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Tim’s First Hunt Report from Africa

August 14, 2011 by  
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Day 1: (arrival)

We made it to Kambako’s camp this afternoon on a Navajo, and though we did have some airline trouble off and on, we arrived with all of our bags. The stay at African Sky was just wonderful, and upon shooting the rifles, they all seem to be spot on.

There are a few cats feeding already, as 3 of us are hunting leopard, and the area looks good. They have been burning quite a bit, but just by flying over, the place is gorgeous. I can’t even describe the camp itself; wonderful place with incredible view. I am writing this about 2:45 AM as I was awakened by a noise outside my mesh. When I looked out, it was BULLY, the local bull hippo grazing just a few steps away. We are all to hit the road early this morning to see what the day brings us. This is a special place…

Day 2:

Started out looking for dagga boys, no luck. We did see a really nice bull kudu, and as we moved in final position for a shot, two young bulls ran through him and blew the deal. Our appy, John Wayne, checked our airstrip bait, and the cat had been in about 10 minutes after dark, but this morning, he stayed around the bait the first full 2 hours of daylight. Mid-day, we moved the bait about 50 yards to a place where we can try to walk in tomorrow morning. We built a grass wall with shooting and filming ports 62 yards away, and the crew cleared us a nice path for about 300 yards. We are set to give him a try in the morning. I just hope he has a leisurely breakfast tomorrow. Going out after lunch today looking for kudu, Niassa wildebeest, etc.

Day 3:

Out the door at 4:15 to do the walk in on the leopard blind. We got to the blind at exactly 5:00, but as we glassed, the cat was not at the bait. My heart sank as I figured this was just more of my terrible leopard luck. We decided to stay an hour or so to see if he would come in, and 15 minutes later, I was watching to the right of the bait, and I saw the cat slipping in.

I pointed him out to Stu, and he told me to stay still and wait. After a few tense minutes, the tom was standing at the base of the bait tree, and then he began to feed. I slipped my .300 TC Icon over the top of the blind and waited on the cue to shoot. It was getting much lighter by the minute, and waiting was tough. The big cat would stand up on his hind legs, eat, sit down for a bit and do it again. Finally Stu told me to shoot when I wanted to, and after waiting about 30 more seconds and confirming with my cameraman that all was good, I placed a 180 grain Winchester E-tip just behind his shoulder. The cat went berserk, attacked the bait and then ran back to the right growling. We could see a huge spot of blood on the offside behind the shoulder, so we felt good.

After waiting half hour, we went after him, and found the magnificent 7 foot leopard piled up about 100 yards away. It was the highlight of my hunting career, and I can’t describe the awe I felt as I lifted the big square spotted head.

After photos and breakfast, we took a drive looking for PG, and saw many sable and other antelope. I was able to shoot a nice bull Litchenstein’s Hartebeest at about 80 yards. We stalked a great 41” sable bull, but passed him as he didn’t have secondary horn growth and was too young by Niassa standards, although he was the herd bull. It was tough to do, but that is the management rule here. We saw a lot more game in the afternoon, but no shots. Two of my 3 camp mates killed nice buff today. Both old card bossed bulls; one 41” and the other 37”.

Hunt Hard…Tim H.

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