Hunting Cape Eland in Southern Africa

A must-have in your trophy collection, South Africa's Cape Eland typically weighs between 1000-2000 pounds, but it can weigh up to 2 000 pounds. Standing at 76 inches (1.7 meters) at shoulder-height, makes it the largest Southern African antelope. It is also the largest antelope with spiraled horns.

The animals often have thick, ox-like necks, humps and dewlaps similar to that of a Brahman bull.

Bulls and cows both have horns, with the bull's being impressively thick, but shorter than that of the cow. Cape Eland cows are grey in color, while bulls turn dark grey-blue when they reach maturity. In some cases, faint vertical stripes may run down the flanks. 

Eland can typically be found in small herds of 8-12 animals, or large herds of 50-60 animals in scrubby flat veld or open woodlands. Young bulls are ostracized from the herd as soon as they become sexually mature.


Bulls and cows both have horns, with the bull's being impressively thick, but shorter than that of the cow


Cape Eland Fact Sheet

Scientific Name: Taurotragus oryx
Gestation period: 274 months
Weight: M: 400-940 kg
F: 300-600 kg
Height: M: 1.6 m
F: 1.4 m
Length: M: 240-345 cm
F: 200–280 cm


Cape Eland Hunting Considerations 

Every hunt offers some challenge to the hunter. When it comes to hunting eland, the hunter should be aware of the fact that the animal tends to be quite nervous and will take flight at the slightest sign of danger. The Cape eland has very good eyesight and is a remarkable jumper that can clear obstacles of 6-7 feet.

A Cape Eland trophy bull can be an extremely challenging quarry to take down, and difficult to approach to within shooting distance.

In most cases, the walk and stalk or spot and stalk hunting methods works best, as it will be more likely to bring you within relatively close range, especially in thick cover. Hunting blinds also offer a potentially good option for successful eland hunts.

If you're lucky, you may encounter a Cape Eland by chance while hunting other game.

The best rifle for hunting Cape Eland, is a quick, double-pointing rifle, such as the 9.3 X 74R, or .375 H&H with 286-300 grain bullets. Keep some solid bullets on hand for back-up shots, as the eland does not go down easily.

When cornered or wounded, the eland can become quote aggressive, which is why your professional hunter will want to exercise caution when it comes to follow-up shots. Have a 30-06 or larger caliber rifle handy and wait at least 30 minutes after a heart or lung shot to follow up. If you suspect a liver shot, wait at least an hour, or if you made a gut shot, wait at least six hours.

Shot Placement

Only two shot are recommended for hunting Cape Eland in South Africa. Eland are large animals with strong bone structures, which is why you should only take a broadside shot into the chest (heart-lung area) or a quartering away-shot.

As always, it is important to rely on your professional hunter for the best advice, based on many years of experience and knowledge of hunting eland in South Africa.

Hunting Cape Eland in Southern Africa

Cape Eland Shot Placement


Hunting Cape Eland in Southern Africa

Eland Shot Placement


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