Scientific name:

Alcelaphus buselaphus caama (A. caama)


What makes it special:

This bovid is part of the antelope family. Its deep red color makes it easily recognizable in the wild. The horns give it a quite special look and are the reason for the nickname Harley Davidson.


Recommended caliber:

The recommended caliber for hunting the red hartebeest is 30-06, 7 mm, 300 WSM or any comparable caliber.

Red Hartebeest - Plains Game

Found in the open plains in the sub Saharan climate, it is not camouflaged in the green and yellow scrublands, but has instead adopted great and unique sensory skills to evade predators. It has great hearing and smelling organs helping it detect foreign animals and predators. Like other species of antelope, it has a great flight response skill that makes it agile and enables it to run at a maximum speed of 55 km/hr.

Hunting method

To evade a predator’s catch the red hartebeest runs in zig zag motion. When hunting, patience and stealth is needed to ensure that you get to identify and approach the red hartebeest without necessarily spooking it. Shoot at the heart or at the upper chest front of either side of the animal or the skull, just between the eyes. Care should be taken not to shoot it at the back lower end; because of its flight response system, it will eventually fall will probably be out of sight. It should be shot at a distance of 70 to 170 meters.

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Know the animal


Though the red hartebeest is predominantly red, the color varies from red brown to fawn or deep dawn depending on the location. The dark markings extend primarily from shoulders to the center back and back to the tail base especially on the male.


Both genders have a white abdomen and behind and a long face that is black with a dark strip or coloration of deep red across their faces which extend from the shoulders and join with the coloration at the mid back. White hair covers the inner side of its long pointed ears. It has a quite complex horn curving and closely resembles the tsessebe and topi.



Found in southwestern Africa, mainly because of the re-introduction program to its natural habitat. It is mainly found in open plains and scrublands in the savanna grasslands. Sometimes also in sparse bush, but not dense bushveld.



The main diet of this species is grass but it’s also known to browse leaves. It is a water dependent animal, getting its water from fruits especially watermelons in the dry season. 



As a part of the antelope family, it has a long list of predators including cheetah, lion, jackal, wolf, leopard and man. The hyena also hunts the calves and young ones.


Life cycle

The lifecycle for this animal is currently about 19 years with the gestation period of eight months.



The red hartebeest lives in a herd of approximately 30. The bulls are largely territorial and fight for dominance in leading the herd. This dominance is directly related to the sexual selection. The females start breeding at the age of two years and give birth in seasons. Due to their weak nature the calves are hidden in dense vegetation. The female red hartebeest can breed again after a period of nine to ten months after giving birth.

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Animal Facts

Weight and size

The weight of a fully-grown male is 150kg, females weighing approximately 120kg in adulthood. This greater weight of the male can be attributed to the difference in the skull and horn features, which makes it much heavier.

The shoulder height of both genders is about 135 cm. The horns are about 60 cm.



Sub Saharan Africa, primarily southwestern Africa.



Main diet is grass, but browsing on leaves is not uncommon.



Has a long list of predators including cheetah, lion, jackal, wolf, leopard and man.


Life cycle

Gets about 19 years old. The gestation period is eight months.

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