Kalahari Gemsbok and a Leopard at the Bait

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posted on June 3, 2014

Just got back to Panorama in central Namibia after spending a few days with PH Jamy Traut in the Kalahari Desert, where wireless is nonexistent and gemsbok are plenty. JJ Reich from ATK killed a huge, old gemsbok cow with horns that easily hit the magical measurement of 40 inches. I also killed a gemsbok cow, and though her horns weren't quite as long, it was still a great stalk over red sand dunes for a 150-yard shot with my Kimber .338 Win. Mag. High horns look great in pictures, but let me tell you, a gemsbok is even more impressive on the plate. I've eaten it four or five times in the past 10 days, and I hope to eat it that many more times before I leave. It's a slobbering shame I can't bring home some of this meat with me to the States. Jamy's clients and staff eat well.

This morning we checked the leopard bait in the creek bottom. Fresh cat tracks from last night showed that while the hunter's away, the cat will play. The leopard walked within a couple yards of the bait, but it did not eat. Jamy says leopard in the "farm country" of central Namibia are especially cautious of people, and this one obviously did some serious recon work around the bait.

Still, it appeared the cat was interested, so we built a blind about 80 yards from the bait and sweetened the deal with a bit of water. Leopard like to drink after feeding, so Jamy's trackers/skinners, Peter and Johannes, built a small water hole for the cat right beside the bait.

Everything seems right. The cat has food, water and the security of thick brush and high grass along the creek bottom. We have a blind that's nearly invisible at 80 yards. But the cat needs to start feeding before we stand a chance of shooting it. We'll check for sign in the morning. As Jamy said when we left the bait site, "Tomorrow we will know if we're going to kill this leopard."

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