Scientific name:

Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi 

 

What makes it special:

The distribution of wild blesbucks is confined in South African countries and three percent of the population is held in zoos all over the world. It has the ability to interbreed with its cousin the bontebok and they have viable offspring.

 

Recommended caliber:

The recommended caliber is the 30-06, 300WM, 338, 308, 300WSM, 375.

Blesbuck hunt - plains game

The blesbuck is easily recognizable and distinguishable from other antelope species due to its white face. It is a terrible jumper and can be confined to a particular area through fencing. it is known to avoid the sun, needing at least three liters of water every day.

Hunting method

The best time to hunt the blesbuck is during the rutting season as it can be more enticed and baited using an estrus soaked rug. As a relatively shy animal, it’s alert to any kind of new noise that is introduced to its territory and before you know it the blesbuck is running away at a speed of 70km/h, which it can maintain for up to an hour. As an animal that drinks water every other day, hunting it near a water hole is much easier and effective than any other method. When shooting, a distance of about 30 to 50 meters is advised. To get a kill shot, the shot placement should be at the upper chest region, just above the forelimbs.

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Know the animal

Appearance

It is a beautiful creature with the most outstanding feature being the white part of its face. The rams and the ewes are very similar in that they both have horns. They have a dark brown streak right above the eye area that extends to the ears and to its jaw. Its coat is dark brown in color with a paler saddle on its back and the rump takes on a lighter brown shade from the rest of its body. The top part of the legs is generally brown with the inner sides taking on a creamy- white appearance, which extends down to the lower parts of its legs and to the hooves. There is a darker shade of dark brown coating behind the neck, at the flank and buttock area. The underside of the blesbuck including that of the tail takes on a white appearance. The shoulders are placed at a higher position than the rest of its body giving it a downward backward sloping appearance The males can be differentiated from the females by height, weight and horns, with the females being smaller in size and having slenderer horns. It is also one of the few animals species where the female has a darker coat than the male.

 

Habitat

It is known to prefer open grassland areas with sufficient water availability. They are naturally found in the Republic of South Africa in the Free State, Eastern Cape, Highveld and Transvaal area. The blesbuck dislikes wooded areas. 

Diet

It is mainly a grazer, however it needs sufficient intake of water every other day.

 

Predators
The predators include the lion, cheetah, wild dogs, hyenas, leopards, jackals and sometimes even eagles.

 

Life cycle

The rutting season of the blesbuck is between the months of March and May. The gestation period of the female amounts to 240 days which is 8 months, after which only a single calf is born. The female reaches sexual maturity at the age of 2.5 years, while the male reaches his at 3 years of age. The lifespan of a blesbuck is 10 to 12 years for a male and 9 to 11 years for a female. 

 

Behavior

As some of the scent glands are located in the facial area of the ram, the male has the peculiar habit of rubbing its face on the ground. Because of this, it has a dirty face the majority of the time. The females form groupings of 20 to 120 members, also including young male calves. Harems are formed by 4 to 20 individuals under the territorial guide of one male. Males at the age 7 years or older tend to prefer being solitary and form their own personal territories. Females leave their birth family groupings to join another family at 18 months of age and the males join bachelor groupings at the age of one year. The blesbuck can be extremely aggressive and violent during the mating season and often engages in fights that can be fatal. As with many antelopes, the blesbuck rests during the day and is more active in early morning and late evening.

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Animal Facts

Weight

Males: about 70 kilograms

Females: about 61 kilograms.

 

Height

Male: 0.95 - 1 meter

Female: 0.8 - 0.95 meter

 

Habitat

Open grass land areas

 

Diet

Grass

 

Predators

Lions, cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas, leopards, jackals and eagles

 

Life cycle

Lifespan: up to 12 years

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