Blesbok Hunting

Blesbok hunting is seen by many as the perfect trophy for the first-time hunter to Africa. Distances are longer on the open plains for blesbok hunting. Once near-extinct, this antelope has been reintroduced on southern Africa’s game farms and boasts a population in the hundreds of thousands.

Shot placement should be on the bottom third of the shoulder for Blesbok Hunting.
Shot placement for Blesbok hunting

Table of Contents

  1. Blesbok Hunting Cost
  2. Interesting Facts About Blesbok
  3. Difference between a Male and Female Blesbok
  4. About the Blesbok
  5. Blesbok Hunting in South Africa
  6. Trophy Judgement and Rifle Calibre
  7. White Blesbok Hunting
White Blesbuck Hunting | Nick Bowker South Africa

Blesbok Hunting Cost

The average cost of a Blesbok is $450. A plains game hunting package often includes a Blesbok Trophy.

All-Inclusive $4500 Starter Plains Game Package for 7 trophies and 8 days hunting. (Inclusive of a Blesbok Trophy)

The Blesbok Slam is also an excellent addition to any package and includes the common and white blesbok.

  • $450 Common Blesbok Trophy Cost
  • $650 White Blesbok Trophy Cost 

All-Inclusive $4500 Starter Plains Game Package for 7 trophies and 8 days hunting. (Inclusive of a Blesbok Trophy)

  • Kudu
  • Impala
  • Wildebeest
  • Springbok
  • Blesbok
  • Warthog
  • Mountain Reedbuck
Blesbok hunting in South Africa
Trophy hunted in the Eastern Cape South Africa

Blesbok in Pictures

Local names of the blesbok in South Africa
The Blesbok's distribution is restricted to the Republic of South Africa.
Blesbok is social animals that form the herds.
Your blesbok ram trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 35 inches.
Usually hunted in open terrain where long shots are often the order.
Physically, rams and ewes are remarkably similar.
Their natural habitat is Highveld, open grassland with water.
Females give birth to usually a single calf early in the summer.
The common name is a derivative of the Afrikaans words for blazed antelope.
Two important color variants of blesbok have been bred by private game farmers

Interesting facts About Blesbok

Blesbok showing the white face from which the Blesbok name is derived.
  • The name “blesbok” comes from the Afrikaans word “bles,” which means “blaze,” which refers to the white-colored marking on the face of blesbok.
  • Blesbok has a medium-sized body and short tail, which ends with a black tuft.
  • Males and females have S-shaped, spiral horns that can reach 14 to 20 inches in length but females have more slender horns.
  • Blesbok can run at speeds of 43 miles per hour to avoid predators, including cheetahs, leopards, lions, jackals, wild dogs, pythons, and eagles.
  • Blesbok lives in small herds that consist of 10 to 100 animals. Mature males protect females and young animals within the group, and the herd usually inhabits a territory of 2.5 to 6 acres.
  • Blesbok hunting is always done out on the open plains.
Blesbok hunting is always done out on the open plains.
  • Male blesbok use piles of dung to mark their territory. The mating season of blesbok takes place from March to May.
  • Blesbok can interbreed with a closely related antelope species called bontebok and create hybrids known as “bontebles.”
  • Pregnancy in females lasts about 7.5 to 8 months, after which a single calf is born.
  • Females give birth within the herd, and the young become part of the herd immediately, which is different from many other antelope.
  • Blesbok are born during November and December, the rainy season when food is abundant. The calf is beige colored, and the “blaze” is dark-colored.
  • Sexual maturity is at the age of 2.5 years and can survive around 17 years in the wild
They live in small herds that consist of 10 to 100 animals.

Difference between a male and female

Male blesbok has thicker and heavier horns than the female.

Blesbok male standing in the grasslands. The male has thicker and heavier horns.
Blesbok male standing in the grasslands
Blesbok females with young standing in the grasslands. The female has thinner and lighter horns.
Blesbok females with young

About the Blesbok

Blesbok trophy

Found in open veld or plains of South Africa, blesbok’s preferred habitat is open grassland with water.

Physically, rams and ewes are remarkably similar, with a mass as much as 150 pounds.

The blesbok has a characteristic prominent white blaze on the face and a white patch on the forehead between the horns.

