Scientific name: 

Raphicerus campestris


What makes it special:
This is one of the smaller members of the antelope family. It is special due to its short almost invisible tail, round ears with fingerlike markings, a black crescent around the nose and a black bridge from the nose. It is found in 12 countries of Africa.

Recommended caliber:
Many calibers are known to work on them but, but one with a 4× scope is most preferred.

Steenbok antelope hunting - Plains game

With a super refined sense of smell, the small size and great speed of flight, this is a challenging animal to hunt. It usually hides by lying flat in the grass and takes flight only at the last minute. This demands medium range and preparedness from the hunter.

 

Hunting method

Stalking the steenbok can prove to be really challenging. It is one of the antelopes that make the hunter exercise a lot of patience while hunting. It takes a lot of preparedness because it lies low in vegetation and emerges from its hiding with great speed only at the last minute. However it has a characteristic of stopping to look back for the pursuant. This is the best time to take the shot. A shot placed just above the front legs to hit the heart or lungs will probably anchor it. They are mostly found grazing during the evening or in the early morning on lashes.

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Know the animal

Appearance
The steenbok bear close resemblance to small oribi. They have a neutral shade that range from cream to orange in some instances. Their belly and chin are white in color. Their ears are round with black finger like markings. The male have straight parallel horns but the female lack them. On the ears they have a black crescent shaped marking and black bridge between the noses. Their tail is very short and not visible in most instances.

Habitat
Found in southern, central and eastern Africa. A large number is found in southern and central Kenya extending to Tanzania. They are found in regions with a mixed variety of thicket, savannah, woodland and plains.

Diet
Majorly nocturnal but in secure areas they commonly feed in the early cool morning and late evening spending about 10 hours grazing. Due to their limited height they brows on low vegetation of up to 90 centimeters.

Predators
They attract predation from almost all the carnivorous animals. Their high sensitivity, neutral color and speed pose a challenge to most of the predators. The most successful predators are pythons, caracal, leopard, African wild cat, jackal and martial eagle.

Life cycle
The gestation period is about 170 days, less than half a year. This short period makes some of them breed up to twice a year. Their fawns (young ones) are hidden in vegetation for two weeks after birth but suckle for three months. Females mature sexually at the age between six and eight months while the males at the age of 9 months. They are very territorial and strong males often predominate others in mating a female.

Behavior
Usually active during cool parts of the day or at night. They are solitary animals and a male meets the female for breeding purposes only. They are known to track their partners and have the ability to know exactly where they are, through scent marking. They take partial sleeps in vegetation or shades during the day.

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Animal Facts

Weight and size
Weight: 7-16 kilograms.
Shoulder height: 45 - 60 centimeters


Habitat
They are found in a variety of habitats which include; savannah grassland, semi deserts, open plains, thickets and woodlands. They are known to dwell in transitional climatic regions.

Diet
They are great browsers of low vegetation. They also eat tubers and roots and hardly feed on grass. The water content of the food sustains their water requirement.

Predators
Due to their medium sizes they are predated by quite a large number of predators. They include pythons, caracal, leopard, jackal and martial eagle.

Life cycle
Typically lives for 7-10 years.

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