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

Summary of Blesbok Hunting Cost

Common Blesbok hunting. A blesbok trophy should have a horn length of approximately 13 - 15 inches.
Common Blesbok trophy hunted in the Eastern Cape South Africa

Priced at around $450, a Blesbok Trophy is a wonderful plains game animal to hunt.  South African Hunting Packages nearly always include a Blesbok. The Blesbok Slam is also an excellent addition to any package and includes the common and white blesbok.

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

Blesbok in Pictures

Local names of the blesbok in South Africa
The Blesbok's distribution is restricted to the Republic of South Africa. Historically they ranged in the central highlands of the Free State, Eastern Cape, southern parts of the former Transvaal, and marginally in KwaZulu-Natal
Blesbok is social animals that form the herds.
Your blesbok 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.
Usually hunted in open terrain where long shots are often the order. Can be stalked successfully and taken under 100m in suitable terrain.
Physically, rams and ewes are remarkably similar. Their mass can be as much as 85 kg. The Blesbok characteristic is the prominent white blaze on the face and a horizontal brown strip that divides this blaze above the eyes.
Their natural habitat is Highveld, open grassland with water. Territories are established in the open, heavily over-grazed veld or brackish areas demarcated by fixed latrines that are used repeatedly.
Females give birth to usually a single calf early in the summer. Blesbok calves differ from most other small or medium antelope species by staying with their mothers instead of hiding.
The common name is a derivative of the Afrikaans words for blazed antelope, which is about their face's white blaze.
Two important color variants of blesbok have been bred by private game farmers for the commercial market namely the white and yellow blesbok.

Interesting facts about the Blesbok for hunters

  • 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.
  • Natural enemies of blesbok are cheetahs, leopards, lions, jackals, wild dogs, pythons, and eagles. Hence they can run at speeds of 43 miles per hour to avoid predators.
  • 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.

  • 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 species of antelope called bontebok and create hybrids known as “bontebles.”
  • Pregnancy in females lasts 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 is born during November and December, the rainy season when food is abundant, and the young are 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

The difference between a male and female blesbok

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

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, and their mass can be as much as 150 pounds.

A characteristic of the blesbok is the prominent white blaze on the face and a horizontal brown stripe, which divides this blaze above the eyes.

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

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, ringed almost to the tip.

The blesbok shares a common behavioral characteristic with his cousin, the bontebok, standing together with heads facing toward the sun, facing down towards the ground.

He sometimes shakes his head violently, stamps, and runs in a complete circle to resume his original place.

Blesbok Hunting in South Africa

Trophy shot in the Eastern cape South Africa with Nick Bowker Hunting
Common Blesbok trophy shot in the Eastern Cape South Africa with Nick Bowker Hunting

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. And is measured by adding the length of each horn as well as 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 the South African and are primarily grazers. They form herd consisting of females (ewes) and juveniles, with the 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.

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. However, this is one of the few times you will shoot prone to facilitate a longer shot.

Blesbok, however, bunch together, and shooting the right one will need careful communication with your professional hunter, Nick Bowker.

Hunting is done through setting up ambushes looking down valleys.

Trophy Judgement and Rifle Caliber for Blesbok hunting

White Blesbok hunting - trophy shot in the Eastern Cape South Africa. Blesbok are included in all our South African Hunting Safari Packages.
White Blesbok trophies are included in all our South African Hunting Safari Packages

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.

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.

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 in South Africa

White Blesbok trophy
White Blesbok trophy shot in the Eastern Cape South Africa shot with Nick Bowker

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.

The white blesbok is not a subspecies, but a color phase.

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

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

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

White blesbok has all the same traits as the normal blesbok. Hunting the white blesbok is no different to hunting a normal blesbok