Red Hartebeest Hunting

Be patient while Red Hartebeest hunting; he can be inquisitive, and even after being disturbed, the herd will often pause to mill around and survey the situation. His fatal mistake – take the shot.

Red Hartebeest Hunting Cost

The average cost of a Red Hartebeest is $950.

Shot placement should be on the bottom third of the shoulder for red hartebeest hunting
Shot placement for Red Hartebeest hunting

The Red Hartebeest in Pictures

Red Hartebeest local names in Africa
Predators that prey on Red Hartebeest.
Red Hartebeest size and growth chart.
Red Hartebeest distribution in South Africa.
Sub species distribution across Africa.
Red Hartebeest young
Red hartebeest feeding grounds.
Red Hartebeest social structure
Shot placement.
Red Hartebeest hunting.

Interesting facts

  • The name “hartebeest” could have originated from the out-of-date Afrikaans word ‘hertebeest,’ literally deer beast.
  • The early Dutch settlers gave the name based on the resemblance of the antelope to deer.
  • Pictorial and epigraphic evidence from Egypt suggests that Egyptians hunted hartebeest and domesticated them in the Upper Paleolithic age.
  • Hartebeest occurs from altitudes on Mount Kenya up to 13,000 feet above sea level to sea level.
  • Hartebeest has an 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.
Red Hartebeest trophy hunting
  • 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
Red Hartebeest trophy hunt

Difference between a male and female

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.
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 almost 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.

There is little difference between males and females, and no distinct, identifiable physical differences are visible, other than the male is bigger.

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.

Red Hartebeest trophy hunting

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, Hartebeest 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.

Trophy hunting

Red Hartebeest Hunting in South Africa

Vital organs showing the position of the heart and lungs.
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.

Being gregarious, they form herds of up to 20 animals. Different herds are made up of territorial males, harem herds, bachelor herds, and solitary males.

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. In the absence of a herd bull, leadership of the herd will be passed temporarily to one of the adult cows.

Hartebeest will mostly be found in savanna areas, as they avoid dense bushveld.

They are primarily grazers and are partial to red grass (Themeda triandra), though they will sometimes browse leaves. He drinks when water is available

Red hartebeest hunting takes place across most of South Africa.

Red Hartebeest trophy hunting

Trophy Judgement and Rifle Caliber

When hunting the red hartebeest, be patient as he is inquisitive. 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 more or less 20, though 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 and with a darker, richer color which intensify 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.


Smithers, RHN, 1983. The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion, 1st edition. University of Pretoria, CTP

Smithers RHN – The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion

The Safari World – 14 Things to Know About the Hartebeest

Nikela – African Hartebeest

Kruger National Park – The Red Hartebeest