Everything about leopard hunting in Africa
The African leopard (pantera pardus) is one of the most desirable and at the same time the most difficult hunting trophies. If an elephant and a buffalo are said to be mined with their feet, a lion with their heart, and a rhino with money, then this member of the Big Five is taken by head. That is, it is necessary to outwit him, to replay his field, which is not all and not always possible.
Strangely enough, the leopard is listed in the list of animals whose existence is in danger, therefore the allocated hunting quotas are rather conservative and are strictly observed. Nevertheless, leopards can be hunted in almost all African countries where hunting is open. The number of leopards does not cause any fear among sensible people, they are abundant in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Tanzania, Ethiopia, etc. But Zimbabwe is more attractive in this respect, as there is a chance to get a particularly large specimen, and the pricing is more democratic, than, for example, in Zambia or Tanzania.
Leopard hunting is hard work. This animal leads a lonely lifestyle and prefers twilight and night for traveling. Hunted animals alone. Both sexes have their own separate territories, sometimes intersecting, and communicate only for a short time for procreation. They are smart and very careful, which seriously complicates the hunt. In addition, in most areas of their habitat, leopards have been and are being persecuted by the local population for preferring veal and goat meat over natural sources of food; and this persecution significantly increased their level of education in fooling their two-legged pursuers. The success rate of a leopard hunt is usually lower than when hunting other animals. For example, if a professional hunter spends five leopard hunts per season, and his clients take four beasts, that’s 80 percent success and a great result. But hunting companies use their quota completely: if someone leaves home empty-handed, then a holy place is never empty, and the hunt is sold to the next customer, if not the very end of the season.
Now we can talk about two different ways of hunting for this secretive animal. The most traditional and widespread method is from ambush on a hitch. However, the pursuit with the help of hounds or trackers-bushmen in broad daylight is also known for a long time.
Privada and ambush
There is a mass of variants of this basic way of hunting for a leopard. Most hunters-athletes are happy to take part in the training, as they have the opportunity to learn a lot from their mentor, a professional hunter. Each of them has characteristic techniques that are in their own way good in a particular situation. Here is what Lou Hallamore, who can confidently be called a professor of this hunting discipline, says: “This is probably the most critical moment of the hunt. Upon arrival in the hunting area, PI should quickly identify the main power source of the leopard. In some areas, the number of impala is limited, and then leopards actively hunt dikers. And this can already create a problem, since a large male leopard can cope with a diker in one sitting.
Hunting predator with a bait
The choice of harassment comes down to the following animals: impala; diker, klipspringer, stinbok, grissbok; warthog, forest boar; bushbuck; parts of zebra carcasses or buffaloes. ” Impalas, as a rule, live everywhere in large numbers and therefore are in the first place in the leopard menu. The Little Four is also rated quite high. Bushbuck, on the other hand, is never mined for the sake of conquest, because it itself is exotic and is a member of the screw family, it is seriously affected in coastal areas. Before you hang the bushbok as a bait, they remove the precious skin from it. Warthogs and forest pigs are a good and attractive dill, but be careful: in hot weather their meat deteriorates very quickly.
Regarding the use of parts of the carcass of larger animals: leopards rarely manage to kill them, therefore large pieces of meat for them an unusual gift. Oddly enough, cats love horse meat and do not resist the temptation to taste zebra meat. Another famous pi-ey from Zimbabwe, Greg Michelson, says that if he manages to lure a leopard into a zebra attack, he is 95 percent sure in success. And Greg knows what he is talking about: the number of leopards he harvested will soon reach one and a half hundred. Zebra meat, probably due to its high fat content, can endure African heat better and longer. Continuing the topic, Greg declares: “If I had a choice, I would not use anything except a zebra for a leopard attack. The buffalo is also good, has a pleasant smell and quite difficult to chew, because the buffalo meat is hard meat. This factor is able to keep the leopard close to the bait for quite a long time.
A full-bodied leopard always examines the area before starting a meal on the bait. For example, it will not cross over to the other side of the dry channel.