Body-color is brown with a lighter-colored saddle on the back and the rump an even lighter shade.

Physically, rams and ewes are remarkably similar.
Trophy hunted in the Eastern Cape South Africa

The legs are brown with a white patch behind the top part of the front legs, and the lower legs are whitish.

The difference from other antelope of the blesbok is the distinct white face and forehead. Both males and females carry horns, which are ringed almost to the tip.

The blesbok shares a common behavioral characteristic with his cousin, the bontebok, standing together with heads facing the sun and down towards the ground. He sometimes shakes his head violently, stamps, and runs in a complete circle only to take up his original place.

The legs are brown with a white patch behind the top part of the front legs.

Blesbok Hunting in South Africa

Available water is essential to this species.

Your blesbuck ram trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 35 inches, weigh about 130 pounds, and have a Horn Length of approximately 13 – 15 inches.

The Safari Club International minimum score for a common blesbok is 40, and a white blesbok is 39. The trophy is measured by adding the length of each horn and the circumference of the bases.

This once near-extinct antelope has been reintroduced across South Africa and boasts a population in the hundreds of thousands.

Blesbok lives on the open plains of South African and are primarily grazers. They form a herd consisting of females (ewes) and juveniles. Males (rams) tend to be solitary.

This changes when single males are disturbed during hunting. As a result, take care when hunting blesbok to ensure that you take the animal of choice.

Hunting is done by setting up ambushes looking down valleys.

As available water is essential to this species, hunting blesbok near the approaches to water holes can prove productive.

The best time for hunting blesbok is when they are grazing in the morning or late afternoon.

Blesbok tends to lay-up during the hottest part of the afternoon, much like many other species.

Nick Bowker Hunting has two large herds of Blesbok, both well over a hundred strong. Including white Blesbok mixed with common Blesbok.

The blesbok is very wary and difficult to approach. Longer shots will therefore be required. This may be one of the few times you will shoot prone.

Blesbok, however, bunch together, and shooting the right one will need careful communication with your professional hunter, Nick Bowker. Hunting is done by setting up ambushes looking down valleys.

Trophy Judgement and Rifle Caliber

Distances are longer on the open plains, the blesbok's home.

Distances are longer on the open plains, the blesbok’s home, and we would recommend the flat shooting 7mm magnums or even the 300 magnums. 

For those hunters who do not wish to go through the red tape of bringing a rifle into South Africa, Nick Bowker has available a 7mm custom made Remington Magnum fitted with a suppressor.

Mounted on the rifle is a Swarovski Z8 tactical scope. We have hand loaded Hornady ELD-X ammunition. The rifle, including ammunition, is available as part of all hunting packages free of charge.

The blesbok is one of the fastest breeding plains game species in Southern Africa and seen by many as the perfect trophy for the first-time hunter to Africa.

The price difference between a common  and a white is now relatively small.

When judging the trophy quality of Common Blesbok, it’s essential to look at the width of the boss, the color of the horn, and the overall length.

Mature males will likely have a whitish tinge about two-thirds of the way up the horn, While females and younger rams will tend to have much darker horns.

The neck should be pronounced and stand out against females and young rams.

Also, mature rams will stand out in the herd and be more visible in horn length and shoulder height. The difficulty comes when approaching solitary rams, in which case you will need to rely on your professional hunter.

White Blesbok Hunting

White Blesbok trophy

The white blesbok is a color variant of the common blesbok and not a subspecies such as the common reedbuck.

A great trophy to hunt while on safari. A must for any collector interested in both of the blesbok color variations.

Although the white gene has proved to be the recessive gene, significant numbers of white blesbok have been bred throughout South Africa.

Blesbok hunt
Blesbok hunting

The price difference between a common blesbok and a white blesbok is now relatively small.

Many hunters opt to shoot the white blesbok rather than the common blesbok as their first blesbok trophy.

Hunting the white blesbok is no different from hunting a normal blesbok.

White blesbok trophy shot with Nick Bowker.
Trophy shot with Nick Bowker Hunting

References:

Smithers RHN – The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion

Endangered Wildlife Trust – Blesbok

Deon Furstenburg – Focus on the Blesbok

Seaworld – Mammals