Red Hartebeest Hunting

Be patient while Red Hartebeest hunting; he can be highly curious, and even after setting in motion, the herd will often pause to mill around and survey the situation. His fatal mistake – take the shot

Shot placement should be on the bottom third of the shoulder for red hartebeest hunting
Shot placement for Red Hartebeest hunting
How to hunt Red Hartebeest, and how much does it cost?

Hunting is primarily conducted in the open plains via ambush techniques. Red Hartebeest will cost around $950.
Red Hartebeest trophy

Interesting facts

  • The name “hartebeest” could have originated from the obsolete Afrikaans word ‘hertebeest,’ literally deer beast.
  • The early Dutch settlers gave the name based on the resemblance of the antelope to deer.
  • Pictorial, as well as epigraphic evidence from Egypt, suggests that in the Upper Paleolithic age, Egyptians hunted hartebeest and domesticated them.
  • Hartebeest occurs from altitudes on Mount Kenya up to 13,000 feet above sea level.
  • The elongated forehead, oddly shaped horns, a short neck, and pointed ears.
  • Hunting all the hartebeest species, including the red hartebeest, involves lengthy travel across the entire African continent.
  • The Hartebeest is made up of eight subspecies including
    • Northern Hartebeest,
    • Red Hartebeest,
    • Coke’s Hartebeest,
    • Lelwel Hartebeest,
    • Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest,
    • Western Hartebeest,
    • Swayne’s Hartebeest
    • Tora Hartebeest.
  • The real difference between the subspecies is in their horns.
  • The Red Hartebeest horns are Z-shaped, the Lichtenstein’s are S-shaped, the Swayne’s and Tora’s Hartebeest have wide-set horns, the Lelwel’s Hartebeest is V-shaped, and the Western Hartebeest has U-shaped horns.
  • Red hartebeest hunting makes a great add on to one of our existing packages for example the kudu package

The difference between a male and female red hartebeest

Both males and females have horns; however, males have thicker and heavier horns. Also, the male is even bigger with a more pronounced neck.

Red Hartebeest male with heavier and thicker horns than that of the female. Both the male and female have horns.
Red Hartebeest male
Female with thinner and lighter horns than that of the male.
Red Hartebeest Female

About the Red Hartebeest

The red hartebeest is the most colorful hartebeest, with black markings contrasting against its white abdomen and behind.

It has a longer face than other subspecies, with elaborate curving horns joined at the base.

The average weight of a male is about 300 – 400 pounds. The life expectancy of a red hartebeest is approximately 15 – 19 years.

Little difference is noted between males and females, showing no distinct, identifiable physical features, but the body size is slightly affected.

Red Hartebeest is a glossy reddish-brown. The outside of the legs are black and the tail and the blaze on the neck.

Red hartebeest hunting is underrated and makes a great hunt.

Thus, male skull weight and circumference is bigger than that of the female.

Hartebeest has an excellent sense of hearing and smell, although their sense of sight is poor.

When alarmed, hartebeests elude confusion before running, by which they can reach a maximum speed of 35 miles an hour. Their strategy to avoid predators is to run in a zigzag pattern, making it difficult for predators to catch them.

Red hartebeest is very distinctive and can’t be mistaken for red lechwe or impala with similar colorations.

Red Hartebeest Hunting in South Africa

Vital organs showing the position of the heart and lungs. Horn length should be approximately 22 inches
Vital organs for Red Hartebeest Hunting

Your red hartebeest trophy should have an average shoulder height of around 48 inches, weigh about 350 pounds, and have a Horn Length of approximately 22 inches.

The Safari Club International minimum score for a red hartebeest is 62. The trophy is measured by adding the length of each horn and the circumference of the bases.

The hartebeest is one of the fastest plains game species in Southern Africa.

In some areas, Red hartebeest can be incredibly weary and very alert when being hunted.

Primarily a grazer, he is partial to ‘red grass’ and will sometimes browse on leaves and drinks when water is available.

Gregarious; forms herds of up to 20 animals. Big herds, territorial males, harem herds, bachelor herds, and solitary males exist.

Harem herds are stable and consist of a territorial male as the leader, young males, females, and offspring.

Active in the early mornings and late afternoons, lie in the sun to rest except at midday when it is sweltering.

The bulls are incredibly territorial and will defend their turf against all comers at all costs. Otherwise, in the absence of a herd bull, leadership of the herd will be passed temporarily to one of the adult cows.

While he may be found in savanna areas, he avoids the dense bushveld.

As a result, they are primarily grazers; he is partial to ‘red grass’ and will sometimes browse leaves. He drinks when water is available.

Red hartebeest hunting takes place across most of South Africa.

Trophy Judgement and Rifle Caliber

Red Hartebeest hunting - trophy shot with Nick Bowker Hunting. Red hartebeest can be added to any of our South African Hunting Safari Packages
Red Hartebeest hunting – trophy shot with Nick Bowker Hunting. Red hartebeest can be added to any of our South African Hunting Safari Packages

When hunting the red hartebeest, be patient as he is highly curious. When disturbed, the herd can pause to survey the situation.

His fatal mistake – take the shot.

The hartebeest has a strong herd instinct, forming herds of 20 or so, but herds numbering in the hundreds are not uncommon.

Mature bulls will stand out in the herd with their shoulder height being much higher than that of the cows and young bulls, at times turning a darker, richer color with age.

Look for a big boss and a minimal gap between the horns.

Often the bosses will be grown closed, making skinning very difficult.

Trophy selection while red hartebeest hunting can be tricky.

Hunting red hartebeest will demand an excellent flat-shooting rifle because distances may be a bit longer, so we would recommend the 7mm or 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 Sako carbon light 300 Winchester Magnum fitted with a suppressor.

Furthermore, the rifle includes a Swarovski DS with a built-in rangefinder. Also, 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.

Be careful of the ‘humped withers’ when hunting red hartebeest, as they have caused more than one experienced hunter to shoot too high.