Only a few hunters have experienced the adrenaline of leopard hunting, and only the hunters that persevere are rewarded with the trophy of a lifetime. Any mature male should be considered a trophy, because leopard hunting is a very difficult endeavor. Stack the odds in your favor by hunting with a top-notch PH. Despite their difficulty, they’re among the most sought-after trophies. They are solitary, predominantly nocturnal, and very wary.
Leopard Hunting Techniques
- Bait and blind is the most common leopard hunting technique by far.
- Leopard hunting with dogs is becoming increasingly popular.
Hunting Leopards over Bait from a Blind
This is not a plains game hunt, and is not for the faint-of-heart. It is a specialized hunt and you should stay very focused. Leopard hunting most commonly takes place out of a blind over bait at night. If you are very lucky, they will come in at dawn or at dusk, but don’t count on it (this is more common in remote areas such as Mozambique).
Be prepared for long, motionless hours in the blind. You will hear every sound and movement from outside the blind as you sit and wait for the distinctive, “throaty coughing” calling sound or, better yet, the sound of him eating at the bait. You hear every leaf drop, every animal walk by, every insect.
You can get lost in your thoughts and allow yourself to close your eyes even though you are as uncomfortable as hell…. but then, you hear the sound of bones crushing or flesh ripping, and every sense goes to High Alert!
At that point, the darkness becomes your friend as you wait anxiously for the moment when the PH slowly switches on the light. You will have one shot, and one shot only. Make it count. During the days, you check baits, move blinds and maybe even hunt for more bait.
Success rates on leopard hunting is never 100% as they are too wary, and there are too many variables. It is like a chess game. Success is likely, but you may have to return for a second safari. Your PH will have trail cameras on the baits so you know the caliber of leopards hitting the baits.
If a professional hunter does five leopard hunts in a year and shoots four, that is only 80%. That by the way is an outstanding year. So your chance when hunting is only 80% at the very best. When you see people advertising that they are 100% on cats, what they are really saying is 100% on quota, i.e. five cats, seven clients.
Stay focused on hunting leopards until you’ve been successful.
Once an animal is taken, the staff will be called on the radio to take care of it and get your trophy to the skinning shed. They will take care to properly skin your animal the correct way depending on how you want it mounted. Immediately following your hunt, a taxidermist will collect your trophies and get them dipped, packed and ready for shipping.
Now you can switch to plains game hunting, or even one of the other dangerous game species. Cape buffalo are almost always available in the same area. Also, during the day you may need to hunt for some more bait, which is fun.
Hunting with Dogs in Africa: A Thrilling Experience
One of the most exhilarating experiences a hunter can have is hunting for leopards with hounds. Leopards are elusive and intelligent animals, known for their agility and cunning. Hunting them with hounds is a unique experience, and it requires skill and expertise from both the hunter and the dogs.
The hunt is conducted in a highly organized and controlled manner, ensuring the safety of both the dogs and the hunters. However, that does not mean that there isn’t an element of danger. Once a big male leopard is located, the dogs are released, and the chase begins. It is a thrilling to listen as the dogs work together to corner the leopard and bring it to bay.
Best Caliber for Leopard Hunting
You don’t need a large caliber rifle or even premium bullets for leopard hunting.
A 7×57 or .308 with standard soft point ammo is perfect. If you are shooting from a blind you will require a good quality scope on your rifle though, and scope choice is probably more important than caliber used. A high magnification scope is unnecessary. The leopard will not be shot at long range, but will probably be shot in poor light. An illuminated reticle of some sort is an advantage, but definitely avoid too fine a cross hairs.
Shot Placement for Leopards
As for shot placement on leopards, the only trick is to remember is to place the bullet through the heart you have to shoot behind the shoulder. You DO NOT want a wounded leopard on your hands. They can and do attack humans.
- Never shoot a leopard facing you – there is too much room for error.
- Don’t shoot a cat standing on its hind legs eating a bait.
- Never shoot a cat lying down – the room for error is ZERO.
- Always test fire before going into the blind.
Are your ready to book your leopard hunting trip?
If you have questions or would like to go leopard hunting yourself, just contact us. We work with some incredible PH’s in many different areas of Africa who offer some great hunts.Ask Us About a Hunt Request pricing and availability
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My hunt was absolutely top notch.
The outfitter is a fantastic man and incredibly hard working and knowledgeable, there is no doubt he will do everything within his power to make peoples hunts successful and enjoyable. I plan to do it again with him next year for sure.
Our hunt was excellent.
We saw bucks every day along with all other sorts of wildlife. Mountain goats, bears, and foxes were common sights. Fishing and crabbing was special bonus. The food was excellent, the crew was amazing. Outdoors International did a great job of finding exactly what we were looking for.
What an amazing experience!
The hunting lodge was out of this world!, Rooms, food and the scenery were all A+. Our guide was exceptional and had us on Shiras moose all five days. We saw over 30 total with at least 10 bulls. They had a plan for everything including taxidermy and game processing.