"No leopard." I texted those two words to Editor in Chief Scott Olmsted by the light of a half moon on my last night in Namibia. Cell phone service being intermittent at best, I kept the message brief, but I could write a novel on the efforts PH Jamy Traut, his staff and I put into hunting the great cats. The two-week safari was a roller coaster ride of emotion, with the highest highs followed quickly by the lowest lows.
In all, we courted at least three leopard during the safari. None wanted to play. That's hunting, even in wild Africa. It is never a sure thing, nor should it be.
Somebody, I believe it was Capstick, once wrote, "You hunt leopard with your mind." To kill a leopard you have to outsmart a supreme predator and trick it into doing something that it normally wouldn't consider, mainly feeding during daylight on a hunk of meat unnaturally placed in a tree. We weren't able to get into the leopard's head this time, but the leopard sure got into mine.
Wonder what the big cat in the creek bottom will be up to tonight?