PH Spotlight – Harpreet Brar

Motivated by his passion for wildlife, wild areas and conservation, Brar aspired to a career as a professional hunter. He was born and raised in east Africa and, at age 16, shot his first Cape buffalo in Masailand. After obtaining his PH license in 1997, he worked for other outfitters and in 2000 opened his own company, Rungwa Game Safaris.

Owning his own blocks ensures Brar’s clients have the experience of hunting exceptional trophies in unspoiled habitats. He hunts all big game and plains game species in Tanzania, which has the greatest game variety of any African country. In addition to Rungwa game reserves, he hunts Masailand and the Selous game reserve.

When afield, Brar carries a .577 Nitro Express double rifle that he says is the ultimate stopper for the dangerous game he hunts.

Over a period of years, PH’s log a variety of experiences including those that evoke special memories. Brar recounts the harrowing adventure that culminated in a lion trophy ranking number three in the SCI record book.

“Hunting the African lion is one of the most exciting and grueling hunts. This was Mike’s third hunt for a big old lion. We were in a remote part of the concession; a long distance from camp. To hunt in this area, we put up a small fly camp to avoid going back to the main camp every night. It had been a hard hunt with many long days checking baits. We had lions on almost all of five baits, but they were younger males and lionesses. Our baits soon finished, so we had to get fresh baits to put up in new areas were a big old male lion would be found. We only had a few days left on our 21 day safari, and the pressure was building to find an over six-year-old lion.

“As we were looking for big lion bait, buffalo was on the menu. We were looking to pick up dagga boy tracks. Onto our third buffalo, and after an hour of tracking, we came onto three old buffalo bulls.  Mike made a great shot and we had our buff that was a great lion bait.

“Earlier in the season, I had found a remote spring in a valley while cutting some new hunting roads in the area. This is where I put up this bait because it felt like a place we would find an old lion. It was a small spring, hidden away in a valley with not much game around.  Old lions are usually pushed out of the prime hunting areas to the marginal areas.  This quiet valley seemed right for a big old lion to be living in. We quickly and quietly put up our bait under a big shady tree, covered it with branches and started our drag.

“Early next morning, we drove toward the valley where the bait was.   Leaving the Land Cruiser about two kilometers away from the bait, we quietly walked in at first light.  As we approached the bait downwind, I suddenly saw a huge maned lion next to the bait. Through my binocular I saw he had a great mane, and his teeth were dark and worn down.  I motioned to Mike that this was our lion, and after getting into position at 60 yards, Mike put a good shot on him. We had our lion.  As we walked up, we were happy, but also sad, as a lot of times when you finally get your quarry there are mixed emotions.

“When we got up to him, we could see how big he was.  I knew he would score well, but had no idea he would be so high up in the SCI record book.  At that time, he was the largest lion taken in Tanzania.  This was a truly memorable hunt, a huge lion on the last day of our safari.  What a great way to finish a safari.”

Brar, who is a SCI Life Member and Convention exhibitor, donates hunts every year.

Rungwa Safaris has a fulltime anti-poaching program. They build schools and educate villagers on the importance of wildlife. In addition to hunting, they offer photographic safaris.

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