Bushbuck Hunting

Bushbuck hunting is often conducted by sitting in a vantage point in the late evening and waiting for the bushbuck to step into small fields and begin grazing. Males are very aggressive and sometimes attack when wounded.

Bushbuck male in the undergrowth. Bushbuck males have horns while females do not.
Bushbuck male
How to hunt Bushbuck, and how much does it cost?

Hunting is often conducted by sitting in a vantage point in the late evening or by walk and stalk. Bushbuck will cost around $90o.Bushbuck hunting - trophy shot in the Eastern Cape South Africa

Interesting facts

  • The fur of the bushbucks color depends on the habitat. It can be yellow, reddish, or brown. Bushbuck that live in dense forests have darker fur.
  • Ears, chin, tail, legs, and neck, have white, geometrically-shaped markings.
  • The main predators of bushbuck are the big cats, hyenas, hunting dogs, and crocodiles.
  • Bushbuck is a solitary and shy creature. It is usually active during the night (nocturnal), but it can also be active during the day.
  • Bushbuck is a typical herbivore (plant-eater). They are both browsers and grazers and consume fallen fruits, tubers, tree bark, flowers, leguminous herbs, and shrubs.
  • Bushbuck absorbs a majority of required water from the food. Fresh dew on the leaves is another source of moisture that fulfills the need for water.
  • Bushbuck do not tolerate birds that remove insects from its fur. As a consequence, bushbuck have a lot of ticks.
  • Besides diseases transmitted by insects, bushbuck is prone to a viral infection called rinderpest.
  • The bushbuck is not a very fast runner, but it is a good swimmer, and it can jump 6 feet in the air.
  • Bushbuck mate throughout the whole year. Pregnancy in females lasts six months and ends with one baby. Females can have two litters each year.
  • After a baby is born, the female eats the placenta and dung of the young bushbuck to remove all smells that will otherwise attract predators.
  • The baby remains hidden in the vegetation when its mother is foraging.
  • When it reaches the age of 4 months, the baby accompanies its mother in the food search.
  • Bushbuck can survive up to 12 years in the wild and up to 15 years in captivity.
  • Bushbuck hunting is a favorite pass time of the local community in the Eastern Cape.

The difference between a male and female bushbuck

Females (Ewes) are smaller, and adult ewes are lighter in color than rams, with more pronounced white spots and stripes while males have horns.

Shot placement should be on the bottom third of the shoulder for Bushbuck Hunting.
Shot placement for Bushbuck hunting
Bushbuck Female moving out of a thicket. Female bushbuck do not have horns.
Bushbuck Female

About the Bushbuck

Description of Bushbuck

Bushbuck live within a “home” area, which is usually around 12 acres on the savannah and much larger in the forest, that they will not usually leave.

These areas usually overlap other bushbuck home areas.

Bushbuck are solitary animals, and the mature males go out of their way to stay away from each other. In direct contrast to plains game animals such as the black wildebeest and blesbok.

They are most active during the early morning and at night; and can be almost entirely nocturnal in areas where they are likely to be disturbed during the day.

Bushbuck inhabit thickets within dense and dry savanna woodlands

Bushbuck stands about 33 inches at the shoulder and weigh from 100 to 120 pounds (depending on sex). The females have a light brown coat, with up to seven white stripes and white splotches on the sides.

White patches occur on most mobile parts of their body, such as the ears, chin, tail, legs, and neck.

Information for Bushbuck hunting

The muzzle is also white, and horns are found only on the males and only one twist.

At ten months old, young males sprout horns that are particularly twisted and, at maturity, form the first loop of a spiral.

Males are much darker in color and almost black. Males and females have geometrically shaped white patches or spots on the most mobile parts of their body, namely the ears, chin, tail, legs, and neck, and a band of white at the base of the neck.

On males, these markings become more visible during their displays when they arch their backs and slowly circle one another, walking in a tense, high-stepping gait.

These highly ritualized displays usually make fighting unnecessary, and alongside this, a rigid age-based hierarchy among bushbuck keeps males in check.

When disturbed, bushbuck can freeze or go to the ground and wait for the danger to pass.

Bushbuck Hunting in South Africa

Bushbuck hunting - trophy shot in a riverine. Bushbuck can be added to any of South African Hunting Safari Packages.
Trophy Bushbuck shot in the Eastern Cape South Africa. Bushbuck can be added to any of South African Hunting Safari Packages.

Your bushbuck ram trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 33 inches, weigh about 100 pounds, and have a Horn length of approximately 12 – 13 inches.

The minimum Safari Club International score for an Eastern Cape Bushbuck is 31. It is measured by adding the length of each horn as well as the circumference of the bases.

Bushbuck are part of the Spiral Horn family and is the smallest of the family in South Africa. The Spiral Horned family includes Kudu, Nyala, Eland, and Bushbuck.

He has keen senses and is very alert. Males are very aggressive and sometimes attack when wounded.

Dogs usually bear the brunt of attacks, but humans do get targeted. Males make for outstanding trophies with thick black necks, shiny coats, and very majestic horns.

Awe-inspiring animals that offer excellent walk and stalk hunting opportunities.

In the Bedford area, Bushbuck are hunted in the mountain area or along river beds in the thick brush.

The majority of Bushbuck are shot during the late evening or the early morning.

Bushbuck will live amongst human settlements with ease and will adapt their feeding habitats and become nocturnal.

Bushbuck are often hunted by sitting in a vantage point in the late evening and waiting for the bushbuck to step into small fields and begin grazing.

During the day, bushbuck will rest in a very thick brush.

Trophy Judgement and Rifle Caliber for Bushbuck Hunting

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

Primarily a browser, he feeds during the night or early morning and late afternoon on leaves, grass, branches, flowers, and fruit.

When disturbed, his alarm signal is a loud, hoarse bark similar to that of a dog.

Walking through the bush, probing the dense cover, always being mindful of the wind direction can be productive.

Hunt the bushbuck with the 7mm, or a 30-caliber rifle with suitable 180-grain bullets. 

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.

Shot placement is critical; from any angle, place your shot to penetrate and pass through the chest cavity

You do not want to wound this little guy as, for his size, he can be extremely dangerous. For instance, injured or cornered bushbuck is apt to be very aggressive and will not hesitate to charge.

If your wounded bushbuck escapes to dense cover, which he will undoubtedly try to do, be very cautious in your pursuit, allow ample time for your bullet to do its work and, always send “Jack Russell” into the bush to find him.