A leopard hunt has been a dream of mine for many years. There is something about long-tailed cats that I love. Finally, I had the opportunity in October 2020 to go on a leopard hunt in Namibia.
– Shannon Meaux –
Building our Blind –
The long await has arrived. We sat in the blind, which was quite an experience, and there was no activity during legal shooting hours. The next day we recouped, moved the blind to a different spot, and decided to sit again. There was no leopard activity that day as well. That next day we decided to drive back to the main camp where there were 3 more baits set up. About that time a heat wave decided to come in, and it got hot. It really affected the movement of animals. We would check the baits every morning, and we were able to get 2 zebras to use as bait, which was not an easy task. Those zebras like to run! Day after day went by, and I remained optimistic.
Towards the end of our hunt, we received news that our oldest son had been in an ATV accident. Mothers will understand how I felt after that! I never got upset about not seeing any leopard, because it is hunting. The best part about hunting is learning how animals act, the experience, and getting to see new country. The two days we sat in that blind was something I will never forget. This trip taught me just how smart leopard are. We had a terriﬁc time, met some wonderful people, and had an experience that we will never forget. This is why I love hunting.
I am back – it is my time now.
We made it home to take care of our son, and tell everyone our stories, which we had plenty of. I received a message from Gerard a couple months later, and he was asking me to come back in April 2021. My husband and I talked about it, and my husband said that I needed to go back. He told me that he would not be able to go because of work but encouraged me to go. He really didn’t have to talk me into it, I already had my bag packed. Let’s just say I did more practice shooting, because I was still nervous about what happened last time. My husband didn’t like the idea of me traveling by myself, so a week before I was supposed to go, he talked our oldest son into going with me. My son and I arrived in Namibia and got settled into camp. We were at different location than last time, which was just as beautiful. The ﬁrst morning my son shot a zebra that we were using for bait. They cut the zebra in half to put out at two different places. The weather could not have been any better.
The next morning, we went to check the bait, which is one of my favourite things to do because you just never know what you may see. Sure, enough a big leopard had hit one of the baits. Now it was time to do some work setting up a blind, and they wanted me to shoot my gun once. I believe I was shaking just as much with that shot, as I would be shooting a big animal. We walked up to the target to look, and my shot was dead on, and the relief that came over me was great. I was ready! We went to the blind around 4:00 that afternoon, and got ourselves, the gun, and all the gear set up for the evening. I got into my spot in the blind and didn’t hardly move. Suddenly, the baboons were hollering loudly, which made my heart start pumping. A few moments later a leopard let out a loud roar, and then you could hear him pant as he walked to the bait. I can’t even explain what I was feeling.
My First Tap – Get up and Get Ready!
Gerard eventually gave me the ﬁrst tap, which meant to get up to my gun and get ready. Soon after I was set up, I received the second tap, which meant it was go time. I wasn’t shaking, but it felt as if my heart was going to pound out of my chest! I know I took more time than Gerard and my other PH would have liked, but I wanted to make sure I had good shot because I didn’t want him to get away. Finally, I pulled the trigger, and he dropped right where he was sitting! My heart was still pounding just as hard, and I was ecstatic because I had ﬁnally got my leopard!
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