Quest for Africa’s Big 5 Hunt 1: Day 11

Sponsored by: Victory Archery, Goat Tuff Products, Equalizer Release, Muzzy Broadheads, AZ Rim Country & BowFit Archery

Day 11

This was the last day of the hunt and we had to make the most of it. I grabbed my MR5 and jumped in the back of the truck for one last hunt for elephants. We drove slowly down the dirt road studying every elephant track we came to. We abruptly came to a stop as we approached a really big tree that an elephant had knocked over. I couldn’t believe the size of the tree. It is unbelievable the strength that elephants have. The trackers jumped out of the truck with their axes and began to cut a path for the truck. There was no way we were going to move the tree, so they made a way around it.

Our amazing trackers! They were incredible!

As we passed one of the leopard baits we stopped to check the trail cam. Nothing. We continued on searching for elephants. We came to the second trail cam and immediately the trackers started pointing at the road. There was a large leopard track. They grabbed the trail cam to take a look. The bait had been hit! It was a beautiful male leopard and it was coming in right at dusk! It had come in the last two nights at around 6:30 in the evening. There was not even a hesitation. The trackers went to work building a blind.

Trail cam picture of the leopard on the bait, just after dark.

The rest of us went back to camp to get ready. I wasn’t sure how we were going to do this since we were scheduled to fly out first thing in the morning. We felt like this was a good enough opportunity that we decided to try and postpone the flight until the following day. I couldn’t believe it; I was going to get one last shot at this. This would be the one!

I spent the day packing all my gear so we would be ready to fly out. I decided to try and rest before the long night ahead but we were still being attacked by the ants. I finally found a small spot that seemed to be clear of ants and laid my head to rest for a couple of hours.

I fell asleep on my Badlands duffle bag, the only spot I could find that was free of ants.

We climbed in the blind around 4:30 pm so we would be there plenty early since the leopard was coming in right at dark. This was our first night in this new leopard blind and we were expecting something spectacular to happen. We listened intently for any sounds. We heard some elephants off in distance. As darkness neared I was ready for the leopard to come in. We waited patiently. We heard nothing. Midnight came and went and still there was not any action going on outside the blind. It was hard to sleep that night because we were so restless, hoping the leopard would show up. It was a long, hot night. No leopard.

John Faul trying to hijack our picture.

Don’t forget to watch this hunt on Eye of the Hunter airing on Versus, Thursdays at 2:00pm EST

Next: Day 12