Hunting Blesbuck in Southern Africa

Hundreds of thousands of blesbuck / blesbok can be found on South Africa's open plains. Typically found in mixed herds, mature males usually stay in large bachelor herds that tend to move in single file and face the sun when they are resting.

The blesbuck has a distinct white patch on the face, and is white under the belly, on the inner buttocks and on the lower legs. The rest of the body has a reddish-brown coat with an iridescent sheen.  On the males, the scent glands on the forehead tends to cause the facial patch to be dirty, while the female's face is clean. Although both male and female blesbuck have horns, the male's horns have a lighter coloration on the ridges, thus causing the ridges to appear lighter in the sun. The male's horns tend to be noticeably thicker at the base, while the ewe has more spindly, thinner horns.

Female blesbuck weigh approximately 134 lbs, while the male is slightly larger, weighing 154 lbs and measures 37 inches.  Grazers by nature, they enjoy short newly sprouted short glass. They tend to feed early in the morning and after sunset, and prefer to rest during the warmer parts of the day.

Blesbok is a cousin to the bontebok, but duller in appearance. The species can be distinguished by the difference in facial markings. Apart from that, they share the same habits and territorial tendencies. They mark their territory using their preorbital glands to mark the glass.

When startled, they will move off in single file, making sharp, short snorting sounds. Sometimes, they may stop and turn back to observe the threat.


The blesbuck has a distinct white patch on the face, and is white under the belly, on the inner buttocks and lower legs


Blesbuck Fact Sheet

Scientific Name: Damaliscus pygargus phillipsi
Gestation Period: 8 months
Male Weight: 70 kg
Female Weight: 60 kg
Male Height: 85 - 100 cm
Length: 1.4 - 1.6 m


Blesbuck Hunting Considerations

Blesbuck tend to be quite skittish, which means that a hunting trip will require some stalking in order to come within shooting range. Most shots are fired from between 150-300 yards. They can be found near watering holes in the morning and at sunset.

The best caliber for a blesbuck hunting trip out on the plains ranges from .270 to .300 magnums with 130-150 grain bullets. Alternatively, you can opt for a .308 or 30-06. For hunting blesbuck in the bush, it would be prudent to select a heavy-for-caliber roundnose bullet.

Shot Placement

Since blesbuck tend to stand around in herds, it is important to select a ram with no others in the background. Waiting until they move off may present you with an ideal opportunity, as they tend to move in single file. Be sure you are on the same page with your professional hunter regarding which animal you wish to shoot.

Due to the skittish nature of the blesbuck, it is important to shoot accurately. Place your shot by following the back line of the front leg up to approximately a third of the body to puncture the lungs and heart. That will ensure that the animal doesn't get too far, even if it is not a kill shot.

Hunting Blesbuck in Southern Africa

Blesbuck Shot Placement


Hunting Blesbuck in Southern Africa

Blesbuck Shot Placement


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