Best surprise birthday present EVER! My husband and I had already made one South African safari hunt three years ago, but when he surprised me for my birthday with a leopard hunt, I couldn’t believe it! So after the big surprise reveal, he informed me that we would be hunting with dogs. He had watched lots of videos and read articles about leopard hunts with dogs. So I dutifully listened to all of his learned information about the way these hunts work. Me, I tried to not get hung up on watching YouTube videos because I wanted my experience to be just that, MY experience. I didn’t want to go into it with unrealistic expectations, whether good or bad.
I can tell you without hesitation that this leopard hunt was absolutely amazing and I cannot imagine ever having another African hunting experience top it! From the time we arrived at camp and met Adrian, I could immediately tell that he was very passionate about his dogs and about providing a quality hunt. His enthusiasm and positive vibe made each day full of anticipation of what might happen. Of course, each dog had its unique personality and it was cool to see them at rest and then at work and see how each one contributed in a different way. You had Diesel who was the old pro, slow and steady, always keeping the rest of the dogs going. And Fauna (admittedly my favorite) would always hang back right at Adrian’s side, that is until the leopard was in sight, then she was all in for the fight! Adrian and his dogs were on their game and watching them work was fascinating.
The time of year we were hunting did not provide us with the best conditions for leopard hunting. But, with diligence, a great pack of dogs, a good plan, and sheer drive, success was inevitable. Third time’s a charm is what they always say. This rang true for this hunt. We tracked this cat two different times before finding a hot track one morning at 3am. I must say, I struggled to keep up with the dogs as they were on this cat and pushing him hard! The trackers would point out where the cat had stopped and laid down. Then they would show us tracks indicating that he was no longer walking, but running. The entire experience was truly exhilarating, and exhausting! At one point, it was evident that the cat was circling us. Yes, that will give you goose bumps! After a little more than 7 miles of hiking and tracking, the cat had headed up a mountain. I literally don’t know how my legs were still moving at this point. Kudos to my husband (and our wonderful team of trackers) for keeping me moving and motivated to seal the deal on this cat. Everyone was so patient with me as I was well behind the dogs. At one point they were yelling back letting us know he was in a tree! (I would later learn that Adrian and his dogs had stayed on this cat and treed him 7 times, while waiting on me!) All I know is that 4 hours later, physically spent, running on pure adrenalin, I literally crawled the last 20 feet or so to where I had an open shot, approximately 110 yards away. The vision will forever be in my mind of this majestic animal perched on the limb of the tree. He seemed at peace and relaxed, no longer bothered by the relentless pack of dogs hovering beneath. As the shot rang out, he fell with all four legs pointed up and before he hit the ground, shouts of everyone in our group echoed throughout the mountainside. A moment etched in my mind forever. Victory. I don’t think a moment like this could ever be orchestrated to be as perfect as it was.
Thank you Adrian for my first ever hunting experience with dogs! I appreciate your enthusiasm and passion for hunting and for the work you put into training and preparing with your wonderful pack of dogs.
Until next time,
United States Sugar Corp.
Motas Negras and San Leonardo Lease Manager
"I took part in a leopard hunt over Adrian’s hounds in Mozambique in June of 2017. We cut fresh tracks on the road shortly after dinner on the first night of our scheduled leopard hunt. Adrian determined that it was a large, old tom leopard so he made the decision to release his hounds onto the track. In less than 5 minutes the hounds were pulling out on the track and the glorious music of hounds on a hot track was echoing through the forest. In less than an hour, the hounds had pushed the track what I believed to be about a mile or so and he was treed. We shined the lights into the trees and there perched high on a limb was a beautiful old male leopard. The dogs were relentless at the tree and it brought back great memories of so many cat hunts I have participated in here in the states. I love to see good dogs work! The hunter, who I was accompanying on the safari, was still a pretty good ways behind making his way to us so the hounds had to keep the leopard treed for well over 30 minutes. It was heart pounding excitement to say the least. In disbelief, Adrian and I watched as the old tom jumped tree and came to the ground. The dogs bayed him on the ground mere yards from us in very thick brush. Now it was getting really good and almost a little too exciting! It wasn’t long and the tom had had enough of the hound’s harassment so he treed again. By this time, the hunter had closed the gap and was close by. The hounds kept the tom treed for another 20-30 minutes as the hunter made his way in and made a great shot along with a follow up shot just to be sure. Wow! What an exciting hunt, excellent hound work and an amazing animal. Truly the trip of a lifetime for me!
I have hunted over dogs extensively here in Texas and own/train my own dogs. I know good dogs when I see them and Adrian has one hell of a pack of hounds. I would recommend that anyone looking for a cat hunt over hounds in Africa look no further than Adrian. His hounds are the real deal!"
My hunt in the Midlands with Adrian was an experience which truly exceeded all of my expectations.
Not only did we succeed in hunting all the species I was after, but I was fortunate enough to hunt two Common Reedbucks and a Bushbuck that a hunter only dreams of in their lifetime.
Additionally, My Bushpig hunt with hounds was an adrenaline-filled experience from start to finish! To add to this, the hunts were all 100% free range.
I owe a massive thank you to Adrian, as all of this was only made possible by his expertise and professionalism in the field.