It ran a 100 yds but the shot was a little bit to far back but that was what I had for a shot opportunity.
 

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Saw your leopard on the other thread, congratulations on a fine cat.
 

enysse

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Day 5
We are checking baits, the baits are staying really fresh due to cool weather. Wayne said not to worry it was early yet in the hunt. We took one bait by the damn and moved it because it was not productive this time for whatever reason. We replaced the bait where the young male and female were eating because it was cleaned out. You never know when a big leopard will take over the bait. Not a lot action today. Wayne was telling me about the mistakes clients make on a hunt that ruin a leopard hunt. I was taking notes in my head, trying to stay positive. Remember notes like listen to your PH, stay quiet in the blind, no unnecessary movement and make the shot count. Wayne was going re-drag the bait sites tomorrow. We looked at maps and talked about other options. Every day I saw big baboons but “Lady Luck” seemed to be with baboons.
 

enysse

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Day 6
We were checking baits and found a calf on the side of the road that had been killed. It looked like a female leopard killed it and the hyenas also found the calf to eat. So we set up a trail camera there hoping to see what would come in to eat. We were re-dragging the roads creating a scent trail. We moved one bait closer to the river so a leopard would be able to smell it easier if it was coming through the area.

We move to next bait down the road and it was hit hard. Half the zebra quarter was gone, so we start looking for paw prints but a lot of traffic had been through the area. We were setting up a trail camera and we find a huge paw in the dirt. We canvas the area and find two more prints and Wayne switched gears quickly and set a blind up 45 yards downwind of the bait tree. We go back to camp and get the rest of the crew and set up for a night hunt. We go back to the river drainage and pick that quarter up so it won’t possibly ruin our blind location. You don’t want the leopard picking and choosing locations to eat. In fact we added that quarter to the other quarter already in the tree. Everything was set perfectly for an evening hunt.

I have a lot pictures on my camera that I will download when I get home and add to the hunting report. I didn’t use my I phone as my main camera because we were out in the wild, no place to plug it into to recharge.

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