Loaded for Leopard

posted on May 25, 2014
gunclub2015_fs.jpg (14)

undefinedFollowing a long night of checking gear, packing, re-checking gear and re-packing, I'm on my way to Namibia on a leopard hunt. Although there was a flurry of activity centered on the safari last night, preparation actually started months ago. Part of that, of course, was practicing with the rifle I will be using on the trip.

Leopards are dangerous game, but unlike the heavyweights of the Big Five, they are thinly built. In fact, one PH told me any reasonable deer rifle will work just dandy on leopard. So I feel confident my choice of the tried-and-true .308 Win. cartridge, loaded with Federal Premium's 165-grain Fusion bullet, will get the job done--provided I do my part with the little Kimber Adirondack I'll be packing.

To get ready, I've been shooting the rifle at leopard photographs enlarged to about 50 percent of life size. My PH, Jamy Traut, says we'll be hunting out of a blind over bait, and shots (or more likely, the shot) will be close. I've done the majority of my practice at 50 to 75 yards. To add more realism, I've been practicing from a seated position, shooting off sticks. And since a leopard usually comes to the bait tree in waning light, I've been shooting indoors with the lights turned low. I even enlisted the help of Assistant Editor Jon Draper, asking him to pose as my PH and give me a tap on the shoulder when it was time to shoot. (Draper took the job a little too seriously, wanting to wear those super-short shorts only a real PH can get away with.)

Before long, with a little luck and a hungry cat, it will be time to see if all the practice pays off. I hope to provide updates as the safari (which also includes assorted plains game) unfolds. Check back here for updates from the bush.


Herman Shooting 2020 Waypoint
Herman Shooting 2020 Waypoint

#SundayGunday: Springfield Model 2020 Rimfire Classic

Get a closer look at the Springfield Model 2020 Rimfire Classic, the latest addition to our #SundayGunday series.

Review: Lehigh Defense Controlled Chaos Ammo

While much of the history of projectiles has been concerned with keeping a bullet together, Lehigh Defense’s Controlled Chaos is designed to do exactly the opposite, and it is extremely effective.

First Look: Hornady 22 ARC

Engineered to use modern, high-BC bullets, the new 22 ARC is designed for optimum performance in the AR-15 platform, but is equally at home in a bolt-action rifle.

First Look: Savage AccuCan Suppressors

Initially available in three multi-caliber options, Savage’s new AccuCan line of suppressors are lightweight, field-serviceable and reduce not only sound, but other disturbances like flash and recoil.

First Look: Remington 2024 Bullet Knife

Remington Ammunition has announced the release of the highly anticipated 2024 edition of their iconic Bullet Knife. This annual tradition has become a favorite among collectors, often hailed as America's most sought-after pocketknife.

Review: Rossi SS Poly Tuffy .410-Bore Shotgun

Over the years, B. Gil Horman has developed an appreciation for the little .410 Bore, single-shot ‘utility guns.' A great up-to-date example of this class is the latest iteration of the Rossi Tuffy single-shot—the SS Poly.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.