Blue Wildebeest Hunting

Blue Wildebeest hunting – also known as the Poor Man’s Buffalo – not only in looks but for sheer brute strength once hit. These animals have been known to travel up to 300 yards with a well-placed heart shot.

Shot placement should be on the bottom third of the shoulder for Blue Wildebeest hunting
Shot placement for Blue Wildebeest hunting

Table of Contents

  1. Blue Wildebeest Hunting Cost
  2. Interesting Facts About Blue wildebeest
  3. Difference between a Male
  4. About Blue Wildebeest
  5. Blue Wildebeest Hunting in South Africa
  6. Trophy Judgement and Rifle Calibre
Blue Wildebeest Hunting | Nick Bowker Hunting

How to hunt Blue Wildebeest, and how much does it cost?

Hunting is mainly done by setting up ambushes in the open plains. A blue wildebeest will cost around $950.

Blue Wildebeest trophy shot with Nick Bowker Hunting
Blue Wildebeest hunting – trophy shot in the Eastern Cape South Africa

Blue Wildebeest in Pictures

Blue wildebeest local names in South Africa.
Blue Wildebeest growth chart.
Distribution in South Africa
Mass migration
Predators include lion and hyena.
Blue wildebeest drinking habits.
Breeding and young.
Herds and social structure.
Blue wildebeest shot placement.
Blue wildebeest trophy judgement.

Interesting facts

  • Blue Wildebeest got name as their coat has a blue sheen.
  • There are around 1.5 million living in the Serengeti alone! They are widespread in many areas of Africa.
  • Their primary defense from predators is living in a group. Wildebeest stick together and move in herds to be safer.
  • They can run up to 40 mph, which is pretty fast! Although, unfortunately for them, not as fast as lions or cheetahs.
  • They migrate in Kenya and Tanzania as many as 1000 miles each year, which is a distance would take around 20 hours to drive.
  • They have a dangerous migratory route; during their migration, they cross two rivers – both of which are crocodile infested
  • Wildebeest spend, on average, 53% of their time resting (32% lying down and 21% standing).
  • Often called the brindled gnu because of its coloration with dark bands over its shoulders and flanks give it a brindled appearance.
  • The Gnu term refers to the sound it makes a “Gnuuu”.
  • They also have pedal glands in between their toes, which are used by raking the ground (sometimes forming bare patches of soil), after which the scent is transferred to the earth, thus marking its territory.

The difference between a male and female

Male blue wildebeest have heavier horns and, when mature, a blackface. In contrast, females and sub-adults have a brownish color just below the base of the horns. Besides, mature bulls will be heavier than females.

Blue Wildebeest male standing on the plains. Males have a blackface when mature.
Blue Wildebeest male
Blue Wildebeest female with calf standing on the plains. Females have thinner horns than males.
Blue Wildebeest female
Blue Wildebeest hunting - trophy shot in the Eastern Cape South Africa. Blue Wildebeest can be added to any of our South African Hunting Safari Packages.
Trophy shot in the Eastern Cape South Africa. Blue Wildebeest can be added to any of our South African Hunting Safari Packages.

About the Blue Wildebeest

Description of Blue wildebeest

The blue wildebeest is mostly active during the morning and late afternoon, with the hottest hours of the day spent in rest.

These extremely agile and wary animals can run at speeds up to 40 mph, waving their tails and tossing their heads. They usually rest close to the herd and move about in loose aggregations.

Males form bachelor herds, and these can be distinguished from juvenile groups by the lower amount of activity and the spacing between the animals.

Around 90% of the male calves join the bachelor herds before the next mating season and become territorial at the age of four or five years.

Mature male wildebeest will actively defend and mark their territory utilizing scent markings.

With specially modified glands situated under the eye called preorbital glands, which they will rub against trees, leaving a scent, thus marking his territory.

Information for blue wildebeest hunting

A robust muscular appearance. The face, mane, and tail are black with a bluish appearance—dark vertical stripes on the neck and flanks.

The blue wildebeest males are larger and darker than females. The average height of the species is 45–60 inches.

While males weigh up to 400 pounds, females seldom exceed 300 pounds.

Both sexes possess a pair of large horns shaped like parentheses.

These extend outward to the side and then curve upward and inward. In males, the horns can be 30 inches long.

Despite being an antelope, the blue wildebeest has some bovine characteristics. For example, the horns resemble those of the female African buffalo.

Further, the stocky build and disproportionately large forequarters give it a bovine appearance.

Blue Wildebeest Hunting in South Africa

Vital organs showing the position of the heart and lungs.
Vital organs for Blue Wildebeest hunting

Your blue Wildebeest trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 58 inches, weigh about 350 pounds, and have a Horn length of approximately 25 – 27 inches.

The Safari Club International minimum score for a blue wildebeest is 72.

Trophies are measured by measuring the length along the outside of the horn curl from tip to tip, plus both bosses’ circumference for a combined total score in inches.

Blue Wildebeest, also known as the Poor Man’s Buffalo, – not only in looks but for sheer brute strength once hit.

These animals can travel up to 200 yards with a well-placed heart shot.

When hunting blue wildebeest, always try to position yourself for the side-on shot; aim up the back edge of the front leg and place the shot about four inches above the point of the elbow.

This ‘high heart’ shot will take heart and lungs; the animal will rock to the shot and probably go down within 50 yards.

If your shot placement is not entirely on the mark, be very cautious in your follow-up.

This animal can be hazardous when wounded. Approach a downed wildebeest from the ‘off’ side with great care, as he can get up and charge.

Blue Wildebeest trophy shot in the Eastern Cape South Africa with Nick Bowker Hunting
Blue Wildebeest trophy shot in the Eastern Cape South Africa with Nick Bowker Hunting

Trophy Judgement and Rifle Caliber

A very tough antelope. The prominent hump on the shoulder and the mane may often lead to a body shot placed too high.

In our open country, the flat shooting .300 magnums with a 200-grain bullet, we believe, is the best choice.

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 Sako carbon light 300 Winchester Magnum fitted with a suppressor.

The rifle is mounted with a Swarovski DS with a built-in rangefinder. We have hand-loaded Hornady ELD- X 200 grain ammunition.

This set up including ammunition is available as part of all hunting packages free of charge.

It is vital to look at the size and hardness of the boss to assess the trophy quality of a blue wildebeest. Also, the curl of the horn must be beyond the tip of the ears.

Mature bulls display black or darkened hair between their bosses and on the front part of their head and not red or brown hair, a sign of immaturity.